Camcorders in Activists' Hands: Tools for Change

| August 15, 2001

Camcorders in Activists' Hands: Tools for Change,
Lights! Camera! Activism! In recent years activists have taken up the camcorder as an effective tool to promote social change. This article from the online Web site profiles some of the ways activists have adopted the use of video in their work. Whether a camcorder is used to protect activists in dangerous situations or to expose hidden injustices such as sweatshops, it is an accessible, non-violent tool that has become critical in many battles for social change. Examples in the article include the Buffalo Field Campaign's use of camcorders to encourage good behavior from the police during standoff situations and Banchte Shekha's use of video to document evidence in cases of dowry abuse and domestic violence in Bangladesh. The article at not only gives examples of how activists have successfully employed the camcorder but also examines the risks of going underground to document continuing injustices and gives tips on how to avoid having police seize tapes. While much of the video work activists do could never be considered great filmmaking, it nonetheless proves again the power of the visual image in changing the way people think.
--Lindsey Dickinson
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