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Monday, March 13, 2006

Digital Storytelling Adventurer - Daryll Bellingham

QCAN members and staff at 'First Person' Digital Storytelling Conference. L to r, Daryll Bellingham, Lisa Christensen, Bree Capell, Christabelle Baranay, Karen Tunny.

I'm not sure when I became not only totally convinced but also quite excited about the potential of Digital Storytelling as a wonderful community cultural development tool but it was definitely before the First Person International Digital Storytelling Conference in February this year. (Thanks Arts Qld. for Prof. Development Grant.)

Maybe it was when I started exploring the BBC 'Capture Wales' website after listening to Daniel Meadows' public lecture at QUT. The Capture Wales site - http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/capturewales/ - is a quite amazing documentation of the BBC sponsored project which ran digital storytelling community workshops in towns and villages across Wales. They taught the participants the basics of digital storytelling and published their stories on the web site and broadcasted them on BBC2.

Digital Storytelling came out the Centre for Digital Storytelling, CDS, in Berkley California and some pioneering community digital theatre being performed by Dana Atchley and Joe Lambert among others in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Their work has since inspired many people around the world to explore and develop the potential of digital storytelling.

I remember hearing about digital storytelling quite some years back but I was too much into my storytelling performance work and using traditional oral storytelling for ccd to give it any time.

Now something has changed for me. I'm not sure what it is but I suspect it has something to do with familiarity with the digital world. I've been using Apple Macs for some years now and they really do make it easy to be creative digitally.

I've explored community and educational story creation and publishing in a range of ways including web sites. I've helped produce a CD of migration stories. Just last year when the Children's Book Council announced their Book Week theme of Reading Rocks, I couldn't help myself. I had to make a little movie about some rocks that could read. i-Movie made it easy.

That's number one I guess. Not sure what the second reason has been but I've definitely jumped on the digital storytelling bandwagon.

After listening to Daniel Meadows, Gail Robinson and I put together a submission to the State Library which encouraged them to use their Innovations Grant to fund a Qld Stories Project which would make funds available to libraries to run community projects. The results would be stories that could be published on the Queensland Stories web site. QUT had lobbied for much the same thing as well.

The two community digital storytelling projects I initiated and completed as part of Qld Stories were 'Loving Logan - adapting to a new city' and 'Stories, Music and Chermside Virtuolygies'.

'Loving Logan' was with community cultural groups working connected with MultiLink in Woodridge and was sponsored by Logan City Council. It resulted in a DVD of 10 different stories from individuals belonging to 10 different cultures living in Logan. They were all adults with strong stories to tell.

The Chermside project was with young regular users of the Brisbane City Council Branch Library. These stories are about sport, youth culture and issues all within a Chermside setting. Their stories were not as strong as the Logan adults but their creativity and their confident use of the digital tools was impressive.

What have I learned? Well lots but I'm not going to try and put it in this post. Like one of the serials I used to watch at a Saturday afternoon matinee at the old Gaythorne picture theatre, you'll have to come back to my next post and find out -

"Will our brave Digital Storytelling adventurer survive? Will he return to fight the good fight for CCD and truth and fair play?"

I sure hope so because I've just started yet another Digital Storytelling adventure in the shape of the West End Digital Storytelling project and on Thursday I'm driving out to Charleville to facilitate a generational learning digital storytelling project through Indigenous and Community health there. So I will have heaps to tell you about.

Daryll Bellingham, Storyteller
13th March, 2006


Anonymous June Perkins said...

It is amazing how things creep up on you, and you realise that something is really enjoyable and that you can do it, and show others how to have the skills too.

I enjoyed reading about the projects in your links and I wonder how such a digital project would go in the Cardwell shire.

It seems like professional development opportunities to get together with other enthusiastic practitioners have really been able to keep you going to another level and its just really helpful to read about this.

I look forward to the next installment of the digital storyteller and his travels.

June, Cardwell Shire, March 14th.

9:18 am, March 14, 2006  
Blogger QCAN Member said...

Thanks June. Yes one of the things I do enjoy is the slow and surreptitious 'getting of wisdom'.

I'm sure a Digital Storytelling project could go remarkably well in Cardwell. One of the best first steps would, as I suspect you already know, be for you to do a digital story about yourself and Cardwell Shire first of all.

Daryll Bellingham

12:05 pm, March 14, 2006  

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