Call for Applications – Digital Activism: Tools & Tactics

Activist training for media & communications

Digital activism has become vital to the work of social change. The digital era has meant online organising, mobilising and campaigning is now a daily part of activists’ toolkits. Skilled media persons with political insight and a social conscience are thus crucial to the healthy functioning and effectiveness of today’s social movements and organisations. 

However, there is a notable scarcity of those with both technical skills and a progressive political understanding. This is perhaps because the digital space is also a terrain of struggle: access to data and equipment advantages the privileged, technical skills training is costly – and usually positions learners towards marketing companies and the private sector. There is a need to redistribute access to digital skills and build political consciousness. Consciousness of how technology can be used to expand freedoms and fight back against an increasingly inaccessible, unequal and unjust digital society. 
This programme
 is the developing project that aims to develop a committed, skilled and socially conscious layer of digital activists who can support their movements and organisations with basic media skills. 

What the program will cover:

Photography and image editing

Videography and short-video production

Social media management, campaigning and analytics

Designing visual materials such as posters

Media Writing 101

Managing and moderating digital forums (such as WhatsApp groups)

Traditional media communications

Managing WordPress websites and Mailchimp

Podcasting and radio

When will it take place and what are the commitments?

A full day workshop will take place twice a month from February until early December on Saturdays at Tshisimani Centre for Activist Education in Mowbray, Cape Town. One assignment per month needs to be submitted before attending the next workshop.

Full-day workshop dates:
19 February
5 March
19 March
2 April
16 April
7 May
21 May
4 June
18 June
2 July
16 July 
6 August
20 August
10 September
17 September
1 October
15 October
5 November
19 November
3 December

What are the requirements to apply for the program?

  • You need to be based in the Western Cape, South Africa. Transport will be provided.
  • This program is an introductory offering for aspiring media practioners to learn the basics and for those interested in doing media work in their organization/movement. It is not for those who already have experience or training in media and digital work. 
  • Only activists involved in social movements, social justice organisations and community movements may apply.
  • You must be able to commit to ALL full-day workshops and a tutoring session once a month from the first workshop until the final one in November. 
  • You need an email address and access to a smartphone for communication, photography and videography. All other resources will be made available for training and assignments.

How to apply

An applicant must send two letters – a letter of motivation from themselves AND a letter of recommendation from their organisation/movement/community group.

The letter of motivation must be written by the applicant and needs to: 
1) Explain why they are interested in the course;

2) Say why they feel the skills are important for their organisation/movement/community group;

3) Details how they intend to use the skills training within their movement/organisation.

The letter of recommendation must be written by the media official or leadership structure of the applicant’s organisation/movement/community group. The letter of recommendation for the applicant must include:

  • The applicant’s full name.
  • The applicant’s email address and cellphone number.
  • The name of movement or organisation the applicant is part of.
  •  The leadership or media official’s name(s), contact details. 
  • The reasons for the official or movement recommending the applicant.
  • The formal commitment from the movement/organisation that the applicant will be available and set aside time for all workshop dates listed at Tshisimani twice a month.

This letter of recommendation AND letter of motivation must both be emailed to by Tuesday 15 February 2022, keeping in mind that they will need to be available for the first workshop on that Saturday morning, the 19th of February.

There are a limited number of spaces available for this programme, no applications will be accepted if they are late or do not strictly meet the application requirements.

Please email for any questions of clarity for applying.