The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) commissioned a set of 22 videos in Tamil, Sinhala and English to commemorate 25 years after the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983. The videos were broadcast on MTV / Sirasa and Shakthi terrestrial TV channels from 23 – 30 July 1983.
Recognizing the enduring value of these short clips for advocacy, I created Never Again in Sri Lanka to give these videos a life after broadcast and serve as a focal point for discussion and reflection on the events of July 1983.
I used the TV Elements theme for WordPress, and selected Vimeo over YouTube (even though the videos can be found on both sites) because it’s a cleaner player that fits in nicely with the theme. The TV Elements theme also makes it very easy to navigate the videos and share / embed them online.
Never Again in Sri Lanka complements content on the Vikalpa YouTube Channel on the reactions of citizens today to the events of July 1983, the Special Edition of Groundviews on 1983 and the race riots of 1958 and other initiatives such as PACT’s featured event on 24 July 1983.
This is also the latest website I’ve created to explore the potential of digitally archiving terrestrial mainstream media productions. The first venture was Voices of Reconciliation Radio, where the greatest challenge has been to convince NGOs that even with a website that offers for free unlimited storage space and traffic that it’s a good thing to digitally archive content. Most media productions commissioned by civil society, especially on issues like HIV / AIDS, reconciliation, peacebuilding, gender and human rights, are sadly shelved to gather dust once they are broadcast. There is little or no support for or interest in digitising the content and putting it up on the web for posterity.
Hopefully, by example, I can change some thinking in this regard.