I have now spent two weeks working with New Media Advocacy Project. NMAP is an organization of filmmakers and human rights specialists who are paid to create documentaries that raise awareness of human rights violations and/or act as instructional videos for those suffering from injustice. These videos are then given to NMAP’s clients and partners to be shown to the particular audience that the client, and film, had intended to reach. There are about 10 people in the organization, but their presence in the office varies weekly because there are people constantly traveling for “shoots”, many of which are international such as in Ghana, Nigeria, and the Congo.
I have been given two projects that fill most of my time. The first one is to go through the archive of NMAP’s videos (and let me tell you, there are a lot), and give them titles and descriptions so that NMAP can put them on their website and public accounts. This task allows me to learn about international and domestic human rights issues through watching the videos. I am constantly brought to tears by the stories of people who have suffered/are suffering devastation and injustice. The personal narrative is powerful. I also get to use my creative and concise writing skills to capture the goal of the film and the injustice done to the protagonists in about 100 words!
The other project I am working on is transcribing raw audio clips that were taken during shoots that will then be used in the documentaries. While this is a tedious job, listening to the dialogue between a chief and her/his community about ways to challenge the mining company that has destroyed their land and community is very fulfilling. Sometimes when I close my eyes it feels like I’m there.
This video is an overview of what they did in 2016:
This is an example of a documentary NMAP creates for its clients: