Helping FAO’s Local Heroes with Participatory Video

Spectacle has been for 30+ years at the forefront of Participatory Video, supporting local communities, activists and grassroot organisations to produce their own videos. Over the last year we have helped the FAO – Food and Agriculture Agency of the United Nations collecting stories of unsung heroes facing the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss, and multiple forms of malnutrition in their communities. Our Participatory Video expertise helped local activists from all over the world produce short videos telling their stories and sharing their ideas and efforts for sustainable nutrition and climate change mitigation in their communities.

The project ‘Stories from local heroes fighting climate change, biodiversity, and malnutrition crises’ has allowed young people from Nepal, Nigeria, Kenya, Ecuador and Venezuela to be trained in using their phones as cameras, learning how to document their life and tell their stories of activism. Through a series of initial online training sessions, Spectacle helped participants develop their skills and storytelling techniques.

In tune with our ethos and practice, all participants have learned videomaking techniques and have been allowed to direct the way the stories were developed and presented, engaging them with all phases of the video production, from filming to editing.

Climate change, biodiversity and nutrition – Helping local heroes tell their stories

Spectacle facilitated a series of workshops that allowed Apollo from Kenya, Evelin from Venezuela, Dennis from Ecuador, and Dominic from Nigeria , develop, shoot their film and direct the editing of their stories. Their 4 videos will help FAO bring to the wider public the voices of those who have direct experience of the impact of climate change and inspire other local actors with ideas on how to contribute to a better and more sustainable world.

We are proud to share here the 4 videos that were the final result of the Participatory Video process.

Apollo: Helping family farmers save food in Kenya
Dennis: Going organic in Ecuador
Dominic: Regenerative agriculture and food security in Nigeria
Evelyn: Sowing satisfaction – Dorka’s family garden

We welcome any opportunity to explore collaborations with research groups, NGOs and local communities to facilitate Participatory Video projects and develop participant-led video production.

Read more about our participatory model and past projects.

How to contact Us

If you want to be trained in Participatory Video you can attend one of our Participatory Video Workshops or organise a bespoke programme for you and your organisation.

For more information or to chat about your project and ideas email us at 

Sign up to our Newsletter for more information about our ongoing projects.

Spectacle Homepage
Spectacle training courses
Like Spectacle Documentaries on Facebook
Follow us on TwitterInstagramVimeoYoutube and Linkedin

UK’s secret policy on torture: a threat to national security

Today the Guardian exclusively revealed  the UK’s secret policy on torture.
The document shows intelligence officers were instructed to “weigh the importance of information sought against the pain inflicted”.

One section states: “If […] that information will be or has been obtained through the mistreatment of detainees, the negative consequences may include […] adverse effects on national security if the fact […] were to be publicly revealed”

Not only does this document expose the UK’s complicity with torture, which it acknowledges is illegal under UK and international law, but it also attempts to justify the need for keeping the policy secret because it may increase the threat from terrorism. In other words it is not the illegal torture policy that is a problem- just people finding out about it.

In other words, as any criminal will surely agree, the real crime is being found out.  The document attempts to blame the messenger or whistle-blower for any potential negative “blow back” rather than the torture policy itself.

Behind this lies a remarkable confidence that both the victims and the perpetrators of torture will keep silent or will not be believed if they speak out.
This policy of secrecy would explain why credible witness and UK resident Shaker Aamer is still in Guantanamo. It would appear he will be held until tormented into insanity.

Please join the Save Shaker Aamer Campaign

Watch video- Omar Deghayes, former Guantanamo Bay detainee, describes his interrogation by British Intelligence agent, “Andrew”, and others (MI5 and MI6) while held illegally in Pakistan.

Order Spectacle’s DVD Outside The Law: Stories from Guantánamo

Click Guantánamo for more blogs
Or visit our Guantánamo project pages for more information and videos.

Spectacle homepage
Befriend Spectacle.Docs on Facebook
Follow SpectacleMedia on Twitter

MI5 implicated in new torture allegations


The British intelligence services have been implicated in fresh allegations of torture, the Guardian has revealed.

In spite of promises from the government to investigate the complicity of the Intelligence services in the use of torture against terror suspects, it is alleged that MI5 was involved in a case of  ‘rendition’ as late as July last year. Omar Awadh, a Kenyan businessman, was secretly captured and deported to Uganda (a practice referred to as ‘rendition’) in the wake of the July 2010 bombings in Kampala. He was subsequently held in prison where he claims that he was tortured by local security officials and interrogated by officers from MI5 and the FBI.

Previously, detainees from Guantanamo such as Omar Deghayes, have claimed that they were questioned by British intelligence officials during their time in detention. In July 2010, shortly before the bombings that lead to Awadh’s arrest, David Cameron announced plans for an inquiry into the complicity of MI5 in the outsourcing of torture to other countries and promised compensation if it was confirmed that British Intelligence had permitted the torture of UK citizens.

Although Mr Cameron was keen to investigate human rights breaches committed under the last government, he has yet to respond to the latest torture allegations in the Guardian.