Feedback on participation and authorship panel

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to this session – it certainly led to some lively discussion and helped to frame key debates for the rest of the symposium. The role of the author is key here – from Max Whitby’s work which is all about storytelling, to Siobhan O’Flynn and Faisal Anwar’s work around visualising experience and bringing forth hidden narratives around those experiences. Experience, narrative, story – plenty of food for thought here around approaches to authorship – i-docs can embrace them all, depending on the intent and purpose of the project. Thanks to Kerric Harvey for making this point so clearly. Paulina Tervo’s work showed a well thought-out approach to participation, and a clear commitment to giving something back to the community being documented. Brian Winston reminded us that participation has a well established within the documentary genre that pre-dates i-Docs. And thanks to Jigar Mehta for joining in the debates with Brian around global citizenship. Great to get some inter-generational dialogue going. We all look forward to seeing how 18 Days in Egypt evolves and how indeed it will end. Please do add your comments, as it would be good to continue the discussion, particularly around experience/narrative/story, the role of the director in creating a meaningful experience for the user/participant/interactee, and the ethical position of the author in relation to approaches to participation. Good questions to be asking of the diverse and varied projects that were discussed and shown at i-Docs 2012 and of any other projects in the making.