University of East Anglia
Cultural violence is defined as the beliefs, attitudes and values that justify structural and direct violence (Galtung 1990). It dulls us into seeing exploitation and repression as normal or in not actively witnessing it, and the media plays a vital role in its dissemination. Media and in particular film studies occupies a space through which notions of culture, ideology, peace and violence are negotiated. While the observational approach to film is well established in education, participatory film-making as an educational tool is what this paper addresses, with reference to concepts of cultural violence and peace education. This paper uses Brantmeier’s (2011) five stage model, that encourages social and cultural change towards a future that is nonviolent, sustainable and renewable, and Bery’s (2003) conceptualisation of empowerment to propose that participatory film functions as a transformative creative process and challenges notions of identity and culture while helping learners describe the world around them (Zembylas & Bekerman 2013).
Through analysing existing cases in the field of participatory video (Schwab-Cartas & Mitchell 2014), I argue that participatory film functions as a tool for creative education practices that promotes a more hands-on approach to raising awareness about cultural violence and engaging with identity formation,
and as a creative tool for knowledge creation and dissemination.
Keywords: Participatory film; cultural violence; peace education; back talk; counterstories.