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Shifting Focus I: Video Production and Community Activism

Semester and Year FA 2010
Course Number CLI-UG1445
Section 001
Instructor Mark Read
Days Tue
Time 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


Permission of the instructor (akawildman@gmail.com) required.


This is the first part of a two-semester course on the history, theory and practice of video advocacy. The moving image has long been used by grassroots political movements to mobilize constituencies in order to effect social change. Today, video has become an essential tool for social and political actors working on a wide array of issues. In the first part of this hands-on class, students will examine the biases of corporate-controlled media; learn the theory and history of video activism; develop basic camera skills; and reflect on lessons learned in the field. Outside of class, students will break into groups and will collaborate with local community organizations in the conception and production of a short piece of “tactical video.” Readings will include selections from Noam Chomsky, Thomas Harding, and Harvey Molotch. In part two of this course, students will focus on theories of rhetoric and reception; learn advanced video-editing techniques; and develop and execute—in collaboration with their community partners—a comprehensive distribution strategy for their work.

Course Type

Community Learning Courses (CLI-UG)

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New York University
Gallatin School of Individualized Study
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