Story Circle Chapter 7

I chose to read Chapter 7: Radio Storytelling and Beyond by Marie Crook. In this chapter, Crook explores the ways in which storytelling workshops can have benefits that extend beyond the end product of a digital story.
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Digital Story Telling

The Story Center story I’ve chosen to blog about is “Knowing” by Mai Vang, found under the “Youth Voices” theme.


“Knowing” is a story about Vang’s experience learning about social justice in a hands-on college program that took students out of the classroom and into the community. What first struck me so much about this particular piece is the composition of the images. I noticed how well chosen each image was – both explicit images (a photo of her acceptance letter to the program) and implicit images (of a girl sitting on a bench in an empty park as the voice-over describes feeling lost and directionless) are deployed by this story teller to convey her learning experience and the emotional journey that accompanied it. For some reason, noticing her visual composition reminded me of the Story Corps videos where they animate short cartoons to go with the stories being told. I think those videos present an interesting contrast to “Knowing” and other videos I watched on the Story Center site because of the way that constraints on visuals can affect the creative process and the final product.
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Documentary and the World as Exhibit

This section of the Visual Research Methods class has been a really enlightening experience for me. I have always enjoyed watching documentaries and learning new things, especially with the advent of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime that have given me unprecedented access to a huge library of documentaries. With this section of the class I have learned to not only analyze this form in new and deeper ways, but also experiment with communicating in a medium of which I have only been a consumer before.
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Final Draft – Documentary

Working on this mini-documentary about my family has been a useful learning experience. It required me to test my hand at some technical skills that weren’t needed for the visual essay, since I was capturing my own sound and footage. I also, unsurprisingly, have a strong emotional investment in the project so I think I endured the technical frustrations with a little more grace because I really wanted to get to a good final product.
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