Camcorders in Activists’ Hands: Tools for Change

Camcorders in Activists’ Hands: Tools for
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.

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