digital storytelling,  DS Cymru,  story,  Wales

DS4 Festival of Digital Storytelling 2009 cribsheet

Telling stories of Llanberis slate and Hollywood features, more than a hundred digital storytellers gathered for the annual digital storytelling festival in Aberystwyth. Here’s my illustrated story of the day…

L to R: Annette Mees, Dai Evans (holding the new-technology version of a teaspoon) and Bonnie Shaw.

DS4 – 17 June 2009, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Huw Davies showed intergenerational stories based around old silent colour footage of farming in north-east Wales. And announced he’s secured £200k funding for a feature film mixing old and new footage, with the new being shot by 150 especially-trained film-makers/digital storytellers in Rhyl.

Annette  Mees described how playing Big Ball Bingo and listening to community-members’ stories helped to bring people together in Shoreditch, London.

Cadwyd is Welsh for ‘kept’ or ‘for safekeeping’ and Rhian Cadwaladr and Gwion Llwyd shared stories about a Llanberis Slate Mine, at the foot of Snowdon.

I had lunch with digital Storyteller and photographer Dai Evans and his son Huw. Three generations of Dai’s family have made digital stories.

Bonnie Shaw said she’s invented the Snap-Shot-City photo-challenge format as part of a plan to hatch the best-ever party.

Video Nation’s Melanie Lindsell and Alyson Fielding showed footage from Everest,  a WWI Memorial Rap from Newport and a kitchen-sink monologue from Cwm Gwendraeth, as well as inviting contributions to the soon-to-be-launched Video Nation Network website.

The day was well hosted by DSCymru’s Esko Reinikainen, who launched a new online space for digital storytellers in Wales and beyond on the Ning network.  I’ll put a link to this blog post from that site.


To close the festival, Rhian Cadwaladr, Dai Evans and Alan Thomas handed the archive of BBC Capture Wales / Cipolwg ar Gymru stories over to the National Library of Wales’s Screen and Sound Archive where they’ll be available to view for generations to come.

This post has been about DS4. Here are links if you’d like to read about 2008’s DS3 or DS2 in 2007. Unfortunately, the website of ‘DS1’ – the first International Conference of Digital Storytelling at BBC Wales 28-30 November 2003 is no longer live.

So, will there be a DS5? That’s a question people were asking in Aberystwyth yesterday. By the evidence of the effervescent digital storytelling scene in Wales on display in DS4, I’d reply with a resounding “I hope so”.

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