The power of citizens media at Vancouver Olympics

0 Posted by - February 17, 2012 - Blog, Friday Film Pick, Screen

This week’s Friday Film Pick is a documentary about the power citizen’s media has to diversify representation, tell under-represented stories, and contribute to community. With Glowing Hearts looks at the flurry of alternative media activity that took place in the lead-up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. With corporate media uncritically celebratory of the games and busy vilifying or ignoring the city’s most troubled neighbourhood (The Downtown East side, “DTES”), a massive need for critical and non-indentured voices was sorely needed, and energetically filled, by a small army of Vancouverites and transplants who picked up microphones, cameras and told the stories overshadowed by government-speak and corporate deal-making before the Olympics took place (and during).

As the Vancouver police begin charging perps from the hockey riots of last year, it seems like a great time to visit a more productive, positive perspective of the culture and community of one of Vancouver’s communities, the DTES. From the film’s site:

A Social Media revolution has been building momentum on the Internet for the past five years, and it is creating a new sense of community and empowerment amongst those who have embraced it. History has shown that poor and marginalized communities stand to gain the most from leaps forward in the democratization of information, so the excitement in areas like Vancouver’s maligned Downtown Eastside about the possibilities of Web 2.0 and beyond is palpable.

The doc keeps a fast beat, and while it suffers from too much soundtrack (reminiscent of another otherwise great film, Your Mommy Kills Animals), the visuals are superb and the stories interesting. You can purchase a DVD from here and streaming will be available likely after the film airs on the documentary channel.

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