The first round of Rising Voices outreach projects have already been training participants in underrepresented communities how to use the tools of citizen media for just over seven months now. Of course in the beginning they started slow. First each of the project participants created their blogs and learned how how to link to other information on the internet. Slowly, the projects then explored digital photography and photo-sharing websites like Flickr. Now many of the projects are taking their media production skills to the next level by using Windows Movie Maker to produce short video documentaries that reveal the realities of the communities where they live.

These videos are, of course, far from sleek Hollywood productions. Which is exactly what makes them so valuable. They show life as it really is, not as we’d like it to be. You can always see the four latest videos from Rising Voices projects on the front page of our website. Every video is subtitled in English and many are available in other languages as well. For example, La Receta from HiperBarrio is already available in Bengali, Chinese, English, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. You can always help us translate all of the videos into other languages using dotSUB. To watch any of the videos with subtitles, simply click on the video player where it says “Choose a language …” To help translate the video into another language that does not appear on the list, click on “translate this video.”

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All of the videos are currently downloadable in their native language, though we will soon make downloads available with English subtitles as well. We are also in the process of creating a special video archive page and increasing the size of the video player in order to make the subtitles easier to read. We hope that you will continue to check back and keep up to date with the latest videos from Rising Voices participants.

Rayones by Jorge Jurado

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“Rayones” translates into English as “tagging”, a particular form of graffiti in which names, nick-names, and brief messages are scrawled in public places and on the sides of houses and building. In fact, as we learn in this video production by HiperBarrio participant Jorge Jurado, tagging can even take place on human skin. (And probably not where you’re expecting!). Jorge’s video is a thoughtful meditation about an activity which is common in La Loma, Colombia along with other working class neighborhoods around the world. Is tagging vandalism or a form of individual expression?

Interview with Monwara Begum by Taslima Akhter

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Taslima Akhter is the video-blogging trainer at Nari Jibon in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She recorded a heartbreaking interview with Monwara Begum who describes the abuse she endured at the hands of her husband and his family.

Banda Paniagua by Dnabier Sady

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The Paniagua Band from the Medellin’s outlying community of La Loma used to be one of the city’s most famous musical groups. But as you will soon learn in this brief documentary by HiperBarrio’s Dnabier Sady, today very little is heard of or from the family group that has endured five genrations.

This is just a small sampling of the videos that have already been produced by Rising Voices projects. In upcoming weeks we will have more videos from Voces Bolivianas, HiperBarrio, and hopefully other projects as well. Stay tuned!!