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A Public Voice - Access, Digital Story and Interactive Narrative

Grant Holders: Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Glamorgan; School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies -Cardiff University

Researcher: Prof. Hamish Fyfe principal investigator, University of Glamorgan; Prof. Michael Wilson, Unniversity of Glamorgan; Dr. Daniel Meadows, Cardiff University

Funder: AHRC and BBC Pilot Knowledge Exchange Programme

Period: September 2007 - August 2008

Digital Storytelling is described for the public by the BBC on their website in the following way:

"Digital Stories are 'mini-movies' created and edited by people like you using cameras, computers, scanners and their own photo-albums. Everyone has a story to tell and new technology means that anyone can create a story that can be shown on a website like the one you see here. The idea is to show the richness of life in Wales through stories made by the people of Wales. It's you who decide what these stories are."

Digital Storytelling is a new creative form. It amalgamates new technology, filmmaking, photography, music, story and social purpose. These activities cut across boundaries in the arts, democratising the process of media making and establishing an anti-heroic position for the artist/storyteller. The concept that is being developed is one of an interactive and conversational media that represents Digital Stories as an extension of the quotidian storytelling of everyday life.

This project will develop new understandings of how Digital Storytelling has developed to this point and ways it could progress in future. The BBC Capture Wales project, and the community applications which have grown from it, will provide a focus for the work.

Outputs will include a journal article, conference paper, database, case study material, national conference, assay of current training needs. The particular role of Dr. Meadows is to undertake a Wales-wide audit of active Digital Storytelling projects.

Speaking recently about the research Dr Daniel Meadows said:

"...The research enabled me to count [...] and to record the kind of uses to which they were putting Digital Storytelling techniques. I discovered that there were, in fact, more than 70 active and funded projects across Wales. Many of these, especially those which had benefited from Welsh Assembly Government funding through the Social inclusion initiative Communities@One, were still only getting going. There was, however, a solid core of about 20 well established projects which were running workshops and producing stories on a regular basis.

"The BBC drew on my findings, inviting everyone listed to attend one of the series of community storytelling seminars which the "Capture Wales" team ran across Wales in the Spring of 2008.

"My results were used by colleagues at the University of Glamorgan to help them develop new understandings of how Digital Storytelling has developed and ways it might progress in future. Outputs include a journal article, conference papers, a database, case study material and an assessment of current training needs.

"We presented our work at a national conference in Aberystwyth in June 2008 during DS3, the third Annual Festival of Digital Storytelling. The event was attended by executives from BBC Cymru Wales as well as delegates from across the Digital Storytelling community far and wide."