Category Archives: conference

7 diary dates for UK digital storytellers in Jan & Feb 2014

Information Session on the new Creative Europe programme
MEDIA Antenna Wales and Media Academy Wales present an information session on the new Creative Europe programme at the University of South Wales, Atrium Cardiff Campus on Thursday 16 January 2014.


Guardian Masterclass on video journalism and digital storytelling

Learn what it takes to create powerful and engaging video journalism – technically and editorially – from multimedia journalists who have made hundreds of short films for the Guardian.
Dates: Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 January 2014
Times: 10am-5.30pm
In London


Social Media Exchange – Enhance your Digital Storytelling

By sounddelivery
Monday 27 January 2014 from 09:00 to 18:00 in London


CEWN: Living Longer, Living Well

Creative Exchange Wales Network
29th January 2014. 9.30-4.30. ATRiuM Cardiff


Digital Storytelling for Public Engagement

10:00 – 16:30 Wednesday 5 February 2014
JISC Meeting Rooms, Brettenham House, London


Creative Citizens: the conference – Royal College of Art

London September 18-19 2014

Send your abstracts to by 5pm (GMT) on Monday 20th January 2014.



Offers digital storytelling training for charities and social enterprises in south London. Various dates.


There are more in Wales than you might expect, because this is where I’m based.

The difference between digital storytelling and TV

SoundDelivery is an organisation led by Jude Habib which does fantastic media work in the community. I was recorded one-to-one at DS8 by Andrea Protheroe for SoundDelivery and I’m grateful to her for sending me the piece on Audio Boo. She said: “Very much enjoyed the conference and my first visit to Cardiff. Hope to return next year.”


DS8 digital storytelling conference review 2013

Digital storytellers from as far afield as Japan to Norway and from Egypt to Canton gathered together in Cardiff on 14 June 2013 for the DS8 digital storytelling conference.

The host, Karen Lewis, co-director of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling thanked the sponsors – the Arts Council of Wales  welcomed everyone on behalf of DS Cymru and introduced the first guest speaker. (All speakers’ biographies are on the DS8 site)

Mandy Rose
Mandy Rose

Personal factual participation & collaboration are themes running through Mandy Rose‘s Video Nation, Capture Wales and academic career. Speaking of her time with BBC Video Nation, she said: “I think the veto we gave Video Nation diarists to opt out of having their video shown was a first at the BBC.”

Mandy was one of the leaders at BBC Cymru Wales who set up and ran Capture Wales digital storytelling. It was 12 years ago that the first training workshop in Wales happened, led by Joe Lambert and Nina Mullen of CDS. Mandy credited Daniel Meadows, seconded from to BBC Wales, for his vision. For example, citing how Daniel ensured Capture Wales was more than just a broadcast project, how important it was that people took a copy of their story home with them from the workshop and how inspiration came from Mass-Observation, early radio documentary makers and from Ivan Illich’s ideas in Tools for Conviviality.

Mandy Rose is now senior research fellow at the Digital Cultures Research Centre, University of the West of England. She’s studying and instigating globally collaborative interactive real-life projects. She ended by challenging traditional broadcasters to engage with emerging participative video content forms and projects.

Pip Hardy
Pip Hardy

Pip Hardy was a memorable guest speaker at DS6 in Aberystwyth. I’ll never forget the digital story she showed back then of an anguished nurse told to fit a catheter in a dying patient because it would be “good practice” for him. In DS8 Pip tacked the ethics of digital storytelling at DS8. Attribution, no-derivative3, non-commercial Creative Commons licenses are the ones @PilgrimPip uses for Patient Voices. Pip screened an early Patient Voices digital story about a ‘closed’ circumcised Somali woman in a maternity ward, and then led a discussion about ethical issues raised in it.

Other morning breakout sessions were: David Frohlich Mobile Digital Storytelling for Development. Grete Jamissen/Suzana Sukovic – Digital Storytelling in Education; Rose Thompson  – Digital Storytelling: Medical Education for the Google Generation. Of the last in this list, Mike Wilson @profmikew tweeted: “Rose Thompson on how Internet as narrative vehicle has changed power relationship in clinical situations. Patients taking the lead now.”

After lunch, there were two further cracking guest speakers and I attended an inspiring breakout led by an old friend….

