Students created their own short films on the topic ‘what, why democracy’ (4th May 2012) – using their academic, theoretical and empirical knowledge. These films were then presented in term 3 at the What Why Democracy festival. The festival provided an opportunity for students to exhibit their films. Students demonstrated their films and then explain the film making process, and how this relates to the academic and theoretical material of the module.
The films were then followed by a question and answer session, in which students took questions from the audience.
- What is democracy?
- Was the academic literature useful, and to what extent, when thinking about the concept and making a film about it?
- Do you think differently about the concept of democracy, compared to before making the film?
The following day (4th May 2012) film maker Zoe d’Amaro attended the seminar and provided useful feedback on the films. Zoe is an Italian filmmaker based in Amsterdam and founder of Godmother Films (www.godmotherfilms.com). Among other productions focused on social issues, in 2008 Zoe was part of the international project "Why Democracy" and directed the short documentary “Interferenze” on the issue of freedom of speech in Italy during the second government of Silvio Berlusconi.
Due to her strong belief in using media as a tool for democratic participation and positive social change, Zoe created the Godmother Foundation with the aim of developing media projects within disadvantaged communities around the world. She had developed and implemented a documentary training programme for the underprivileged youth of the coloured township of Mitchell's Plain, Cape Town South Africa. Currently, Zoe is developing the cross-media Project Before the Flood, which focuses on climate change and targets a young audience. This event is funded by the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL).