Taking Digital Storytelling to India

by Sheela Sethuraman on August 18, 2009

Eduweave was invited by UNESCO in August, 2006 to conduct digital storytelling workshops in Delhi, India as part of its “Finding a Voice” project. The project had two goals: 1) To enable women from disadvantaged communities to develop and share their personal stories and build technology skills and 2) to identify ‘master trainers’ who could mentor and train other women.

Project Context

Brainstorm session at workshop

Brainstorm session at workshop

In partnership with Datamation Foundation Charitable Trust, Eduweave designed a workshop for young women from impoverished communities with an interest in computer technologies. The participants ranged in age from 13 to 27 years. Some of the women were school dropouts. A few had completed their high school education through correspondence course. Many of them came from families and communities where education for women was not valued or could not be afforded. However, the women were highly motivated to learn new skills, find jobs to support themselves and their families and were particularly intrigued by computers as a learning tool. A majority of them had taken the basic computer course offered by Datamation Foundation at the ICT Center and were eager to learn more. 4 women from Chandni Chowk, 4 from Seelampur and 2 from Kichidipur participated in the workshops.

DST curriculum in Hindi

DST curriculum in Hindi

The workshop adapted the curriculum developed by Creative Narrations and Mass Impact as part of the ‘Spreading the Stories’ initiative. While the overall structure was preserved, key concepts were translated into Hindi and a number of sections were simplified to meet the needs of the audience.

Stories

Movies spanned many topics including impact of domestic strife and alcoholism, female infanticide, role of mentors and family and the value of education.



Screening

The stories were screened at various venues. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

  • The initial screening was held at the ICT Center on the last day of the workshop. Family and friends were invited. The sense of pride and achievement in the room was heartening.
  • Next, the movies were screened at the local communities where men and women, young and old, community leaders and decision makers viewed the stories and discussed the relevance to their community and their own lives.
  • The film makers also presented their movies to students of a media program at the esteemed Mass Communication Research Center. The students selected ‘The Flame that Burned’ as the ‘Best Film’ and the ‘Let the Flowers Bloom’ as the movie with the ‘Best Social Message’.

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