December 3rd – 5th 2014

by Tricia Jenkins

DigiTales attended the interim meeting of the Silver Stories partnership in Copenhagen last week, which was preceded by an excellent training workshop to explore working with iphones/smart phones and ipads/tablets, testing different apps and assessing their potential to use in the piloting of digital storytelling modules with health and social work professionals who are working with older people, and indeed with older people themselves.


Whilst mobile phones are so accessible, so that you can literally make a film on the move, those of us with failing eyesight found them challenging to use, whilst those of us using iPads found the devices fine, but the limitations of the iPad iMovie app a little frustrating.

That said, we all found the experience of being involved in co-creation of stories through story circle once again invaluable. It is good to re-position ourselves as participants rather than facilitators once in a while. It reminds you what it feels like to find, to tell, to share a personal story. And being an international group brought a rich diversity of stories, creating a bond beyond the simple one of being together because we are contracted for two years to be so.10846009_10152880720933554_2094041062915240861_n

Digital Storylab did an excellent job running the workshop and hosting the management meeting, where we learned so much about the fantastic work being carried out across the six countries.   Mitra in Slovenia ran a hugely successful Silver Stories film festival, whilst Laurea Institute of Applied Science in Finland has been adapting  past experience with digital storytelling techniques to work with older people living with Dementia.

Maria dos Anjos Dixe and Mirva Alapoikela, Laurea Institute of  Applied Science

In Portugal, Trapezio/Media Shots have been working in partnership with Instituto Polytecnico de Leiria, training teachers, nurses and social workers in digital storytelling and testing the method in pilot workshops with older people. One participant, who has a degenerative disease, was discouraged from participating on the grounds that that she would not be able to do it. Despite her lack of experience with computers and her disability, she did make a story and now her family have a changed perception of her capabilities. They are very proud of her achievement – and so is she! Our hugely productive Romanian partner, The Progress Foundation, have sent some of their librarian trainers who have developed real expertise in using digital storytelling with older people in the community, to tap into the experience of Digital Storylab, DigiTales and Trapezio/Media Shots, all of whom have worked with a wide range of disadvantaged or marginalized groups, so that they can extend their reach in Romania to more diverse communities.

GroupAnd that is just the tip of the iceberg – everyone in the partnership is busy finding every which way to continue and to develop digital storytelling in their own countries and in international partnership ventures.

Our final Silver Stories conference will take place on 26-27 May 2015, in beautiful Leiria in Portugal, hosted by Instituto Polytecnico de Leiria. This international conference invites submissions for papers about the use of digital storytelling with older people, within communities and its use in reflective practice. You can find details of the conference and how to submit an abstract (deadline 27 February 2015) on the conference website.

Take a look at the call for papers…. and please join us 26-27 May 2015 to discuss and celebrate the uses of digital storytelling.