This week my chosen article and Digital Story are one in the same. I came across an article titled “How the LGBT community is using digital storytelling to amplify activism and chronicle its history.”
The article discusses the struggles of legalization of Gay Rights and the support that is needed to get there. Of course, things have changed in the system since the article was published (April 2015), however I do not feel that the feelings toward the LGBT community have changed all that much. I still hear stories of bullying, restrictions in other countries, outright disgust spewing from the mouths of people on the street, just thinking that it is okay to demean someone for their sexuality. The fact that these things are still happening proves that the legislation may say it is legal, but there isn’t a way to push out the hate that so many harbor.
I found one quote in particular to be spot on in terms of connecting people to the concerns of the LGBT community: “Adams said LGBT organizations are learning that in order for the public to care about their cause it’s not enough to make a convincing, logical argument alone. ‘You have to be able to engage them on an emotional level. You have to be able to tell a story of what’s facing people in different parts of the world in a way that resonates with someone to actually get them to take action, to advocate for equality,’ he said.”
Wow, just let that sink in. We as a culture won’t respond or take action without that emotional trigger. That’s like saying the article isn’t enough, we need video evidence. I know I am guilty of it! I respond so much more to a video or a song, rather than an article. I am a proud supporter of the LGBT community, and I make sure that each and every one of my students feels that they can be themselves in my classroom and they can come to me with ANY concerns, no matter how big, small, or seemingly “unimportant” they may seem. However, what does it take to SHOW that support?
The digital story is mentioned in the article. This is a fictional story that was created in response to the 2014 winter Olympics in Russia. Russia has passed anti-gay laws and the “Love Always Wins Campaign” asked that the Olympic committee not honor Russia’s laws. They uploaded this video as a statement.
This video did a wonderful job of depicting the possible outcomes of the Olympics being held in a country that had anti-gay laws, the last line reading “What is living your dream meant living a lie?” Really powerful stuff.
- What types of “involvement” – and by the author/creator(s), participant(s), and/or audience – are apparent in this story?
The involvement in this video was very powerful. You felt the pride of the ice skater, and as the crowd was applauding you catch the slow realization that this happiness couldn’t be shared with the one she loves. Her girlfriend stands on the side, just watching. This really resonates with me, as I’m sure it did with many. Putting yourself in her skates, you just accomplished a DREAM and yet you can’t share in public the happiness with the one you love. I would be devastated, I wouldn’t know how to live so restricted. The creators did a wonderful job making me feel part of the experience.
2. How would you characterize the “literacy dimensions” present in this story?
The narrative development, was very creative. There wasn’t much in terms of dialogue. In the background you hear a man speaking about the ideals and representations being put forth by the Olympics. A sense of pride that is shown through the Olympics, and then the dream sequence is snapped back, and you realize that this is what they are saying about the Olympics games, but will not acknowledge the LGBT community. The way the voice was mixed into the crowd cheering made for a wonderful dreamy, soft experience that was quickly interrupted by the reality of the situation. The video editing was complementary to the story being told. The skating that was taking place between shots of the two women, allowed for the person watching to understand all of the hard work and dedication that went into the sport, and thus had only a minimal reward. Audio recording was clear and concise. The music in the background really allowed the story to sink in, the applause slightly muted my music, then brought back abruptly with the end of the dream. The mix was perfect.
3. What are the online spaces and sites that bring this story to life? Why do these spaces and sites matter to the impact of the given story?
The video is uploaded on youtube, so it is some what restricted in that sense. There are links to multiple different sites in different languages, which I appreciate. There is also a hashtag and a youtube site that you can click on at the end of the video.
4. Based upon your assessment of involvement and literacy dimensions, what modifications and changes to this digital story might improve aspects of narrative, production, media usage, and/or audience engagement?
Based on these literacy dimensions I wouldn’t make any changes. The video was only 2 minutes long, but was so powerful. I loved the way they told a story without any dialogue, it was beautifully done.