Storytelling: Written, Audio, Visual, Digital Storytelling
Please see the paper Barbara wrote for the Orton Family Foundation, Re-Weaving the Community, Creating the Future for a thorough grounding in why stories matter.
Refer to our wiki, LocalMatters, Designing a Storytelling Project for Community Engagement, for a workshop in storytelling with communities.
Why Use Written Stories?
- Easy to gather — people can do them on their own
- Accessible to many *Letters-to-self-to-town-to-world can deepen bonds with community
- Easy to extract meaning and information *Honors traditions of stories
- 826 is an organization with tutoring centers focused on improving writing skills, teacher lesson plans, publishing student work, & services for English language learners
Tips & Tricks:
- Ira Glass from This American Life: Tips on Storytelling
Publishing & Outlets:
Why Use Audio Stories?
- The equipment is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. You just need to practice a little and get comfortable with it.
- A microphone is less intrusive than a video camera. People can be more natural – more themselves in the company of a good interviewer or group.
- Audio forces the teller/catcher to be creative and pay attention to words, sound and language.
- Audio is intimate. When you hear someone’s voice on a podcast, it seems as if they’re talking directly to you. Swedish researches have found that audio creates more of a sense of co-presence than does text.
- In a one-on-one interview, the sharer is heard directly and feel valued; the listener gains insight and connects to the sharer in a new way.
- Murmur is a documentary oral history project that records stories and memories told about specific geographic locations. Personal Narrative podcast: Example from Coastal Stories
- Saving the Sierra – Regional media project collecting stories from Californians from the Sierra Nevada concerned about preserving the culture, economy, & environment of rural America.
- The Art of Storytelling with Children – Many, Many quality podcasts
- Rural Voices Radio example from Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute
- Examples from Rural Voices Radio
Tips & Tricks:
Why Use Visual stories?
- Single Images (Still photos, paintings, etc.) convey strong emotion, a single point or mood.
- Images can speak more loudly than words, especially in this image-centered era.
- Images can show things differently, and show different things.
- Easy to place in the landscape for an ongoing presence.
- Terrific way to engage people in a collaborative project (see mural project examples)
Micro Stories/Postcard Stories
“Into the Storm” (by Barbara Ganley)
Distances, A Restoried Fragment (by Barbara Ganley)
- Flickr Memory Maps
- The PlaceMeant Project in Ukiah, CA – Mapping local stories and collaborating with a local theater company
- Tour of Paris using Google Maps/podcast (by James Kunstler)
- Memory and Place (MAP) project located in Melbourne, Australia
- injenuity’s Flickr Slide show of Learning
- Postcards or eCards from Minnesota exhibit. Easy to create, easy to share!
- Maine Memory Network Album – share your memories of Maine by creating your own album.
“Posters or Murals around the town”: Example from Canada, another from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan,
Duke University’s Face Up! Project
- High school students in Denver – mural club, and a series from Chemainus, British Columbia
- UCLA example
Mapping Stories on Community Almanac
- Alberta Community Walk
The Organic City Project – Capturing people’s stories of downtown Oakland, California. Stories from Nova Scotians about their coast
Travels of Marco Polo using Google Maps
- East Somerville Community Mapping Project
- Bay Area map of Dangerous Intersections
- Visual Complexity
- Chris Harrison’s Visualization Projects
- Gliffy for Diagrams and Flow Charts
- Geographies of the Holocaust Project, Mapping the Massacres: Einsatzkommando-3 in Lithuania, 1941 or download the fancy version (save-as)
- Historical U.S. Census Data: Black Population in Six U.S. Metro Areas, 1960-2000
- Iraq War Coalition Fatalities: Map
Tips & Tricks:
- Mapping the stories using Wayfaring
- ManyEyes visualize data
- Media Cloud is a system that lets you see the flow of the media. It builds an archive of news stories and blog posts from the web, applies language processing, and gives you ways to analyze and visualize the data.
- Wikiviz a list of visualization tools
Publishing & Outlets:
- PaintMap – paint, take a photo, then upload to this interactive map; the country’s landscape revealed using paintings
- Flickr MemoryMaps
Why Use Multimedia Stories?
- Video brings viewers to the action, to the place central to see and hear.
- Mixing text and image well can amplify the message: two plus two equals far more than four.
- Audio and image complement one another, bringing the viewer close to the teller and to the teller’s perspective.
