The idea of participatory documentaries is balancing putting out a message and helping a particular group of people. When.actual subjects of what you are trying to display helping with the creation of the video, different than “giving” someone a voice. You’re letting them tell their stories; their taking their own voice. In this situation all of the actors (the director, the subject, the video-maker) are shifted. Projects like this have a different kind of authenticity because the project is not about an issue, in fact the subjects aren’t thought of as “an issue”, rather they are integrated into the movement, have a say, a sense of ownership and a stake in the project. It seems that this kind of project would be more effective in getting a particular message across. The whole process that was outlined in the Mapping Memories focused on the process as much as the result, in creating a safe and collaborative space for the “subjects”, in order to make them comfortable enough to share their stories and become contributors. I really liked the idea of working in groups and how that was able to lend support to members, even if their experiences differ the tonality of their experiences remain the same. I also appreciated mapping memories emphasis on how everyone was learning and becoming better in these processes, not only the refugees but the people making the documentary; everyone learned from everyone else’s experiences as well.
Another thing I wanted to mention this week, as it crossed my mind during our talks about Media coverage during the LA Riots, and the constant police discrimination against people of color especially during that time. I came across this video as just thing that represented an inability or unwillingness to address issues of not only race and representation but diversity. I know it is not comparably related to the intensity or violence that happened in LA but it just resonated with what we were discussing this week.
How do videos (taken by people on the streets, observers and not “media” people) change the discourse of media. How does the advent of different pathways to disseminate information make the fight for adequate representation, recognition and publicity of issues easier and harder? Does mainstream media still have to most sway and power for what gets out to the masses?