A research project to investigate how to make it easy for village communities in the developing world to create and share audiovisual information.
The information could be very practical: health or agricultural advice, advertisements for local products, or exercises for a school lesson. It could also be more personal: invitations to forthcoming events, local news, or requests for help.
Camera phones and digital library software will be used to capture and share this information in the form of short audiovisual stories. These will be spoken reports, illustrated with still or moving pictures. By using audiovisual information, StoryBank hope to give a stronger voice to people who cannot read and write and are unable to use the internet.
Local groups who share the same camera phone, television or other screen-based device will be able to access the information in the digital library.
People from outside the local context will be able to access this information via the internet. This could be useful for distant engineers, designers and researchers, by giving them glimpses of the lives of local people in digitally impoverished communities.
The project will work with Voices, an Indian NGO, and one of their initiatives in India: a Community Media Centre and cable radio station that is managed by the rural community.
The project will ask the following questions:
- What kind of information and stories are useful for local people and for remote professionals
- How to present, organise and deliver that information in an accessible and compelling way
- Physically, how to create and store that information
StoryBank believe audiovisual technology has considerable potential in improving access to information in rural parts of the developing world, and to a greater understanding of these communities by the outside world.