Voices for change – social media for social good

Be it a text update, tweet, picture or video post, social media generates forever evolving stories for users, businesses and organisations. Social media platforms have quickly become a tool to express identity; a window to the things we value and identify with. Social media is modern day storytelling, in all its bite-size glory.

Why has the sharing of such personal stories grown with such rapidity? When Enfield and Levinson (2006) discussed what made human communication unique to primate communication, there was a simple outcome: relationality. As human beings, we communicate with each other by sharing or informing people of the things we find most interesting. In doing so, we hope to relate to and understand each other. Our social media stories do just this.

Yet there are millions of viewpoints that remain unheard, personal histories which have been “previously rejected, silenced or overlooked” (Singhal and Rattine-Flaherty, 2006). While these individuals may have been ‘officially documented, the nuances, emotions and substantiality of their lives have not been recorded. Their stories are just as important as ours.

“For every story that see the light of day, untold others remain in the shadows, censored or suppressed.”

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram circulate a never-ending stream of stories meaning that everyday somebody will see the world from another’s, unique viewpoint. Online video has proven to be a vital tool in sharing the experiences and plights of disadvantaged groups around the world. Storytelling not only provides facts about an individual or community, but affords them their character and perspective.

Utilising visual storytelling for social media holds inevitable potential for enabling action since empathy can transform the subaltern individual into a person we intend to help. Seeing the world through another’s viewpoint can incite action and social media is enabling this at an unprecedented rate.

In a world plagued by problems, the development sector needs more than ever to offer solutions, by enabling unique voices to come forward and share their stories.

About Reelmedia Film

Reelmedia Film is a creative documentary film studio, based in Brighton, UK. We specialise in communicating the stories of development and humanitarian organisations, as well as values-based clients and working on our own productions.

We use visual storytelling for positive change and are passionate about the power of documentary film and multimedia to enhance understandings about our world and the people that live here.

We look to character-led stories and compelling narratives to tell stories that affect change in audiences. and we pride ourselves on sensitive, ethical and collaborative ways of working. We believe this creates honest and compelling narratives that are engaging and empowering, rather than instructional.

Working with a broad spectrum of organisations across the globe, we have successfully communicated the stories of development and humanitarian initiatives across a broad range of contexts and programmes.

References

‘Pencils and Photos as Tools of Communicative Research and Praxis: Analysing Minga Peru’s Quest for Social Justice in the Amazon, ’Singhal and Rattine-Flaherty, 2006 Gazette. 68(4).

‘The Politics of Storytelling’, Jackson M. 2006

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