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Spark | digital storytelling

Digital stories are a powerful means to convey the experiences of people living with HIV, carers, and those affected by a range of development issues.

These short films use photographs and spoken narratives to empower their subjects and to inform and influence decision makers. Digital stories, made by the individuals themselves, can provide evocative and compelling accounts of their personal experiences.

“A very good reason for listening to patients is that we see things that nobody else sees.”

Ian Keller, HIV patient and digital story teller

The session opened with presentations from:

  • Pip Hardy from Pilgrim Projects – a learning materials specialist who helped set up Patient Voices, a collection of digital stories that have opened the eyes of health workers and primary care trusts in the UK.
  • Clodagh Miskelly – a freelance digital story facilitator with over ten years of experience in using video and new media on development and social issues.

The discussion focussed on the balance of process versus product in the creation of digital stories: whether their importance lies in the ability to empower those who make the stories or to influence wider audiences. The tensions of editorial control and the appropriate use of digital stories, compared with other methods such as participatory video, were also highlighted.

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Key facts

This blog is part of the Spark discussion Digital storytelling.
This discussion includes:
-Intro: Digital storytelling
-Learning from Patient Voices
-Digital stories: benefits and tensions
-Key issues to emerge

Read more about the Spark project and other discussions


Background paper | Digital storytelling (640kb)