OK.Video Militia Workshops

OK.VIDEO MILITIA WORKSHOPS by Anna Helme —2007-07-16 EngageMedia has partnered with the OK.VIDEO Militia Jakarta International Video Festival at the National Gallery of Indonesia to distribute the festival videos online, present an online video training for video artists and participate in a discussion about video activism. This article by Reza 'asung' Afisina, the Workshop Program Coordinator, explains the objectives of the OK.VIDEO Militia series of video workshops conducted in various towns and cities in Indonesia, capturing the 'quintessence' of each area by asking participants to explore their own questions about their social, political and physical surroundings using the medium of video. OK.VIDEO MILIITA WORKSHOP
Videos from the workshops are listed here to watch and download from EngageMedia: http://www.engagemedia.org/ok-video-militia/ [ENGLISH] OK. Video Militia workshop has the objective to empower the people, by using the video as a medium for expression, for research, and for reflection on the social phenomena. Therefore, the workshop also develops the "quintessence" of each city and town where the workshop is held. We conducted simple researches about the places, regarding the physical aspects or, especially, the socio-cultural aspects, to gain some descriptions about them.
We then present the many problems we found to the participants, we re-present them --is it true what the mass media and many people have been thinking about their place of residence? We then asked the participants to explore questions that had never been posed about their environment, and we then developed these questions together and discussed how to present those questions and problems using the medium of video. Prior to that, we have prepared workshop modules, which we designed to be presented in seven days. The modules consist of an introduction to the history of video, its relevancy to the socio-political and cultural situations, and also about the OK. Video festival which ruangrupa holds every two years since 2003. There are also modules about the introductions to the technical aspects of the video and also about a simple editing process. Many participants thought that to make a video work they had to be able to do some video editing using the computers, something that they still found difficult. Here we only came up with very simple editing concepts, because we preferred to develop editing concepts that are out of the technical aspects, i.e. how to develop an idea using the characteristics of the video medium. However, in some places where the participants had not been familiar with the context and technical aspects of the video medium, we presented our modules in reverse, i.e. we delivered the technical introductions first, then the theories.
That was why we had to create flexible modules. The interesting thing in the workshop was to see how the participants intimately play around with the videos. They tested the medium first prior to deciding whether their ideas would be suitable for, say, the camera in a mobile phone, which turned out to have such a low resolution that would be difficult to transfer; or they wondered what if they used the technique of stop-motions as a simple animation technique. They knew that each video-based recording equipment has its own characteristic that must be adapted to their ideas. Many participants then decided to collaborate to develop their ideas, and a lot of fresh new ideas emerged during the process. Many of the participants found distinct visual styles that are able to describe their cities using various approaches, whether as documentary works, simple animations, statements, or a play of visual imagination. The participants had actually known their towns and cities very well in their daily lives, it is now just how to help them own the awareness to 'record' these cities. We challenge them to keep trying all the technical possibilities of the video using many recording media, introducing various ways of 'recording', from the simplest one like writing a daily journal, notes, sketches, up to video recording.
The awareness to 'record' would be able to help them express their critical attitude in observing changes, turning them into new forms of expressions, thus enabling these participants to know and adapt better to the changes and then pose these questions again using the medium of video, which would then trigger more forms of expressions in never-ending explorations.
[BAHASA INDONESIA] Workshop OK. Video Militia ini bertujuan memberdayakan masyarakat, dengan menggunakan video sebagai medium ekspresi, alat penyelidikan, dan refleksi atas fenomena sosial. Karena itu, workshop ini juga mengembangkan "inti karakter" setiap kota tujuan workshop. Kami melakukan penelitian sederhana mengenai kota, baik secara fisik maupun, terutama, kondisi sosial-budayanya, demi mendapatkan gambaran karakter kota itu. Berbagai permasalahan yang kami temukan kemudian kami tawarkan kepada peserta, kami sandingkan kembali --tepatkah pemberitaan media massa maupun anggapan banyak orang mengenai kota mereka? Kami lalu mengajak peserta untuk menggali sejumlah pertanyaan yang selama ini tak pernah diungkapkan tentang lingkungan mereka, lalu kami kembangkan bersama, bagaimana mengangkat ragam permasalahan itu melalui medium video. "Video sed non credo" / "I see it, but I don't believe it" Reza 'asung' Afisina, Workshop Program Coordinator OK. Video Militia - 3rd Jakarta International Video Festival 2007