Participatory Video in India

Appropriating ICT, like cameras, is for the people a (new) way for storytelling.

With the use of participatory video (PV), they can tell their stories and counter media narratives, which are dominant and induced by the mainstream media and other stakeholders, like corporate companies.

Like the example of Lalavadar Green Messages shows. Telling about the social realities from a personal or community perspective, is an excellent example of appropriated ICT for local needs. The media here is a gatekeeper for channelling personal stories.

Especially, for teenagers and younger ICT literate adults, the availability of resources like smartphones and other ICT, makes it easier to become a content producer. Like Rheingold (2008) finds, young teenager tend to participate and produce context, while also spreading this content via the Web and its social networks. This applies also to Indian teenager, as Rheingold (2008) points out. Video is just one example of this kind of content, which helps to be a producer in a hyper-mediated world.

Another case study of participatory video in practice, is the use of PV in the field of agricultural extension by the Indian NGO Digital Green. The produced videos are also shared and screened amongst the community to spread awareness about agricultural practises and to improve the outcomes based on scientific practises. Sometimes “seeing is believing” and therefore the adopting rate through PV practises is much more efficient than classical agricultural extension projects. The community is integrated right from the beginning, hence making it “participatory” through all levels and targeting the local needs.



Rheingold, H. (2008). Using participatory media and public voice to encourage civic engagement. Civic life online: Learning how digital media can engage youth, 97-118.

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