This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in a workshop about digital storytelling. Digital storytelling involves compiling photos, video clips and artwork and combining them with a script or voice over and converting it all into a movie like a documentary.
My fellow participants all represented different groups or organizations. Rural Organizing Project asked me to attend to produce a digital story that they could use to further their work in social reforms and peace. Other participants represented renters’ rights organizations, children’s advocacy groups, immigration reform and cultural policies.
We were all asked to keep our pieces below five minutes and forced everyone to learn the value of brevity and to focus on key phrases and allow the images to tell the details. After three days of immersion training in video editing and sound engineering software I am pleased to announce that every story produced was informative moving and powerful.
We had a Palestinian, a self-described ‘rock thrower’ tell his story. His is an interesting perspective because he was crippled at 17 by an Israeli bullet for throwing rocks and despite US support for Israel over Palestine wanted to come to America.
He noted the efforts in America to assist people with disabilities, wheel chair access and educational support. He now holds three degrees and though it took him twelve years during which time he was repeatedly dogged by the FBI he is now a US citizen.
Rural Organizing Project (ROP) is an organization that coordinates with social justice and human dignity groups around Oregon such as our own Concerned Citizens of Coquille and helps track ballot initiatives and monitor efforts by organizations to accomplish goals and rally support from voters. ROP enables rural Oregon to have a larger collective voice in Salem.
My story deals with Iraq, the warrior culture and the trials of homecoming, all in three short minutes. The stories will be published online and broadcast on different stations and networks depending upon their content early in October.