You can tell how well a workshop went by looking at the end-of-workshop photo. This one was taken at the end of the first Media Conté Workshop where media exprimo and Aichi Shukutoku University worked with teenagers in Kani, Gifu Prefecture, in the centre of Japan’s largest island.
Kani is well known for its car manufacturing. One of the leaders of Media Conté is Akiko Ogawa, who’s made two trips to Wales to study digital storytelling. She told me earlier this year there were many Japanese descendants from Brasil and other countries who had come to work in Kani’s factories. She told me she wanted to find a way of bringing these people together to share their experiences and to try and find a way of making sure these stories were more widely heard throughout Japan.
The beauty of digital stories is that the process of making one brings community members together and the end-product has a surprisingly moving quality which can catch you by surprise. The story that’s built is perfect for exhibition on TV. Greater individual expression on TV is one of media exprimo’s aims and one of the things that impressed me at Mell Expo 2008 in Tokyo was that the Japanese mass media was so open to change. They listened positively to pleas for increased reflection of different areas of Japan on national TV. Of course, centralisation isn’t an issue that affects Japan alone…
Congratulations to Akiko Ogawa and her colleagues and fellow members at Aichi Shukutoku University and media exprimo because the good news is that these stories are going to be broadcast on CATV in Kani this very weekend.
Every picture tells a story.
Written and first published by Gareth Morlais on 22 October 2008.