Stop Watching TV, Make It!

Our Connected Action for the Commons hub Les Têtes de l’Art presents: #Open TV crowdfunding campaign.

In December 2015, Les Têtes de l’Art, one of the hubs of our Connected Action for the Commons programme, hosted a workshop on crowdfunding for their local community in Marseille, held by our Barcelona based hub Platoniq/Goteo. You can read more about their experience in the articles on Crowdfunding and the Commons (part 1 and part 2) in our Library.

Since then, Les Têtes de l’Art has been working on a campaign for one of their community-led projects: #Open TV, which they launched on the Goteo platform on 29 February. We take this opportunity to talk to the people behind this initiative: Sam Khebizi, director of Les Tête de l’Art, and Quentin Laurent, managing Télévision participative du 3ème at Les Têtes de l’Art.

Les Têtes de l’art and Goteo are both members of the Connected Action for the Commons programme and have been working together on various activities for the past two years. How did the idea come up to run a campaign for this particular project?

We have welcomed the founders of Goteo, Olivier Schulbaum and Enric Senabre in Marseille in December 2015 to deliver a workshop on crowdfunding for our local community, including both project makers and potential funders. That’s when we experienced all the potential of the Goteo platform and thought we could also try it for one of our own projects to start with.

Not only is it an efficient and ergonomically designed platform, it’s also one of the very few platforms to defend the principles of the third sector economy. That’s what makes it different from commercial crowdfunding platforms. Once we would have experienced it ourselves, we could then promote the tool within our communities.

Can you tell us what #Open TV is about and why it is important?

#Open TV is a shared TV studio with a social vocation. The principle is to offer the possibility to citizens― including non professional media makers or young film makers, to produce a TV show in a professional studio. Why? Nowadays, it’s very easy to shoot a video for the web with a smartphone, but it remains difficult for non professionals to get access to a real studio setting with a professional team ready to film. Video can be disseminated everywhere and go beyond the commercial filters of traditional media. We aim to create a production tool open to everybody, using a spirit of open source, allowing encounters and the sharing of knowledge. We believe that another audio-visual language is possible, free from restraints on format or viewing figures, and independent from advertising.

We have been working with video for twenty years and have followed all the technological revolutions from analogical to digital. Five years ago, we wanted to share our experience in order to foster social relationship within our district, the third arrondissement of Marseille, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in France, but so rich in human relations. That's how TV3 was born. Since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, we have been more aware of the need to take our project further by creating a TV studio made for social purposes: #OpenTV. 

#OpenTV is:

  • a 100 square meter space, which includes a direction table, a television studio to welcome the makers and the audience and a small cosy space to relax,
  • professional HD equipment for filming and live or time delayed streaming,
  • a team composed by TV professionals and volunteers that can adapt to the needs of every filming.

Who can use the TV studio and how will you make it available to people?

Access is very straightforward. Once your project has been approved – by the project coordinator Quentin, the #Open TV team offers you to set up free of charge or for a small financial contribution. The main condition is that you do not aim to make money out of your production. Users keep full control of the dissemination of their contents.

How can people contribute to your campaign, beyond just giving financial support?

We need people to spread the news, help us build awareness about our project beyond our region. We also invite professionals to join our team occasionally as volunteers. We also would like to see more communities engaging in citizen media activities and we are willing to provide our expertise and know-how to help them build their own media.

For more, follow Les Têtes de l’Art on Twitter, Facebook and join the crowdfunding campaign.