digital storytelling,  japan,  media literacy,  mobile,  timeless

Media Exprimo, Japan

Back in 2003, BBC Wales organised an International Digital Storytelling Conference. Two of the many attendees travelled to Cardiff all the way from Japan to be with us:

1. Akiko Ogawa, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Studies on Contemporary Society at Aichi Shukutoko University and
2. Aske Dam a Norwegian participatory media specialist who has worked extensively in the Far East on developments in mobile technology.

This wasn’t the last time I met Akiko and Aske. They’ve both maintained a lively interest in Digital Storytelling developments in Wales. In fact, Akiko has returned to Wales twice: she came to a Digital Storytelling workshop we ran in Cardiff and she returned last year with a group of six or more other Japanese academics, engineers and broadcasters who are part of a group called Media Exprimo (

The members of Media Exprimo who came to the BBC with Akiko were:

  • Ryuko Furukawa of TV Asahi
  • Hajime Hasegawa of Meiji Gakuin University
  • Takuichi Nishimura of National Institute of Advanced Industrial Scence & Technology
  • Tomoyuki Shigeta of Tama Art University
  • Tomiokiyo Sunaga of Tama Art University
  • Matsui Takako of University of Tokyo

As well as Capture Wales, the group also visited Cardiff University, Breaking Barriers and projects in Denmark.

In a few days time, I’m making a trip to Tokyo to take part in Mell Expo 2008 ( and it’ll be great to meet these people once again.

Another member of Media Exprimo I’m very much looking forward to meeting for the first time is Shin Mizukoshi. He’s written some insightful pieces about populating the space between personal and commercial uses of communicative media with a new lively public space. In 2005, he defined media literacy thus:

“Activities for independent communication via media in an information society, and the technologies and knowledge that support these activities” – .

Some of his work has been written jointly with Aske Dam as part of the MoDe project.

I love it when senior academics ask the kind of ‘what if’ questions about the significance of the fact that we can now carry around a really powerful all-in one broadcasting device in our hands. And not just the ‘what can we do with this?’ questions, but also the ‘what could we do to extend the device?’ and ‘what kinds of motivations might persuade individuals to exploit the full power of what they hold in their hand?’ kinds of questions.

At Mell Expo 2008 next weekend, I’m looking forward to showing the work the BBC Capture Wales did using computers, mobile phones and other devices. Most of all, I’m looking forward to finding out from Akiko, Media Exprimo, MoDe, etc. about the exciting work that’s going on in Japan in the field of media literacy, digital storytelling and ensuring people haveĀ  access to a voice on the mass media.

I’ll post updates on this blog over the coming days.

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