Facebook Report last night from Carlos Miranda Levy:
Carlos’ summary proves the point of my TEDx talk: Skype is like life — real communication comes through sharing stories. I didn’t know that storytellers were and still are part of the Haitian culture until my talk, which fortunately was more of a Q&A. Now that I know about Haitian skill in storytelling, I will always remember it, because I will connect that information with the sight of strangers willing to stay late to listen to me talk about storytelling and who started talking about taking action and beginning to teach digital storytelling.
I can’t wait to see what happens next. Now that will be a story!
In their quest, the Haitians might be able to use practical information about how to teach digital storytelling, so I’m about to post this to Carlos’ Facebook wall:
1) Digital Storytelling started in the San Francisco area with what is now the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS). Joe Lambert, the founder and still the head of CDS is the master of the discipline. He and his team and have practical advice that is helpful, especially for community groups. The head of our Reuters Digital Vision Fellowship Program at Stanford, Stuart Gannes, is on the Center’s board. (Carlos and I met as Fellows and I did my training through CDS.)
2) Jason Ohler used digital storytelling brilliantly in his classroom in Alaska. He’s gone on to become a workshop guru and wrote a superb, practical, $$$$ book that I use. I also use his website, which has a tremendous amount of good, free advice.
3) In Haiti, you must be especially careful because Digital Storytelling can deepen trauma. Brain research shows that a trauma makes a new, deep channel in your brain. Re-imagining the details will deepen and widen that channel, and digital storytelling is emotionally powerful. You have to think hard about how to tell a story in 200 words (about a three-minute video), what to put in, what to leave out. You have to imagine intensely about what images will show the trauma and you have to remember what sound effects and music to use to convey your feelings.
The South Africans have a way to help you use the storytelling power to turn trauma into a new positive brain channel. Psychiatrists there developed a serious of lessons for their children, many of whom were AIDs orphans and/or had been abused, robbed, beaten, raped in the violence. Using the lessons, called “My Hero,” children create a book that leads them through their trauma and focuses on how they are heroes because they survived and are thriving. These books could also be scanned and made into videos. Steve Vosloo in Capetown, a fellow Fellow, was working with the My Hero psychiatrists for his Stanford project. Steve is generous and kind. He’ll be glad to connect you to the experts you might want to talk to. [email protected].