Digital storytelling at ACMI
Digital storytelling at ACMI
-ACMI is the new cultural institution dedicated to the moving image in all its forms, and in a way, it was important for the centre to understand that people relate and consume media very differently. So if they're going to build a cultural institution around the moving image, we had to acknowledge that people were using media as a way to tell their own stories. And in a way, Digital Storytelling became a program that we could take on board as a way to engage public in the art of the moving image.
ADAM NUDELMAN: My pappy was a shoemaker. He was kind, gentle, but quiet. Except for work, he lived a frugal existence, in almost complete isolation and squalor. As far as I know, we were the only visitors to set foot inside their house. We only ever entered the back kitchen area. All the other rooms remained a complete mystery.
-We have conducted the Digital Storytelling program since the centre opened in 2002, and in that time, we've worked with very diverse communities to tell their stories. The Digital Storytelling program is normally conducted as a three day workshop, in which case we spend time with people to distill and tell meaningful stories from their lives.
With the stories that are created here at ACMI, we exhibit them as part of the larger Digital Storytelling program. And in a way, that becomes a very important part to sort of sanction or legitimize, if you like, these very diverse stories by screening them in a cultural institution.
STEPHEN PASCOE: My sister and I were scared that soon he would be gone, and with him, a lifetime of stories. One day soon after, we went to our grandparents' place. Jidi was nervous and agitated. "So what do you want to ask me, anyway?" he said.
-The workshop itself is incredibly transformative. It's transformative on a whole lot of levels for the individuals that are involved. And for many of those individuals, they come with also community groups and advocacy organizations that support them to come to the program. And that content in itself becomes really the personal stories for an organization itself.
INTERPRETER: There is no deaf school in the country, so I leave my family for school in Melbourne. I am only three.
-So Digital Storytelling has become that program. It allows the public to tell their own stories in their own voice. And in a way, through our exhibition of those stories, they can own what is part of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.
So it really shifts the balance between a traditional cultural institution that really takes on public as a passive consumer. In this way, programs like Digital Storytelling allows ACMI to engage in partnerships with public to make their stories and to have-- to make sure that they tell their stories, and that that is part of a cultural institution.