Video and Voice in Participatory Research

Differing Issues in Using Video with Young People

Using video in a research project involves different issues depending on the degree to which it is integrated throughout the process and this includes its dissemination. Here we discuss a range of projects and how video was used to support every stage from the recruitment of young people through to evaluating the impact of a project.

Case study 1 - Recruitment: Getting young people to take part in project can be problematic - In this instance we reflect on some of the issues we faced when recruiting families to work on a video diary project. What are the differences between access and entry?

Case study 2 - Negotiation of research foci and outcomes – Here we discuss some of the key issues about agreeing the focus for a participatory piece of video work when we worked with ‘at risk’ young people on sensitive issues. How do you make sure you do not put young people at risk when they show their materials?

Case Study 3 - Managing relationships with young people – Participatory video projects often involve working with groups of young people. Here we look back on one of our first projects with a group of young men temporarily excluded from school. Managing relationships in this project gradually became less about how we dealt with this group and much more with how we brokered their work with the other powerful groups who were involved in the project. What kinds of relationships are needed with intended audiences so that young peoples’ voices are actually listened to and heard?

Case study 4 - Giving young people a voice with video - Getting the voice of excluded young people heard is a frequently cited reason for doing a participatory video project. In this case we talk through why we set out to juxtapose the voices of young people with those of professionals who worked with them. What mixture of voices do you need in your project?

Case study 5 - Design and presentation of materials - How do you design a video so that it has the desired effect on its intended audience? Showing a video for the first time can be daunting even for experienced researchers so what kind of support do young people need? Here we discuss how we ended up never being able to show this particular video to its intended audience.

Case study 6 - Evaluation and impact - In some projects you’re just glad to get to the point where a video has been produced. Here we consider how you might need to go a stage further in your thinking if you are interested in evaluating the impact of any project. What are the differing types of impacts your project might have on those involved in making the video and those who are its intended audience?