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Published on September 8th, 2015 | by EJC


How Can Hyperlapse Videography Be Used For Human Rights?

This article was originally written by Sam Gregory and published at WITNESS. A version of this appeared on Sam’s Tumblr. Republished with permission.

Hyperlapse is a videography approach that combines timelapse with motion, often with a first-person perspective – so that in a matter of seconds we can find ourselves scooting through space and time (Confused? – learn more here).

The Apple IOS app from Instagram as well as research from Microsoft captured in the video above (for longer videos) present the possibilities of using improved and more accessible technology to make hyperlapse much more useful for a range of video settings.

So how could we use this for human rights video?

Here are some initial thoughts:

  • Use it to ground people in the physical location and context of an action, so that people know the physical contours and space of a protest venue or of an informal settlement facing a forced eviction
  • For livestreaming and co-presence work: use it as as part of the preparatory work that starts to introduce potential supporters to people and context. For example, people anticipating bringing solidarity supporters into the livestream of an LGBT pride parade might share some hyperlapses that show preparation for the parade, present the location, etc. so that people are primed and contextualized to join live when the moment comes
  • Rapidly present evidence of a pattern to show that violations are not restricted to one location – for example, a super-rapid tour of forced evictions across a whole neighborhood

About the Author:

Sam Gregory is the Program Director at WITNESS and teaches on human rights and participatory media as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School. He launched the Webby-nominated Human Rights Channel on YouTube, and leads WITNESS’ collaboration with the Guardian Project on the award-winning ObscuraCam and InformaCam tools. These digital tools allow people to conceal identities and data, or add metadata and other elements to help with verification and discovery of their media. Follow on Twitter: @SamGregory 

Photo: feelingplace

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