The Silwood Video Archive Project

We are delighted to announce that this month we will be launching the SILWOOD VIDEO ARCHIVE PROJECT, an archive-based participatory film project.  

This pioneering project will: digitise and upload archive video filmed with the Silwood Video Group for the public to watch; encourage community viewing and tagging; run a short series of participatory editing workshops for up to 20 participants; and produce a co-authored short film using Silwood archive footage.

The Silwood Video Archive Project is supported by The Audience Agency’s Digitally Democratising Archives project thanks to funding from DCMS and the National Lottery, as part of The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s, Digital Skills for Heritage initiative.

Spectacle has 40 years experience in community-led filmmaking developing collaborative documentaries and participatory video methods. Spectacle’s Silwood archive has been created over 20 years of collaborative filming and video making at the Silwood estate on the border of Lewisham and Southwark in Southeast London. 

For news and updates on the project – SIGN UP HERE, or email projects@spectacle.media.

Background: Spectacle and Silwood 

In 2000 Spectacle’s founder Mark Saunders ran participatory workshops on the Silwood Estate in southeast London. He had been asked to work with residents for a few weeks – teaching them how to shoot video and maybe making a short film as part of the planned regeneration work in the area. 

After a few months, the funding ended, but Spectacle never left. For twenty years the Silwood Community Video Group has been filming in and around the Silwood Estate, documenting daily life and changes created by regeneration.

The relationship between Spectacle and Silwood resulted in several short films, web clips for the Channel 4 series Unteachables, an ICA exhibition, as well as further exhibitions at the BOZAR – Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels. This work has been funded by numerous grants, including the INTERREG Apango project, and has brought skill training, jobs, and investment to the Silwood Community. 

In 20 years, Spectacle has run hundreds of video workshops for participants aged from 8-80 from a wide range of backgrounds to tell their own stories. In that time Silwood Estate has undergone immense changes. Brutalist estate buildings have been razed, the community that lived there was scattered to other parts of London, and for those that remained the promises made to maintain community facilities have not been fulfilled. Filming continued every year until the pandemic hit in 2020.

The Archive Project

Understandably, the incredible volume of filming has generated a tremendous video archive – over 300 hours which Spectacle maintains.

With the support of the Audience Agency, we use online participatory editing tools to open this archive. We will invite the Silwood community to watch, comment on, and begin a participatory editing process which will draw out the story(ies) of Silwood.

This initial project will have three stages.

Stage 1

Spectacle will review the archive, edit selections, upload the archive to Vimeo. We will reach out through networks to the Silwood Community who will engage in tagging and providing metadata for the video archive. Spectacle will analyse this collection of notes, views, opinions, and responses to the archive footage. 

Stage 2

After reviewing the community response, Spectacle will convene a group of up to 20 interested community members to participate in a series of collaborative editing workshops. During 6 workshops participants will develop a short (30 minute) film or several short (5 minute) film clips from the archive through a process of viewing, discussing, and suggesting edits. Between each session, Spectacle will implement the participants’ editing suggestions. 

If the participants choose, there is the possibility of conducting Zoom interviews to collect oral histories and add current perspective on the material they are working with.

Stage 3 

Once the participants have created the rough cut of the film, Spectacle will polish the material with a final professional edit including sound design, graphics, and adding any further images that might be needed. Stage three will culminate in a screening of the film for the community. 

Impact

We are very excited that this project will allow us to make the Silwood archive accessible to the community for the first time and we envision it will enrich and sustain this 20 year collaboration. 

Further, we hope that this project will be a springboard for the community and Spectacle to attract future funding to develop the project further both by exploring the archive in more depth but also running filming workshops inspired by the archives.

At the largest scale, we imagine that this project could serve as a reproducible pilot for the many UK communities who have experienced bombing, “slum clearance”, neglect and decline of 60s Brutalist housing estates, large scale decanting, dispersal, demolition and regeneration.

If you want to get involved SIGN UP HERE or email projects@spectacle.media

Collaborate on a Participatory Project

 

Participatory Training & Production Hybrid 

Are you an NGO or Community Centre or organisation looking to include your participants in the making of compelling videos addressing their interests and concerns? Why not engage them in a participatory video project? Spectacle has successfully adopted collaborative documentary making models for over 40 years, including award-winning participatory documentaries that have been broadcast on national and international television. We can design hybrid training-production programmes which will give you the best aspects of a collaboratively-directed film combined with professional quality production. 

We offer:

1) Training in shooting and editing film for you and/or your participants

2) Our professional shooting and editing services 

3) A final short film and a fast turn around participatory project 

Why Participatory? 

Because every community is different, there is no single participatory process model. The goal is to create a space which is open to equal participation, sharing, and creating for a community. By giving artistic and editorial control to non-professionals, the final results are vibrant and multifaceted. The participatory video process centres the lived experiences of many people. 

The benefits this can offer from a research standpoint are obvious. Whether you want to understand people’s experiences or just build community, a participatory project can be a joyful experience of co-creation and co-authorship of knowledge and art.

