Training Activists on Video Archiving Best Practices

Human rights change doesn’t take place overnight. For activists, it is important to make sure that pieces of documentation such as videos can be preserved for the long-term. And while it is much cheaper, easier and more convenient to share than previous video formats, digital video poses many challenges when it comes to long-term storage.

This was the message shared by WITNESS archivist Yvonne Ng along with archivists Rachel Mattson and Marie Lascu at their recent training for activists on how to archive their video collections.

Hosted by Interference Archive, an archive for activist materials in Brooklyn, New York, the training brought together activists and archivists to discuss the core principles and practices of archiving. Using their own collections as examples, participants were led through modules on the basics of video and metadata, organizing and storing media, and accessibility and long-term storage considerations. Through activities, group work and the presentation of a video from WITNESS’s series on archiving video, participants worked together to figure out the best methods for organizing and preserving various collections.

Through implementing these steps, the trainees will be able to preserve media captured of protests, arrests, testimonies and other subjects and allow them to share these videos later for advocacy, justice and accountability and educational purposes.

To learn more about archiving video, check out The Activist’s Guide to Archiving Video and accompanying video series (currently in progress).



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