Second Global Video for Change Network Convening Takes Place in Mexico

In July 2015, over 30 video practitioners from 17 different organizations met in Mexico for the second convening of the Video for Change (V4C) Network. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss the state of the video for change movement, share the work of the participating organizations, and establish shared priorities and opportunities for collaboration moving forward.

This convening comes three years after a 2012 gathering of video organizations after which theV4C Network was founded. And while many of the network members from 2012 were in attendance, new faces and organizations added great additional energy, experience and perspective to the meeting. The groups present represented a gamut of approaches to video and social justice including organizations that work on participatory video, citizen journalism, social justice film festivals, video as evidence, and video advocacy.

During the meeting, participants reviewed network-supported projects from the past 3 years including the creation of V4C.org (which features training resources, blog posts and news from network members), the Video for Change impact research,  a number of training resources including the Activist’s Guide to Archiving Video, and numerous regional Video for Change convenings around the globe. Participants discussed the state of the movement, identifying the primary challenges and opportunities for video as a medium for change in 2015. These challenges included a wide range of issues, many of which are directly relevant to WITNESS’ work, such as  protecting the rights of activists to record, the (in)accessibility of video equipment for much of the world, using video evidence in human rights and judicial processes, providing support in times of crisis (and dealing with vicarious trauma) and the effective distribution of video content.

From these challenges, many potential projects and collaborations arose amongst network members. Participants left excited and ready to get to work on initiatives that will ideally strengthen both their work and the overall video for change landscape. As these projects solidify and get off the ground, more news will be shared via V4C.org (or on Twitter via @video4change). We are also formally adding a number of members to the network (stay tuned – exciting news to come via V4C.org), with the hope of continuing to grow slowly over the coming years.

Directly following the convening, V4C Network member SocialTic organized a public day of workshops and panels in Mexico City. Activists from around Latin America who were arriving for the Latin America V4C convening, (which directly followed the global convening – more on that here), joined activists from Mexico City to participate in workshop sessions on topics like video as evidence, filming in high-risk situations, video distribution, community cinema and more. Later in the evening, all of the participants made their way to the Center for Digital Culture for panel discussions. Many of the global V4C and Latin America V4C participants shared their work over the course of the evening. You can review some of the topics  and ongoing discussions on video for change by looking up the hash tags #video4change and #videoparaelcambio.

Now, a few weeks out from the gathering, WITNESS is looking forward to the future of the V4C network. We are excited and energized to start working on new projects with so many amazing video organizations from around the globe!

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