“What has been important for you in your life?”

That’s the question Hanne Jones and Eli Lea from Flimmer Film asked as they went from door to door at old people’s homes in Norway. The answers they were given were as different as the people they met.

‘My Days’ is a collection of 37 memories told by people between the ages of 79 and 104. These digital stories are in Norwegian with English subtitles and they’re each around three minutes long. The music’s beautiful and the storytellers’ voices have such warmth and, at the same time, gravitas that they took me by suprise and brought a tear to my eye.

Watch, for example, Alf telling the story of his very first love.

My First Love from My Days on Vimeo.

And Margit being hugged by her brother Jon who tells her “You’re the best sister in the world.”

These are the stories we need to listen to and give people the opportunity to tell. ‘My Days’ is a model every society needs to consider. These are the stories that need to be recorded before it’s too late.

See the stories and meet the storytellers at http://www.minedager.no/mydays.html

Thanks to Lisa Heledd for letting me know about ‘My Days’ and congratulations to Flimmer Films for this important work.

Ataxia S. Wales and digital storytelling

Alan Thomas is a seasoned traveller. We first met at a BBC Capture Wales workshop in Haverfordwest, Wales, and we’ve met a few times since then too .. at DS4 and at BBC Wales and it’s always good to catch up. Alan has a condition called cerebellar ataxia which affects movement, balance and speech. Ever since making his first story, Alan’s been an advocate of digital storytelling when meeting people, speaking at conferences and in his blog. Alan is now Chairman of Ataxia South Wales and they’ve just launched their new bilingual website at http://ataxiasouthwales.org.uk

Alan went on to make another digital story – facilitated by the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of Glamorgan – to show at the European Ministerial e-Inclusion Conference in Vienna in December 2008. Stepping Stones:

Stepping Stone from Digital Stories on Vimeo.

The Ataxia South Wales website says that over 10,000 people in the UK have a form of ataxia. There is currently no cure but worldwide research is continuing to try to find an answer. The work Alan does as Chair of the organisation, using digital storytelling and speaking at international conferences is going to help in raising awareness and finding ways of tackling ataxia.