Experiences on Implementation of Methods
To start digital storytelling workshop for IntegrArt project we developed a participant profile. At first we couldn’t reach refugees and asylum-seekers we started our workshops with migrants. Müzeyyen from Governor’s Office of Nilüfer helped us, so we had ten applicants for our first workshop. Umut and Semih from Nilüfer SYDV started to work with this migrant group using the digital storytelling method they had learnt in Budapest. In the first day of our workshop we started with short icebreaking games group building activities. Then we made a presentation about EU Grundtvig projects and about the concept and aims of IntegrArt project. After introducing digital storytelling method and screening some films we went on with creative story-writing activity and story circle as one group with ten participants.
The participants had ten days to write their stories and select their photos they would use in their stories. Almost all participants came back with their stories ready to use. We prepared the storyboards and voice records. That was one of the most difficult parts of the workshop, as the participants were emotionally touched and couldn’t stop their tears when they were reading out their stories.
Next day we had a presentation about Sony Vegas program and started to create digital stories. Some participants had difficulties with using the software, so Umut and Semih and Samet, one of the participants, provided support. The screening took place in the afternoon. Everyone felt proud of his/her work.
We had three more workshops with another group of five migrants, with a group of sven Syrian refugees and with another group of five Syrian refugees. Hanife, head of Nilüfer SYDV, helped to reach Syrian refugees and Hülya from Governor’s Office of Nilüfer helped us as an Arabic-Turish interpreter with the Syrian participants. Five migrant participants and seven Syrian refugee participants said that they enjoyed the workshops and they were happy to participate in this project but they cannot let us publish their stories on internet for their own security. So we gave their stories to them and didn’t use their stories on public screenings.
Evaluation of Nilüfer SYDV:
Semih and Umut from Nilüfer SYDV had new experiences at the workshops. It was very exciting to listen to personal stories of refugees and see these amazing life stories using family photos and the storyteller’s own voice. Helping them to create the stories, teaching them a new method and some IT skills, and taking this emotional journey with them provided us a better understanding on migrants and refugees. We have received positive feedbacks. We are planning to develop and use this method in other projects as well.
“I have written a story for the first time in my life and it was the story of my life. It was very emotional and enjoyable to go deep in my past and live those moments again.”
“I have learnt a lot. At first it was hard to use a computer program for me but I was surprised when I learnt that easily and fast. I discovered that sharing makes me really happy.”
“I think the workshop was very useful. I discovered my creativity.”
“I made new friends here. It was very enjoyable to listen their stories and share my own story.”
“I have learnt new technologies, created my own digital story and read it to a microphone. I developed new skills. My grandchildren liked my story very much. It was an amazing experience, thank you very much.”
We are using digital storytelling method in our project activities of IntegrART project. We work with refugees and migrants living in our society in digital storytelling workshops and prepare their stories as short movies. We have performed 4 contact meetings until now and prepared brochures to take applications from refugees and migrant people living in our society to take part in our local activities.
Our exhibition will be in March 2014, at the same time with our partner countries, with the support of a school in our district whose students are mostly from migrant families. The exhibition will not only present the digital stories we have prepared, but also art works of migrant children and photographs of our participants that they used in their digital stories and will be in the most popular mall in our city which is visited by hundreds of people everyday.