Tayna Center for Conservation Biology:
Digital Literacy Project
Effective communication is one of the most important yet least valued skills in conservation and development. INCEF is correcting this by holding workshops in the use of digital video for public awareness. Participants learn everything from developing messages to writing storylines and producing and editing video. The first initiative in this project is the result of an INCEF partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
For six days in May 2005, 34 students from the communications department of the Tayna Center for Conservation Biology (TCCB) scrambled across their campus in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, taking turns directing, filming, editing and even acting in their own conservation videos.
They hauled tripods into the forest, scripted dramatic scenes and dressed as poachers and park guards. At the end of the week, five short films in French and Swahili were completed and shown to a rapt audience of local community members, many of whom walked over an hour to watch the videos and participate in a discussion of the conservation issues raised by each.
The key to generating this strong interest is the core of the INCEF mission: local actors, local directors, local issues, local languages.