Digital stories in the Kwak’wala language

Only 270 people can speak Kwak’wala (source) so it’s highly endangered. Digital storytelling has a vital role in keeping a record of languages as they’re spoken today.

The Mayatlan’s Wila Culture and Language Group for their Kwak’wala Digital Language Project has won Canadian Government funding to create 20 digital stories in the Kwak’wala language that will reflect daily activities, such as family meal times and home routines, as well as traditional events like food gathering…

Capturing a language in this way in itself is not enough; digital storytelling needs to be just one piece of the jigsaw pieces that make a language relevant and vibrant.

I do wish the speakers of the Kwak’wala language all the best in ensuring this language not only survives but thrives. And I look forward to seeing the stories.

Digital stories containing home movies

Here are some links to digital stories shown on the BBC website which contain home movies, archive film and especially-shot video – i.e. not just stills

To Know Someone by Canadian student Nicole Lavergne Smith mixes home movie footage of her grandmother as a young woman with Nicole’s story of her grandmother’s dementia today.

Another effective, albeit brief, use of home movie in a digital story by Gill Jones from the Breaking Barriers project.

This Rhondda Lives! story by Les Rees is remarkable for its use of 1926 carnival archive footage from the National Library of Wales. Les was actually at this carnival and remembers it well.

Here’s a seldom-screened experiment for Remembrance Day, facilitated by Video Nation’s Melanie Lindsell. In a dignified and wholly respectful way, two people from Newport – Jamie Winchester and Gareth Leaman – reflect on what remembering WWI means to them. I’m fascinated by the use of rapping and personal storytelling in films like this.

The Flash movies served by bbc.co.uk is geo-blocked to the UK only, for rights and delivery cost reasons. If you want to view from outside the UK, and you have RealPlayer, try altering the URL as below and clicking the Real link on the old pages.
NEW: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/arts/yourvideo/media/pages/jamie_winchester_gareth_leaman_01.shtml
OLD: http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/audiovideo/sites/yourvideo/pages/jamie_winchester_gareth_leaman_01.shtml
The same is true of almost any DS on the site.

I compiled this list for Simona Bonini Baldini who’s studying mixes of home movies and personal storytelling.

Jason Ohler’s new book

The author of the classic ‘Digital Storytelling in the Classroom’ has finished writing his latest book.  On 31st October 2010, Corwin Press will publish Digital Community, Digital Citizen by Jason Ohler:

“It looks at the rise of digital communities, the evolution of citizenship (local, global and digital), the complications (and opportunities) arising from kids communicating in cyberspace and how education can help prepare students for a world that will need them to use technology effectively, creatively and wisely. Topics addressed: character education for digital kids, how school boards need to respond to everything from sexting to cyberbullying, how to help teachers and students ‘see’ the technology that has become invisible to them and make wise choices about its use.”

I’ve followed Jason’s writings online since before 2007 and I was delighted to be able to hear him speak at the DS3 digital storytelling conference in Aberystwyth in 2008. He tells me he’s now about to ‘retire’, yet he’s about to jet off to China for some speaking/teaching engagements. I wish Jason all the best with his new book.