Darcy Alexandra
Darcy Alexandra

Darcy Alexandra began her presentation by showing powerful protest films from south and central America. One of a silent protest by relatives of family members who had been ‘disappeared’ and another by a film-maker from El Salvador who returned to her village to film a survivor of a massacre there some years ago. She then spoke of her work in the Republic of Ireland with people who were waiting in an asylum centre for their cases to be heard in court. She showed a film by a Serbian visual artist Vukasin who spoke with palpable sadness of not being able to be there at the end of his mother’s life after she warned him not to return to his home as it wasn’t safe for him. As in the case of many refugees and asylum seekers and others moving from one country to another for their won and their families’  safety,  when Vukasin’s mother died he was not even able to attend her funeral.

There have however been two uplifting outcomes for Vukasin today:  he has ” received leave to remain in Ireland, and completed an MA in Visual Arts.” Do watch Vukasin’s digital story.

Yasmin Elayat
Yasmin Elayat

“What if we can get a country to write its own history?” The energy of young Egyptian video-makers and social media commentators was carried into DS8 like a flag by #18daysinEgypt’s Yasmin Elayat. She spoke of their use of social media in sharing the story of the revolution in Egypt by the people protesting. Tools like Mozilla Popcorn Maker help to add contextual metadata to each story when presenting unfolding events. And there were some stories I hadn’t heard before: like the lovers who met after making fleeting eye contact across a crowded Tarhir Square; the image of charging military rushing the photo journalist who captioned it ‘the image that nearly took me’; and the motorcycle-riders who rode where ambulances couldn’t reach and skidded into tear gas clouds to rescue the injured.

There was a great question at the end of Yasmin’s session, about the fragility of archives. Greece’s national broadcaster has just closed, said the questioner. What happens to these videos and stories if social media sites go under? This is a safeguarding question I’d like to explore some more. Especially considering how precious these artifacts are if the challenge is for individuals to collectively write their own history.

Aske Dam
Aske Dam

I’ve known Aske Dam of IMA Norway for some time. He came to observe an early digital storytelling workshop I worked on with post-graduate students of Cardiff University’s JOMEC with Daniel Meadows and the rest of the Capture Wales team. Aske’s also worked extensively in Japan and is highly-respected by the people I know there. His breakout session was a call for communities to use local cinemas and cinema technology to share and respond to each others’ digital stories. Instead of showing PowerPoint slides, Aske made his presentation using the DLP (Digital Light Processing) digital cinema format on Chapter’s cinema projector.

Because I’m so interested in hyperlocal media, I was delighted when Aske showed examples of Japan’s early rural local cable TV broadcasts. Farming prices were chalked onto a blackboard, with a black-and-white camera pointing at it. Presenters dialled into the local police station live on camera and asked the officer if there had been any accidents today. Local stories were written by local people and then acted out live on TV by professional touring drama companies. Every piece of content was relevant to its local rural audience.

Aske also spoke of the importance of local radio after disasters like Japan’s 3/11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident in 2011. When mobile phone and other communications networks were down, lists of the survivors and those who’d been killed were drawn up in shop windows and local reporters would read the names on radio.

Other afternoon breakout sessions were by one of Britain’s busiest digital storytellers Alex Henry  about using iPad technology to capture memories of Newcastle’s heritage. And Carlotta Allum spoke about her Stretch Story Box project.

The afternoon was brought to a close with thanks to the organisers, speakers, sponsors (Arts Council of Wales) and a look ahead to an evening of storytelling later on at Chapter, Cardiff.

I’d summarise the theme of DS8 as being about citizens’ use of social media and digital storytelling in documenting events truthfully and in seeking justice.

This Wales digital storytelling conference review is something I’ve done every year. Because it’s so dark in the hall, I do apologise to the speakers for the poor quality of my photos.

If you’d like to read previous years’ reviews, here are the links:

DS7 (2012);  DS6 (2011); DS5 (2010); DS4 (2009), DS3 (2008) and DS2 (2007). Unfortunately, the record of DS1 is no longer online.

The guilt every photographer feels

Photographer guilt stems from the disarray of our photographic collections on various devices and  lack of legacy archive planning.

Back in the day when we used film and had our photographs developed and printed, there were two things that were different from today’s digital image world.

We were more careful about the images we captured because there was stock and production to pay for.

We could put our hands on our proudest images because we’d move them from the developer’s envelope into photo albums and scrapbooks.

Today, we snap more images. They’re kept on different places: phones, cameras, storage cards and drives, hard drives, laptops and in the cloud. It’s harder to surface the gems from this sea of images.

