Michael Gaffney and E. Jayne White
The power of video as a route to activism is not new to education. Its efficacy in galvanizing political action and advocacy concerning important social issues plays an important role in raising public consciousness and a ‘call to arms’. In the early 1980’s Anne Smith understood this more than most. Her use of video as a mode of political advocacy was part of a larger intellectual and political quest to alter public perspective and policy concerning women and children in Aotearoa New Zealand at that time. Since her death in 2016 the videos she made in the 1980s to early 1990s have now been made freely available to the public and continue to be relevant today. Back then they were produced and disseminated through hours of labour with a group of supporters who shared an understanding of the importance of video to galvanise political consciousness and action. This paper explores the thinking behind the production of these videos and their impact in the public domain with the help of Anne’s life-long partner John Smith and then goes on to look at subsequent work. The paper then goes on to consider, with Professor Anne Meade, the strategic potential for video in the field that can learn much from Anne Smith’s legacy. Together they highlight the power and potential of video to mobilise policy and practice concerning children in the public realm as agentic citizens and to progress the important work Anne started through such modalities into the future.