By Nick Higgins
So it’s all about to kick off. The big Yes campaign that no matter what will take its place in the history books as a fascinating chapter in the history of Scotland, but what about the views of the people – those outwith the corridors of influence and reportage at Holyrood and Pacific Quay? Where might those voices be heard, those realities engaged? Beyond a simple vote, what might an active participatory democracy look like in the digital age?
If embraced, I believe the Northern Lights documentary film project might just be a good answer to that question! For the first time ever, the people of Scotland can pick up their cameras, turn on their webcams,or look into their mobile phones and tell us exactly what they see and think. Over at wearenorthernlights.com we are gathering together all this material and when submissions close on June 21st. We will then edit this footage into a unique feature length documentary that will then tour back to the folks who made it.
It is a heck of a project, and it seeks to make a portrait of the nation in 2012, which is why I find myself writing here. We need folks with opinions, causes and passions to share their voice with us. We’re already hard at work with those communities who rarely engage in media and arts projects and we run about four workshops a week with those considered hard to reach, often leaving cameras behind us for them to continue filming.
So far we’ve received over 500 video submissions to the project, with videos from as far afield as Orkney and Skelmorlie. We accept submissions in any language and whilst we appreciate a beautifully composed video, what we really want are authentic, direct, uncensored visions about who we are and where we are going.
So what are you waiting for? Take out your camera and lets see if we can create a new vision of Scotland as seen through the eyes of those that live here. Find out more at http://www.wearenorthernlights.com
This weeks guest editor on the site is Lesley Riddoch, who when submission end on June 21st will also judge the best issue-based video submission.