Captura: Defining Digital Storytelling
As the Llano Grande Center has worked with people and communities in developing community changemaking skills, we have come to understand and define a digital story as a self-generated, short-length digital production that tells a story of personal or community relevance by combining visual and audio elements such as video, photographs, documents, music, and narration. The Llano Grande Center employs a constructivist approach to digital storytelling — that is, we build our community change efforts on experiences and stories that people have lived. Everyone has a story; what we try to do is identify that story, cultivate it, and use it for meaningful personal and/or community change. The Llano Grande Center’s approach to digital storytelling encourages us to look deeply within our bank of experiences in order to make sense of ourselves, our communities, and the world around us. We begin by reflecting upon the critical moments in our lives, the important people who have nurtured us, the ideas that have inspired us, and the formative experiences we have had. Then, we shape those moments, memories, and ideas into an organized story. Our story becomes a representation of ourselves, of our transformation, and through it all we learn important skills: (1) the cultural skills of how to understand ourselves and the world around us, (2) the technical skills of how to produce a digital story, and (3) the political skills of how to use story for community change initiatives.