The world around us is changing rapidly. Deeply entrenched authoritarian regimes are facing popular dissent and losing ground to new forces. The proliferation of mobile and social media technology is empowering any individual with a smart phone to be an international broadcaster. Still, many of the world’s most vulnerable populations remain voiceless. Technologies continue to be difficult to attain. Governments demonstrate an increasing willingness to blackout communications in times of crisis. Citizen journalism is hampered by authentication difficulties and ineffective distribution. Dwindling resources limit the effectiveness of traditional media to expose crises in hard-to-reach places. These forces combine to exacerbate dire human rights situations and hide them from the world.
Videre has a proven, effective solution for these problems.
VIDERE’S METHODOLOGY IS SCALABLE, ADAPTABLE AND SUSTAINABLE.
Footage is distributed free of charge to key stakeholders including international decision-makers, courts, lawyers, civil society, local communities and a global media network of 100+ media outlets. Distribution is decided in consultation with our partner organisations and trusted advisors who have in-depth knowledge on the materials’ potential impact. Recognising the need for security vigilance, we hide the identity of our sources and never take public credit.
GATHERING & PROCESSING OF FOOTAGE
Videre’s local networks work daily to gather specific, verifiable footage illustrating patterns of abuse. Our filming process begins with setting detailed operational and filming plans that consider what images we need; where we can have the most impact; and what risks are involved. After filming, our partners deliver their footage to designated points for processing. All footage is verified by a variety of means — from forensic analysis of the material to special verification teams on the ground. This footage is also catalogued into Videre’s archive, enabling it to be easily retrieved for future use, everything from court cases to briefings.
SUPPLYING EQUIPMENT, TRAINING AND SUPPORT
Videre locates local groups willing to implement our rigorous methodology and security protocols. We then distribute video cameras and communications equipment to our partners and provide customised training and continual support in security, filming and verification. The security aspect of our training is of paramount importance and covers everything from data storage and communication encryption to counter-surveillance. In addition to filming training, the verification training ensures our participants can capture footage that meets the high standards of authenticity and security that Videre requires for distribution to media, decision-makers and lawyers. Importantly, Videre’s experience allows training to be fully integrated, so participants are taught how to put their new knowledge to use on a daily basis. We provide constant feedback on footage quality and operational security and ultimately give our partners the foundation for self-sufficiency.
Videre conducts in-depth research along with experts and civil society partners to identify places at risk and what type of images could have the greatest impact. When projects are fully active, we conduct on-going research to understand the political situation, threats, incidents, perpetrators and victims in our project areas.
A NEW WAY
WIRED features Videre’s work
Effective documentation and exposure are vital factors in the fight against human rights violations. Videre, an international charity founded in 2008, gives local activists the equipment, training and support needed to safely capture compelling video evidence of human rights violations. This captured footage is verified, analysed and then distributed to those who can create change.
Videre’s unique approach addresses the lack of reach, security, verification and impact that hampers civil society’s current efforts to expose human rights abuses. We reach out to those groups and individuals that traditional or new media cannot; ensure the security of activists who film violations; verify footage before use; and follow through to ensure effective distribution and measurable impact.
Videre has established projects in a number of countries and has hundreds of human rights defenders working together in a web of networks. We have exposed many issues including political intimidation, corruption, political manipulation of aid and female genital mutilation. As a result of our actions, human rights defenders are operating more securely, previously inflammatory politicians are warning against violence, and perpetrators have been brought to trial and their means of oppression have been exposed to millions worldwide.
Details of areas of operation or case studies cannot be provided on our website for security reasons
Videre’s footage is being used in a number of national court cases to prevent and prosecute corruption and incitement of political violence. Where appropriate and safe, material is being used in-country to bring politicians and members of the security forces to justice for violations of human rights. In other instances, Videre is building a body of evidence that can be used for future cases, whether they be local, national or international.
Videre’s footage is frequently shown to a number of the most significant international political players in our areas of operation, from local embassy staff to cabinet-level government officials.
Videre’s material has been safely used by local organisations for a wide range of advocacy, from educating affected communities to briefing high-level officials – and from supplying background to major media outlets to distributing footage via social media, including Facebook and YouTube.
Videre’s footage is broadcast or published on average three times a week. In places we operate, we are the primary source of visual media – we provide footage to everyone from the BBC, CNN, AFP and AP to local independent radio, websites and newspapers.
Brian Eno is a musician, producer and visual artist. He has released 25 solo albums, and has worked with artists such as Talking Heads, David Byrne, David Bowie, U2, Coldplay, Laurie Anderson, Paul Simon and many others. He has presented his visual art and installations in over 130 solo shows and several group shows.
Terry is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam has also directed several films, including Brazil (1985), The Ad- ventures of Baron Munchausen (1988), The Fisher King (1991), 12 Monkeys (1995), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).
John is a trained economist and environmentalist and Executive Director of Greenpeace UK. John has applied his expertise to projects in Indonesia, the Congo, central Africa and the Amazon and campaigned on everything from nuclear disarmament to protection of the North Pole. Described by the The Times as a ‘suave political insider,’ he has specialised in solutions, communications and evolving new, more sustainable business models.
Jason is a lawyer with H2O, a law firm specialising in cases on behalf of victims of terrorists and rogue states. He is an expert in human rights. McCue is well-known for his work against international terror- ism, including management of the legal case on behalf of victims of the Omagh bombing. He acts as advisor to a number of NGOs and was the architect of Mandate Darfur.
Uri has been working in the film industry since 1985. He Founded Fragile Films in 1989 and has produced and directed many documentaries in locations all over the world among which were the award-winning Atlantic Hip To The Tip, All In The Family, Dar O Dur and OBI. Since 1997, he has produced feature films including Ideal Husband, Spice World the Movie and The Importance of Being Ernest. In 2001, together with his partner, he bought Ealing Studios, where Fragile Films continues to successfully produce British feature films. Uri has originated several projects involving innovative use of video cameras, including the highly successful video project conducted by BVCF, the major Conservation Organization of Mallorca. He has served on the board of several charities and is the chair of Videre’s Board of Trustees.
Katy is a consultant with more than 20 years’ experience in journalism and communications. She has held senior positions at The Elders, International Crisis Group, ONE and Crisis Action focusing on international development, human rights and conflict issues. Katy started her career as a radio journalist in Western Australia and is deeply curious about the way growing access to information and ideas is shaping our lives.
Fiona Napier campaigns on human rights and environmental abuses, getting actors together to create long lasting change. She played a key role in starting the UK Ban Landmines campaign, the Ethical Trading Initiative, and the Publish What You Pay campaign. While she was International Advocacy Director with Open Society Foundations she helped launch the transparency and accountability initiative.
Oren Yakobovich, CEO
Driven to raise awareness about the inequalities that he saw in the world, Oren Yakobovich has been working at the intersection of human rights and filmmaking for 20 years. Prior to co-founding Videre in 2008, he led the video department at the Israeli human rights organisation B’Tselem. At B’Tselem, he developed ‘Shooting Back,’ a video project that has trained hundreds of citizens in the West Bank to use cameras to fight for justice. The project won several awards, including the BBC’s One World Media award and the International Media Award’s Cutting Edge Prize. Oren’s work has been screened at Berlin and Sundance among other festivals. A sought-after expert on using technology to expose human rights violations, Oren is frequently called upon to brief civil society, government, international organisation and media decision-makers.
For security purposes, other Videre staff members, who may operate on location, cannot be named.