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Three New Materials from the Video4Change Network

In March 2014, the Video4Change network produced three more guides in English. This time, we've focused on distribution (online and offline) resources. Video Compression Guide.

Video Activists from Africa Converge for a video4change Gathering

WITNESS and their partners, SONKE and STEPS, co-organised a gathering of 25 video activists from Sub-Saharan Africa in Cape Town, South Africa last 3 - 5 March 2014. According to WITNESS the gathering aimed "to create a space for video activists to share experiences, network, inspire and learn from one another and foster collaboration. Furthermore, we will support these activists and their groups to stay connected through the global V4C (Video-for-Change) network, as well as through our new regional Video-for-Change community."   

New video4change Materials Published

In December 2013, the video4change network published a new set of guides aimed towards supporting video activists and citizen journalists in producing and distributing their videos more effectively. With support from Internews Europe, these guides range from mobile video to hosting independent video sites. Guide to Independent Video Hosting. Are you looking for ways to set up your own video-sharing and aggregating site (å la EngageMedia.org!)? Then you should read this manual. The guide focuses on Free, Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) solutions such as  Wordpress, Drupal and Plumi. This was written by Mick Fuzz from video4change member, FlossManuals. Effective Video on Low Cost Devices. If you're a video activist or citizen journalist on a tight budget ad can't quite afford to buy the latest video equipment and smartphone, then you will find this guide useful. It offers tips and tricks to making quality videos on your existing devices. This guide was written by Brian Conley from video4change member, Small World News. Citizen Journalist Guide to Mobile Video. This one has everything you need to know to use your smartphone for video activism and citizen journalism. The topics covered in this guide include the principles of mobile video as well as available applications to distribute video through your mobile device. This was written by Melissa Ulbright. Citizen Journalist Guide to Live Streaming Video. Are you citizen journalist, planning to go cover a demonstration in your town? Or are you at the right place at the right time, and are witnessing events unfold that should be shared with the rest of the online world? Before that happens, it would be great if you can read this guide. This takes the user through different tools and strategies in live-streaming video. Written by video4change member, Becky Hurwitz from the MIT Centre for Civic Media, this guide also has hands-on exercises to installing and using the most popular video streaming services available. All of these guides are available in Arabic and Burmese. A Burmese version of this page is available burmese_guides.pdf

B'Tselem Case Study: How to Build a Fence in Hebron

Title: How to Build a Fence in Hebron Video by B'Tselem This case study was prepared by Julie Fischer, Research Assistant to the Video for Change Impact Research and Intern at the MIT Open Documentary Lab. This was based on the interview she conducted with Yoav Gross, Director of the the B'Tselem Video Department. Background: B'Tselem's Approach to Distribution As a part of the interview detailed in the B'Tselem Report, Yoav Gross discussed the dual goals and audiences which B'Tselem aims for with its videos: to use video as legal evidence or a tool for lobbying and educating authorities (i.e. the Isreli army, police force) in order to effect legal or policy change surrounding human rights abuse;  to raise awareness of human rights violations within the Israeli public by spreading videos through traditional mass media and new media. Yoav notes, "The classic route our video will take is to go at the same time to the authorities and to the media – knowing that [these two channels] strengthen one another. … Many times the only reason an investigation will be opened is because a video got very large amounts of press, and that created a conversation and pressure on the authorities."The description of these intertwined goals speaks to the specific nature of what B'Tselem understands as impact: awareness alone is not enough, it is the awareness of the public and the authorities to human rights violations which then lead to pressures to reverse abusive practices, policies or legal structures.Yoav provided a particular case as an example of a successful B'Tselem video that achieved measurable or trackable impact: a video in which two Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint in Hebron refuse access to a Palestinian (a B'Tselem field researcher) to enter a main street.

B'Tselem and Video for Change

This report was prepared by Julie Fischer, Research Assistant for the Video for Change Impact Research and Intern at the MIT Open Documentary Lab. This is based on the interview she conducted with Yoav Gross, Director of the B'Tselem Video Department. About B'Tselem As described on their homepage, B'Tselem is "an Israeli human rights organization, [which] acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law."B’Tselem’s Video Department was founded in 2005, bringing a new and powerful component to their work documenting human rights violations.B'Tselem and Video for Change Yoav Gross spoke first about the way Video for Change (V4C) is conceived at the organizational level of B'Tselem. First and foremost, he notes, "B'Tselem is a human rights org, meaning this is the only spectrum it looks at V4C through – which in some senses is limiting, but it also makes us very focused on change at the immediate level - e.g legal accountability. We are much less interested in empowerment, community, etc., even though it might be a part of our work, and a personal interest of some, like me."While B'Tselem does not align its mission with the second type of vision of Video for Change Yoav mentions, it seems worth noting that he and others at B'Tselem recognize this as a one approach that falls under the V4C definition in the field – a useful insight for continuing to think through the definition of the term and the benefits of a broader term that encompasses many different organizational approaches.Further describing B'Tselem’s own approach, Yoav notes, "B'Tselem is interested in two aspects of V4C, mainly. One is legal, via video as evidence and encouragement for opening investigations against authorities violations, as well as using video as a tool for lobbying or educating authorities – the army, police forces, etc. And the second is raising awareness, mainly to the Israeli public, mainly through mass media but also new media."

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