The guilt is that feeling of “one day I’m going to sort this and compile my pool of desert island photographs. The ones I want to leave my children which will help them remember the story of their father’s life.”

So why haven’t already done this?

stray cat in Istanbul
Stray cat at doner kebab stall in Istanbul May 2013. Photo by @digitalst

First written and published by Gareth Morlais on 4 June 2013.

Call for Speakers: DS8 #digitalstorytelling festival in Wales

There’s a call for papers and speakers at DS8 – the 8th Annual Digital Storytelling Festival in Wales – from organisers the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, which is part of University of Glamorgan’s Cardiff School of Creative & Cultural Industries.

Following on from the success of DS7 last year (CDS, Cowbird, Historypin), DS8 will be held at Chapter Arts in Cardiff on Friday 14th June 2013.

A wide range of attendees is expected: from practitioners to researchers; from community workers to students. Proposals are invited to present either an academic paper or to run a workshop or a break-out session.

Deadline for submissions of 300-word abstracts is Friday 29 March 2013. Please send them to Karen Lewis whose email address is klewis (at)

News from CDS of Digitalstorytelling conference in Ankara, May 2013

Here’s an exciting announcement from the Center for Digital Storytelling about CREATE, ACT, CHANGE: 5th International Digital Storytelling Conference and Exhibition. 8-10 May, Ankara, Turkey.

The venue is Beytepe (Tunçalp Özgen) Conference Center, Beytepe Campus, Hacettepe University, Faculty of Communication, in Ankara, Turkey.

There’s a call for speakers, papers, digital stories for screening and exhibitors on the conference website.

The submission deadline for 400-500 word abstracts and stories for screening consideration is 15 February 2013.

Deadline for full paper submission for peer reviewed publication is 30 June 2013. Full papers should be between 5000-7000 words including bibliography and your paper can be either in English or Turkish.

Conference registration will open soon and it will cost between Euros 80-150

The draft programme is available here.

People who’ve been to this events in the past have told me what a well-organised and interesting conference this is. Well worth the trip to Turkey and a chance to visit Ankara and hear all about the latest developments in the digital storytelling world.

Telling Truths, Changing Minds – digital storytelling evening

As a round-up of digital storytelling activities in south Wales, it’s hard to beat this event TELLING TRUTHS, CHANGING MINDS in Cardiff, Wales, on Thursday, 29 November 2012.

It’s been organised by the CommsCymru network for communications professionals in Wales and it’s open to all members of that CommsCymru network (joining details below). The event is all about the ‘practice and tactics for making effective comms narratives plus the latest applied research from experts at our national centre for storytelling’.

The programme is impressive:

  • Professor Hamish Fyfe of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of Glamorgan will be hosting the evening.
  • Lisa Heledd-Jones of StoryWorks will share some of her digital storytelling work in the field of health and wellbeing.
  • Matt Chilcott of the digital inclusion project Communities 2.0 will talk about that project.
  • Bridget Keehan will be ‘Questioning the Purpose of the Arts in Prison’.
  • Chris Morgan – Mogs – of GEECS will discuss how storytelling can be used in digital inclusion.
  • Dr Pat Ryan will look at the improtance of story times in Welsh museums, archives and libraries.
Chris 'Mog' Morgan
Chris 'Mog' Morgan’s background is in digital storytelling and community based multi-media work. He has worked with a wide variety of community groups in Wales and Europe on projects from music and film making to animation and web design.

I’m really looking forward to this event. If you’re not already a member of the CommsCymru network, you can get details of free membership at and of how to register for this free event from

5.45 – 7: 30 PM Thursday, 29 November 2012
The Zen Room, ATRiuM, Cardiff School of Creative &
Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan, Cardiff CF24 2FN

Just a quick post about Great British Story, HLF grants and an EdTech conference

1. The BBC Great British Story roadshow is in St Ffagan’s, Cardiff, Saturday 16 June 2012.

2. Attending will be representatives of ‘All Our Stories’. There are grants of £3,000 – £10,000 available to from Heritage Lottery Fund for UK organisations “Using collections like archives, libraries and museums, including collections held by people in the community – and – Recording things like people’s memories … scanning old photographs and documents…”
Now that sounds like an interesting source of money for digital storytelling projects. Spread the word.

