Thursday, 14 June 2007

Hometown Baghdad

So this is a series filmed by three Iraqi twenty somethings in Baghdad. The films have been edited and produced by a US based company - targetting their films at a young US based audience. Distributed on the Internet it is a part of the new generation of citizenship type journalism that is now really proliferating as more and more people are gaining access to technology. Here is one of the men opening his new camera.

The Iraquis all speak English with an American accent. I assume they were selected out of the many who applied to be involved in the films, partly because of their excellent English and partly for their accents - which no doubt would give them a 'just like us' appeal for the target US audience. But at times the American accent seems ironic in the face of the sometimes anti-American comments the participants make.

Suffice to say, that not many Iraquis are really gonna be able to watch this stuff since few have computers, fewer have the Internet, and less still have Broadband, - and even then it takes hours to watch a two minute snippet (apparently.)

Distributed across more than one site, the primary home for these short episodes seems to be the blog, but each film is hosted by YouTube and it is really interesting to see the comments ther, under each episode. Some of them are unbelievably cynical . Many are very anti Muslim or anti Iraq comments. Many are empathetic to the Iraqui situation.

I was interested in how a comment on one of the films a comment refers to how YouTube keeps re-setting the number of comments:

timsmedia (2 hours ago)
the view count and comments on this vid have been reset AGAIN!!!!! obviously youtube are under orders not to let this video get too popular as its a nuisance to the American military-industrial complex.


At the time of copying this comment and writing this post there were only 23 comments and just over a thousand views. The last time I looked (last week) there had indeed been over two hundred comments and over 4,000 views.

The 36th out of the 38 films shows the dentist Saif's fiancee leaving Baghdad. Despite being a qualified dentist, he has not been given his cerrtificate in order to prevent him leaving. He considers giving up his career to save his sanity.

Reading between the lines

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