Human Trafficking

Let’s start Day Two of our 10-day Parallel Lives programme with a definition just to get us ALL on the same page….”the unlawful act of transporting or coercing people in order to benefit from their work or service, typically in the form of forced labour or sexual exploitation.”

Today I will be showcasing three separate events to highlight this issue and hopefully raise some awareness for people interested in helping and knowing the signs to look out for. It is all around us, in many instances in plain sight, but only if you know what to look for. The high profile cases grab the headlines but it’s the everyday situations that are truly horrific. The ease with which it happens and also those involved, especially in positions of power and trust that often enable the crime.

Continue reading “Human Trafficking”

Fundraising in a Pandemic

On the first day of our 10-day Parallel Lives event programme we focus on Fundraising in a Pandemic.

I will be talking with two individuals currently working to raise funds for their respective organisations that operate in low resource settings on two different continents.

Jane talks in the interview about a new campaign launched in January called the New Year, New Shoes Campaign.

Throughout February, Jane is running 5km at 8.00 am every morning to raise awareness of the campaign. After speaking to several funders, who did not see the importance of their school children having shoes, Jane took it upon herself to raise the money.

Continue reading “Fundraising in a Pandemic”

Parallel Lives 10-day Programme

Thursday 11th – Saturday 20th February

Welcome to the Parallel Lives 10-day programme – each day I will host interviews with documentarians throughout the majority world covering Central & South America, Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia.

I’ll post a blog each day with relevant documentary film, photography, audio, and new media materials included as sources of information.

Several interviews will be pre-recorded but the majority are being live-streamed through the Documentary Media Centre Facebook Page.

Click the logo to go directly there:

Programme: a blog will be posted to cover each day –

Day 1 – Thursday 11th – Fundraising in a Pandemic – Jane Holden from the Andrew Grene Foundation (Haiti) and Ken Dunn from Africa’s Gift (Lesotho)

Day 2 – Friday 12th – Human Trafficking – DMU Communication Arts students online ‘Community Media Cafe’ & Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan (Sri Lanka / Nepal)

Day 3 – Saturday 13th – World Radio Day – Community Radio Showcase in partnership with Rob Watson of DeCentered Media – ‘live’ via YouTube stream

Day 4 – Sunday 14th – Child Trauma & Conflict – Prof. Panos Vostanis (Greece)

Day 5 – Monday 15th – Social Activism – Kavita Ashok (India), Pallavi Priya (India), Bazlur Rahman (Bangladesh) & Kieran Breen (UK)

Day 6 – Tuesday 16th – Photography from Africa – John Wambugu & Joel Lukhovi (Kenya)

Day 7 – Wednesday 17th – Memories of Home – how do we keep the memories alive when we move away from our home?

Day 8 – Thursday 18th – Students and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Uchyu Vanara (Cambodia), Steve Graham (Cambodia) and Mark Charlton (UK)

Day 9 – Friday 19th – Focus on South America – Peru / Colombia / Brazil

Day 10 – Saturday 20th – World Day of Social Justice – Pakistan Showcase with co-host Andy Goss

I hope you enjoy the programme.

John Coster

Founder – Documentary Media Centre




Online Programme: January – March 2021

Welcome to our first blog post of 2021.

We still find ourselves in rather strange times with no discernable end in sight. When the first lockdown started back in March 2020 we took the necessary steps to keep the dream of a truly independent museum archive and library alive by moving our events online. We wanted to have conversations about the global issues that really matter by focusing on 100+ countries spread across the majority world – they range from Central & South America to Africa, South Asia to South-East Asia – real people, real places, and (probably for the first time) a real event that is affecting us all……an opportunity for documentarians to capture their world, through their eyes, using documentary media – film, photography, audio, and new media.

Conflict shapes the world in which live. From the large global conflagrations of the 20th century, we have become entrenched in localized regional disputes that cause even more damage. And when I say damage, I don’t mean material damage e.g. infrastructure. I’m talking about the systematic targeting of civilians and the state-sponsored acts to drive them out or in some cases, exterminate them. The impact of these conflicts needs to be shared. Not through news outlets or different methods of reportage. But through the education of young people so they get a better understanding of the world they are inheriting. This will be the basis for our new ‘think tank’ project called Conflict Memory and Education.

Please join us for the first 10-day programme as we try to discover the most effective ways to approach this task.


Thursday 21st – Saturday 30th

Conflict Reportage Archive – a 10-day programme of interviews covering the theme of conflict memory and how we can discuss this important subject in educational settings – both formal and informal. It will build on the themes covered in the first 24-hour Conflict Reportage Newsroom back in May 2020 throughout World Press Freedom Day.

A blog will be posted each day to support the filmed interview with relevant documentary film, photography, audio, and new media materials.

