500 people singing and dancing to Numa Numa in the City Theatre of Amsterdam

De Canon van YouTube
The YouTube Canon, organized by Upload Cinema

Last night the Canon of YouTube was presented at the Stadsschouwburg in Amsterdam. Barbara de Wijn and Dagan Cohen (founders of Upload Cinema) asked 25 internet experts (including yours truly) to send in their top 10 YouTube videos. An important selection criterium was that the videos had to be internet native; the videos have to be born on the web or made especially for the web (so no Susan Boyle performing on Idols). This meant that the number 1 video of my personal top 10 was not included in the Canon.

The crowd at the City Theatre seemed to be different from the people attending the regular Upload Cinema events in the Uitkijk. They looked more like the City Theatre regulars but seemed to have a great time. There was a lot of giggling, laughing and even applauding for some movies. However, there were also people expressing a more critical note. I overheard two woman stating that it was one big fake, happy and shiny YouTube show. They missed the presentation of YouTube as a platform for protest. Of course, this is an important part of YouTube. Movies shot with mobile phones in Iran during the Iran Revolution were quickly spread and picked up by regular news outlets. The movie of Neda dying on the streets may be part of the next edition of Upload Cinema ‘Saved by YouTube’:

Activism on Internet is the theme of our March edition. We’ll be showing how people use the power of video and the Internet to make a statement, and even more importantly: set change in motion.

De Canon van YouTube
Sold out City Theatre Amsterdam

The two-hour program ended with a surprise: the recording of a video of everyone singing along to the famous Numa Numa song. The lyrics were projected on the screen and 500 people ended up singing and dancing as can be seen in the following video I made on stage. Sorry for the shaky camera, I was also dancing and singing ;)

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