Spectacle has a long history of participatory work. From Germany to Colombia and across the UK we have led, co-led, and facilitated participatory film groups and workshops both in person and online for groups of all shapes and sizes. 

Why Spectacle?  

For over 40 years Spectacle has worked with groups that want to begin participatory projects. From setting up community video groups to facilitating ESRC funded participatory research projects. Further we’ve run workshops for people around the world online and in person and trained hundreds of people in our methods. 

Spectacle is an award winning independent television production company specialising in documentary, community-led, investigative journalism and participatory media. Spectacle’s documentary work has been broadcast and exhibited internationally. We have produced work on commission for clients including Amnesty International, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Howard League for Penal Reform, Council of Europe, Groundwork, the London Health Commission, the NHS, Big Local and the Wellcome Trust.

As well as undertaking productions, Spectacle runs short, sharp, affordable training courses and community based media workshops. We believe our courses are the best around, largely based on the exceptional feedback we have received from the hundreds of people we have trained over the years.

We are a small, socially-minded company, our training and commissioned work income supports our unfunded community based work. 

How do I begin a participatory video project?

We are offering a bundle of services that will guide your staff through a specifically designed programme of training and production based on your video project. There are many options for how we could design your programme together. We can accommodate any time zone where your participants might be located. 

We can offer practical workshops on video making. These bespoke training workshops can be tailored to the needs of the client including: a variety of cameras including smartphones, DSLRs, camcorders, etc; visual storytelling including storyboarding or idea generation; filming techniques guaranteed to generate quality footage.

We can teach you how to teach your participants to film, and how to run your own participatory project. 

Travel permitting, Spectacle can assist you in your real shoot. You will have complementary equipment (second camera, audio recording, lights) and extra crew if needed. 

We can train you on how to effectively use video editing software, sitting together in front of your project to get the editing process started. 

If you want professional editing, we can finalise your video with the possibile option of drop-in editing sessions.

Finally, we can guide you through uploading and promoting it on your social networks and media platforms.

We can facilitate this entire process from beginning to end, give you the skills to run it yourself, or any hybrid in between. 

Read more about our participatory model and past projects.

Contact Us

For more information or to chat about your project and ideas email us at training@spectacle.co.uk 

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Free video training for young adults resident in the Battersea area

Memories of Battersea: Free video film making training for young adults resident in Wandsworth

MBATT2

Continuing Spectacle’s oral history video project “Memories of Battersea” we are running a series of free video production workshops for young adults (18-30 year olds) resident in the Wandsworth Borough, particularly SW8 and the Queenstown Ward.

The workshops will run during November and December please contact production@spectacle.co.uk for dates / times and locations.

All equipment is provided, no prior knowledge is necessary and it is completely free. There are 10 places so book now to be sure to get your place.

The 2 day workshops will cover practical hands on digital video production including shooting an interview and shoot locations.

Other workshops will be scheduled in 2018.

Please contact production@spectacle.co.uk to book, we are happy to answer your questions and provide details.

Hanwell Big Local, getting the community involved

The Big Local Trust has awarded £1 million to Copley Close, Cuckoo estate and Gurnell Grove estate, in Hanwell, Ealing to help develop new community facilities over the next 10 years. The improvements will be decided by residents and implemented throughout the area.

This is a short participatory film made by Spectacle and shot by young people from the area about the changes the community would like to see on their estate. It is also a documentation of the estate as it is now. We hope to revisit in the future to document developments.

The Big Local is a Big Lottery funded project that is awarded each year to a Local Authority. Among the current projects based in London there is Clapham Junction/West Battersea, Peabody Avenue and Churchill Garden Estate, North Brixton, World’s End Estate and Lots Road Area, Wormholt and White City, South Bermondsey and Somers Town.

London Borough of Ealing was asked by the Lottery to put forward three areas within the borough that would benefit from the funding. The Big Local Trust eventually selected Hanwell because it felt it was in greatest need of new facilities, as stated by  Ealing Council. The area has approximately 9,611 residents. It covers Copley Close, the majority of Cuckoo estate and it goes along the Ruislip Road to include Gurnell Grove estate. Here ‘s a map shown by the Hanwell Big Local webpage.

Julian Bell, leader of Ealing Council, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure this extra funding for Copley Close. There are some really excellent projects already established there and I’m sure this money will be well spent.“

Hanwell Big Local v09

Hanwell Community Centre at the heart of the Hanwell Big Local neighbourhood improvement scheme.

Among the upcoming changes, Copley Close Community Hall and The Base will be demolished and most activities relocated to an improved Hanwell Community Centre –now under Ealing Council control– with space and potential for new uses and facilities. Hanwell community group Empowering Action and Social Esteem (EASE), which works to improve the lives of people living on the Copley Close Estate, will also be moving temporarily to the centre with a hope of staying there. For the past few years, it has been located in The Base.

