"Video Letters" reunite former neighbours in the Balkans

by Limbic on April 25, 2005

I have seen these broadcast on Serbian TV. I could not understand what was being said but they were heartbreaking to watch anyway. Via SmartMobs:

Former Yugoslavia: Launch of Videoletters community

Monique van Dusseldorp reports Smartmobs about an interesting television project called Videoletters which is trying to rebuild bonds between former friends and neighbours in the Balkans.

Starting in 1999, Dutch documentary makers Katarina Rejger and Eric van den Broek searched and found people willing to send their former friend a ‘video letter’ which they brought across the border to show; filmed the response of the receiver, who could also send a ‘return’ video letter – in some cases also resulting in a first meeting since the war.

The resulting heart breaking 25 minute documentaries are presently being broadcast in weekly installments by the public broadcasters of Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Macedonia. In addition to the TV programme, the Videoletters website offers a social networking website where anyone looking for former contacts can send in a video letter, put out a search request, keep a weblog or add pictures.

Busses equipped with internet connections and webcams and permanent internet counters equipped with webcams are available throughout the countries involved in the project.

Also the site has a multilingual search engine, allows you to connect to people but also to places (which makes sense), and has an ad hoc jury system – if discussions go out of hand or postings are made that are considered offensive, a random selection of members need to decide what to do.

press clippings

fact sheet

More of Mediametic about connecting people in cyberspace via videoletters

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