The person who’s taught me more than anyone about helping people find their story is Gilly Adams. She was the main story facilitator of BBC Capture Wales and she shaped the Story Circle day so it was a close a fit as possible for the digital storyteller in Wales.
At DS3 in 2008, Gilly spoke in her keynote of the gift culture of digital storytelling “…where no money changes hands but the currency is the generosity of grace in sharing stories”. The person who hears the story gains two benefits:
1. they get a unique glimpse into the heart of the teller
2. they can often say: “hey, that’s about me!” and they get to reflect on that revelation.
An example of generosity Gilly gave was that of someone who comes to a DST workshop with a story in mind but, having heard the stories other people tell, they sometimes change their mind and say: “Actually, I want to tell you this…”.
One of the funnest, quickest and most surprising story games Gilly introduced us to was The Match Game. I don’t know whether or not Gilly ever ‘wrote up’ the game, but here’s a link to my interpretation of her Match Game.
Another person who learned a lot from Gilly is Barrie Stevenson of Telling Lives. He has some useful guidance in Barrie’s freely-downloadable PDF which he wrote for BBC Raw.
I mentioned Jason Ohler’s new book ‘Digital Community, Digital Citizen‘ last year. Jason’s just emailed me, saying: “I thought you might be interested in my article about digital citizenship and character education, in the new issue of Educational Leadership. It echoes a number of points from my book”
The article’s called Teaching Screenagers – Character Education for the Digital Age . One of the challenges Jason sets out is tantalising: “Imagine how differently a school district might behave with the following goal in place: Students will study the personal, social, and environmental impacts of every technology and media application they use in school.”
I quite like the converging-lives approach of teaching about technology hand-in-hand with its wider impacts on society. I hope you enjoy reading Jason’s article.
You can now embed CultureShock‘s digital stories on your websites or blogs, thanks to a new feature on their website. So here’s the story Victim and Victor by Michael Crannage which CultureShock’s Alex Henry showed at DS5:
Every year, Media Exprimo and University of Tokyo organise several seminars looking at different forms of media expression and participation in Japan, Asia and beyond. Click on the Japan tag of this blog for background.
There are sessions giving an overview of media literacies in Japan, one which includes a presentation by Media Exprimo’s Shin Mizukoshi of University of Tokyo and other renowned experts entitled ‘Global Alliance and Local Media Biotope’.
The ‘New Horizons of Digital Storytelling’ session sounds especially fascinating. It’s a panel session, chaired by Yuko Tsuchiya of Hiroshima University of Economics. The speakers are John Hartley of Queensland University of Technology, Masaaki Ito of Aichishukutoku University, Akiko Ogawa of Aichishukutoku University and Kiyoko Toriumi of University of Tokyo.
For updates about Mell Expo, do follow Shin Mizukoshi and Akiko Ogawa on Twitter. They tweet in Japanese but using Google Translate can help give a valuable glimpse into the fantastic international digital storytelling work being done in languages other than English.
Jenny-Anne Bishop explains what life was like as a transgender person growing up and living in Wales. She talks about the difficult experiences she has had with her family as a result of her transition.
Guardian columnist Juliet Jacques spoke about trans-related portrayal challenges and Romani journalist Jake Bowers called for the media to stop being so shockingly racist when covering Gypsy and Traveller Community stories. Jake works with the Travellers’ Times – an organisation that has had a strong presence and a stall at Aberystwyth digital storytelling conferences DS2, DS3, DS4 and DS5.
As a two-minute way of getting a first-person point of view across, digital stories work better than any amount of powerpoint slides. It’s great to see this form being used as way of pressing for change in media portrayal and in increasing wider understanding of some of the people who are most likely to experience discrimination in our society.
DS Cymru’s Esko Reinikainen is calling for “suggestions for our speaker and breakout sessions long list”. Deadline for submissions is Monday 14th February and the form is at http://goo.gl/aBelk. Booking details for delegates will follow.
I met DS Cymru member and head of Aberystwyth Arts Centre Alan Hewson over the weekend and he’s really looking forward to this sixth annual get-together. Another digital storyteller who’s looking forward to the event is Daniel Meadows who’ll be in Aberystwyth this summer.
All in all, DS6 will be a fantastic celebration of digital storytelling in Wales, Europe and beyond and I’m looking forward to meeting people there. I hope you can make it too.
Historical footnote: DS5 (2010), DS4 (2009), DS3 (2008), DS2 (2007). The record of DS1 (2004) is unfortunately no longer online.