Global Video Letters (GVL), a youth-focused collaborative initiative, provides education and media training to youth around the world. GVL is led by a collective of teachers, documentary filmmakers, peace and human rights educators, photographers, researchers, and journalists from Venezuela, Norway, Haiti, and the United States. The goal is to empower youth to use film as a creative tool and to make art, express themselves, self-advocate, and promote human rights and social inclusion by creating international relationships within a global community.
GVL works with local community activists, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and youth to use film to inspire social change. The initiative also seeks to teach youth the skills they need to tell their own stories about what they see, experience, and want to share with the world. GVL workshops focus on human rights concepts, social advocacy, and the art of filmmaking and encourage participants to engage in their communities and then engage with the world.
The most common project is a "video letter", which serves as a community self-portrait and is shared with youth around the world via an online portal. According to organisers, a video letter is "a communication tool allowing young people to connect with other youth from communities around the world. Video letters can take the form of a 'postcard' - small video snapshots intended to be sent from one community to another, or a full length 'Video Letter' that more closely resembles a media advocacy piece or short form documentary. Both are meant to allow youth a means to represent themselves, advocate for their communities, and communicate something to the world."
Details about this youth media initiative - and the videos that emerged from it - are provided on the GVL website. For example, 10 children in the favela of Nova Holanda, Brazil, were given cameras during human rights workshops. They introduced project organisers to life in their community. This version was screened at the filmmakers' school.
GVL has been working in Kabul, Afghanistan, since the summer of 2011. This has resulted in:
- A web series
- An exhibition
- A festival tour in India. Here is a selection of articles, as well as a video, from the tour:
In 2012, GVL ran a separate series of workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico, called "De La Luna". Click here to access the project's page on the GVL website. After the workshops ended, the participants held an exhibition on December 16 2012, with films, pictures, and sound installations.
Children, Youth, Rights.
Emails from Flannery Miller and Christoffer Næss to The Communication Initiative on September 29 2011 and December 19 2012, respectively.