In her article “Video for Change”, Gillian Caldwell talks about the power of video advocacy and how the medium of video helped to clearly convey the information and message in her documentary Bought & Sold: An Investigative Documentary About the International Trade in Women. Caldwell states that Bought & Sold garnered much attention and was influential internationally because “it was ground-breaking in the information it revealed in a powerful visual medium”, and because it could be used “in screenings before a broad array of audiences, including law enforcement, NGOs working to meet the needs of women, girls and women at risk for recruitment, and a range of policy makers worldwide.” Caldwell successfully employed the medium of video to engage in advocacy work and to raise awareness about the issue of the trafficking of women. “Video advocacy”, she claims, is the process of “integrating video into an advocacy effort to achieve the heightened visibility or impact in your campaign”, and advocacy is “the process of working for a particular position, result or solution.” Caldwell believes video to be an incredibly powerful medium for a number of reasons. Video, she states, is able to elicit powerful emotional impact from viewers, to connect viewers to personal stories, and to illustrate stark visual contrasts and provide direct visual evidence of abuses. It can also be a vehicle for building coalitions with other groups working on an issue, can reach a wide range of people, and doesn’t require literacy to convey its information and points. Utilizing the medium of video as a grassroots educational and organizing tool for communities or groups is a smart idea for raising awareness about a large number of issues and for increasing senses of political and social consciousness. Video advocacy acts as a vehicle for true, direct action.


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