Spectacle’s new Participatory Video Workshops

Spectacle has a long history of establishing and supporting participatory community media workshops and a large number of our productions have adopted participatory video (PV) techniques and ethos, resulting in an excellent track record of high quality, award-winning TV documentaries, short films and powerful campaigning videos. We are happy to inform everyone interested in applying a participatory media approach into their community based projects, that it is now possible to share Spectacle’s experience taking part in our Participatory Video Workshop (PVW).
Spectacle has made extensive use of Participatory Video as a successful strategy to involve communities in production processes, allowing people to produce knowledge about themselves rather than being represented – and often misrepresented – by outsiders.

Recently one of the films that Spectacle produced through participatory techniques has been re-screened on the Pepys Estate: “Poverty and the Media: the tower”. The film shows the way in which local residents have felt misrepresented by the BBC ’s program The Tower: A Tale of Two Cities. The BBC’s program intended to document the transformation of the Lewisham council estate into a chic development and the alleged clash between rich newcomers and poor long term residents. Spectacle, was commissioned by the Rowntree Foundation to develop a participatory video project in the Pepys and other estates in the area: “Poverty and participation in the Media“. At the time the BBC project begun, Spectacle was already organizing video workshops that focused specifically on the way mainstream media (mis)represent poverty. In our film Pepys residents have filmed each other while commenting on the effects the BBC’s program had on their lives. Spectacle’s “Poverty and the media: the Tower” illustrates the advantages of a participatory approach, highlighting the local dynamics in a way that is factually accurate and respectful of people’s feelings, intentions and views on the world they experience.

Following the very positive feedbacks from residents and in order to meet the growing demand from community based researchers to be trained to lead participatory projects, we are happy to inform you that we are now offering a Participatory Video Workshop (PVW). Our PVW is addressed to social workers, NGOs’ and charity organization’s staff that are engaged in community development and empowerment, artists and, in general, anyone who wants to integrate participatory methods in their own projects. Based on our long experience, the PVW will provide you with practical and transferrable knowledge on video techniques, and train you on how to engage your stakeholders in participatory productions.

The PVW is designed as 3 day immersive experience that will allow you to use participatory methods in documentation, evaluation and research. If you and your staff are particularly interested in specific topics, we are happy to bring our workshop to you and tailor it to your specific needs.

Please, find here our workshop description or get in touch for further information.

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Screening of Poverty and The Media: The Tower

Trailer for Poverty and The Media: The Tower

On the 16th of July our film will be screened at the Pepy’s estate 50th anniversary festival in Deptford (SE8), which is running from 2-10pm.

We worked on this film with the residents of the Pepy’s estate as part of our poverty and the media project. Our film shows the effects the BBC’s documentary series ‘The Tower: A Tale Of Two Cities’ had on the residents of the Pepy’s estate and their views on how their community was portrayed. At the time of release The Tower received mixed reviews, it won awards but also sparked controversy as some people claim it was based on stereotypes of people who live on council estates.

Our full film will be available shortly on vimeo on demand and we encourage you to come and watch it at the Pepy’s festival on Saturday at 9pm where it will be screened. For more information on the festival and up to date information of the screening times you can find out on our social media.

Click Poverty and the Media for more blogs

Click here to get the DVD

Or visit our Poverty and the Media project pages for more information and videos.

Like Spectacle Documentaries on Facebook
Follow SpectacleMedia on Twitter

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Poverty and the Media DVD clips online

There are now clips of the ‘Poverty and Participation in the Media‘ DVD available to view online. Please click here to view clips of our interview with Zac Beattie, maker of ‘Rich Kid Poor Kid‘.

There is also a discussion of ‘The Tower’ with residents of the Pepys Estate.

Other topics include:

Abusive Elements In The Media

Advertising Pressure

Community

The Media’s Potential For Change

Young People and Education

Media Views of Poverty

New Media

Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment on this blog.



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Spectacle to re-interview residents of The Tower

Spectacle are planning to return to the infamous Tower on the Pepys Estate, as featured in the BBC documentary The Tower, to find out from residents what they thought of the programs representation of where they lived. We will be visiting the community centre on Monday night (9/02/09) so please come along and share your opinion with us.

Have you ever lived on the Pepys Estate?

What would you like to ask the makers of The Tower?

Do you think the The Tower is a good representation of the Pepys Estate?

For more clips from our Poverty and The Media project please visit our Archive

To find out more information about our Poverty and The Media project please visit our Project Page



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Depictions of Poverty: what happens when the film makers leave?

Rich Kid, Poor Kid, The Secret Millionaire, The Tower and Repossession, Repossession, Repossession are all programs that centre around ‘poor’ areas and attempt to explore social inequality through individual stories.

What happens to the individuals or areas in these programs when the film makers leave?

What are the consequences of putting peoples personal circumstances on television?

For more clips from our Poverty and The Media project please visit our Archive

To find out more information about our Poverty and The Media project please visit our Project Page



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The Tower: Social realism or stereotyping

The Tower is a documentary TV series,  recently broadcast on BBC1, which claims to give an accurate portrayal of the social issues on the Aragon Tower on the Pepys estate. The Tower has been sold to private developers Berkley Homes and the programme centres around  the contrast between the old and new residents.  Some have heralded this as an excellent of portrayal the deep-seated social problems of large council estates, contrasting  the lives of local council tenants with a recent influx of wealthy home owners, to highlight the issues around ‘mixed development’. Others have claimed the program relies on old forms of stereotyping,  portraying the mass of council tenants as either brow-beaten victims, alcoholic drug -riddled junkies or violent criminals.

How accurate is The Tower portrayal of the Pepys Estate? Is it possible to make a popular TV show about social issues without using the most extreme examples? Is this sort of program useful to remind people that real problems do exist in these areas or does is simple make the problems worse? Can you show poverty in a bad light without showing poor people in a bad light.

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