"We are now part of a global movement, a little niche of a media practice that prides itself on gathering committed souls who cherish the opportunity to help people with their stories...Writing the history of this work is no longer the task of a single chapter in a single volume by a single author, but is worthy of countless retellings, from hundreds of perspectives."
In his writing, "A Road Travelled: the Evolution of Digital Storytelling Practice," Joe Lambert recounts his journey from the theatre into the world of Digital Storytelling, which included the founding of the San Francisco Digital Media Center and, ultimately, Storycenter, one of the most influential Digital Storytelling collectives around. Throughout his sojourn, Lambert gleaned many valuable insights regarding why we, the human species, feel compelled to tell out stories.
"We can live better as celebrated contributors. And we can easily die from our perceived lack of significance to others, to our community, and to our society."
We all want to be loved. Or, at the very least, noticed. Lambert contends that with Digital Storytelling, we now wield a powerful means towards achieving this end.
We all have stories to tell. And they all matter.
"I came to understand that mixing digital photography and non-linear editing were tremendous play spaces for people. They could experiment and realize the transformations of these familiar objects - the photos, the movies, and the artifacts - in a way that enlivens their relationships to the objects. Because this creative play is grounded in important stories the workshop participants want to tell, it can become a truly transcendent experience."
We inhabit this planet for a limited, finite amount of time. Millions preceded us. Millions more will inhabit our wake once dissipated. But even after realizing this, we still want our experiences to mean something. Through Digital Storytelling, we can transform mundane, everyday happenings into fodder for transformation. We can convey to others the truest realization of ourselves.
We can leave something to be remembered by. If only by a few. If only for the short duration of a three minute video clip.
We leave a trace. Some glimmer of who we are, who we want to be and, when time marches on without us, who we were.
For many of us, that's enough.
Thoughts, feelings? Please feel free to leave them below.
Lambert, J. (2012). Digital storytelling: Capturing lives, creating community (pp. 25-36). New York: Routledge.
I am a Special Education teacher currently pursuing his Master of Arts in Information & Learning Technologies (Option: K-12) at CU Denver. I work at Boulder High School in Boulder, CO. Here you will find my thoughts on education.