Documentary making in groups

There is a common belief that documentaries are telling an objective truth. But in fact a story can always be told from different perspectives. We believe that exchanging and sharing those different points of view is crucial to a peaceful dialogue between several nations, that is, between several collective memories.

In our experience, we have witnessed how recording (video or audio) is accessible educational tool: you can use it and learn through it even if you cannot read and you can work together for a video project even if you don’t speak the same language. For this reason, we believe it is a very important tool for youth workers that focus on inclusion. The methodology used is inspired by the movement “Kino Kabaret”. Kino movement was founded in 1999 in Quebec, Canada and it consist in a film making movement that advocates the production of short-films on little to no budget, using small crews, and non-competitive collaboration.

Take a look at our former project Rec’On the future, a training course in Kosovo.


In this method, the process of documenting a topic in small groups (researching the topic, street interviews, expressing a message and a point of view through video art, etc.) is seen as a tool for adressing the history of a city.

Aside from the techninal parts, the workshop gives the oppotunity to reflect and confront individual and collective memories, involving people from different background into a common project.

As part as Connecting Memories training, we proposed an exploration of Marseille through sound recording, its colonial past, the migration  and the multicultural atmosphere.

Example of theoretical / reflective session :

What’s a documentary?

Open a brainstorm on the word “documentary”. What do you associate with this word?

Documentaries are likely to be described as “objective”

Open a discussion questionning subjectivity : can a documentary really be objective? Have you ever seen documentaries showing conflicting point of view?

Example of practical session :

Sound postcards

After getting an overview of the city and its neighbourhood (after a tour or after a presentation through a map), the participants get a 2 hours session to go explore the city in small groups (3-5 people).

With a recorder or simply a smartphone, their task is to record sounds representative of the atmosphere of a neighbourhood and to add a voiceover. The voiceover should “fill” all the senses that are not recorded : what they see, what they smell, what they taste (why not!) and what they sense, as physical sensation or emotions.