Digital stories of love to air on Mother’s Day
Thursday, 10 May 2012 11:39

digital loveMothers are the subject of the first episode of a digital life stories series being screened on Brisbane community television from Mother's Day.

Channel 31 will broadcast part one of the QUT Digital Storytelling Anthology, Mothers and Families, on Sunday, May 13, at 7.30pm. Two following episodes, called Journeys and Love, will be aired on May 20 and 27, respectively.

Dr Christina Spurgeon, from QUT's Creative Industries Faculty, said digital storytelling allowed everyday people to share their life stories using simple technology, photographs and words written, narrated and edited by participants.

"We have such fabulous stories about mothers, beautifully told. What becomes clear in the stories is how much mothers mean, particularly after you lose them," she said.

"A lot of these stories are quite moving but there are also stories told by mothers about their experience of motherhood."

Digital stories in the anthology include reflections on becoming a vegetarian and a student's journey cycling 1600km along Japan's coastline six months before the 2011 tsunami.

Postgraduate students created the majority of digital stories in the anthology as part of QUT's popular digital storytelling unit.

Viewers will be encouraged to give feedback and submit their own digital stories, as part of a three-year, $200,000 Australian Research Council Linkage project examining the role of community arts and media in supporting co-creative media practices.

"We are very keen for audiences to engage in the stories," Dr Spurgeon said.

"We hope it inspires people to tell their own stories and get better at storytelling. We are curious to know how audiences value this kind of storytelling."

Hui Richards, a Mandarin lecturer and Creative Industries PhD candidate at QUT, is among those who will share her story, called Mum's Dream.

Her digital story focuses on growing up during the Cultural Revolution in China and the small town where her mother lived, which was flooded to make way for the Three Gorges Dam.

"I think for the second generation, for our children, they need to know this amazing history and how all these women and families survived," Ms Richards said.

"It's for my mum and her community and Chinese women who are marginalised and ignored by society."

Ms Richards is now researching how digital technology could help rural women share their personal stories and capture their language, history and culture through her PhD.

Dr Spurgeon said popular television shows such as Who Do You Think You Are and Pictures of You were recent examples of a growing fascination with genealogy and people's personal stories.

She said social media and co-creative storytelling projects such as ABC Open had made it easier to publish and promote works created by community and arts organisations.

People who have their digital stories aired on community television will be asked to take part in a survey before, after and one year on from the broadcast to research the impact of sharing co-creative stories.

Partnering organisations for the ARC Project include the Australia Council for the Arts, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, Goolarri Media Enterprises and Queensland Community Television.