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Spring 2002

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New Resource for Video Artists

New resource for video artists/activists

The Video Activist Handbook
Second Edition
By Thomas Harding
Foreword by Anita Roddick
280 pp. $19,95 paperback
ISBN 0745317707
Pluto Press (
Author’s Website:

Finding plenty of “how-to” books on the use of video equipment for, say, filming a wedding, but nothing giving practical advice to folks involved in social movements and community activism, Shepherdstown resident Thomas Harding initially authored The Video Activist Handbook to assist everyone from the novice to the seasoned campaigner. After its original publication in 1997 and the author’s move to West Virginia, a new and updated edition has been released.

The book covers a range of issues, including selecting and operating equipment, production, editing and distribution of the final product. Although it is geared toward those involved in environmental and other direct action forms of politics, its practical, hands-on approach and comprehensive treatment of video technology will prove useful in a variety of applications. For those also attuned to the ethical concerns of the activists themselves, there is even a rating of equipment manufacturers on such issues as environmental policies and workers’ rights.

Now that video technology has become increasingly interfaced with computer technology, and new forms of public access, like Guerilla News Network, provide an increased range of forums for disseminating grass roots filmmaking, the relevance of this book is no doubt greater than when it was first published.