Glasgow-based Media Co-op creates digital media and films for the third sector – and it has just reached its 10th birthday.
As part of the celebrations, Glasgow’s International Human Rights Film Festival, Document, held a retrospective for the co-operative, selecting 20 films and clips from the last ten years.
The curated showcase, Courage, Condoms and Power, took place on 11 October and was in line with Document’s special focus this year on Access To Justice. It included explorations of gender, feminist activism, immigration and children’s voices, with clips taken from films that the worker co-operative has made for for Oxfam, Zero Tolerance and the Scottish Refugee Council, among others.
The event also included a conversation with Document co-founder Paula Larkin and Media Co-op’s Lucinda Broadbent and Louise Scott, who discussed how to get a message across but still “avoid preaching, keep viewers entertained, and touch their hearts”.
Media Co-op has a policy of only working with “organisations that are doing good, people who share our values of co-operation, ethical working, focus on service, and environmental sustainability.”
“We’re proud to be a workers co-operative,” says Lucinda. “It’s unusual in the media sector for workers to own their own company, but it reflects Media Co-op’s ethics and values. The co-operative movement has been a strong support to us for ten years.”
As well as producing films, documentaries, digital content and delivering media training, Media Co-op has a strong focus on participatory projects, which emphasises finding and developing the creativity of the people they work with.
One such project was Primary. Commissioned by Oxfam Scotland nine years ago, it looked what primary school children thought of asylum-seekers and refugees. Alex Mushaka and his sister Pauline, who had come to Scotland as asylum-seekers, took part in the film when they were 11 and eight years old respectively, asking their Scottish classmates their views.
“Making the film gave me confidence; but we didn’t realise at the time how much impact our film had” said Alex at the birthday event. Primary was just 90 seconds long, but was shown on BBC and STV news, on public screens and was distributed across Europe.
“We realise that Scotland has social problems, and we want to help in any way we can,” added Pauline. “Working on ‘Primary’ started it off.”
This participatory process is not only about creating film, but about working in a collaborative, co-operative way with people that are non film-makers, in order to find a story while “offering a positive experience for people who are often the subjects of – but excluded from – the process of film-making”.
In this article
- Co-operative education trust Scotland
- Co-operatives UK
- Community film
- Consumer cooperative
- Digital media
- Human Rights Film Festival
- Louise Scott
- Lucinda Broadbent
- media training
- Paula Larkin
- The Co-operative brand
- The Co-operative Food
- The Co-operative Group
- Worker cooperative
- United Kingdom
- Top Stories