Lorna Rae Boschman
Incorporating Citizenship into Community Media Practices
The process of creating media works through community-based workshops affects the agency of novice directors. In order to experience the media creation process, one must have access to production equipment or digital files and editing software. The situation resembles that of the “digital divide” where access to Information and Communication Technology was originally confined to those with sufficient resources. The current divide is related to a lack of access to sufficient and appropriate training. One approach to introducing novices to the media creation process is through community-based initiatives, what Clemencia Rodriguez has called citizens’ media because participants can exercise their agency as citizens. Here I present findings from a study of adults with development disabilities who directed their own individual video productions in order to begin to examine how agency, citizenship, and self-expression intersect in community-based practices.
Lorna Boschman recently directed this ability, a National Film Board (NFB) documentary that grew out of a two year long community-based media program for adults with cognitive disabilities. In addition to being available online through the NFB’s CitizenShift site and Canadian public libraries, this ability will form part of the program at the 2008 American Psychological Association annual conference. Boschman’s videos form part of the collection at the National Gallery of Canada and have been shown at festivals internationally. Boschman’s research interests include studying how novice directors use digital media to communicate, and how fitness video games affect the physical condition of players, as well as their ability to develop a unique gamescript. She is part of a creative team awarded a public art commission through the City of Surrey, as a result of the city’s designation as a Cultural Capital of Canada. Our team is creating six Talking Poles, interactive sound sculptures that play back voices of the community members while lighting their way through the Serpentine Greenway.