DESIS in the Mirror @BFI London


Back from the British Film Institute, where we presented the ongoing project ‘Desis in the Mirror’ at the conference ‘Community Filmmaking & Cultural Diveristy’ –

communityfilmmaking Stories on social innovation. Filmmakers and Designers on a dialogue around the moving image practice – Elisa Bertolotti, Andrea Mendoza, Francesca Piredda


DESIS labs have occasionally produced videos, using them as a tools to document, study, communicate, visualize projects, promote dialogue, share and amplify ideas. Our research starts from a question emerged in the network: Is it possible to provide tools that can facilitate non-filmmakers (in this case designers) embarking the quest of representing social innovation by means of moving images?

From there we opened the issue and start mapping the visual experiences conducted inside DESIS network to explore their reasons, goals, production, and distribution processes, trying to understand what designers have learned from their experiences with video production, what have their strategies been to work being non-professional (involving professionals, learning by trial and error) and what relationship might exist between the designers experiences and those from professional filmmakers.

The presentation aims at showing the relationship between the production of stories, moving images and social innovation by presenting a series of video interviews we are conducting with both designers of the network and independent filmmakers who, starting from completely different backgrounds and perspectives, make films about social innovation projects and are using processes and production methods engaging and inviting the participation of different stakeholders and communities.  The presentation would like to contribute to the discussion regarding the digital shift that has facilitated access to knowledge, techniques and technologies having into account the issue of the democratization of production and communication.

If in the field of social innovation researchers say that “everybody is a designer“, what does it actually mean to say that: “nowadays everybody is a video-maker“?


Community Filmmaking and Cultural Diversity: Practice, Innovation and Policy
22 and 23 January, 2014 – BFI Southbank, London