In February 2018 I took part in a series of Digital Storytelling Training Workshops led by Dr Antonia Liguori, a researcher in Applied Digital Storytelling at Loughborough University.
Part of the ‘Europe of Our Lives’ project, the workshops aimed to teach digital storytelling skills to 30 or so adults from across Europe, many working in adult education, so that they in turn can pass those skills on to others.
We were each asked to bring along an object of importance to us which connected us to our history and heritage. I chose the key to the Old Rectory, a local museum I’ve volunteered at for many years. Through a series of storytelling activities and tutorials, we were shown how to craft a script about our objects, how to record this script as a voice over and how to add images and other media to create a film we could share with others.
The majority of us had never made a film before, but the finished results, viewed in a dedicated screening afternoon, were stunning. The act of watching them together also created a connection between us – a group of diverse people separated, in some cases, by language – in ways I would never have imagined. The screening was a truly magical afternoon and I came away from it with increased confidence in myself as a storyteller and a deeper understanding of how people are fundamentally the same, with the same needs and desires.
The possibilities for applying digital storytelling to community work are endless and I look forward to passing the skills I learned on to the children and adults I work with. I have no doubt at all that they’ll benefit from the experience as much as I did.
You can watch my film – ‘Discovering the Past’ – here.