| ||company: BBC Video Nation|
distribution: worldwide, via Internet
context: what is race? “We are all of the human race”, once cleverly answered Albert Einstein. However the question is still open, since humankind is far to be conceived as a unitary and equal race.
How can media play an effective role in making people aware of human rights’ respect as fundamental principle of a sustainable society?
In 2002, in Britain after one of the last episodes of racist criminal acts, BBC News Online decided to take an in-depth look at race in Britain in the 21st century with a major survey, features and analysis. BBC Video Nation took part in this survey by making a unique video documentation of the interviewed ordinary people answering to different questions about this issue.
who: the Video Nation project is one of the BBC’s recent major contributions to stimulating audience participation within mainstream media. This project aims to maintain a balanced power relationship between participants and members of the production team. Despite its transformation from a television setting to a web-based ‘online community and archive’, this project still has the ambition to give people the opportunity to represent themselves and their daily life. At the same time, it signifies the multi-layered culture of ‘ordinary people’ and the cultural diversity within the British nation. Crucial in this process is the participatory attitude of the media professionals, whose identity is no longer solely built on being a gatekeeper and producer of content, but also on gate-opening and facilitating the creation of content.
what: updated on a regular basis, the website offers for free dozens of interesting videos. The Archive is user-friendly, organised by categories, features, local sites, contributors, region and – alphabetically – by title. Featured in the category “Race UK”, you can find:
enjoy the videos: and, if you wish, post your comments online: it’s a great way to share your opinion, and to contribute to building a more respectful society.
- BEING BLACK by Akpomena Otemro - Akpomena is proud to be black but concerned about how black people are behaving. She wonders whether slavery, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X have made any difference. Black people celebrate their culture for one month a year, but what happens during the rest of the year? She turned on the TV the other day and there was a story of a white man being mugged by a 15-year-old black boy for his phone - people need to chill sometimes.
- YOUNG CRIME by Janine Irons - In the wake of the Damilola Taylor case, Janine finds it very worrying that such a young child could be killed on his doorstep, and that no-one was been brought to account. We'll never know if the boys who were in court, and had their case thrown out, were guilty. If not, it's worrying because the killer is still out there. She's particularly worried about the kids who roam the streets trying to find something exciting to do. When picking her daughter up the other day she saw some kids hijacking cars at a zebra crossing and found it very scary. She found it even sadder that they were black children - that was distressing.
- FATTIST by Andrew 'Kelz' Samuels - Kelz's old school friend was called Fattist because he was big - he reminded Kelz of a runaway slave, big and strong. He had low self-esteem, so whenever Kelz saw him he used to joke with him about looking like a field negro during slavery - they'd laugh and touch fists. Two weeks later, Fattist was stabbed, and died. Kelz visited his family and paid his respects. He was upset because when you grow up with someone and you know their dreams and their goals, but they never achieve them that makes you sad - some people never have the will to change. It seems as if the learning process comes first and the lessons come after.