Click here to visit the site



Thursday 11th – Saturday 20th

Parallel Lives – a 10-day programme of interviews covering the theme of social justice across the majority world.

Countries include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Haiti, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Nepal, Pakistan, and Uganda.

A blog will be posted each day with relevant documentary film, photography, audio, and new media materials.

All content will be hosted on this website.



Thursday 18th – Saturday 27th

Museum of Community Media  – a 10-day programme covering the themes of social movement media, community media, and digital advocacy. I will be joined by issue experts in these areas, Dr. Paul Reilly and Dr. Rob Watson to explore the archiving of the Citizens Eye community news agency (2008-2014). With a collection of 15,000+ images, 1200+ videos, and printed media, the archiving of this slice of Leicester’s social history is supported by the Media Archive of Central England (MACE).

A blog will be posted each day with relevant documentary film, photography, audio, and new media materials.

All content will be hosted on a new website:


WotBox Heritage Newsroom


WotBox Heritage Newsroom

10th December 2.00pm-6.00pm


You can follow the event on the Wot Space Facebook Page 

  • 2.00pm Newsroom Starts – Welcome & Overview to the Wot Box Heritage Project funded by Y HeritageTina Barton – Education and Engagement Director, Documentary Media Centre.

  • 2:10pm – Interview with Ros Kerslake, CEO Heritage Lottery – Ros will talk about the importance of youth engagement and what the Heritage Lottery is currently doing to support the creative engagement and involvement of young people within museum and heritage locations.

  • 2:40pm – Amy Christer – Y Heritage Support Coordinator – Listen to our WOTBox Heritage reporters interview Amy about her work on the Kick The Dust project and the impact the projects had locally.

  • 3.00pm – Joanna Fleetwood-Smith – Y Business Development Director – Join our WOTBox Heritage reporter Rochana find out about the impact of Kick The Dust and the projects legacy.

  • 3.20pm – Emma Fay – Artistic Director, Enter Edem – listen to Emma sharing her experience of hosting a young person for a Y Heritage Kick the Dust funded project at Welford Road Cemetery.

  • 3:30pm – Saul Argent – Hope Streets Project Coordinator, Curious Minds – Listen to members of the WOTBox Heritage team interview Saul about their recently successful KickThe Dust project.

  • 4.00pm – Rachel Ayrton – Learning & Interpretation Manager, King Richard III Visitor Centre – Join WOTBox Heritage reporter Carl as he talks to Rachel about the importance of youth engagement with museum and heritage locations.

  • 4:30pm – Zam Zam Yusuf – Heritage Development Officer, Leicestershire Cares – Find out about Leicestershire Cares ‘Kick The Dust’ funded project, the impact and the opportunities created for young people.

  • 5.00pm – Jodie Lees – Creative Programme Manager, Sudbury Hall – Hear our WOTBox Heritage reporters catch up with Jodie to find out the importance of the creative engagement and involvement of young people within heritage.

  • 5:30pm – Paul Brown – CEO, YMCA Leicester – Paul discusses the Kick The Dust project, the impact the projects had and why projects such as this are important for the residents of the YMCA.

  • 5:50pm – Juliet Martin – Y Heritage Project Manager & Tina Barton – Education and Engagement Director, Documentary Media Centre – Join us for a newsroom wrap-up as we review the highlights from the event and thank our WOTBox Heritage reporters and our guests.

Further links:

Kick The Dust:

Y Heritage Project:

Y Heritage, Kick The Dust funding information:

Join us on social media:








Conflict Reportage Archive: Sousveillance Newsroom

On 18 September 2020, the Doc Media Centre hosted a sousveillance newsroom organised by Dr Paul J Reilly and John Coster.

For more information and to view the two recorded interviews please click below:

Sousveillance Newsroom – Blog by Dr P J Reilly 

Parallel Lives 24 hour Newsroom

The Parallel Lives 24 hour Newsroom was hosted at the Documentary Media Centre on Wednesday 19th August (00:00-23:59).

Parallel Lives is a project that covers 100+ countries and aims to connect people who create and produce documentary forms of media …. film, photography, audio & new media.

The power of story-living from individuals offers a way to challenge mainstream media bias, social prejudice and enhance social understanding through education of global issues.

The conversation was ‘live’ throughout the newsroom on the DMC social media channels:

Twitter & Instagram @DocMediaCentre

Documentary Media Centre Facebook Pageclick here


00:00 Welcome to the start of the 24 hour Parallel Lives newsroom – ‘live’ talk about Parallel Lives on Facebook Page

01:00 Indonesia

Lok ba intan Floating MarketBanjarmasin, South Kalimantan, Borneo, Indonesia

The River City – 720,000 people

Photo by Kar Lina

02:00 Cambodia

Samatipal Pagoda – the name means meditation – in Banteymeanch Province, near the border with Thailand.

