Sunday, February 23, 2014

Protest Videos

It's still a long way from the numbers the "Kony 2012" video put up two years ago, but "I Am a Ukrainian" has attracted a lot of attention ("a lot" as in over six million views) since it was posted to YouTube two weeks ago. The brief video--with excellent production values--was made by Ben Moses, the filmmaker behind "A Whisper to a Roar," a documentary chronicling the democracy movements in Ukraine, Egypt, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and Malaysia.

The BBC notes that this is one of two "protest videos" to go viral this week. The other one, which was well done but without the professional touches, is here:

YouTube videos have played a role in other social movements, of course, but there has been more focus to this point on Facebook and Twitter as the platforms of choice for organizers. Film, however, has the capacity to move people in ways that still images and the written word do not. And as more and more people discover how easy it is to put together a compelling short film, we can expect YouTube to become more and more important as a medium of protest.