371.2 Why are we doing it? Negotiating expectations in the PV process

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 2:40 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Elisa BIGNANTE , Department of Culture, Politics and Society, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
Jay MISTRY , Department of Geography, Royal Holloway University of London, England
Andrea BERARDI , Communication and Systems, Open University, England
One of the most recurring strengths attributed to the use of Participatory Video is its ability to enable social change, advocacy, activism and empowerment. Yet, to what extent is this a joint vision of all parties involved in the PV process? Why do researchers and participants do Participatory Video? What are their differential motivations and how does this affect decision-making during the PV process? In this paper, we reflect on these questions through discussing PV experiences of research carried out by the authors in collaboration with indigenous communities in the North Rupununi, Guyana and in Tumucumaque, Brazil. PV formed part of a project involving local communities, local, national and international civil society organisations and academic researchers. We evaluate the different perceptions and distinct worldviews of the individuals, groups and organisations involved in the PV process, and attempt to trace these to decisions made during various stages of the PV process, from training to film editing. We conclude that a significant component of the PV process needs to include the iterative surfacing of individual motivations and worldviews using an adaptive research approach. This helps to negotiate expectations of all researchers and participants at different stages of the PV, enabling greater outcomes for all participants, while at the same time producing more nuanced and grounded academic research.