WITNESS in South Africa: Video Advocacy Training for LGBTI Activists

In early May WITNESS organized a six-day initial training session on video advocacy and storytelling in South Africa as part of our Critical Response work. Twenty young LGBTI activists from South Africa and in the region attended. The training was co-hosted by IRANTI, a queer human rights visual media organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The training focused on video advocacy strategies, storytelling for action, and distribution. The technical part of the training was heavily focused on learning how to film effectively and safely. Filming exercises enabled participants to learn how to produce short stories and receive feedback. The participants worked in groups to produce visual stories of various kinds of issues the LGBTI community faces in South Africa and in the region.

Five case studies were used at the training, reflecting both positive and negative accounts of LGBTI experiences in Namibia, South Africa, and Lesotho, as well as those living with HIV/AIDS in Swaziland and Lesotho. WITNESS Senior Program Manager and co-organizer of the training, Bukeni Waruzi, commented on the impact of the case studies: “The case studies used at the training were very inspiring, as they reflected on the issues that the LGBTI community faces in South Africa and in the region.”

Trainers are part of the WITNESS V4C Africa Network from the Association for Progressive Communications, Bush Flower Film, FilmFish School, and STEPS Cape Town worked with participants on filming techniques, digital storytelling and security, filming with a mobile phone, and how to organize film screenings in communities.

Learn more about WITNESS’ Critical Response Initiative here.

Check out a video about the training here:


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