Video Advocacy: 5 great harm reduction videos

Video advocacy is a growing area in the use of technology to promote and educate about harm reduction.  The incredible growth of video sharing sites such as Vimeo and YouTube have placed the power of video broadcast at activists disposal.  While we have had the potential to record and document our work in video formats for some time, prior to 2005 broadcasting to a wide audience has been challenging.  YouTube’e emergence in February 2005 and it’s staggering growth since (not to mention the subsequent development of competing platforms) has placed the power of broadcasting at nearly anyone’s disposal.

YouTube’s reach is prolific, with it being entrenched as the second largest search engine after Google search.

According to YouTube:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • YouTube is localized in 56 countries and across 61 languages
  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
  • Millions of subscriptions happen each day, and the number of people subscribing has more than doubled since last year

(Source: accessed 26th October 2013)

This relatively new power to broadcast empowers harm reduction activists, who have been up until this time largely reliant on traditional media outlets to broadcast video productions.  Whiling away a Saturday morning I found these 5 outstanding harm reduction video productions on YouTube, that I wanted to share.

Stigma and Discrimination of Injecting Drug Users by AIVL

This excellent video that draws upon interviews with leading academics and advocates for people who use drugs addresses the stigma and discrimination that is all too often experienced by people who inject drugs.  This resource has been produced by the  Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), who have been at the forefront of addressing stigma experienced by people who use drugs in Australia.

Insite – Not Just Injecting, But Connecting by HCLU

The Hungarian Civil Libertarian Union (HCLU) has been one of the international pioneers of the use of YouTube videos for advocacy purposes.  Over the years HCLU have produced and broadcast a number of videos of a high quality, informing people about a range of issues related to harm reduction and drug law reform.  This video highlights the fantastic work being done at Insite, the only supervised injecting facility in operation in North America.

Making a Place Called Safe: A Public Health Case for a Safer Injection Facility in San Francisco, CA by Sawbuck Productions and the SF Users Union

Speaking of pioneers, the ethnographic film work undertaken by Greg Scott and Sawbuck Productions has been prolific as it has been eye opening.  This video is but one of his most recent projects.  Working with the San Francisco User Union, this video states the case for a supervised injecting centre in San Francisco.

What is Insite? – Safe Injection Site in Downtown Eastside Vancouver by Hope in the fight.

Another video documenting the importance of the work undertaken at Insite, this interview with Darwin Fisher, Manager of Insite eloquently describes the very real drivers for a pragmatic and humanitarian approach to people who inject drugs and who are living in poverty.

The Exchange: Race and Drugs by amfAR

Part of a series of videos produced by the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) promoting needle syringe programs in the U.S.  These series of videos put a human face to such programs and demonstrate the importance of these programs not only to individuals who utilise them but also to the community as a whole.  In this particular video the issues of race and BBV/STI are addressed.

2 Responses to “Video Advocacy: 5 great harm reduction videos”
  1. All great choices, but we’ve been also been searching for harm reduction videos about other drug use and about topics beyond drug use. Any ideas there?

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