Image by Kimmarita Long

Image by Kimmarita Long

Phnom Penh traffic – image by Channita Chheng

03:00 Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur – Image by Xin Jian Wong

04:00 Pakistan

University of Lahore – evening time – image by Farzeen Sarwar

Image by Farzeen Sarwar

05:00 Kenya

Mind Me Pirates Community Library – image by John Wambugu, CEO Mind Me International

Safe Study Space – image by John Wambugu

Click this link to view the Mind Me International website

05:30 India

Here is the link to Pallavi’s organisation on Facebook: A Cause For Celebration

06:00 Burundi

The East African country is a former German colony and lived under Belgian rule until gaining independence almost 60 years ago. A report says its leaders plan to ask the two ex-rulers to pay damages — and not just cash.


07:00 Bangladesh

Website for the Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication

08:00 Thailand / Laos

Pat Kotchapakdee was a recipient of a grant from the National Geographic Society for this project: Kalomese Tribe in Laos: Lost Tattoos and the Stories Behind Them

08:30 India

Follow Kavita Ashok on Twitter @kavitaashok1969

09:00 Iraq

Dr Ahmed Bahiya is a member of the Media Discourse CentreDe Montfort University, Leicester, UK.

10:00 Nigeria

Click the link to view The Backwaters short documentary by Cletus Clement on the Milano Mobile Film Festival website.

11:00 Oman

11:30 Sri Lanka / Nepal

Interview with social entrepreneur Zinthiya Ganeshpanchan, Founder of the Zinthiya Trust and the Bear Earth CIC.

12:00 Nigeria

Interview with Israel Kashim Audu, Founder of the Kaduna International Film Festival in Nigeria.

14:00 Uganda

14:30 Colombia / Mozambique & Brazil / Afghanistan & India

Interview with Andy Salkeld (Cycling Coordinator, Leicester City Council) and Janet Hudson (Transport Development Officer, Leicester City Council) about the upcoming Ride Leicester Festival 2020 programme and the cycling projects across the globe that have inspired their work in the city.

15:30 Nicaragua / El Salvador

By Gail Brown

Interview with Gail Brown from the Leicester Coffee House Company recorded by Dr Rob Watson, Founder of the Decentered Media podcastclick here to listen

16:00 Haiti

Find out more about the Andrew Grene High School and the work of the Andrew Grene Foundation in Haiti.

17:00 Honduras / Nepal / Nigeria

Interview with Sarah J Reilly MA, Disability Rights Advocate and Researcher about the challenges globally for the 1 billion people with disabilities (15% of global population) when it comes to access to information and resources.

18:00 Yemen

Interview with Kulsum Hafeji, Founder of the Colours of Leicester project about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

If you want to find out more, please click the link to a resource list we’ve created on the Conflict Reportage Archive website.

18:30 Guatemala / Mexico

Interview with Thomas Bowers, Archaeologist (University of Leicester MA) about the global trade in trafficked antiquities.

19:00 Peru

Interview with Thilo Boeck, Transitions Project Director at the Amantani NGO.

Please support their Laptops for Education campaign on 

You can also view the ‘Meet My World‘ films created by the young people involved in the project – click here

20:00 Brazil

Interview with Dr Paul Reilly, Senior Lecturer in Social Media and Digital Society (Information School, The University of Sheffield) about the Parallel Lives project and the countries covered on the 24 hour newsroom.

21:00 Lesotho / Burkina Faso

Interview with Iara Lee, Film Director and Activist about her new Lesotho documentary film and how she identifies the stories that need filming.

Burkinabé Rising: the Art of Resistance in Burkina Faso click for Full Documentary (FREE to watch)

From Trash to Treasure: Turning Negatives into Positivesclick for Full Documentary (FREE to watch)


22:00 South & North Korea / Iraq / Oman & Zanzibar / Brazil

Interview with Dodge Billingsley of Combat Films and Research in Utah, USA.

Click to view a resource list of Dodge’s documentary films from the Conflict Reportage Archive’s 24 hour newsroom in May 2020.

23:00 Panama / Zambia / Morocco / Somalia

Panama by Gemma Twitchen

Lusaka, Zambia by Mohammed

Ndola, Zambia by Mohammed

Tinguir, Atlas Mountains in Morocco – By Sabah

Garowe in Somalia

23:59 Finish!

John Coster is a freelance Journalist, Educator & Documentarian who established the Documentary Media Centre (a registered independent Museum Archive & Library) in 2014 and organises regular educational pop-up events.

It operates from Northampton Street, Leicester with events (Reportage Club), exhibitions (DocSpace), training programme (DocFolio) and themed newsrooms.

The Documentary Media Centre also hosts the Conflict Reportage Archive and Women’s Research Centre.










