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Transferring Video Skills to the Community: The Problem of Power. - Media Development 36(4)
by Keyan Tomaselli

Abstract:
The idea of participatory video often elicits sarcasm and dismissal. Conventional motion picture categories and professional common sense suggest that "˜visual illiterates' cannot be made into video makers. Production is technologically complicated and should therefore be left, according to this logic, to those who know how to use it. The crew thus vests solely in itself the power to determine the nature of its relationship with subject-communities. And yet, participatory film production is not new. John Grierson's British documentary movement of the 1920s and 1930s positioned middle-class film makers between conventional cinema and their working-class subjects. During the mid-1920s the Bantu Kinema Educational Experiment attempted to "˜create a cinema produced by and for the peoples of East Africa'. Mindful of this early work, the following article take the reader towards definitions of "˜community' and "˜community video'. At root, the power relationship that always arises between crew and subjects, no matter what the intentions of the video makers, is addressed.

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Publication Type: Article / Chapter / Essay: 5 pages
Publisher: WACC (1989)
Location: London, UK
Language: English
ISSN: 0143-5558

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