We mobilise those at the grassroots by encouraging authentic participation. Innovative methods and creative media enable us to reach parts of a community that others don’t reach!
Used in conjunction with other visual practical tools such as community maps, problem trees and drawings, Participatory Video makes consultation visual, entertaining and captivating. It involves meeting with groups on their terms, and on their turf. By taking the consultation process to the community we show how much their views are valued. Making an effort and providing accessible and fun tools helps to build trusting partnerships.
Trust is a massive issue in this work and this process takes time. Posters placed in drop–in centres and distributed through local community activists offer free training and support and the chance to use video and "get to know your community". A group is formed based on the skills and diverse connections to the local area brought by the members. A balance of genders is important, as is careful representation of the various ethnic minority groups in the area –bringing cultural sensitivity and language skills. The right team will reflect the diverse backgrounds of the groups we aim to reach and have people with diverse needs such as wheelchair access, or support with childcare.
The team creates a web of personal links reaching out through local organizations, friends, networks, families, meeting places, or the street itself. As a group we celebrate these diverse and authentic connections to those we aim to reach, and to the community at large.
Another challenge could be to get commitment from the diverse stakeholders to watch the video drafts at regular intervals, to create a real space for policy dialogue and exchange of ideas. This should be addressed from the conception of the project and be negotiated among the partners and participants.
“PV catches so much; it has a broader, fuller, more objective gaze"
"It changed the way I listened to people”
“I was impressed by the ease and clarity with which illiterate nomads and farmers expressed their concerns related to environmental change. Such videos carry messages that go far beyond language”
“This is important work -creating a feedback loop so that the system can self-regulate for its health”