"My World Cup" Making Community Media in Cape Town
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the University of Washington (UW) partnered with Cape Town Community Television to produce a series of short films looking at the impacts of the World Cup on multiple communities in Cape Town. Professor Ron Krabill, Georgia Roberts, Angelica Macklin, and media artist jesikah maria ross designed the program to coincide with the UW's Comparative History of Ideas annual study abroad program, which had consistently brought students to South Africa for a number of years. This time the curriculum was expanded to focus on the significance of the World Cup being held in South Africa, and on the African continent, for the first time in history. We are interested in understanding both the short-term and long-term impacts of this mega event in both symbolic and material terms. As critical media scholars who also practice the art of making digital media, we incorporated the production of media into the course as a primary medium through which students could explore a wide range of issues and tell stories as they came to understand them through the process of using film as an investigative tool. We also had the advantage of partnering with Cape Town Community Television and working with Program Director Thabo Bopape and Station Manager Karen Thorne to incorporate our films into a weekly television magazine series titled "My World Cup" as well as use them for inserts between programs.
The structure and plan was in place for a rich community media project, however, the most significant aspect of the project was the recruiting of local media activists, filmmakers, and community media organizers to partner with UW students and lead each of the nine media teams. This strategy was vital to the process of making media "with" rather than "about" communities and people around Cape Town. First, being visitors, we did not have the same perspective of place that people who live in Cape Town have. Second, the local media activists were much more aware of, and involved with, the pulse of life in their own communities, which became the focus of many of the films. They helped generate story ideas that were important to the people in the films, as much as they were important broader questions of the effects of the World Cup on the everyday experience.
We had nine production teams made up of two UW students and one local video journalist. Each team had the task of creating a video story related to impacts of the World Cup. These are the stories these teams created during our brief encounter with Cape Town as a host city for the 2010 World Cup: "My World Cup" Videos