Slide from ‘Indigenous Voices’, an online workshop presented by WITNESS
For centuries, Indigenous communities have faced disenfranchisement and abuse from the state. Technology now allows for instances of discrimination and abuse of power to be documented, shared, and leveraged by anyone with access to a smartphone. WITNESS is a human rights nonprofit that assists activists in using video for advocacy and evidence. They train and partner with communities around the world, defining video advocacy as “effectively using the power of stories, visual evidence and personal testimony to move people to act and create change in human rights law, policy, practice and behavior.”
The full online workshop, titled Indigenous Voices, presented by WITNESS
Indeed, video can be powerful for organizing and advocacy by and on behalf of marginalized communities. The Endorois, for example, managed to get the Kenyan government convicted in a lawsuit filed over their eviction from traditional lands, for the establishment of a wildlife reserve. Video was key to the case, proving the Endorois’s indigenous status, that they were evicted in violation of their rights, and in bringing their testimony into court.
In another example from Mexico, the Júba Wajiín had some 80 percent of their native lands seized for mining. They levied a case against the very legal framework that allowed the seizure, leading to a sweeping injunction to prevent similar land grabs in the future. Video advocacy played a major role, at various times targeting the judge overseeing the case, social media to raise public awareness, and for other communities facing similar situations.
‘Indigenous Voices’ is the title of a workshop given by WITNESS, which we’re happy to share here on Vantage. It walks through the tools, techniques, and strategies that can help Indigenous communities most effectively document and leverage evidence of violations by police, immigration agents, and other sources of abuse.
Slides from ‘Indigenous Voices’, a presentation by WITNESS
Intended for Indigenous communities, the presentation contains information useful to anyone facing a situation that demands attention and change. It’s full of advice about how to document a scene so that the identity, status, and agency of those involved are protected, and how to most effectively present, target and time publication of the footage for maximum impact, along with a variety of other useful insights, all backed up by case studies and on-the-ground experience in video advocacy.
The workshop is presented by WITNESS’s Jackie Zammuto and Pali Makam, in partnership with Seventh Generation Fund and Sandra Creamer Consulting. The full slideshow can be found here.