International Online Symposium: 12-13th August 2021

Many films, videos and television programmes are produced with the intention of creating "social impact" - for example, reducing social discrimination, spreading environmental awareness or changing destructive habits. Media practitioners and researchers discuss a variety of impact strategies such as the emotional persuasion of large or small audiences, participatory production with affected communities or the targeting of individual decision-makers. At the same time, there is considerable disagreement about the feasibility and ethics of certain impact strategies, as well as about the concept of impact itself. The symposium aims to stimulate an exchange between media practitioners, researchers, activists and other stakeholders to better understand the "impact" of audiovisual media in its various dimensions, challenges and forms, be they fictional or non-fictional.



THURSDAY 12 August / Australia: FRIDAY 13 AUGUST

All times in CEST
CST (Central USA): 9.00-13.00; AEST (AUS / Tasmania): 00.00-04.00


16.00 - 16.30: Welcome and Introduction

16.30 - 17.30: Conceptualisations of Impact

  • Bettina Kurz (Phineo, Germany): Social Impact – What, Why and How
  • Frédéric Dubois (HIIG, Germany): A Maker-inclusive Understanding of Impact

17.30 - 18.00: Coffee Break

18.00 - 19.00: Impact Strategies: Reaching Audiences, Working with Communities

  • Patricia Finneran (StoryMatters, USA): Pandemic Effects on Media Impact Campaigns
  • Angela Aguayo (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA): The Documentary Commons as Political Action – Establishing Critical and Ethical Impact Assessment

19.00 - 19.15: Comfort Break

19.15 - 20.15: Discussion: Strategies and Ethics of Impact

  • Introduction by John Corner (Leeds, UK)



FRIDAY 13 August / Australia: SATURDAY 14 August

All times in CEST
CST (Central USA): 04.00-10.00; AEST (AUS / Tasmania): 19.00 - 01.00


11.00 - 12.00: Video for Change

  • Andrew Lowenthal (EngageMedia, AUS): Social Change through Digital Video
  • David Knight (London, UK): Political Campaign Videos and the Pedagogy of Impact

12.00 - 13.00: Lunch Break

13.00 - 14.30: Non-Fictional Forms and Impact

  • Florence Ayisi  (Cardiff, UK): Bridging the North-South Divide through Documentary Film
  • Sue Sudbury (Bournemouth, UK): Village Tales – Creative Practice and the Challenges of Evidencing Impact
  • Dan Jackson (Bournemouth, UK): Channel 4 and the Paralympics – How a UK Broadcaster is Reframing Disability

14.30 - 15.00: Coffee Break

15.00 - 16.30: Fictional Forms and Impact

  • Naima Alam (University of Tübingen, Germany): Narrative Strategies for Animated Development Communication – Examples from BRAC in Bangladesh
  • Samantha Iwowo (Bournemouth, UK): Scripting and Filming Paint Brush – Exploring the Identity of Black, Teenage and Female in a Nigerian Diaspora Community of Peckham in London
  • Peter Hartwig (Kineo Productions, Germany): From the Middle of Society – The Audience is More Mature than Some Decision Makers Think

16.30 - 17.00: Closing Discussion


Symposium Website

You can find the recorded presentations and other resources on:

Organisers & Funders