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Participatory Video
is a comprehensive guide to using video in group development work. Used in a participatory way, video can be a powerful tool, which allows clients to examine the world around them, gain awareness of their situation and become more actively involved in decisions which affect their lives.
Based on an innovative approach researched over twelve years, the book sets out a complete programme for workers in a range of social work, community, education and health settings.

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Images & Sounds: Audiovisual Language integrates a Papertronic book and eBook, an audiovisual annotation catalogue and exploration system. Images & Sounds: Audiovisual Composing is published as a Papertronic book and an eBook, both comprising nine chapters. Each chapter comprises text and illustrations automatically linked with up to 30 audiovisual annotations, presented as audiovisual galleries, video shorts, film clips, animation and multimedia compositions within an electronic environment.

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Papers, Articles and Reports

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Pathways to accountability from the margins:
reflections on participatory video practice.

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Connecting communication:
using video to open spaces and mediate exchange between Kenyan
grass-roots activists.

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Using Participatory Video for Action Research
By Dr Jackie Shaw, Founder, Real Time
This paper provides an account of the practice and processes used by Real Time, a UK-based professional media organisation and educational charity. Real Time is a voluntary-sector provider that offers consultancy and project services to government and non-statutory agencies in the Health and Social Care sector. Participatory Video is a facilitated group method that involves participants in communicating their own experiences, issues and stories on video.
There is developing interest in the possibilities of visual methods in researching complex social problems. Real Time specialises in applying participatory video as a collaborative group process to engage service users in exploring explanations and possible ways forward for issues that have proved hard to address in other ways.

Beyond Empowerment Inspiration
By Dr Jackie Shaw, Founder, Real Time
Participatory Video has generally been framed idealistically, resulting in a discourse of possibility and potential as presented in methodological guides (e.g. Shaw and Robertson 1997, Lunch and Lunch 2006) and motivational literature (e.g. White 2003). In this chapter, I open the gap between these participatory video ideals, and actual practice manifestation in the complex social reality of project application. To do this I explore the participatory video process used by Real Time Video in its work as a UK-based, professional media organisation that specialises in using video to catalyse social benefit in community contexts. My standpoint is that participatory video processes such as Real Time’s are not magic bullets despite the many positive claims. There are often tensions between different social agendas in real-life project settings.

Positioned on shifting sands
By Dr Jackie Shaw, Founder, Real Time
Community Video emerged alongside radical community work in the arts and media activity that occurred from the late 1960s onwards. For many the inspiration lay in disrupting usual relational dynamics by involving marginalised people in exploring their own issues through video, in order to catalyse community-led social change.
Discourses shape our worldview and thus how we act. For this reason, video is assumed to be a means of creative resistance as disadvantaged communities construct and communicate alternative narratives and perspectives. However, in reality communication dynamics between state and citizen are complex and contested. Framing concepts, such as ‘participation’ and ‘citizens media’, have a function in inspiring efforts to shift the status quo of social influence. In reality, Community Video projects are usually situated between interest groups with different perspectives on both the purpose and the consequences. This means that actual practice involves negotiation between practitioner’s implicit intention to build group agency, and the (often conflicting) agendas of the various stakeholders involved. Moreover, the predominantly idealistic and intentional practice discourses that abound have contributed to appropriation and dilution of the potential in many project contexts.

Reality works: services offered by Real Time

The future of communications is digital and visual.
Video provides the best way for people to emotionally engage with your story.
From documentary to drama, web to cinema, apps to websites, our approach is informed by the needs of our clients.

Video production

Short videos for the web, supported production training, event and conference production, multimedia projects through to major international productions – Real Time has the talent, approach and resources to deliver comprehensive, flexible and creative solutions. Click the button below to see some of previous Real Time productions.

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"The use of a video as a communication medium was excellent and a perfect springboard for the awareness project. Real Time left us with a permanent reference point for all audiences."

Peter Baveystock, Waste and Recycling Manager, Wokingham Borough Council.

Real Time offers you an initial no-obligation
consultancy session free of charge.


  • Production consultancy and advice
  • Multi camera studio and event production
  • Video production with experienced crews
  • Mobile Chroma Key studio
  • Multimedia production
  • Soundtrack and music composition
  • Subtitling, Voice-over
  • Screening and exhibition support
  • Mobile cinema and equipment hire
  • Archiving and hosting
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  • Professionalism and experience
  • Inclusion and participation
  • Innovation, creativity and flexibility
  • Transparent and competitive pricing
  • No hidden charges
  • Accountability
  • Legacy
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