Jackie Sear, chief executive of EASE, said: “This is great news not just for Copley Close but for the surrounding areas too. The money will hopefully be used to enable existing services to be funded for years to come, but most of all to ensure the needs of the community are met. This has come at an important time in regards to regeneration for the area and will definitely engage the residents in decision making.”

EASE has been chosen to create the vision for the changing area and has been trying to get everyone involved in the process ever since. This film is part of their message to the people living in Copley Close, Cuckoo and Gurnell Grove estates. It offers a wide range of ideas which are hopefully just the beginning of the discussion.

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DMAU – Participatory Documentary

DMAU’s  research project on Participatory Documentary features a video report that introduces one of Spectacle’s participatory projects APaNGO. The video explains the projects purpose – developing a strong community based network that promotes urban participation in planning through social media.

The central aim of Spectacle’s video workshops is to train residents to film and edit video footage and through this capture and influence the changing physical and human face of their neighbourhood.” Mark Saunders, Spectacle Founder.

DMAU specialises in documentary film-making and urban research. DMAU (or Digital Media Architecture Urbanism) provide a selection of participatory media in the form of visual essays, interviews and case studies.

“Our work focuses on projects – designs and documentaries – that improve the public realm, be that built designs or temporary events and interventions, with an emphasis on work that has a positive social or environmental impact” –                                             Daryl Mulvihill, DMAU Founder.

The scope of this project spreads across various countries in the EU and works upon maintaining strong communities. It is therefore a good example of how participatory media can influence and support social development.

An accompanying interview with Spectacle founder Mark Saunders gives a broader understanding of how Spectacle works with communities to encourage social media. The interview explains the importance that participatory production workshops have, and the significance they have upon urban regeneration.

The DMAU research project explores:

“The potentials for the use of documentary practice in urban research and design projects go much further than the traditionally formatted video production. New interactive documentaries combine film with a range of other media; photography, maps, soundscapes and data visualisations to create an immersive experience for the viewer. Next to this participatory documentary has the ability to empower and engage communities by bringing their story to a wider audience. We will see how interactive and participatory documentary is not simply about producing stories. It is as much about designing a storytelling process that engages with the voices of people impacted by an event or ongoing situation.”

Spectacle now runs affordable effective Participatory Video Weekend Training Courses

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London – Delhi 2010-2012 Exhibition

Exhibition 5 February – Sun 28th February 2010

Location: Watermans

The London – Delhi 2010 – 2012 Exhibition will be showing at Watermans until the 28th of this month.

London-Delhi 2010-2012 is a digital arts collaboration between artists and young people in London and Delhi, creating and sharing contemporary stories of their two cities.

The research areas that are being explored touch upon large scale structural changes that are happening in Delhi and London, the social worlds that get impacted through these changes and the zones of flux and uncertainty about ways of life that these produce. London-Delhi 2010 -2012 will draw on the different perspectives and transformations of these two cities, each with the eyes of the world upon them, as they prepare to host Delhi 2010 and London 2012.

Learn more about this project:

London – Delhi 2010-2012

Riverfront – Workshop Film

Riverfront – Spectacle’s Film

Watermans

London – Delhi Exhibition

Exhibition – 4 February 2010

Tonight is the private viewing launch of creative media exhibition, London – Delhi 2010-2012.

London-Delhi 2010-2012 is a digital arts collaboration between artists and young people in London and Delhi, creating and sharing contemporary stories of their two cities.

The research areas that are being explored touch upon large scale structural changes that are happening in Delhi and London, the social worlds that get impacted through these changes and the zones of flux and uncertainty about ways of life that these produce. London-Delhi 2010 -2012 will draw on the different perspectives and transformations of these two cities, each with the eyes of the world upon them, as they prepare to host Delhi 2010 and London 2012.

Read More:

London – Delhi 2010-2012

Watch:

Riverfront-Workshop Film

Riverfront-Spectacle’s Film

Barnfield Estate Tour and Residents’ Meeting

The Spectacle team visited the Barnfield Estate in Greenwich to film a tour of the area, during which two local boys gave us a helping hand with the camera! Particularly salient was the disuse of the former community centre building, a large space which is currently boarded up. Renovation of the building would create a safe environment for residents to meet and take part in communal activities.

Following the tour was a residents’ meeting during which different Well London partners presented research, ideas and opportunities to members of the community. Spectacle invited residents to take part in workshops to make a film about the Barnfield Estate and community. If you would like to get involved, visit the Well London Media Project page.

White City Fun Day and Tour

As part of the ongoing Well London project, Spectacle visited the White City Estate in Hammersmith to attend the Fun Day in BBC Park and to film a tour of the key sites of the area. Members of the community were invited to take part in filming workshops during which a film about White City, its Olympic past, its transformation and its future will be developed. A number of interviews were also recorded with key advocates of the Well London and other local initiatives. We are uploading all the Well London activities we have filmed onto the project page of the Spectacle website, where it can be viewed. If you would like to be involved in any aspect of the film about White City visit the Well London Media Project for more details.