I Film Therefore I am

Process and participation, networks and knowledge – examples from Scottish community media projects

Authored by: Kirsten MacLeod

The Routledge Companion to Alternative and Community Media

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415644044
eBook ISBN: 9781315717241
Adobe ISBN: 9781317509417


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This chapter examines community media projects in Scotland as social processes that nurture knowledge through participation in production. A visual and media anthropology framework (Ginsburg, 2005) with an emphasis on the social context of media production informs the analysis of community media. Drawing on community media projects in the Govan area of Glasgow and the Isle of Bute, the techniques of production foreground “the relational aspects of filmmaking” (Grimshaw and Ravetz, 2005: 7) and act as a catalyst for knowledge and networks of relations embedded in time and place. Community media is defined here as a creative social process, characterised by an approach to production that is multi-authored, collaborative and informed by the lives of participants, and which recognises the relevance of networks of relations to that practice (Caines, 2007: 2). As a networked process, community media production is recognised as existing in collaboration between a director or producer, such as myself, and organisations, institutions and participants, who are connected through a range of identities, practices and place. These relations born of the production process reflect a complex area of practice and participation that brings together “parallel and overlapping public spheres” (Meadows et al., 2002: 3). This relates to broader concerns with networks (Carpentier, Servaes and Lie, 2003; Rodríguez, 2001), both revealed during the process of production and enhanced by it, and how they can be described with reference to the knowledge practice of community media.

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