Maple and Fistra discuss the dangers of filming at a protest. Read More
The use of video permeated every aspect of Maple’s fieldwork, both as a form of fieldnotes and participant observation for his doctoral dissertation project. Though activists weren’t especially interested in Maple’s writing project, but filming Croatian protests transformed his presence into a productive part of activist life. Maple’s own documentary, Occupation (Razsa and Velez 2002), on a three-week student sit-in of the Harvard University president’s office helped convince Croatian activists that Maple could be trusted to participate in and document their activities.
Video was used for a variety of purposes among activists, from self-defense in fending off police excesses to the sharing of tactics developed from other parts of the world. After protests, watching and discussing Maple’s video footage with participants and others proved to be a revealing way of learning about they understood actions and what they hoped to achieve. For more about use of video footage by activists, watch an interview with Maple Razsa and Michael Hardt.