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Cameras Everywhere: Meeting the Challenges at the Intersection of Human Rights, Video and Technology



Sam Gregory, Witness
Bryan Nunez, Witness

Date and Time

October 27, 2011 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM


Open to the public.

No RSVP required


Wallenberg TheaterWallenberg Hall 450 Serra Mall, Building 160 Stanford, Ca 94305-2055


Recently, citizen video has played a central role in mobilizing people and informing the world about countries in crisis.  The lines between the human rights defender, the citizen activist, and the journalist are blurring.  All document violations as well as re-shape existing content. A world of ubiquitous video raises new opportunities to reveal evidence and stories, challenge propaganda, and galvanize publics. It also raises challenges: how to address the the ‘public square’ role of Facebook and YouTube; how to protect anonymity, privacy and safety; how to determine veracity with increasing volumes of content; how to turn visual evidence into real change; and how to highlight less visible struggles. This talk will provide an overview of these challenges and offer concrete recommendations on how to make video-for-change safer, more ethical and more effective. We will showcase the SecureSmartCam, a collaboration between WITNESS and the Guardian Project that attempts to address the needs around online and mobile human rights video.

Sam Gregory helps people use the power of the moving image to create change. He is the Program Director at the human rights organization WITNESS (, where he supervises initiatives that partner on impactful campaigns with grassroots activists, and train and support the growing number of video activists to use video safely, effectively and ethically. Within WITNESS ‘Cameras Everywhere’ Leadership Initiative he identifies solutions to the challenges, and ways to capitalize on the opportunities, presented by increasingly ubiquitous video for human rights - highlighted in the September 2011 'Cameras Everywhere' report.

Sam has created training tools and programs including the WITNESS Video Advocacy Institute, was lead editor on ‘Video for Change’ (Pluto Press, 2005) and teaches ‘Human Rights Advocacy Using Video and Related Multimedia’ as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School. Sam graduated from the University of Oxford and completed a Masters in Public Policy as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar at Harvard.

Bryan Nunez has been at WITNESS (, the leading global organization training and supporting people to use video in human rights advocacy, since 2002. He oversees technology for the organization as well as the development of projects like the Hub, a site for citizen human rights media, and the Secure Smart Cam, a camera-phone app for human rights activists.  Prior to WITNESS, he was a technology strategist and consultant on a variety of projects ranging from online banking to interactive television.  He is an alumnus of the Interactive Telecommunications Program at NYU and has a BA in anthropology from UC Berkeley.