When I think of storytelling, the first thing that comes to mind is my grandmother's Curio Cabinet. For as long as I can remember, when I would visit, we would spend one afternoon cleaning the cabinet in which she placed her treasures from around the world. Since she was Russian, many of the objects came from her mother prior to the Revolution. We would take each object out, clean it and she would tell me its story.
For me, storytelling embodies voice, emotion and connection.
The cadence of one's voice is a critical component of storytelling. When I worked as a Librarian is the Aspen Middle School, I loved to read stories to the kids. It was my voice that made the story come alive. I do one helluva "Wicked Witch of the West." But, I am just an amateur. Listen to some Cowboy Poetry, or the poems of Sarah Kay to hear how voice makes for a compelling story.
Stories are powerful when you are connected to them emotionally. A great memory I have of storytelling are the stories told 'round the campfire.' When I was young, I went to camp in Vermont. The all girls camp had an affiliate boy's camp and several times during the summer, we would go to Camp Norway to sit round their large campfire. We would listen to stories, sing songs, and play games. I can still retell one of those stories that I heard over 45 years ago.
Our culture is based on stories. Whether it is the Creation Story of the Bible,
or the subtle imagery of nursery rhymes,
How does Digital Storytelling change the way we tell stories. I will never forget the time I visited my grandmother with my MAC Laptop and a camera shaped like a ball that connected to the computer (can't for the life of me remember the name), and we documented the Curio Cabinet together with a cassette tape recorder and camera. I transcribed her words and printed a booklet for her. I only wish I hadn't lost the original file, because now, I would be able to post this online. What a treasure. Fortunately I still have the printed version.
Digital storytelling is about sharing. It is about extending your story beyond your horizons. Gardner Campbell tells us of a boy from Africa who contacted him because he read a story that was posted by Gardner for one of his students. This boy contacted Gardner because he HAD to contact the student who had written about Tupac Shakur. There was a shared CONNECTION.
Storytelling for me is about voice, emotion and connection. Without the story of my grandmother's Curio Cabinet, I would never have created one of my own. Oh, and the stories it could tell.