3. Here’s some news of a free event in Cardiff on 26 June I heard of via Dysg’s excellent e-newsletter, mailed out every week by Rhys Davies: “Technology Working for Wales: 26 June 2012 – Free one day event, Hilton Hotel Cardiff.  JISC RSC Wales’ Summer Conference this year focuses on the twin priorities of cost efficiency and employability, and looks at how technology can help the post-16 sector in Wales to do more with less whilst enhancing the future employability of learners.”

4. FilmClub Cymru has just received a grant (select language) of just over £0.25 million from the Welsh Government to continue its educational activities in schools here in Wales.

DS7 digital storytelling conference review 2012

The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling hosted this year’s annual Digital Storytelling Festival DS7 at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, on Thursday 7th June 2012. It has been held in each of the previous six years at Aberystwyth Arts Centre. This is my annual cribsheet, looking back at the day. There are links to past festivals at the end of this post.

Annie Correal Cowbird, opened the batting at DS7 and she made everyone gasp when she revealed that her father had been kidnapped and held hostage in Colombia. You can hear about what happened in Episode 409 of This American Life.

Cowbird was hatched when Annie met Jonathan Harris and they set about making a home for people’s personal stories. Cowbird is one of the best-designed websites I know of and its user interface leads you gently through the typing, adding a picture, choosing keywords, etc. Jon and Dave Lauer have done a great architectural job with this site as it’s fiendishly difficult to make it so simple to contribute.

Annie’s critical of the way some individuals promote ‘brand me’ on social networks:
“Look how gorgeous my girlfriend is / my vacation was”. In contrast, she identifies four traits of the kind of personal stories found on Cowbird: personal, deep, vulnerable and surprising.

These traits were reinforced when she shared some of the Cowbird community’s personal stories. I love this one because of the way the gorgeous image of Angelique hypnotizes me while I listen to Scott Thrift’s frank (or personal, deep, vulnerable and surprising) account of how the two of them courted each other online before meeting, falling in love and the way things turned out (no spoiler).

I’ve only clicked ‘Loved’ on three stories on Cowbird so far and I was surprised to learn that one of them – this one from the UK: I heard you by S R Cloud – was the most popular of all on the site: “I want parents to throw their newspapers in the bin. Switch their gizmos off. And talk. To each other. To their kids. ” – S R Cloud.    Hear, hear.

During the morning, I went to hear Darcy Alexandra of Dublin Institute of Technology talking about her work with women who’d gone to live in the Republic of Ireland and who were waiting to hear if they could remain living in that country, or whether they would be deported. One of Darcy’s main interests is in visual ethnographic practice. How to illustrate a digital story when you have no images is a challenge. The storytellers Darcy worked with didn’t have a personal photographic archive because they’d left their homes suddenly. Darcy worked with the collective of women to develop a set of artistic images that conveyed their current circumstances.

Bridget’s story – which isn’t published online – was about working long days in Dublin with no breaks, six days a week, sick or not. At lunchtime she ate a sandwich standing up while still working and her employer made all sorts of cruel threats to her. After watching her story, I’m sure I was not alone in being glad to be offered  a chance by Darcy to send a personal message to Bridget, written on a blank postcard.

After lunch, Natasha Armstrong of Historypin spoke about this site which encourages people to pin their photos and memories onto a map. I’m looking forward to diving into this and exploring its capacity for embedding people’s stories onto hyperlocal websites.

Joe Lambert Digital Center for Storytelling spoke next. Joe’s presentation followed hot on the heels of his iPhone / iPad digital storytelling workshop in London. Alex Henry made a story on this workshop and you can read about her experience on her Curiosity Creative blog.

“Everyone has something to teach and something to learn” – this is part of a CDS vision statement by Arlene Goldbard and this collaborative learning ethos was underlined throughout Joe’s presentation.

He showed a slide listing the hardest lessons he’s learned on the essential nature of story work. Numbers three and four were “How they said it is how it should be said” and “Don’t leave fingerprints“. Writing as one who has facilitated digital storytelling workshops, that’s really difficult: to keep quiet, accept and see what others in the group contribute.

Joe listed the eclectic human, communication, organisational and technical skills that make up the facilitative skillset for digital storytellers. He also spoke of the issues and approaches associated with a continuum of collaboration.

He rounded off his session by playing out – from his iPhone – one of the iPhone stories made in London over the Diamond Jubilee weekend.

The final breakout of the day was about working in the corporate sector, by Pam Sykes from South Africa and Helena Lopes from Portugal. Pam showed some stories made by workers at the call centre of a vehicle tracking company. The board wanted to know what its staff thought of the company, so they commissioned Pam to run the workshop.

