Un/Told digital storytelling conference
August 1, 2017
In July 2017, Julie Adair, from GCU, attended an ‘unconference’ about digital storytelling at the University of East London. Un/Told brought together ‘story workers’ (digital storytelling practitioners in the education, public and private sectors) from around the world. Speakers included Mark Dunford, from UEL, one of the conference organisers, and Joe Lambert of Storycenter, Berkeley, who is often called the father of digital storytelling.
Around two hundred delegates were grouped into discussion themes and tackled a series of ‘wicked questions’ which they then reported back to the wider conference for input and comments. These were:
• Digital Storytelling and Higher Education
• Digital Storytelling and Ethics
• Digital Storytelling and Storytelling Practices
• Digital Storytelling and Youth
• Digital Storytelling and Health
• Digital Storytelling and Civic Engagement
One very moving session also showed a thirty-minute documentary following a ‘story circle’ with a number of health workers telling their personal or professional stories. This short film was an excellent introduction to the intimate nature of a story circle, highlighting the difference between this kind of creative process (reflective and in an atmosphere of trust and honesty) as opposed to more journalistic storytelling techniques.
You can see more of her work in a gallery of drawings from the conference here:
The conference closed with feedback from a number of observers who’d been present during the two-day event. We left with this thought ringing in our ears – ‘We do not live in comfortable times – make uncomfortable films.’