The UK/France-based Insight has just released a field guide to participatory video (PV). The guide lays out instructions through text, illustration and photography to assist amateur videographers in setting up PV projects regardless of their location.
Insight's work focuses on empowering individuals and communities to give voice to their experience by learning about the tools and processes required to direct, film, and produce videos. Much of their work involves applying video techniques to Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) practices, which encompass a broad range of local, collaborative methods for assessment and planning in communities both rural and urban.
This of course runs quite parallel to the work of Witness and other efforts to expose injustice through local, participatory video. While Insight's work goes more in-depth on the entire video-making process, their globally-applicable handbook may prove informative even for capturing more on-the-fly footage through developments such as Witness's mobile phone project, which enables citizens to document human rights violations through cameraphone recordings, as well as environmental data documentation, as Jamais mentioned with the idea of Earth Witness.
The use of mobile technology, cameras and wireless networks for citizen-driven progress is a recurring theme at Worldchanging. But having the tools without understanding the techniques doesn't get us all the way there. With "Insights into Participatory Video," citizens have a chance to extract the full potential of technological tools that are increasingly accessible in remote areas of the world.
There's a push developing against this sort of activity: The US Image Rights bill seeks to prohibit the use of a person's image or voice without consent for up to 70 years after their death.
Call me cynical but doesn't this legislation only apply to rich, famous people? I have a sneaking suspicion that the rest of us will be recorded, edited and shared with impugnity.