The contemporary times are besieged with issues of ecological concerns. The rampant use of plastic, increased consumerism and inappropriate and unethical management of waste underlines destruction of environment and ecological balance on the planet. The spectre of climate change which can be seen clearly in many parts of the globe and here in India as well looms over us. Participatory Media Project aims to create awareness in the area of ecology and waste management using participatory communication as an approach.
The project proposes to participate with students from the age group of 12 to 16 yrs. Participation fosters reflective and deep listening. The project envisions co-creating frameworks that invite an intimate connection with the environment, new ways of seeing and creative engagement with technology, to tell personal stories. Looking at holistic change and a shift in awareness and consciousness, the process unfolds at diverse levels and engages different dimensions of experience. Creating a personal relationship with nature and ecology as well as artistic and creative practice of engaging with filmmaking and storytelling, is envisaged as ushering the shift towards change.
The participatory media project has received an initial grant from Conscious Community Initiative (CCI), Alef Trust, UK (https://www.aleftrust.org/alef- applied/conscious-community-initiative/), in March 2023.
The project commenced its first cycle from 2nd May 2023, in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, with Deer Park Institute as its collaborative partner (https://deerpark.in/) 14 Children from two local government schools, in Bir, have been engaging with the project on ecological issues using critical, contextual and contemplative as well as experiential modes of learning. In the course of two months, they have created small video sketches using mobile phone technology. The project has had a very successful run so far and we'll be launching into its second cycle in September, 2023, at Deer Park Institute. In this cycle of activity, the participants will be deepening their engagement with technology as well as personal and responsive relationship with the environment around them. This will translate into expressing their personal stories and viewpoints as video films and vignettes.
In the present-day scenario, over dependence and continuous engagement with digital devices and social media has led to a contracted and fragmented vision of the self. The participatory media project looks at being able to create a spaciousness in the experience of self and validation through story-telling of personal viewpoints, bonding with ecology externally and internally as well. The project imagines bringing an expansiveness to the participant students as well as making it possible for them to envision their life in transformative ways.
The Participatory Media Project successfully completed its 1st cycle in August 2023. The 2nd cycle commenced in September 2023.