- Digital Explorations’ short digital story: Excerpts from Damariscotta’s Heart & Soul Story Interviews
“Leaving Maine” (by Barbara Ganley) – Growing up, family, and the changing landscape of the Maine coast.
- “Restory One: Smoking on the Back Patio” (by Barbara Ganley) – Story of reflection.
- “Saving the Albany Bulb” (by Joe Lambert) – Reflection and education about Albany Bulb and the importance of maintaining wild spaces in the Bay.
- “Tony’s Conoco” (Hypertext story by Greg Roach) – Story of a town shop.
“Common Ground” (by Scott Strazzante) – Two families explore their similarities and differences when a cattle farm is cleared to make way for a new housing development.
Digital Storytelling: My Destruction (Alex Yule)
- Skohegan Revitalization Project – Schools and community partnering to engage youth in revitalization efforts.
- MediaStorm - Multimedia publication focused on creating dynamic stories and interactive visuals.
NY Times “One in 8 Million” - Collection of stories about individuals and their lives in NYC.
- Kodja Place Stories – Built around the theme of ‘One Story, Many Voices’, Kodja Place includes the farm experience, life on “the reserve”, the heartfelt stories of early settlers, the aspirations of the young and our hopes for the future.
- Meadowlark Institute – Creates stories to use as springboards to community dialogues and planning for the future.
- Digital Stories from Creative Narrations
- Expressions of the Land – A project to research local views on land-use.
- Holding Up the Memories – A project to capture the voices of Kentucky.
- CyberSmart! in Africa – Digital Storytelling examples from youth in Senegal. Canadian Examples of
- Art and Community Engagement The Abroad View Foundation
- stories from students, stories about place and perspective.
- Storybuilders – Helping individuals and organizations create digital stories.
- Creative Narrations
- Center for Digital Storytelling
- Stories for Change
- Pathways Project: Oral Traditions and the Internet
- Oral Tradition Theory: A Bibliography
- Storytelling and Fundraising
- “The Most Human Art” by Scott Russell Sanders
- City of Memory Project in New York City
- (StoryCorps)Place Stories in Australia
Software and Server hosting stories combined into one
- The Elder Storytelling Place (Ronni Bennett is from Portland, Maine)
- Rural Voices Radio
- Joe Lambert’s DS about Saving the Albany Bulb
- M.I.T.’s Landphoto
- Listen UP! ” a youth media network that connects young video producers and their allies to resources, support, and projects in order to develop the field and achieve an authentic youth voice in the mass media.”
- The Washington Post’s “On Being” Project
- The Moth
- Touching Hearts Stories (narrative made up of several individual stories–note the simple use of image, sound and text)
- 360 DegreesPerspective on the U.S. Criminal Justice System: Background, Timeline, Stories and Discussion
- NYT Project: Race in America site
- Mediastorm ***
- Great example
- Shifting Ground
- American Diversity Project
- Holding Up the Memories
- Mountain Workshops
- Marching Together Soundslides
- The Meadowlark Project
- Capture Wales
- National Writing Project
- Placeography is a wiki where you can share the history of and stories about a house, building, farmstead, public land, neighborhood or any place to which you have a personal connection.
- Online exhibition featuring the heart and history of a Minneapolis neighborhood: “21a Right on Lake Street” (vision of the now and the future)
- Touching Hearts Stories – narrative made up of several individual stories (note simple use of image, sound, & text)
- 360 Degrees – perspective on the U.S. Criminal Justice System: Background, Timeline, Stories, & Discussion.
- Place Stories in Australia is a software system for managing digital media, creating digital stories and publishing online through Google Maps.
- City Lore is dedicated to the documentation and preservation of New York’s – and America’s – folk culture
- City of Memory Project
- People’s Poetry Gathering
- Place Matters
- Private Art – good example of multimedia display of written stories, letters, old pictures, and scrapbooks.
Tips & Tricks:
Publishing & Outlets:
- Stories for Change – Connect & share around community-based digital storytelling work. Upload videos, share curriculum ideas, engage in meaningful conversations.
- Creative Narrations – Provides support and training to document the unfolding stories of change in our neighborhoods.
- The Abroad View Foundation – College students and recent graduates submit writing, audio, and video from study abroad experiences.
- “Digital Storytelling” group on Vimeo: upload your video and join the group
- Our Media – upload/publish videos, podcasts and other works of personal media and creativity.