I have been working incredibly hard to finish my semester and I am two assignments away from finishing all of my work as a Master of Social Work student! I’m so close, I can taste it!
Three of my colleagues and I went down to Greenfield, CA to interview a young woman from a center that serves the Oaxacan community. If you live in California or anywhere else where this group of people congregate
I produced three videos, one of which I will show you. I hope that this will raise your cultural understanding of some heavy barriers that a little-known community is facing. This video was presented along with Keynote [i.e. PowerPoint] slides (not included here) in the context of community organizing.
Video 3: The Languages of the Oaxacan Community
[I pulled this video because it felt exploitative of my subjects]
What went from a mediocre presentation went to an amazingly powerful tool. I did this with a simple tri-pod I bought from Best Buy when I purchased my point-and-click camera (Canon Powershot LS1400) that was also used to film the videos.
On the Mac App Store, iMovie costs around $15. A simple Google search can teach you how to use this powerful tool and get fancy with it. I kept it simple when using the text fields to add subtitles, but there are other effects available for power users.
Criticism of “New Media” use
Some people see these videos and say, “That’s not new media, those are just videos”.
My opinions is that these are videos that are being easily disseminated on a medium that most people have – an internet connection. These do not rely on a medium like VHS or DVD, which you need additional equipment to use.
When done well, this media provides a visual and auditory combination to teach others information that would not normally be accessible. The lady I interviewed in a small office in Greenfield, CA was able to come into your office or home today and talk to you about marginalization and oppression that occurs in her community. It is hoped that utilization of this tool helps to boost cultural competency and put a face to a segment of clients that we serve.
This is different than the experience I have had with watching TED or TEDx talk videos. While many of these are inspirational, inspirational, or incredibly esoteric, it is my opinion that these videos serve no other purpose than for elitists and academics to give themselves a pat on the back and promote middle and upper-class values to middle and upper class audience.
I look at this quote every day to help me be a better social worker.
They come to the people of the slums not to help them rebel and fight their way out of the muck … most social work does not even reach the sub-merged masses. Social work is largely a middle class activity and guided by a middle class psychology. In the rare instances where it reaches the slum dwellers it seeks to get them adjusted to their environment so they will live in hell and like it. A higher form of social treason would be difficult to conceive.
– Saul Alinsky (as quoted in Meyer, 1945)
Good luck with finals, those of you still struggling 🙂
Ignacio, I so appreciate you taking the time to (1) share what you know to be true, (2)making and posting the video of the Oaxacan woman, (3)reminding me of what’s truly important, and (4)sharing the quote by Saul Alinksky.
I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with 30 years experience in mental health. I appreciate you reminding a very privileged, white 50 year old, sometimes-marginalized woman that there is MUCH MUCH MORE left to do.
Your clients and your colleagues will be blessed to call you their own. I look forward to reading your blog and following you on Twitter. Happy to retweet this post. It is a message that is largely untold.
Hi .. I am am passionate about the value and potential of using media to inspire and communicate and motivate.. and use them in my work as a Probation Officer in the UK , and Im developing 1-1 interventions using these resources. I have some sympathy with your comments about TED Talks.. it can come across as a bit smug.. but its well intentioned and have some inspiring stuff. As for Social Workers /others being Middle Class trying to re shape those in the slums. .. don’t assume some of us ain’t come from there mate.. ! regards Rich.