DIGITALE . 2018 . FRANCE
Digitale – digital storytelling for queer youth
Working with queer youth is a very sensitive topic that requires especially careful approaches and methods which can provide a safe space for young people to express their problems and needs without a fear of being judged or misunderstood. In vast majority of cases marginalised youngsters are facing various discriminations and challenges in their daily lives, hence there is a great need to give them an opportunity to talk and reflect on the emotions and problems they are going through, and at the same time to encourage them to focus on expressing themselves and exploring their identity. Although the majority of the organisations active in the field fully acknowledge the importance of the above described problem, in many cases they are still lacking proper tools and methods to tackle the issue in a more innovative and creative manner that could bring greater benefits to the young people they work with.
‘Digitale’ aimed at gathering 24 youth workers and young leaders from various European countries (France, Poland, Denmark, Bulgaria, Italy, Portugal and Germany) and presenting them the concept of digital storytelling. Participants had the chance to explore the positive impact it can have when used as a method of working with queer youth and the general audience, to promote diversity and inclusion. Digital storytelling is based on the assumption that every person has a unique story to be told and shared with the others. It is a modern extension of the art of storytelling that has been an important part of social interactions since the very birth of humanity. However, in the modern world where we people are constantly exposed to the flood of information, we tend to forget how reflecting on personal experiences and sharing them with others can be beneficial for one’s personal development. Digital storytelling is the concept that combines two crucial aspects – the power of creating personal narratives and our modern need to “go digital”, giving people a chance to tell their stories in a creative way that involves using their digital skills.
Therefore, ‘Digitale’ was to offer alternative sources of expression for queer youth by exploring digital storytelling with youth workers using photo, video, sound design, editing, script writing, storytelling and social media strategies.
What we did
During the workshop we dived into the process and created our own stories – personal, emotional and also powerful and definitely many people will find themselves in those videos. Would you like to have a look? We uploaded some of them – thank you, dear storytellers, for sharing them!
Meet Signe and Kasia – they have worked together since 2015 as trainers of trainers as well as coordinators of Digital Storytelling Erasmus+ projects. They are a part of the founding group of a recent started NGO working in the field if participatory media, especially Digital Storytelling.
Signe has facilitated Digital Storytelling since 2014, and has functioned as facilitator, trainer, expert and project manager in several local and international projects since then. She has a master of arts in cultural studies, wrote her master thesis on storytelling and has been trained in the method from Digital StoryLab in Denmark. Signe is furthermore a part of the international Digital Storytelling network and has attended more conferences on the subject to keep up to date with the developments of the method.
Kasia is a youth worker and trainer specialised in intercultural dialogue. She has been working with digital storytelling since 2015, implementing and coordinating a number of local and international workshops addressed to young people with fewer opportunities and fellow youth workers interested in exploring the method. Currently she is based in Tbilisi, Georgia, working as a project manager at Caucasus Youth Nexus, her main activities being coordinating projects aiming at empowering local youth through creative means of expression.
The storytellers about the workshop
“ill take away all of the experience in handling video editing programs and also a sense of structure in writing in general. before i had a hard time dealing with my own memories and implementing them into my stories but now i have a way of shaping them and putting them into my writing. this will definitely help me.”
“Very good learning process, both on human level with Queer world and DS”
“It was a great process. I really liked that there was no pressure or stress on finding a story right away, and then the exercises were not goal oriented. All the exercises were so great and the team building – it was very helpful for me. Also the talk about fears and expectations.”
“I will use this method in the context that I already know with organizations that I currently work with already.”
“I think we had very good and committed trainers. The program was well designed and implemented. I liked that we had time to calmly do every step.”
About the location
Brivezac is a village located in the Corrèze department in the Limousin region. It is on the right bank of the river Dordogne. It has a community of 175 inhabitants. The church of Saint-Pierre, in the heart of the village, has one of the oldest Roman portals in Limousin. The interior of the village is a patchwork of old houses made with stones from the ruins of old buildings and pebbles of the Dordogne. The bridge over the Dordogne that crosses Brivezac offers a beautiful point of view between cliffs and fields that border the stream.
We lived and worked in our newly renovated old Barn in Brivezac. We call it “Homade” – a place for artistic exchange and co-creation; a place for nomads, artists, educators and social actors to play, learn, create and share. A place for you and for us, a place to shape our world together! See photos of our building adventures and how our last workshop “Subjective Mapping” looked like in there.