World Oceans Day Newsroom

John Coster & Gerhard Haas hosted a 10 hour newsroom on Monday 8th June to mark World Oceans Day 2020.

Our conversations were ‘live’ between 10am-8pm GMT on the Documentary Media Centre Facebook Page and twitter feed @DocMediaCentre

World Oceans Day 2020 Resources


The Silent World – Jacques Cousteau (1956) Winner Best Documentary Feature 1956 Academy Awards


The End Of The Line: Where Have All The Fish Gone – A Film By Robert Murray (2009)


An Inconvenient Truth (2006) and An Inconvenient Sequel – Truth to Power (2017)



Mission Blue (Trailer) 1hr 34 mins (2014) Netflix



A Plastic Ocean (Trailer) 1 hr 40 mins (2016) Netflix



The Deep Dozen by Chris Gunn (You Tube Channel)


Black Coral – New Zealand Oceanagraphic Survey 1986 – John Coster, Operation Raleigh Phase 8A



National Geographic magazines: issues covering the oceans and the challenges faced in 2020.

Issue: 06.2018 Planet or Plastic?


Issue 04.2007 Saving the Sea’s Bounty


Issue 10.2010 Special Report – The Spill

Photos You Haven’t Seen / Stories You Haven’t Heard


Issue 08.2009 Vanishing Venice


Issue 11.2019 Women – A Century of Change

Dr Sylvia Earle – Oceanographer & National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence



@WorldOceansDay #WorldOceansDay


@Oceana #StandForOceans




Podcasts by Gerhard Haas, Plastic Activist at the Environmental Newsroom



New Media:

SDG14 Life Below Water

Covid-19’s Plastic Waste Problem

Mission Blue – Hope Spots



10 Hour World Oceans Day Newsroom – Issue Experts

Julian Cribb – Science author with a focus on major existential challenges for humanity: food security, climate, extinction and the poisoning of the Planet.



Kavita Ashok – Environmentalist / President of Tree For Life NGO



Pallavi Priya – Founder at Cause for Celebration / Also Eco Friendly World

Twitter @CauseforCeleb @EcoFrndlyWorld


Alexandra Knight – Climate Change Cinema and TV Global Advert (CIC)

Twitter @Plastic_Ad – a petition to create a #climatechange advert to show globally in the media

Instagram @GlobalClimateChangeAdvert



Paul Dawson – Making videos and sharing news about the climate crisis

Twitter @PaulEDawson


Sarah Goody – Vegan Teen Climate Activist

Twitter @SarahGoody4


Ocean Voyages Institute – Project Kaisei

SV Kwai is currently on a voyage to pull ghost nets from the North Pacific gyre chartered by the Ocean Voyages Institute. Please click through to their Facebook Page to donate and support their work in 2020.




Thomas Bowers, Researcher – Wreck Salvage & Reef Destruction

The world’s biggest grave robbery: Asia’s disappearing WW2 wrecks:  By Oliver Holmes, Monica Ulmanu and Simon Roberts Fri 3 Nov 2017 WWII shipwrecks sold as scrap in Indonesia – Al Jazeera – 23rd November 2016 AP Archive 2010 – Shows that those salvaging these wrecks are desperate Chinese Salvage Company website

Gerhard’s website:

Conflict Reportage 24 hour Newsroom

Please click each link below to access the resources produced during each element of the 24-hour programme:

Saturday 2nd May

4pm Start – Join us on the Conflict Reportage Archive Facebook Page

5pm Legacy of Conflict – Steve Crump, Founder of Deafkidz International

6pm United Nations Peacekeeping and SDG16 – Mark Charlton, DMU

7pm The Troubles – Paul Reilly – University of Sheffield

9pm Alternative Conflict Reportage

10pm Borders

11pm Afghanistan…..the forever conflict

Sunday 3rd May World Press Freedom Day #WPFD2020

1am Conflict Reporter – Dodge Billingsley (USA) 

3am Media & Research Resources

5am West Africa…the new frontline

6am State Sanctioned Crime

7am Why Do People Take Up Arms

8am Women Reporting Conflict

9am Reporting Global Conflicts 

10am The Human Cost

  • Rupal Rajani – Uganda 1972 expulsion (10am)
  • Sarah Reilly – Women & Girls with disabilities in Conflict (10.30am)
  • Amber Rondel & John Halker – The Twin Towers on 9/11 (11am)

12.00 Genocide

  • Julian Harrison – Holocaust (12.00)
  • Rob Watson – Cambodia (12.45pm)
  • Kim Sadique – Bosnia (1.30pm)

2pm Memories

  • Ben Archer – discussing Military Artist, Peter Archer (2pm)
  • Erin – Aged 9 – studying WW2 in Primary School (3pm)

4pm Finish


Facebook: Conflict Reportage Archive 

Twitter: @conflictreportr