Elisa Bignante

University of Torino
Torino, Italy

Video screening in the North Rupununi

Field report n°7

May 16, 2012

This is a personal account from Dr Elisa Bignante, Politecnico di Torino, who traveled to the North Rupununi in April 2012.

Project Cobra – Creative Commons

How fun and engaging can be seeing one’s own community on a video? How can the screening of a video help people reflect on their own community? The Guyanese Cobra team is presently engaging with these questions: The videos and photostories produced during previous consultations in the three selected communities of Apoteri, Fair View and Rupertee, in the North Rupununi are being shown back to the communities. And people’s reactions are very different…someone laughs, someone is shy, someone wants to add comments, someone agrees on what is said and someone doesn’t…

Let’s see how the team is working!

Deidre, Bertie, Ryan, Lekaram, Rebacca, Grace and myself spent three days in each of the three selected communities.

During the first day we screened the video and photostory on system viability built by the Cobra team relying on the evidences and discussions emerging from the previous consultation with each community. After the screening community members commented on the video and photostory, adding further elements, changing others and enriching the final framework. People in general liked to see the video, and liked to see themselves and other community members in the video. And community members liked the fact the video is a “memory” that will stay in within the village.

On the second day people engaged in the direct production of photostories in which they describe resources that are important for the life of their communities. Each individual photostory was then shared with the rest of the community so as to elicit further discussion on system viability orientors among the community. Showing the photostory to the community is a very lively and amusing moment: people make comments, laugh, agree or disagree on what is said… Our aim was to get as much feedback as possible from the communities and to build with them the indicators on system viability relevant at the local level.

During the third day we collected more footage and photographs working together with village members and we video interviewed people that want to add further information. Finally, we shared with the communities the outputs of the activities carried on together and we had a nice lunch all together, talking, laughing, drinking and eating rice, meat and cassava!



QUICK DOWNLOAD: Check out the English version of the COBRA Handbook for Practitioners.