Little Theory. So much Practice

The Liberal Video Bootcamp 2017 in Colombo
Liberal Video Bootcamp Colombo

In usual parlance, a Bootcamp is a training of military conscripts. The Liberal Video Bootcamp was a different matter altogether: some 25 liberal activists and citizen journalists came together for three action packed days in Colombo (Sri Lanka) to learn how to produce short, high quality videos using nothing but their smartphones and an app downloadable free of charge.

This was a hands-on affair in the best sense of the word: in the end, every participant produced at least two videos. This being a “liberal” workshop, the stories filmed and produced were all related to freedom.

Video and mobile are the megatrends of digital communication also in South Asia. If you want to reach an audience using social media, video is the way to go. Ever more people in the region access the internet using their mobile phones. Against this background, all Bootcamp productions were executed exclusively on smartphones.

“This has been our best activity of the year” , the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’s (FNF) Regional Director Dr. Ronald Meinardus said in Colombo. He joined the Bootcamp together with FNF colleagues Rebea Firdous, Omar Mostafiz, Vineeti Singh and Ruben Dieckhoff and shared his advice on the importance of strategy for communicating via social media.

The participants were told at the beginning that the Bootcamp would be both a lot of fun but also much work. Bootcampers worked late hours to complete their assignments. We witnessed a lot of camaraderie among the participants who came from all SAARC countries with the exception of Afghanistan. Fitting in harmoniously was our colleague from Jordan Maria Barakat who left Colombo with the commitment that she would share the many things she had learned at the Bootcamp with her colleagues back home.

The success of the workshop was to a large degree the result of the excellent moderation by our colleagues from Pakistan Tauseeq Haider and Arif Shad. We were particularly lucky to have with us two social media personalities who may well be called cyberspace stars: Yusuf Omar introduced the newest trends of citizen journalism and Sumaya Omar shared her expertise about the magical world of live video streaming.  The fascination about the trainings: all was live, little theory and so much practice.

The Liberal Video Bootcamp was the second edition of the “Promoting Liberty Digitally” of the Regional Office. After this success, we are determined to continue the series next summer - and again in the fabulous setting of Colombo.

Before we leave you, we invite you to watch the “Mannequin Challenge”, where all the participants are featured with the tools used to create professional video.