Facilitator training in Aghveran, Armenia December 2015
The very first (and therefore special) project during which all the Upstream Stories founding members worked together. Along with 24 participants from 10 different countries we spent 8 days sharing stories and discussing how digital storytelling can be used for empowering young people with fewer opportunities and promote more inclusive societies across Europe.
Olga who took part in Digital Storytelling for Youth Inclusion says
“Digital storytelling is truly a heart opening experience. It could somehow be compared to sharing your story with an accidental companion, but it’s different in a sense of ultimately de-linking the story from yourself as after you display it on a big screen the viewer is more likely to relate (or not) himself to the story, than to see the author as the key figure. At first, the feelings are mixed and you don’t really feel like telling a story that matters, or telling more than you normally do when opening up to your surrounding. Like any other group we started with formal introductions and shared as much as we wanted others to know about ourselves. But the more Natasha, Signe and Dorthe went into the explanation of technique and gave us exercises to try, the more inner ice barrier was breaking, giving a way to feelings to come out. It was so astonishing to observe how we were changing when telling the life stories that actually shaped who we are. Looking back, I think that was probably the most honest and courageous encounter with human beings I ever had. My first impression was completely changed in a positive way towards many of the participants. And I am happy to still being able to share my most secret thoughts and existential doubts with some of them, knowing they are the ones who will understand without any extra words. As to my own story, I indeed have two versions of the video – the one I shared during the training, and the other one edited by another person behind the story and waiting for me in the mailing box when I landed back home. I still have tears in my eyes when watching it and still wish distances wouldn’t mean so much in our lives”
Digital Storylab (Denmark)