We have been conducting interviews with media makers who are interested in making a positive difference through their work.The questions we ask pertain to three distinct intersections of media making and change making: What impact the work media makers do may have on the external world they set out to influence, how the work they do transforms them as human beings and, in what ways the changing landscape of tools available for media making might provide new opportunities – even while losing others. In this work some common themes seem to be emerging and we look forward to sharing those with you soon
As we look to the future, we will begin building upon the modest base we have created through this website. We expect to add a regular “live” feature to our website in the coming months. Also, along with our partners we expect to launch a platform that will enable media makers, change makers, thinkers and doers to forge collaborations across borders. As you can imagine, we are excited about the possibilities.
As we grow into the next phase, your contributions will help us get it done better and sooner. Do consider making a contribution today.
Sumita Dutt-Chatterjee got her Masters and M.Phil in South Asian History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her research and teaching interests are located in South Asia and the Global South, particularly around issues of gender, feminist inquiries, modernity, development discourse, and globalization. She is a published author and currently teaches at the University of Miami.
History can be a guide to our modern dilemmas, particularly as we try to make sense of the pervasiveness of social media in our lives. Here I briefly discuss one such moment in history – Challenge For Change – a unique partnership created in Canada (1969-1980) when a new technology, namely portable video camera, idealistic documentarians and activists, the National Film Board and the government of Canada came together to grapple with ways in which media can impact society.
Mobile Storytelling Workshops
Mexico, India, United States
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 –
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.
- Ana Laura GamboggiSocial Anthropologist, Brazil
Ana Laura Gamboggi’s work with institutions and organizations around the world on environmental research projects add perspective to mediaforchange.org’s educational and research policies. She is a published author and currently teaches at SENAC University, Brazil.
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.
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
- Irene HerreraFilmmaker & Educator, Japan
Irene Herrera is a photographer, documentary film-maker and video journalist. She is an avid traveler and Irene’s vast body of work and experiences add substance to mediaforchange.org’s global ambitions. She teaches documentary film-making at Temple University, Japan Campus in Tokyo.
Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change
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.
- Sanjeev ChatterjeeFounder & Director
Sanjeev Chatterjee founded mediaforchange.org to create a global platform for media change makers to come together and share their stories. Decades of field experience and interactions with media makers around the world have allowed Sanjeev to shape the organization’s unique vision and values.