[-empyre-] Viral Witnessing Part 8

Patricia R. Zimmermann patty at ithaca.edu
Mon Dec 7 03:14:41 EST 2009

The eighth installment of speculations and unresolved questions on viral witnessing, from Patricia Zimmermann and Sam Gregory. We've returned to a short post.

Can we develop, imagine, invent, and mobilize a new palette for advocacy human rights media in the current new media ecology?

*A new palette of media for human rights documentary is necessary and urgent. 

*This new palette includes both analog and digital forms, multiple platforms for issues, migratory forms, old and new locations, old and new practices.

*Example:  WITNESS recent co-production with a human rights group in Zimbabwe: Hear Us details rape and violence used as a tool during elections. The video was made in order to move regional governments to pressure the Zimbabwean government to comply with commitments it had made around violence against women.  Memory, the person who speaks in the video, travels with it, and tells her story. Online thousands of people are encouraged to add their voice and message of support to be delivered in a key meeting with regional leaders.  It is an example of how an older formation of documentary continues, and, a reminder of the urgency of connecting and weaving together the physical and the viral.

*This new palette includes the intersection of citizen media, or targeted narrow-cast advocacy media for micro-audiences, and professional storytelling and explanatory models.

*One example of this new palette is the international radical cartography movement that uses data driven mapping approaches to reinforce understanding and make connections over time of a larger scope than an individual video.  Radical cartography uses maps and mapping to promote social change. 

*For examples, the mapping project of forced evictions in Cambodia, or mash-ups of data sources around mining sites and contamination in the US via the Landman Report Card Project.  Groups working in radical cartography include Preemptive Media Collective, Disappeared in America, School of Perpetual Training, Invisible Threads, Visible Collective, Institute for Applied Autonomy, Center for Urban Pedagogy, and the Bureau of Inverse Technology.

Patricia R. Zimmermann, Ph.D.
Professor, Cinema, Photography and Media Arts
Roy H. Park School of Communications
Codirector, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival
Division of Interdisciplinary and International Studies
953 Danby Road
Ithaca College
Ithaca, New York 14850 USA
Office: +1 (607) 274 3431
FAX: +1 (607) 274 7078
BLOG: http://www.ithaca.edu/fleff10/blogs/open_spaces/
patty at ithaca.edu

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