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Video Activists from Aleppo and Raqqa as ‘Modern-Day Kinoks’?

An Audiovisual Narrative of the Syrian Revolution

Josepha Ivanka Wessels

as the use of aerial drones and 360-degree video cameras. 9 They also use their cameras and their bodies on the frontline (Andén-Papadopoulos 2013), thus emphasizing that video activism in Syria comes at a high price—there is danger of kidnapping by extremist groups or being killed by bombings. The

Lea Sonza

This article provides a critical reflection on, and some key examples of Native American media activism, in particular film and video making. The aim of the article is to discuss the reasons why such activism is important, consider its strength and challenges, as underpinned by the work of critical media scholars, such as Stuart Hall and other prominent scholars. To do so, it provides relevant examples and cases which point at the role of and issues surrounding image, representation, (in) visibility, access, recognition, dissemination, censorship and identity, in relation to video activism.

The main findings are that video activism can be a helpful tool in the frame of Native Americans’ struggles for self-making and sovereignty, reversing the trend established historically first by the European settlers, and then by the American ‘mainstream’ population, whose aim was to erase and assimilate Indigenous peoples. However, although we pinpoint the fact that indigenous media, such as Fourth Cinema or video productions broadcast on platforms like Youtube, are used as political tools by Native Americans, the essay also means to highlight the limits of such tools, whether the latter are theoretical, or practical.

In summary, this article considers traditional indigenous media in self-making processes, mainly through the importance of filmmaking. Furthermore, it emphasizes how resistance, resurgence and sovereignty are pursued with the utilization of digital Indigenous media. It also tries to underline the limits of those methods which should be taken into account to strengthen Indigenous activism. Finally, even if these points are related here to Native American activism, they seem relevant to any kind of activism. It is hence key to highlight that the critical arguments and example provided here can support teachers’ work related to social justice. Teachers can use the examples and points made here as a reflection trigger with students in higher education across disciplines and high school, within and beyond the fields that tackle media, culture, sociology, and history.

Lynley Tulloch and Paul Judge

In New Zealand one of the most significant animal rights issues is the systemic cruelty inherent in the dairy industry. This article presents a review of video activism as a strategy by activists in New Zealand to educate the public about the brutal and oppressive realities of dairy practices. To illustrate we offer a case study of an antidairy campaign in 2015 that was based on activist video work. This campaign was led by key animal rights groups SAFE and Farmwatch and was called The Dark Side of Dairy. In this case, video footage captured by activists was used to provide counter narratives to the dominant discourses of dairying and to educate the public about their consumption practices. We argue that dominant discourses of dairying are powerful shapers of public consciousness and based on welfarist ideology and myths of the rural Romantic Arcadia. To illustrate the strength of these dominant understandings we employ critical discourse analysis (CDA) and semiotic analysis. In teasing out the ways in which discourses of dairy farming have been constructed in New Zealand, we demonstrate the power of political forces in preserving the status quo around dairying. This paper concludes that the role of animal rights video activism lies primarily in educating the public to think more deeply and critically about human-animal relations and the depravations of dairy farming. It is the basis for a pedagogy of conscientization. We conclude that conscientization of the underpinning exploitative relations of animal agriculture can occur with the aid of witness to the animal’s suffering conveyed through the medium of video.

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.

Marianna Liosi

This article is a reflective text by an art curator interested in exploring the boundaries between video activism, spectatorship, and pedagogy. It proposes new ways of critically understanding the terms “activist,” “participation,” and “militancy” in the context of an expanded notion of the image and the role of the spectator. Emerging from field notes, the article narrates and shares the experiences of engaging students at workshops for “Between Broadcast – a project around activist videos,” held at at fine art academies and universities in Leipzig, Düsseldorf, and Bergamo. The practical aim of the workshops was to introduce and engage students with the subject of so-called activist video clips on YouTube. The students were asked to find, select, and discuss militant videos and, subsequently, to create a montage from them. The conceptual aim of the workshop was to reflect upon video spectatorship online and what that means, the agency of the spectator, and the possibilities of their active participation in the process of viewing. The outcomes of the workshops were the development of critical thinking of the students concerning the subjects of online video, digital empathy, their engagement with videos as individual viewers and as a collective, and the power of montage as a narrative and activist tool.

The Battle for Free Universal Education in Chile

Using YouTube in the Student Protests of 2011


Salomé Sola-Morales

. Video-activism, also called participatory, alternative, radical, subversive, community, or underground video for social change or for development, is a communicative social, audiovisual practice used as a resource for political participation by actors outside the dominant power structures, with the

Edwin Jurriëns

video is also provided by the Australia and Indonesia-based NGO EngageMedia. EngageMedia attempts to build an on-line network of video activism in the Asia-Pacific region, so facilitators and practitioners can easily get in touch with each other for exchanging materials and ideas. One of the NGO

Nick Dyer-Witheford

of social information. This includes the radical press, community radio, tactical television experiments and video activism. Probably the most dramatic innovation, however, has been the widespread use of the internet for self- organisation, circulating news, speeding internal communication

The Unbearable Lightness of the Image

Unfinished Thoughts on Filming in Contemporary Syria

Donatella Della Ratta

, always-on connected cameras have not only failed the ethical task of bearing witness in the hope of denouncing, mobilizing and stopping the violence; they have also failed to understand and make sense of the present moment which they were filming live. Beyond the excess of the first phase of video

Robin D.S. Yates and Danni Cai

Production.” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 36.1: 203-26.
 Balkwill, Stephanie. 2016. “When Renunciation is Good Politics: The Women of the Imperial Nunnery of the Northern Wei (386-534).” Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China 18.2: 224-56.
 Bao, Hongwei. 2015. “Digital Video Activism