The role of Participatory Video in empowering

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Authors R. Arun kumar Research scholar, Dept. of Communication, M.S. University Asst. Professor & Head Dept. of Visual Communication Asan Memorial College, Chennai & D r . P. Govindaraju Professor & Head, Dept. of Communication Dean of Arts Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli The role of Participatory Video in empowering different communities in participatory development

Communication is the pulse of development:

Communication is the pulse of development Communication is the key to developing successful participant-led projects, with sustainable and far reaching impacts. The message is “ let the content or the work communicate itself ” Communicate accurately the core content generated during project work without marginalising the very groups and understand what do they seek for empowerment.

PV can be a highly effective tool    :

PV can be a highly effective tool Participatory video is an approach of participatory or citizen media that has become increasingly popular with the falling cost of film/video production, availability of simple consumer video cameras and other equipment, and ease of distribution via the Internet. Although videos can be produced by a single individual, production often requires a group of participants. And, so participatory filmmaking includes a set of techniques to involve communities/groups in conceptualizing and producing their own films. Chris Lunch, a preeminent contemporary author on participatory video and executive director of Insight, explains that “The idea behind this is that making a video is easy and accessible, and is a great way of bringing people together to explore issues, voice concerns, or simply to be creative and tell stories.”

PV as a catalyst:

PV as a catalyst PV works as a catalyst for groups to develop the power to interact and influence those bodies and institutions with power over. PV does so by supporting the creation of a Freirean dialogical process within the community, (Dialogic learning i s the result of the consequence of a dialogue in which different people provide arguments based on validity claims and not on power claims) which leads to collective action. Video breaks the illiteracy barrier and facilitates the access to the institutional and political framework.

Participatory video is an approach of participatory or citizen media:

Participatory video is an approach of participatory or citizen media Participatory video was developed in opposition to more traditional documentary film approaches, in which indigenous knowledge and local initiatives are filmed and disseminated by outside professional filmmakers. These professionals, who are often from relatively privileged backgrounds use their artistic license to design narrative stories and interpret the meaning of the images/actions that they film. As such, the film is often created for the benefit of outsiders and those that are filmed rarely benefit from their participation. The objectives of participatory video are to facilitate empowerment, community self-sufficiency, and communication.

The early experiments of PV:

The early experiments of PV The first experiments in PV were the work of Don Snowden, a Canadian who pioneered the idea of using media to enable a people- centered community development approach. Then Director of the Extension Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Snowden worked with filmmaker Colin Low and the National Film Board of Canada's Challenge for Change program to apply his ideas in Fogo Island, Newfoundland, a small fishing community.

PV brings positive changes in the communities:

PV brings positive changes in the communities By watching each other’s films, the villagers realized that they shared many of the same concerns and they joined together to create solutions. The villager’s films were shared with policy-makers, many of whom had no real conception of the conditions in which Fogo Islanders lived. As a result of this dialogue, policy-makers introduced regulation changes. Snowden went on to apply the Fogo process all over the world until his death in India in 1984. Since then, most of the development of the participatory video technique has been led by non-academic practitioners in the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Canada and India

The different methods applied on PV making:

The different methods applied on PV making PV is used all over the world and has been applied in many different situations, from advocacy and enabling greater participation in development projects To providing a therapeutic and communicative environment for the mentally ill or disempowered. Methods vary from practitioner to practitioner, some choosing to keep the process more open, and others preferring to guide the subjects more, or even to wield the camera themselves. There is no fixed way in which PV has to be done, other than that it involves the authorship of the group itself and that it be carried out in a truly participative and democratic way. This quality of flexibility enables PV to be applied to many different situations.

PV is a powerful means for the grass-roots:

PV is a powerful means for the grass-roots PV carried out in this way becomes a powerful means of documenting of experiences, needs and hopes from their own perspectives of a local people community and grass-root community It initiates a process of analysis and change that celebrates local knowledge and practice, whilst stimulating creativity both within and beyond the community. PV gives a voice and a face to those who are normally not heard or seen, even in participatory programmes

Applications of PV:

Applications of PV In combination with other methodologies such as Participatory Learning in Action (PLA) techniques, Participatory Rural Appraisal and others, PV has been successfully applied to projects focussing on; community development promoting local innovation and endogenous development therapeutic work a voice for marginalised groups a catalyst for community-led action a tool for communicating with policy makers a means of involving users in their own research for example action research, participatory research, user-led research also for programme monitoring and evaluation or Social impact assessment new possible applications are being continually developed.

The role of PV in the empowerment of the differently abled people in VKP Project. Chennai, Tamil Nadu India March 2010:

The role of PV in the empowerment of the differently abled people in VKP Project. Chennai, Tamil Nadu India March 2010 This Participatory video is the result of a five day Participatory Video Workshop held in March near Chennai, India. It was created by a group of Community Professionals from different areas of Tamil Nadu. They are filming successful stories about how differently-abled people from a small village managed to improve their livelihoods as they get more involved with Poverty Reduction Projects of VKP. The title is ' Devaki's strengh despite her disability‘ Nalivil Oar Valimai (in Tamil) Devaki is the protagonist and she is in a wheel chair interviewing people for the Tamil Nadu VKP project ( Vaazhnthu Kaattuvom ) The PV is available at <>


RECIPIENT- LED COMMUNICATION When participatory video is applied to different stages of a project a number of objectives are achieved at once. Not only can it enhance work with the communities, break down barriers between facilitators and local populations, but it also automatically provides a record of the work as it progresses. Such an approach, when skilfully applied, can foster a continual process of dissemination and feedback and a live record of the participatory process in action. Local and national policymakers to inform them about the work and to increase their understanding of the dynamics and obstacles affecting marginalised groups and what they can do to support them.


Recommendations Participatory video could enable a largely illiterate community to present a visual documentary attachment to the project proposal (specifically as the initial application, not as the replacement of the project proposal). The desire and vision of the community while increasing the chances of success for proposals coming from indigenous and marginalised communities. We need to understand PV has tremendous potential to bring out personal stories to support campaigns and build understanding and consensus in potentially fraught situations


Recommendations Communication students can form Assist groups in the target communities to carry out their own research using the video as a tool for them to document local knowledge and ideas, as well as generate new knowledge and fresh solutions. Local people’s findings can be included in multimedia reports and publications, bringing their authorship into the process and developing a synthesis of local and scientific knowledge.


Conclusion The participatory video we make is the single most important campaign tool used to save the boatyard. It makes people sit up and listen. It brings the boatyard into the offices where they make the decisions.

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