Margaret Mead Film Festival

If you happen to live in “that other Manhattan” (the one in New York), you might want to check out our special session at the Margaret Mead Film Festival on user-generated content on Sunday November 11th from 4:30-6:30 pm. I’m super-excited about it. I’ll be on stage with Sara Pollack (YouTube), Sameer Padania from the Hub (, Michael Smolens (dotSUB), Jenny Douglas (Karmatube), and Silas Hagerty (director of Lusaka Sunrise). Amazing group!
Here’s the blurb:

This program, moderated by Michael Wesch, assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, takes a look at user-created content on YouTube, The Hub, and KarmaTube. Earlier this year, Wesch created a short video, Web 2.0 … The Machine Is Us/ing Us, that quickly became the most popular video in the blogosphere. Other presenters include Sara Pollack, YouTube’s film manager; Sameer Padania, manager of The Hub, a new, participatory website that supports the strategic use of video to address human rights abuses online and offline; Michael Smolens, founder and CEO of dotSUB, a site that has developed unique browser-based applications to facilitate wiki-style volunteer or professional captioning and subtitling of video into any language; Jenny Douglas, co-creator and coordinator of KarmaTube, an online collection of “short, ‘do something’ videos, coupled with simple actions that every viewer can take”; and Silas Hagerty, director of Lusaka Sunrise, a documentary short that focuses on how soccer is being used as a catalyst to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS to youth in Zambia, which can be viewed on YouTube and KarmaTube.

More info (and tickets):


Associate professor of cultural anthropology. Ed Traceur. Hacker. Car-free.

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3 Responses

  1. Nice panel ~ I’m glad I was able to attend. Your presentation was easily the best and most thoughtful of those assembled. I wanted to hear more about “what all this means,” but I suppose that’s a discussion for another panel. I also sensed a desire in the audience to talk about some of the less-than-positive aspects of digital video, which I blogged a little about over at Anyway, delighted to see you in the “other Manhattan.” And, do keep the rest of us academics updated on the screenshots for the tenure file. That’s a discussion that I know many of us will be following with great interest. Keep up the good work! ;-)

  1. November 13, 2007

    [...] On Sunday, I caught one of the featured panels at the Margaret Mead Film Festival, which I wrote a little about here. The panel featured several people involved creating “user-generated content” including the engaging cultural anthropologist Michael Wesch (from Kansas State University), who created the mesmerizing and wildly popular Web 2.0 video; Sara Pollack, YouTube’s film manager; Sameer Padania from Witness, introducing the new participatory online video site for human rights organizations The Hub; and Michael Smolens, founder and CEO of dotSUB, a sort of wikipedia-like translation site for films; and, Jenny Douglas, introducing her new site called KarmaTube. While the panelists tended to focus on the democratizing and emancipatory potential of digital video and video sharing sites, in the Q&A afterward there seemed to be some desire to talk about the negative potential of the medium. For example, Sameer Padania screened a horrific video of police brutality from Egypt that is intended to highlight human rights abuses and prompt action by people opposed to such abuses. I wondered about the people who click on such horrific videos to enjoy them or laugh at them; and, I wondered about the ways that seemingly straightforward “video evidence” like the Rodney King video, get discredited by oppressive political regimes, like the Egyptian police or LAPD. This view was certainly not well-represented on the panel, but to be fair, that wasn’t the intention. [...]

  2. January 4, 2008

    [...] Ein Video von Prof. Michael Wesch und der Arbeitsgruppe Digital enthnography Kansas State University. Weiteres zum Video hier. [...]