IntegrArt IIK experiences from the implementation of the method of digital storytelling
It was good and inspiring to have a course about the method of digital story telling. It is advisable to keep in practice while preparing the workshop.
In our workshop the diversity of participants’ languages was a special challenge. We faced some communication problems which could best be avoided by finding one or two mentors who speak the languages and can establish direct contact with the participants. The chosen method of creative writing is hardly applicable if all instructions and inputs have to be translated.
Lacking such mentors we should have had more training with the translators. Instead of taking interviews they should have helped the participants focus on particular stories and get to the point. We also should have cooperated more with the local media centre who offered us help.
Refugees are in an adverse situation with set priorities. Many had other worries than storytelling. Our partners in Italy and the UK successfully linked the workshops with language learning, which the participants accepted as a priority and which helped to overcome language barriers.
It proved difficult for the refugees to save one weekday a week for the workshops, which could be conducted more successfully on one weekend workshop.
Not all participants have access to the same communicative means, e.g. some are illiterates, so it might be necessary to find individual approaches to storytelling like live recording. The frequent lack of personal photos typical in refugees’ situation could also be met by creative solutions like drawing or re-enacting the content. When promoting the internet as a possible source of material it should be made perfectly clear, that only copyright free files can come into consideration.
We realised that the workshops require safe and supportive to cope with the intimate issues many refugees have. Since many stories use sensitive information, it is important to notify the participants of the scale of broadcast so they can decide in advance if they want to agree to the publication of the stories.
Broadcast – PR
Digital storytelling proved very useful for sharing the refugees’ situation publically to engage people, especially groups like school classes. It is important to show the stories on an EU level to point out the scale of the issue. The method allows empathy, the audience feels closer and has the chance to imagine being in that situation. It offers the opportunity to turn the marginalised refugees into subjects.