<videovortex> "Ordinary citizens, extraordinary videos" #iranelection

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Mon Jan 11 01:34:20 CET 2010

> Ordinary citizens, extraordinary videos
> 12/29/2009 10:04:00 AM
> (Cross-posted from Citizentube and the YouTube Blog)
> The images are grainy, often jerky and hard to follow (like most
> footage shot using hand-held cameras and cellphones), but the message
> is unmistakable: in the months since the disputed Iranian presidential
> election in June, the people of Iran have become fluent in the new
> language of citizen video reporting. What might have seemed an
> isolated moment immediately following the election, when we watched
> videos of Iranians marching, battling and even dying on the streets of
> Tehran, appears to have become an essential part of their struggle.
> At YouTube, we have been watching week after week as new videos have
> appeared on the site within hours of every single protest or similar
> event reported from Iran in the past six months. Thousands of uploads
> have brought the fear and tension of these protests to YouTube,
> inviting millions of views around the world. It is as if the revolts
> that are taking place could not do so outside the eye of the camera.
> Unlike traditional news footage from foreign correspondents (currently
> prohibited in Iran), these videos are the voice of the people —
> unfiltered, unedited and with a single, sometimes disturbing point of
> view. No professional film could capture the one-to-one feeling of
> watching an ordinary citizen's images of unrest in his or her own
> country.
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH6Y6YIP0CY
> We are constantly amazed by the videos our community uploads, whether
> from their own backyards or the streets of a faraway land. Armed with
> only a camera and a means to reach the Internet, anyone can ask
> another to bear witness to their lives. Given the nature of the
> YouTube videos from Iran, we may want to turn away from some of the
> images we see, but we keep watching, knowing that we are seeing
> through the eyes of a people who have discovered the power of
> information — despite the often extreme measures their government is
> using to try to stop them.
> We will continue to provide the platform for you to see what they see,
> hear their voices and learn about their struggles. And we encourage
> you to join the global conversation. Leave a comment, upload your own
> response video or share a moving moment with someone else.
> Posted by Olivia Ma, YouTube News and Politics

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