This is not an educational piece or a product review. This is also not a post showing the creative and artistic work done by people in the industry. It is just a post about a very unique use of the GoPro camera. While it is not creative, artistic or educational, it is very important to watch this video. It shows us what news cameras will never be able to show: the real POV of the war in Syria.
These days it is very easy to ignore bad news (or any news) from around the world unless it's related to you directly - You have to focus on your work, on your family, on your friend's new baby photos on Facebook or on funny cat gifs you randomly see on Tumblr. We all multitask, but still have less and less time to read about major life-changing events from around the world. You hear it on the news maybe, and then go ahead to watch Jimmy Fallon. You quickly read the title of a story about it on CNN, and then switch tabs to check what's new on Twitter.
This is why I think it is very important to watch this video. Not only does it give a very unique view of the war, it is showing us what it really is to be in a war zone. It shows the devastation, the risk and all the bad things we know (and sometimes ignore) about war. It is the most interesting video I've seen in a long time. It is sad and terrifying. And this is why we should all watch it. We should all be aware of the situation in Syria. We should all care about the destroyed lives of so many people, even if we don't know them personally.
In the past few years I've seen GoPros mounted on Dolphins, on B.A.S.E Jumpers, on Snowboarders and on birds. Each one of the uses made for awesome and unique videos that are fun to watch. Some are scary, some are beautiful. Some show things that were never possible to shoot and some are just cool. This is the first time I see a GoPro mounted on a tank on a live war zone, and it is shocking / amazing / interesting / sad / scary / terrifying / eyeopening / insane.
This video is a combo of few different GoPros mounted on few different Syrian tanks fighting the Syrian rebels in the city of Darayya. Darayya is a suburb of Damascus, and about 80,000 people used to live there. As can be seen in the video, it is safe to say none of these people still live there. Those who didn't die left to find a safer place.
So far over 200,000 people were killed and many more have been injured in the Syrian civil war since 2011. This number is hard to process and understand, and it makes me sad and angry it is not considered news anymore in the mainstream media. It may be mentioned here and there, right after a story about Kim Kardashian and before a story about a pumpkin shaped like a cat. And maybe this is why no one really cares.
The tanks seen in the video are the Syrian T-72 tanks (Originated in the Soviet Union). Each tank weighs about 45 tons, and operated by 3 crew members. The T-72 is equipped with a a main 125mm gun as well as a 0.5 caliber machine-gun (on some tanks).
The video is very long (60 minutes), but worth the time. So much is going on in these videos, so much destruction and devastation. I found it extremely interesting - both as a former tank driver as well as just a person who is very interested in news events. These soldiers were able to give us a POV that no one else in the world can, all by using a $400 camera.
In the video you can see few of these tanks get hit and destroyed by rebel forces (example: minute 41:00), and many other fighting situations - some from very close by and some from a long distance. The video is edited and combines few short videos taken by the rebels showing their side of the same situation.
So now take few minutes out of your day and watch this important video from ghost-town Darayya. Not saying you have to watch it all, but at least some.