The workers didn’t hold back in their feedback and raised issues like how being made to ask permission to go to the toilet during shifts made one person feel that he was back in kindergarten. I predict corporate digital storytelling will grow as an industry. Pam’s advice to companies funding such work is: “don’t take it from the marketing budget, take it from the training and development budget.”

I was disappointed to have to miss these other breakouts: Steve Bellis & Patrizia Braga of DeTales; Natasha James of Breaking Barriers; Alyson Fielding of Pyuda Ltd.; Mike Wilson and Sarah Chapman of Project Aspect; Barrie Stephenson of Digistories and Bridget Foreman of Riding Lights Theatre Company; Matt Chilcott of Communities 2.0

Apart from the formal sessions, DS7 was a good chance to catch up with digital storytelling activities from other attendees and a chance to meet up with old friends. George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling were great hosts and Chapter was a great venue. I hope to see you next year at DS8.

If you’d like to read about DSCymru’s previous conferences, here are the links: DS6 (2011), DS5 (2010), DS4 (2009), DS3 (2008) and DS2 (2007) too. Unfortunately, the record of DS1 is no longer online.

DS7 digital storytelling festival ticketing and speakers announced

The main speakers and registration details for the DS7 Digital Storytelling Festival 2012 have just been officially announced.

DS7 will be held at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff, Wales, on the 7th of June 2012.
Tickets for the day cost £40, available from the DS7 website. Here are the details from the mail-out from Karen Lewis of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling, University of Glamorgan, who are hosting this year’s festival. This year’s speakers include:

Annie Correal of the Cowbird storytelling community

Natasha Armstrong of the Historypin mapping-meets-storytelling project

Patrizia Braga and Steve Bellis of pan-European digital storytelling partnership DeTales

Alyson Fielding of the Tower of London Project.

Members of Project ASPECT will share stories of climate change

Keep an eye on the DS7 blog for more information and sessions as they are confirmed:

Here are the details in Welsh. Dyma’r manylion Cymraeg

DS7 logoGwyl Straeon Digidol DS7 (Chapter, Caerdydd, 7fed Mehefin 2012)

Mae’r Ŵyl Straeon Digidol DS7 eleni yn addo ysbrydoli, annog a dangos y posibiliadau cyffrous sydd ym maes straeon digidol heddiw.

Oes ydych yn gweithio mewn addysg, yn y gymuned neu yn artist, dyma eich cyfle i rannu profiadau, archwilio syniadau creadigol newydd, gweld y diweddaraf mewn datblygiadau technolegol, edrych ar esiamplau o’r ymarferiadau gorau yn y D.U. a’r byd ac mae’n gyfle i ddathlu pwysigrwydd straeon digidol.

Mae DS7 yn cyflwyno diwrnod llawn dop o siaradwyr i’ch ysbrydoli a sesiynau ar bob dim y gallwch feddwl amdano ac mae’n gyfle euraidd i ryngweithio gyda’r gymuned adrodd straeon digidol ar hyd Cymru, y D.U. a thu hwnt.

Eleni, mae DS7 yn symud o’i leoliad blynyddol yn nhre hardd Aberystwyth, ble y cafodd ei gynnal am y chwe mlynedd diwethaf. Ar Fehefin y 7fed 2012, mi fydd yr Wyl yn cael ei gynnal yng Nghanolfan Celfyddydau Chapter, Caerdydd. Ni allwn gynnig y lleoliad hyfryd ar arfordir Cymru yr ydym wedi profi dros y chwe mlynedd diwethaf, ond rydym yn hyderus o barhau yn nhraddodiad yr Ŵyl – ymgynnull grŵp o bobl amrywiol sydd â diddordeb mewn straeon digidol yn eu cyfanrwydd at ei gilydd.

Er bod yr Ŵyl yn cael ei chynnal yng Nghymru, mae’n ymestyn at gynulleidfaoedd ar draws y DU, a’r byd. O achos hyn, Saesneg yw iaith nifer helaeth o’r cyfranogwyr a’r gynulleidfa a dyma yw prif iaith yr Ŵyl.

Tocyn £40 gan gynnwys bwyd a lluniaeth. Cysylltwch gyda am ffurflen archebu.
Am fanylion pellach ar yr Ŵyl ynghyd a gwybodaeth ar y sesiynau, ewch i flog DS7: