Documentary filmmakers discuss video's civic role

Filmmakers Catherine Tatge and Dominique Lasseur speak about the role of new video technology in democratic citizenship at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, in the Keck Classroom (Room G52) of Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Their lecture, “Video/Democracy: Civic Life in the Age of YouTube,” is open to the public and admission is free. It is part of the Working Knowledge Series sponsored by the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, the office at Bates charged with the college’s civic engagement and community-based education in Lewiston-Auburn.

The lecture will address whether documentary storytelling through film and video can enable students to pursue social activism and civic engagement in a time when colleges such as Bates are placing public work at the heart of undergraduate education.

Tatge and Lasseur are founders of the nonprofit production company Global Village Media. They will present excerpts from their own cultural and public-affairs documentaries and discuss the Civic Life Project, an innovative international initiative that trains college and high school students to become videographers of their own civic involvement. Bates will take part in the project in 2010-11.

In addition, the two manage a documentary studio creating programming for outlets such as the Public Broadcasting Service. Tatge/Lasseur Productions has produced films and television series for more than two decades on subjects ranging from dance to politics. One of their most notable productions was the miniseries “The Question of God: C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud with Dr. Armand Nicholi,” which aired on PBS in 2004.