Cheap digital technology and broadband access have broken the moving-image monopoly held by production companies and broadcasters. In its place a new theatre of public information has emerged.
It is a messy, alternative realm of video creation and exchange that extends across the internet, television, festivals and campaigns. This report charts the rise of the ‘Video Republic’ across Europe, a new space for debate and expression dominated by young people.
Drawing on extensive research with experts and young people in the UK, Turkey, Germany, Romania and Finland, it argues that the stakes are high, both for the contributors to this realm and for the democracies they live in. Confusion about regulation, copyright and privacy means that young people are plunging headlong into an uncertain set of new relationships online. And around Europe, new types of expressive inequality are emerging as many are held back
from participating by poor access and a lack of resources.
As young people experience greater freedoms online, many are choosing to ‘route around’ political and cultural institutions rather than take them on directly. This poses a profound challenge to decision-makers, but it also creates new opportunities. For democracies starved of legitimacy, it offers hope for a new sphere of democratic expression and participation. With a range of recommendations for government, media and the private sector, this report outlines how we can channel the creativity locked inside the Video Republic.