Can a process of participatory video be a way to increase the capabilities of young participants?

To what extent an engagement of eleven young Spanish participants in an audio-visual PAR process can expand their capacity to be agents of change? In the recently published paper Analysing participatory video through the capability approach. A case study in Quart de Poblet (Valencia, Spain) we address those questions using, for our analysis, the capability approach framework. Our hypothesis is that the capability approach can provide elements for a richer analysis of participatory video (PV) considering both individual and structural aspects, and offering a normative yardstick to evaluate this type of process.

Our findings showed that two capabilities seem to have developed through the PV process: the capability for voice and the awareness capability. The PV process brought more opportunities to the youth to present their own understanding of their lives and problems and to build their own alternative narratives on the Spanish crises.

Moreover, the PV process highlighted perfectly that the participants find their capability to aspire and their agency limited due to the political, social and economic situation of Spain. Nevertheless, it can be said that giving voice and promoting awareness and critical reflection (as it was in our case) can also have positive implications regarding agency. Participants identified key powerful factors constraining them, but also framed these issues in a way that suggested ways of action, both to face these constraints and to change them.

The paper also shows that the use of capability approach to scrutinize PV also illustrates and enriches the debates around action-research regarding connections, tensions and contradictions between action and structural constraints, awareness and agency.

Blog post by Alejandra Boni @sandraboni4

We invite you to learn more about this experience by reading our article HERE. Free 30-day access is available for this article beginning 14 August, 2017.

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