As part of our on-going Silwood Archive project, Spectacle has been hosting weekly meetings of the Silwood Video Group (SVG). Often as SVG watches archive footage together themes emerge. In the past month these have included: youth clubs, community centres, fly-tipping, and the lack of a community centre, youth facilities, green space and communal areas on the estate.
The group wanted to film some locations to accompany the themes that had been coming up in the meetings. Spectacle visited the Silwood estate on Monday the 29th of December and filmed locations and activities including ongoing construction, fly-tipping, the location where the youth club bus arrives, the new community garden, and general location shots around the streets of the estate.
This footage will be added to the archive as part of the ongoing documentation of the Silwood estate for the past 20 years during the regeneration of the area.
All are welcome to join our Silwood Video Group – watch original archive – help select material for publishing-get involved in filming.
In June, Spectacle began an online participatory video workshop series for a group of residents and community leaders in Greenwich.
This programme of 8 half day workshops was designed to build the skills and capacity of the diverse Greenwich communities to co-produce media. Through this training in smartphone video making, these individuals aim to produce content for and about their community of interest.
Over eight half day sessions this course is equipping the participants with core video production and editing skills. They are learning about cameras, framing, talking head interviews, filming locations, shooting action sequences, shooting to edit and editing.
Through practical exercises participants develop their technical skills and visual storytelling between sessions. The freedom of these exercises encourages participants to begin filming places and people for their projects. Topics of interest range from fashion to noise pollution to exercise and wellbeing. Some in the group are entrepreneurs running their own start ups and are excited to create content to showcase their enterprises.
Spectacle’s skill development workshops give participants a foundation in the skills required to produce engaging, good-quality video content. After only four sessions, feedback has been tremendously positive. One participant called the sessions, “eye opening.” Another spoke of how the practical exercises gave her the push and confidence to overcome her nervousness about filming.
Though the participants live locally within the same area, many do not know each other. These online sessions are also designed to encourage community cohesion and cooperation between diverse groups. Spectacle encourages resource sharing especially of equipment and skills and opens up opportunities to brainstorm about collaborations and future projects.
Spectacle’s participatory workshops are delivered live and are fully responsive to participants’ needs. These workshops assume no prior video knowledge and can be adapted to the available equipment of any group.
Participatory Workshops at Spectacle
Spectacle specialises in facilitating Participatory Video (PV) workshops aiming to give participants the tools to speak for and among themselves through video. You can read about our method here.
We approach filmmaking collaboratively and use workshops to share skills, responsibility, and authorship. Spectacle’s PV process is based on workshops in which group members build technical competence, gain confidence in their creative inputs, control the editorial process, and share ownership of the final film.
For over 40 years we have collaborated on participatory video projects with community groups, educational institutions including schools and universities, academics, researchers, NGOs, local councils, cultural institutions, and museums.
Our participatory video workshops can adapt to the nature and duration of any project. From research to outreach, from documenting to pure filmmaking strategy, working with existing groups or creating new ones, we can lead, facilitate, or just assist with your project.
If you are interested in learning more about Participatory Video consider our two week intensive course covering all aspects of our method and advice for planning your own workshops.
For the first time Spectacle is making the entire Despite TV magazine series available. This release is the first of several Video Libraries we will be putting out on Vimeo On Demand over the coming months. These libraries will use the Vimeo’s series format to curate selections from Spectacle’s back catalogue, grouping together finished films with previously unreleased archive material. We will be releasing Video Libraries on Murray Bookchin, the Exodus collective and Battersea to name a few.
Despite TV was an video group founded in 1982. The group operated out of the Tower Hamlets Arts Project on Whitechapel Road East London and produced video magazines that explored local issues, showcased local talent and promoted community organisations. Despite TV covered issues that have shaped the political, social and topographical landscape of London in profound ways. Despite TV documented and commented upon events such as: the dissolution of the Greater London Authority (GLC), the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC) taking over the old docks to turn them into an annex of the City, and the transformation of Brick Lane from a National Front stronghold to the Bengali street we know today.
The films are not all slick productions but they make up for this with creativity and anarchic energy. Despite TV’s magazine shows were made at a time when video was far from ubiquitous and there is a feeling of excitement, a sense of discovery and possibility that underpins all the films. A typical episode moves from a report on a nurses strike to a situationist dissection of a Big Mac to a local band performing and then on to a short film about a toucan reminiscent of Chris Markers work.
The episodes in this series give insight into political events large and small, from enormous development projects to campaigns for more cycle paths to protests against Page 3. The breadth of events covered gives the series the feeling of a time capsule, giving insight into the political and cultural mood of England in the 1980’s and early ’90s.