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NGO video campaigns of land conflicts should be personal stories

A protester with a smoke bomb in his hands at the event organized by residents at Pilismarot, Hungary

A local NGO at Pilismarot, Hungary asked us to create a video for their campaign about their land conflict. They are against a planned gravel mine project near the so-called Danube bend, Hungary. Their main concern was that the gravel mine would likely to deplete the fresh water base from the lands. Exploitation of natural resources and other types of industrial projects often generate similar land conflicts between local residents and investors. 

The general public often sees these conflicts as ‘local’ which means these stories are only important to the local community, not for everyone. But these stories of land conflicts can have all the richness of a Hollywood film or a Shakespeare drama. 

video confessions combined with animation

We searched for local residents who think they were personally affected by the gravel mine project. We asked them to use their own cell phones to shoot video confessions which then we used in post production combined with animation and professional camera footage.

The stakes are high and if you look at them you realize that these conflicts are ultimately about the basic questions. For example, do we have to regard development as the main goal of life? Where does happiness come from? What happens to you as an individual when you are connecting to others in a local community?

Check out the video with English subs here: 

a resource for us all to understand what climate change is all about

We received powerful video confessions from local residents. Sometimes, when people are there alone talking to the video camera of their phone they can speak out much more directly than what they would say in an interview done by a filming crew. 

I believe that land conflicts between local residents and industrial projects can be a resource for us all to understand what climate change is all about. Maybe this is why our video was one of the most viewed one last year on aHang, which is a petition platform that is part of Online Progressive Engagement Network

The main advantages of this methodology are: 

  • The viewers get involved more easy if they see people as real characters who tell their own feelings and stories related to the campaign subject; 
  • Using video confessions shot by phones make production costs as minimal as possible; 
  • Adding animation and professional editing makes the video campaign powerful even if footage created by phones;

Dunakanyar Kultúrtáj és Környezetvédelmi Egyesület

Project URL

Petition of the local residents on the aHang platform

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