Using multimedia can be a great method for raising debate and discussion around a particular set of issues. Whether you are running a workshop, teaching a class, or just looking to brighten up a dreary Friday morning in mid-January, it is always useful to have a few in your back pocket to use.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of fantastic ad campaigns, talks, animations etc out there, but here are our Top 10 from 2013, in no particular order. Enjoy.
1. ‘Price Tag’ lipdub by 500 women | Uganda
Microfinance.com is a site run by Dutch nongovernmental organisation SYPO who provide structural aid in Uganda. The website was started to support a microfinance project run by SYPO in Uganda. All too often the negative aspects of people’s lives in the developing world are found in the use of single narratives to sell different campaigns, such as poverty and hunger. This video, directed by Ivan Mikuli?, shows a diversity of views on the positive side with 500 Ugandan women who have set up their own business through SYPO. It brings the meaning of Jessie J’s hit ‘Price Tag’ to a whole new level…
2. Climate Name Change | USA
Since 1954, the World Meteorological Organization has been naming extreme storms after people (think of Sandy, Ivan, Andrew). But The Climate Name Change propose a new naming system. One that names extreme storms caused by climate change after the policy makers who deny climate change and obstruct climate policy. If you agree, sign the petition. Their video is all the encouragement that is needed to sign their petition. Check it out!
3. I’ll take it from here – because I’m a girl | Malawi
Another fantastic video from Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign, again, carrying a positive message. The film features 12-year-old Brendar from Malawi who lost both her parents to AIDS, and it was awarded the UNICEF Award for best film promoting children’s rights at the 2013 International Animation Festival in Annecy. One not to miss!
4. Mathematics | UK
Meet poet Hollie McNish. This is her spoken word poem ‘Mathematics’, all about immigration in the UK. It is based on her personal experiences and studies and owes a lot to the book Immigrants: Your Country Needs Them by Economist Phillipe Legrain. [h/t to Alan Hayes for this one!]
5. I got 99 problems…palsy is just one | California
Recorded at TEDWomen in California, comedian, writer and actor Maysoon Zayid tells us her story – she’s Palestinian, Muslim, female, disabled and from New Jersey and reckons she would win gold if there was an ‘oppression Olympics’. I dare you to challenge that statement!
6. Will you be my sponsor? | USA | worst campaign video of the year
Many of us have heard of the Africa for Norway campaign by now, but have you heard about the Rusty Radiator Awards? Created in 2013 by the same folk who came up with the genius Radi-aid Campaign, these awards set out to ‘name and shame’ by challenging stereotypes frequently used in videos for fundraising campaigns. They aim to address the need to create engagement built on knowledge rather than stereotypes. There were 5 videos in total nominated for the ‘Rusty Radiator Award’ and 5 videos nominated for the ‘Golden Radiator Award’ – all of which can be used as a great stimulus to create debate and discussion. This video produced by Child Fund won the ‘Rusty Radiator Award’ as the most clichéd and unhelpful video about Africa. The reasons given by their jury were as follows:
‘In this video, children cannot speak for themselves because they are “too poor for words.” This claim is beyond offensive; the video presents the Western donor as the saviour. In addition, the video gives you the impression that just 92 cents a day will save the life of the child you sponsor. When only addressing poverty, structural inequalities, lack of proper health systems and other issues become so simple’
What’s your opinion of this video and the awards? Take a look and let us know…
7. A thousand times no | Egypt
At the Irish Development Education (IDEA) annual conference in 2013, I had the pleasure of hearing the wonderfully inspiring Bahia Shehab speak about her work as an artist – and not just any artist. Although connected by video-link, her passion and conviction still filled the room. Her presentation to the attendees of the conference is not available to watch unfortunately, however her TED talk is – and it is well worth a look. Although somewhat more subdued in this video, her message is still powerful. While listening to her talk last week and looking at images of her art work, I couldn’t help being reminded of the infamous British street artist, Banksy. Her style, in that she uses stencils to spray political messages on the walls in Cairo, is akin to his – however there is something much more to hers. Is it because she is a woman?; because she has one very important message: “No, A Thousand Times No”?; or maybe because she is speaking for a people? Watch the video and see for yourself..
8. Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) force-fed under standard Guantánamo Bay procedure | UK
***This video comes with a very strong warning that it is extremely distressing to watch.**
Published by the Guardian, this short clip was released in July 2013. As Ramadan began, there were more than 100 detainees in Guantanamo Bay on hunger strike. More than 40 of them were force fed. A document was leaked which outlined the military instructions, or standard operating procedure for force-feeding detainees. The video was made by Human Rights organisations Reprieve and BAFTA award winning director Asif Kapadia. You may recognise actor and rapper Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def, who volunteered to experience the procedure.
9. Action on (over) consumption | Ireland
Shameless plug: The choices we make every day effect how the world is the way it is, and why things are the way they are. Our consumption animations seek to question the underlying relationships between ‘us’ as consumers, ‘them’ as producers and the impact that these choices have on the planet. Use our module on consumption to explore consumption practices, stay informed and get active on the issues. The second of the two animations was launched in 2013 (bonus link to the first: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aQbMrHbKWE).
10. The power of empathy | RSA shorts
What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to really get in touch with our own fragilities. The majority of the RSA animations are well worth taking the time to watch too.