Video in the Delivery Room

NY Times article: “Rules on cameras in delivery room stir passions”

People who want everything documented (and on Facebook) vs hospitals.  Concerns include the photography/video process distracting the medical staff or getting in the way. 

But also the video (edited or not) being used to sue the medical staff; and interpreted by juries who don’t know what usually goes on in the delivery room.  Someone won a big settlement when a video proved that a nurse-midwife used excessive force. Shades of Rodney King!

C Me In, C Me Out

I was going to bring part of this video as an example to the last class — it’s split into two parts on youtube.

part 1:
part 2:

It was created by Cambodian youth living in East Oakland, through the Streetside Productions project at EBAYC. Some of the young people who were interviewed for a study I worked on were referred through EBAYC, and the narrative in the video resonates with some of their stories.

What I like about this video how it switches between people from different generations, weaving many different kinds of context into the story it’s telling.

And I also like the fact people within the community controlled the making of this film, and sort of got credit for their stories. Of course the film makers have control over how the film’s subjects are depicted, but being part of the community depicted could make the issues around that control a bit less thorny than they are when an outsider with more power is in control. If there is any sensationalizing going on, it’s self-sensationalizing, which seems… different, anyway, from the sensationalism that outsiders telling this story might profit from.

Anyway, I like it.

And I was thinking that it could also be an example of something that might be read differently by an ethnographer than by a non-ethnographer.

A researcher interested in young people from this community might collect Streetside’s videos out of an interest in the stories, but also to scour them for “evidence”, for example maybe instructing interviewers and transcribers to pay special attention to linguistic features in the video that might be unfamiliar to them. Or researchers might be looking for clues for good places to do observation, like San Antonio Park, which is mentioned in the film.

Just btw, the mentions of Duchamp and Van Gogh in the Practices of Looking reading reminded me of this thing, which some people might like: