Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is Community Video different from Participatory Video?

Community Video or Participatory Video plays a great role as an alternative media and a tool of community communications. I have been pursuing researches on democratic and participatory potentiality of community video since 2013. While doing the researches, a question came to my mind and I uploaded the question in the on April 23, 2015. My question was "Can we differentiate between community video and participatory video? Both the terms are used in community media. But, is there any difference literally or these can be considered as synonyms of each other?"
Today I have received a mail from my friend Gareth Benest, Director of Programmes at InsightShare. For my readers, I would like to inform that InshightShare is a community development organisation based in Oxford, United Kingdom and works globally with 15 years experience combining media technology, with participatory approaches and community engagement for locally-led change ( In his mail, Gareth wrote his opinion on the differences between community video and participatory video in a comprehensive and very simple way. Today, I would like to quote from his mail on the differences of both the terms. Thanks Gareth for your opinion.

Gareth Benest, Source- InsightShare
"For me, they are very different practices that need to be clearly differentiated so we (as practitioners) can better understand what we are undertaking, and why.  It’s not often discussed but is certainly an area of some confusion so I’m grateful to you for asking the question.  Here is a very quick and rough attempt at explaining the difference, as I see it:
Community video = filmmaking by a community.
Participatory video = filmmaking by a community, as a means to achieve positive social change.
In my interpretation, community video refers to processes that engage a community/group in the production of video as an end in itself.  Many examples of community video I have encountered place a strong emphasis on film making as an activity - a discipline - focusing on narrative and aesthetic considerations.
By contrast, participatory video uses video as a tool to achieve the desired social change outcomes of the community involved.  It sets out to harness video as a means to address issues and circumstances that might benefit from being aired, shared or documented for the future.  Often participatory video is deployed as a medium for establishing communication channels between groups that otherwise may not be able to engage in direct dialogue i.e. between different communities or with stakeholders.  The aesthetics of any video produced are secondary to its utility as a social change mechanism, not just in terms of its impact on audiences but also on those participating as they undertake the reflective and investigative process.  Because of the emphasis of process over product inherent in participatory video, it is possible to achieve the intended outcomes of such a process without ever actually producing a video at all!
This is by no means meant as a criticism of community video, just an attempt to articulate how different participatory video really is."

Cite this article as-

Dutta, A. (2015, May 28). Is Community Video different from Participatory Video? Community Communications.

Dutta, Ankuran. "Is Community Video different from Participatory Video?" Community Communications, 28 May 2015, Accessed .............


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