Description of the project:

Participatory video is a process where stakeholders are involved in making their own video to tell their story in their own words. It gives stakeholders a direct voice using a very powerful communication medium.

In November 2011, CANARI and UWI mFisheries implemented a pilot project to use participatory video to help the fishers of Blanchisseuse communicate challenges faced by fishers in their community to partners who can help them to address these problems. The project was funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The Motorola Defy smartphones used by the participants were provided courtesy BG Trinidad and Tobago as part of the mFisheries project.


The objectives were to:

  • identify challenges in the fishing industry in Blanchisseuse;
  • identify potential solutions to the challenges identified;
  • document the challenges and solutions using video captured on the smartphones;
  • create a video telling the story;
  • discuss ways to use the video for advocacy with partners to address the challenges identified; and
  • form partnerships with various organisations to address the challenges in the Blanchisseuse fishing industry.


CANARI facilitated a two-day workshop with eleven persons from the Blanchisseuse community who worked to develop a video that told the story of their challenges, how those challenges were affecting the fishers and possible ideas to address those challenges. Many of the participants were members of the newly formed Blanchisseuse Fisherfolk and Marine Life Association. The community members were the producers, writers, videographers, narrators and interviewers. The videos were captured on the Motorola Defy smartphones that are used by fishers as part of the mFisheries project.

Five representatives of the Blanchisseuse community later met with partner organisations to present the video and discuss how they can assist with addressing the problems facing fishers.



  • The video produced by the Blanchisseuse community empowered them by giving them a voice to better communicate their problems and seek support from key partners to address them. Community members felt that the video enabled all the stakeholders to articulate their challenges and proposed solutions. Many community members are intimidated when directly addressing decision-makers but they are more comfortable expressing their opinions to their peers who are interviewing them.
  • The video also empowered the community because the participants were the authors, directors, producers, videographers and editors of the video. They were able to tell their own story and participants said that they felt very proud of their work.
  • The participants learned to use video to communicate the problems in the fishing community and to conduct advocacy to engage partners to address their problems.
  • Partners were able to better understand the complex problems faced by Blanchisseuse fishers and discuss how they could assist with and advise on specific solutions to address these.