Drishti consists of a group of media professionals who have come together with a common commitment -- to make our skills accessible and responsive to the issues we feel strongly about -- women's development and human rights. We were registered as a trust in August 1993 and in the course of our work we have come to understand and believe in a few things...
...that video and theatre can be very effectively used to support social movements of various kinds. They can be used to give voice to the dispossessed, enable them to creatively express their aspirations, struggles and hopes, document history, create awareness, disseminate knowledge, network information, lobby with the structures of authority, build public opinion... the applications are endless.
...that educational and development communication need not be dry, boring, pedantic or depressing! In decrying social inequalities of various kinds we (the "development communicators") have trapped women, tribals and the poor in Images of the Victim. It is time to go beyond that. We believe that the women's movement, for instance, has long reached a juncture that demands the creative and constructive projection of new, alternative images and role-models, that highlight the strenghts and agency of women, that yet are not reductive of the complex social realities we are trying to portray.
...that the methodology of production can be people-centred rather than technique/technology-driven. People are not reduced to passive objects of our work, whose knowledge, ideas and emotions are utilized without reciprocity. We believe that they can be active subjects in the process of documentation or expressing their own life experiences. This has often taken the form of them writing scripts and acting in the films/plays we make with them. The video films/plays that emerge from such a collaboration must feed back, enhance and support their social and development efforts in creative ways. Thus the Process of theatre production and film-making has a value along with the end Product, and the one cannot be neglected for the other.
...that the "media" are mediums rather than an end in themselves. Therefore, while a broadcast-oriented film may require superior quality video formats, a video memorandum that carries the people's voices to the Collector as part of a rally could very well be done in home-video. We are not snobbish about formats, and believe that there is a time and context for every format. Thus our work in video has randed from VHS to Betacam.
We make our own productions and also collaborate with various women's
groups and social organizations to make films that are used both for
non-broadcast purposes and for broadcast. While our focus is mostly
on video production and theatre workshops, we have also undertaken
written documentation, media design for a theme fair, production of
print material and audio cassettes.
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