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DEV on film: media festival moves online 

You’re a student and you’re all set to host a media festival from film footage and photos you’ve collated...and then COVID-19 scuppers your plans. What do you do? Why, you take it online of course! 

Two third-year International Development students, Emma Marzi and Georgia Penrose, had spent the year organising a media festival to showcase the work of students and staff in the School of International Development (DEV).  

With physical screenings and exhibitions of films and photos unable to go ahead this summer due to COVID-19, the pair took to launching an online version of the festival - spawning the creation of the new ‘A Vision of Development’ interactive website.  

So far, the website has featured films and photographs on everything from community-based agriculture to experiences of displacement, as it aims to reflect the breadth of topics learnt and taught in DEV. It’s not just the work of current students making its way onto the website, work from alumni and gems uncovered from delving into the DEV archive are also taking virtual centre stage.  

As a collection, the pair hope it can illustrate a ‘vision’ of how development can be bettered and open debates about our future by sharing the work of both students (past and present) and staff.  

Co-organiser and contributor, Emma shared how the virtual festival came about, she said: “Back in October 2019, we had an idea to put on a physical exhibition to celebrate the multimedia work of DEV. Unable to see this through due to COVID-19, we saw it as a unique opportunity to create a different platform to exhibit work to a wider audience, especially as people’s lives have been a lot more ‘virtual’.” 

When asked about the future of this project, Georgia, said: “We hope to have it exist as a sort of ‘living entity’ that is inherited and passed down year-on-year to be continually updated as we, as a student body along with DEV staff, continue to produce inspiring pieces of film and encounter ‘development’ through photographic lenses.” 

Senior lecturer in DEV, David Girling, said: "It’s great to see an example of how enterprising our students are despite the current challenges. A Vision of Development will offer an insight into the world of Development studies through media submitted by our very own students. We hope to see future cohorts making submissions and showcasing their work and contribution to the legacy of this project."

Visit the ‘A Vision of Development’ website to take a look at some of the festival pieces and stay in the loop with all the latest updates by following the Facebook page