The project will provide training to people with disabilities and their representative organisations in digital storytelling, aiming to empower participants with the skills to convey to the general public their experiences and the issues of relevance to them. Participants will be trained during two training workshops in the use of digital media tools and will create their own media products for online dissemination. These will be followed by pubic screenings that will highlight the commonalities that exist across the Cyprus divide so contributing to improved dialogue and understanding.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
Describe the specific community with whom you will be working.
Disabled people and their right to participate in everyday life are severely underrepresented in the mainstream and online media. Their situation is mirrored across the Cyprus divide in the island's Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, where entrenched narratives of the ongoing conflict have overshadowed issues of common concern. Moreover, economic and social crises gripping each community respectively have brought to the forefront issues of social support and inclusion for marginalised communities. Disability organisations have recently become more vocal with regards to their position in society, challenging traditional attitudes of philanthropy and demanding participation. However they lack the skills and tools to amplify their message particularly across digital platforms.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The essence of digital storytelling is about telling human interest stories, and the ‘story circle’ methodology utilised will aim to bring these to the fore. Participants will be working on their own stories in different digital formats about issues in their everyday lives, the challenges they face, the communities within which they live, as well as their hopes and aspirations for the future. The digital storytelling training will offer participants the opportunity to create personal stories as well citizen media for public dissemination online, mainly in the format of digital video and audio slideshows. Material utilised will include in-studio and on-location audio and video interviews, as well as digital photographs. Social media, particularly blogs, will supplement these media products.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established that will contribute to the success of the project.
CCMC's membership comprises 44 civil society organisations active across the whole island working on a variety of issues, including disability. CCMC is a founding member of ‘Peace it Together’ – a network of peacebuilding organisations – as well as the Community Media Forum – the Europe-wide umbrella for community media – who can contribute their expertise and know-how in highlighting common stories, and identifying potential new partners and promotion online. CCMC also maintains partnerships with 10 mainstream media outlets, as well as the media regulatory bodies in each community, through which it can promote the project and its outputs. Moreover, in April 2013 CCMC will be launching an online community radio station in partnership with the European Commission Representation in Cyprus.
How many participants do you think will be involved in your project?
Through sustained and targeted outreach, CCMC expects 30-40 participants to attend the training. Information meetings will be held with representative organisations to inform them about the project, and visits to urban centres across the island will be organised in order to spread the message beyond Nicosia which will be the project's centre. CCMC will also create communications and social media strategies which will support the pre- and post-project implementation, the products (including blogs) of which will serve as fora for future discussion on disability rights. CCMC will also offer follow-up support for dissemination of the content created, and maintain a database of participating individuals and organisations to ensure participation and future partnerships.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
CCMC has been providing civil society activists with the skills and tools to make their own media and promote their own messages. Since 2009. CCMC has trained over 400 individuals in different citizen media fields including: podcasting and audio production, digital storytelling, guerilla mediamaking, video production, social networking, viral marketing, social media and blogging, newsletter production and more. At present, CCMC has a full-time member of staff trained in digital storytelling who will be leading the training workshops with technical support from other staff members in filmmaking, audio production, photography, journalism, and social media. Strategic partners will be utlilised more in the outreach and dissemination activities of the project.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
The workshops will take place at the CCMC Community Space in Nicosia’s Buffer Zone which will ensure accessibility to diverse communities from across the island. CCMC's premises and equipment include: A fully-functional multimedia studio with video and audio equipment, including HD video cameras, headphones, audio recorders, fire-wire inputs, as well as a state-of-the-art sound recording booth; Software: text editor, image editing, video editing; Offices with telephone, printer/scanner, and internet provision; Space with capacity of 80 people, equipped for in-house meetings, press conferences, visibility events, and media skills training; and d) 4 desktop and 8 laptop computers, audio-visual projection and a wifi internet connection (Speeds: Download 8.4 Mbps; Upload 0.82 Mbps).
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
CCMC is aware that there are a number of different ‘communities’ within the wider community of people with disabilities. CCMC's understanding of the context and experience of working within different contexts and communities will enable the best possible outreach beyond the organisations currently involved in CCMC's work cycle. CCMC will work with two member organisations as key partners in each community – the ‘Disability Initiative’ will be the main partner in the Turkish Cypriot community, and the ‘NGO Support Centre’ will facilitate contacts with disability organisations in the Greek Cypriot community. Beyond the project CCMC will seek to engage disability organisations in its core work cycle, involving them in its consortium of members in order work strategically on future campaigns.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
CCMC is working in a unique context in Cyprus as a community media centre situated both figuratively and physically in the space between Cyprus’ two main divided communities. It works with Greek-speaking and Turkish-speaking Cypriots, as well as other community groups on the island, and has a wealth of experience of the challenges involved, which include: a) Distinctive language differences between and across communities – CCMC has a range of languages on staff, and will ensure all productions are subtitled to ensure accessibility to all; b) Two different authorities necessitates that any policy messages or campaign slogans on disability rights must be community-sensitive. CCMC's extensive experience endows it with the capability to work effectively and simultaneously with this context.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
Given the short timeframe for implementation of the project, quantitative indicators will be used to measure the impact of the project:
Quantitative Indicators include:
– At least 30 workshop participants;
– At least 5 disability organisations supporting and/or participating in the project;
– At least 2 screenings organised in each community;
– Communications Plan created;
– At least 6 press releases disseminated to local media;
– At least 12 press releases/articles/news stories published/broadcast in local media;
– At least 500 followers on Facebook group;
– At least 20 blog entries published about the project and disability issues.
CCMC will work to ensure that the media products reach decision-makers and will be in a position to report any future developments.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2013?
N.B. At present the Republic of Cyprus (mainly Greek Cypriot Community) is going through a difficult period of economic transition in light of a financial bailout. A number of activities during this and the forthcoming period have been curtailed due to these extenuating circumstances.
CCMC aims to run its outreach and media campaigns from June through August, hold the workshops in September, with screenings of the films to take place in November and December.
Tasks to be implemented:
• Outreach Meetings: June-July 2013
• Social Media Campaign: June-December 2013
• Two Digital Storytelling workshops: September 2013
• Media Products Finalised: October 2013
• Screenings: November-December 2013
Detail a specific budget of up to $4,000 USD for operating costs.
Please see below a cost-breakdown for the project:
1) Coordination & Technical Support: 600 USD
2) Digital Storytelling Trainer's Fee: 800 USD
3) Catering for Workshops and Screenings: 700 USD
4) Screenings Venue Hire: 300 USD
5) Travel costs (for wheelchair-accessible van): 600 dollars
6) Transcription and Translation (English, Greek & Turkish): 800 USD
7) Other costs (including consumables, DVDs for participants) 200 dollars
Besides the microgrant funding, what other resources and support are you seeking for your project to ensure its success?
CCMC will involve Rising Voices at a variety of levels and phases of the pre- and post-project implementation phases. Firstly, it will seek to broaden its international network through links with applicants working on similar issues and projects who may be in a position to contribute suggestions, and also link up at different phases of the project. Secondly, CCMC will involve Rising Voices in its communications and social media strategies with the aim of maximising outreach and legitimacy for the project locally, and dissemination internationally. This could include the sharing of videos on platforms such as Vimeo and Facebook, and posts on blogging platforms. Finally, CCMC will also seek the participation of Rising Voices during the workshops through live-link ups.
Cyprus Community Media Centre (CCMC)