Media for Change is all about creating ways in which media change makers can connect and collaborate across borders. We celebrate their work by publishing profiles on our website. Our annual virtual conference connects venues around the world where media change makers gather to discuss current issues and how their work makes a difference. In 2016, we began offering workshops to non-media makers in mobile filmmaking. We expect to continue offering workshops in various aspects of media change making.

In 2017 we are beginning work on 2 original media projects:

  1. Creating media content about reimagining the movement to end gender violence. Learn more here.
  2. A transmedia documentary project to address the growing ideological gaps in the United States. Learn more here.

To learn more or to get involved, write to info@mediaforchange.org

Photo courtesy Gail Pellett

The trajectory of writer, producer, activist Gail Pellett, brought her from Saskatchewan, Canada where she was born, to Vancouver and Victoria where she grew up before heading to the US in the 1960s, and then around the world. This interview was conducted on behalf of mediaforchange.org by Shamina de Gonzaga.

Mobile Storytelling Workshops

Mexico, India, United States

Media for Change workshops focus on using mobile devices for capturing and editing materials on individual devices.

Media for Change has been conducting mobile filmmaking workshops for diverse groups internationally. These include:

  • 2-Day Workshop for attendees of WATERLAT-Globalcit Conference, Guadalajara, Mexico, October, 2015.
  • 2-Week Course in mobile filmmaking at the Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University, India in 2016 and 2017.
  • 2-Day mobile storytelling workshop for Nature Links – a Miami based non-profit serving youth with intellectual disabilities, 2016.
  • Ongoing mobile storytelling workshops for members of We-Count a non-profit serving the Latin American immigrants and farm workers in Homestead, Florida, 2016 –

Virtual Water

São Paulo

The following video, made by students at SENAC São Paulo, explores the concept of virtual water. Things we consume in our daily lives, cell phones, automobiles etc. expend large amounts of water in their production. São Paulo is currently experiencing the worst water shortage in 84 years and through this video students are equating the steep rise in consumerism to water shortage in the city. The video was completed under the supervision of mediaforchange.org board member Ana Laura Gamboggi Taddei and was part of a larger exhibition of art, photography and films produced by students at SENAC.

Video to Address Domestic Violence

Purulia district, West Bengal, India

Gautam Bose is a Kolkata based filmmaker and serves on the mediaforchange.org board of directors.He is currently collaborating with New York based Tricke Up that is committed to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty. In this project Mr. Bose is training rural women in West Bengal India to make and share the stories of domestic violence in their lives. If successful, the effort will help make the hidden issue of domestic violence more visible. Visual storytelling will be the thread to connect women\\\’s experiences, giving them the confidence to stand up against gender violence. The project is supported by the Ford Foundation.

For Moushumi, Shakuntala or Golapi the highest technology they ever used was sickles – carved blades essential for harvesting paddy, until, in March they got video cameras from Trickle Up.

Purulia, in West Bengal state is one of the chronically poor districts of \\\’emerging\\\’ India. Here people are poorly fed, remain poorly educated, they generally have poor health. Women in Purulia are even poorer compared to their male counterparts in every aspect of their lives.

Women here often get married at an early age – before they are eighteen. They become mothers while still in their teens. Women are expected to work hard at home and in the field. Culturally they are accustomed to a life defined by hard work. But women have no voice when it comes to issues like domestic violence.

Trickle Up, a US based non-profit has given the women of Purulia 3 video cameras. These cameras have suddenly given Moushumi and her friends a new tool for articulation and communication. They are recording their own stories on video and looking at themselves as groups, discussing, debating and sometimes confronting their own men who perpetrate domestic violence.

Moushumi, Shakuntala, Golapi and her friends, who were shy and quiet, have started to experience the power of visual storytelling in a community setting. The video cameras and their users may change the gender equations in parts of Purulia permanently.

The Reimagining Project 

Miami

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The Reimagining Project grows most immediately out of the conference, Converge! Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence (held at the University of Miami School of Law, February, 2014), but the roots of this conversation are much older and are profoundly shaped by the ground breaking work of INCITE! Women, Gender Non-Conforming and Trans People of Color Against Violence.

Converge! conference participants answered a call to reimagine U.S. priorities in funding, activism, legal responses, and social services in ways that better address structural inequalities that create and maintain gender violence. The Converge! conversation crossed boundaries of activism and research: organizing campaigns with domestic workers, sex workers, and farm workers; mobilizing to stop police harassment of LGBT youth; advocating for immigrant rights; calling for prison abolition; calling for racial and gender justice within in the criminal system; establishing international human rights norms in domestic settings; highlighting and demanding accountability for campus sexual assault; training and encouraging men to oppose violence against women; working on behalf of those subjected to domestic violence/intimate partner violence and sexual assault. Recognizing the connections between these movements and working to create a common political agenda was central to the Converge! conversation.

Media for Change is a collaborator helping integrate digital media to share and engage with a wider audience (beyond people directly involved in shaping the movement) the evolving story of the Reimagining Project.

Documenting Resistance

Hong Kong

Media for Change board member Irene Carolina Herrera has been on the frontline of the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong from the very beginning. In her guest blog for us she shares the perspective that even though there may be no tangible outcomes yet from the student led resistance, there is definitely a change in the air. Read the blog

After a month long sit-in, little concrete results have been accomplished. This rally took place on October 22nd, days after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's comments on Hong Kong's working class suggesting that democratic elections in the city would give too much voice to the poor.

Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change

Salzburg, Austria

Every summer, for the past 8 years, the Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change attracts students and faculty from 5 continents to explore 2 principal questions: “How do news media affect our understanding of ourselves, our cultures, our politics?” and “How can we use media to better cover global problems and to better report on possible solutions?”

mediaforchange.org founder Sanjeev Chatterjee has served on the faculty of the Academy since 2008 and this year worked with colleague Rhys Daunic of themediaspot.org to mentor the production 2 short videos by students. The videos give us a glimpse into the workings of the Academy and look into the central question that drives mediaforchange.org – what can media change?

Video editor Rachel Smilan-Goldstein provides some context for the videos below.

The eighth annual Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change brought together students and faculty from 23 countries and 16 universities for three weeks in 2014. Participants not only took a critical look at how media is used around the world, but also focused on how individuals and teams of media makers and citizens can use myriad forms of media as a tool for positive change. They worked to overcome initial cultural challenges and barriers, challenging personal assumptions about diverse cultures and types of media. Nearly every day for three weeks, participants lived, worked, ate, socialized and traveled together, developing meaningful international relationships. The work produced at the Academy was student-driven, with faculty working with students primarily as facilitators. To conclude the program, teams of students presented their media solutions to the United Nations Development Program. These projects used a variety of media to propose ways to tackle specific parts of big problems in the world today. Problems addressed by participants included climate change, sustainability, poverty, human rights and corruption.

For better or worse, media makes change. Media can foster prejudice and perpetuate stereotypes. However, it can also improve accountability of governments and connect people with much-needed resources and information. Participants in the eight annual Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change delved into how to use media as a tool to promote small, positive and sustainable changes. Taking into account social responsibility and accountability, students and faculty engaged critically with media topics and sought the best ways to mobilize ideas for change through mediated platforms. Students are urged to reproduce the process of the academy and continue using media to work toward social changes, even if small, after returning to their home countries and universities.