#exile6e – a Pirate Docuseries
The European Parliament has long been criticized for a lack of transparency, both in the drafting and decision making, as well as in the chances it leaves for citizens to understand how the parliament really works. In an attempt to increase the transparency, MEP Amelia Andersdotter from the Swedish Pirate Party has started a series of documentary webisodes, that recently started its second season.
The web series, entitled #exile6e, after the corridor in which Andersdotter work, shows the everyday activity of Andersdotter and her colleagues. Its first season was released throughout the summer of 2012, focusing on the vote and rejection of ACTA in three episodes, all around eight minutes long. The second season premiere was released in mid-October, with episode two released this Saturday. The team now plans a new episode at least once a month. The series is released through the Swedish Pirate Party YouTube channel, and all episodes are available under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
Pirate Times sat down with Tess Lindholm, who works as Andersdotter’s communicator and leads the #exile6e project.
We wanted to make it easy for people to follow and understand Amelia’s job as a parliamentarian. There is a lot of work behind every project and every decision, and recording the work done behind the scenes in the parliament was one way to make her work more comprehensible and accessible.
The first episode – “ACTA going down?” – now has over 1 500 views on YouTube, while the second season premiere – “Norwegian Stalkers” – has almost 800 after the first week. According to Lindholm, less than half of the viewers are Swedes. While audio is a mixture of English and Swedish, the entire series has English subtitles. The new season also features Dutch subtitles (French and Romanian are soon to come). The series has a clear international audience, with especially representative viewers in Germany and Belgium.
This is a new way of meeting a parliamentarian, and I think a lot of people like the transparency that the videos create. We are still in the process of learning so the series is getting better for every episode we make.
The idea of documenting parliamentary work may not be brand new, but the concept of a continuing, free and openly licensed web series certainly is.
Amelia Andersdotter’s office is working hard to spread information about her work. You can follow her work on a Facebook page, a Twitter hashtag, an Instagram account and an active blog, all containing many updates from Andersdotter and her assistants.