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How to Counteract Structural Racism in your Video Campaign

With growing concerns about issues related to any form of racism, non-profit campaigns have increasingly been put into the spotlight. Especially the social sciences have researched the ways in which certain campaigns have reinforced and reproduced social hierarchies and power structures originally stemming from colonialism. It is therefore essential to consider such issues in advance - whenever designing a non-profit campaign using images or videos. Here’s some guidelines to support you in this.

Ensuring Social Dignity

Ethical concerns are of huge relevance for non-profit organizations’ campaigns and the related production process. Some may feature participants with a high level of vulnerability, such as underage, illiterate, blind or ill participants, etc. This vulnerability must be kept in mind from the very beginning of the campaign until the very end.

Informed consent must be given at any stage of the production process, from recruiting participants to collecting footage of them and publishing the product. At the same time, cinematographers and production teams need to ensure social dignity of all participants. For instance, high angle shots should be avoided because they make people look weak and powerless. Instead, cinematographers should use low angle shots to make the participants look courageous and strong or eye-level shots.

Raising Awareness

For a long time, development theories have divided the world into strict categories. Distinguishing between a so-called highly developed Global North and a so-called underdeveloped Global South, power structures established in former colonial times have been kept alive. Civil and non-profit organizations largely fight against such global power asymmetries, and this should also reflect in your video campaign. Videos are a great way to raise awareness about historical and socio-political issues, and to educate viewers about the pervasiveness of these problematics.

Fighting against Unconscious Bias

Today, people are much more aware about certain stereotypes and their underlying bias. However, unconscious bias can still be found in many aspects of our daily lives. With many different psychological aspects of these bias, they influence our judgment and decision-making processes. Here, (intercultural) exchange is key. Within the production team, talk openly about any concerns that team members or participants might have. Together we are all stronger and can work out a solution on an eye-to-eye basis.

At Ghost Pictures Production, we are highly sensitive to any form of racism or unconscious bias. In fact, it is inscribed deeply into our credo to actively combat any reproduction of racist and discriminatory ideologies. We ourselves are a very diverse team with different backgrounds and heritage. Education has taught us further regarding such issues. So, we are 100% ready to help your organization develop a campaign that is putting respect and social dignity at the forefront!


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