Kicking ass

There’s an unusual fundraising idea coming from a German NGO. Check out “Afrika Kicker”:

I love the idea, and the originality of it – not to mention how they are combining online promotion tools with (hurrah!) physical interaction and donation-gathering. I like that they’re making it less about donating and more about playing.  But of course… how effective is it really? Is it all worth it, for the limited number of 2-euro coins you can actually get from this? Or is it, more than anything else, something that just looks cool, and – as one campaigning colleague suggested, “a playground for the agency who tends to win creativity awards”? Continue reading “Kicking ass”

Brilliance in a can of worms

I’ve just emerged into the real world after a week immersed in Participatory Video with InsightShare. When they say participatory, they really mean it: there’s no dozing off, not much sitting still, and not even any note-taking.

The energy never seemed to drop, though – or at least, when it did, ideas kept bubbling up, questions kept churning. Credit to the organisers for that, but also to the group: a mixed bag of thinkers and doers who’d come from as far as Myanmar and Canada, with backgrounds from peacekeeping to academia to youth work.

So what’s participatory video, exactly? There’s more than one definition, but in the Insightshare model, the “video” part is almost secondary, a mere tool to gather and engage a group of people (say, a community that’s divided in some way; that feels they have no voice or influence; or who find it difficult to express something). Continue reading “Brilliance in a can of worms”

From dusty shores to a screen near you

Phew – first (published) video entirely made by me – in other words, my first credit as “self-shooting producer/director and editor”, not to mention researcher, translator, etc.

(Start playing, and then click on the subtitles icon, bottom right of the window, if they don’t automatically appear.)

Sifting through the footage, and figuring out how to pull a coherent thread from five different sets of interviews, most in Kiswahili, wasn’t so much fun. Planning and filming was wonderful, though. Kigoma, on the western edge of Tanzania, is far enough (two days’ drive) from Dar es Salaam to have its own, somewhat gentler character than that chaotic city; it’s tiny too, in comparison. But it’s a place of significance – an international crossroads; a landing place for refugees from Tanzania’s troubled neighbours to the west (Burundi and DRC); the endpoint of the country’s first rattling railway line  – and the spot where, supposedly, Stanley found Livingstone. Continue reading “From dusty shores to a screen near you”