SELECTED CREATIVE PROJECTS
Narratives of Digital Resilience (2019)
Narratives of Digital Resilience explored the experiences of young people in dealing with bullying, unsafe and conflictual experiences in online environments, and celebrates the strategies used by these youth to build digital resilience to these experiences for greater wellbeing and social inclusion.
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What’s Your Story Melbourne? (2018)
This project, supported by a City of Melbourne Annual Arts Grant, seeks to support social cohesion and intercultural understanding by collecting stories of Melbourne and Melbourninans as ‘everyday literature’.
The project features the diverse experiences and voices of the people who inhabit our city, and believes that every story matters. Inspired by the US-based Storycorps project, which began in 2002 with a single ‘storybooth’ in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal where volunteers interviewed everyday citizens about their lives and experiences of culture. Today Storycorps comprises multiple storybooths, a weekly podcast, a mobile app and a rich archive of stories.
The efficacy of storytelling in creating cultural understanding and appreciation of difference is well documented—a 2015 survey of Storycorps listeners reports, for example, that listening to the stories of others increased understanding of immigrants by 95% and of people with disabilities or illness by 96%; 88% strongly agreed that hearing stories made them feel connected to people of different backgrounds.
The Storycorps model has been successfully translated to the Australian context by project partner The Story Project. In this project, resident writers Enza Gandolfo, Tobias McCorkell, Sukhjit Khalsa, Anne Harris, and Stacy Holman Jones interviewed nearly 100 participants during the Emerging Writer’s Festival.
Audio stories around the themes including family, safe spaces and belonging, passion, and love were broadcast on All Our Stories (PBS 106.7 FM) in spring 2018, expanding the reach and impact of the collected stories to PBS’s estimated 295,000 weekly listeners and helping us meet our goals of increasing cultural understanding and appreciation of difference, improving social cohesion and expanding ideas of what constitutes literature and valuing the artistry of everyday people and their storytelling practices.