New friends and contacts


Barrie at The Durian in SingaporeI had hoped to make new friends and contacts during my trip to Singapore, but I have returned home more deeply enriched that I had expected by the people I met there. I find it difficult to remember all those who come up to me after addressing a large audience, but the overall impression from them is that they really appreciated what I had to say. They also responded in later plenary sessions with some valuable questions.

Those that I met again (or for the first time) in the Boot Camp (workshop) for trainers are much easier to recall. After a few days of working together on a series of digital stories I feel I know them quite well. In the storycircle process and by looking through their personal collections of pictures I am honoured to be trusted with many secrets. Secrets, I must emphasise, that will be kept within the circle of participants in the workshop. The only parts that are made public are the digital stories that will be published. The participants came from India and the Philippines as well as Singapore so I was exposed to a range of cultures as we talked story arcs, timelines and the shortcomings of Windows Movie Maker. I received some first hand advice about eating Asian style. On eating noodles with chop sticks  – just push them into your mouth and suck. That’s the sort of advice you need when you’re in a new culture. Thanks Shalyn. (+ thanks for the Bakkwa EzPack and the Fancy Gems)

Training Trainers Boot Camp

I enjoyed my time there so much I am sure I will return. I met two very special people in Singapore. Angeline and Aurelia have set up their own digital storytelling business so we had plenty in common but we also share a common faith. I soon realised that these new “contacts” had become real friends too. Angeline and I talked at length about digital storytelling and I hope I helped her think through some of the opportunities that lay ahead of them. I was really impressed with the way she made the most of contacts and grasped new opportunities. I was learning from Angeline at many points. I really valued her input into the workshop too. You should look at their website Digital Storytelling Asia

There has also been a healthy exchange of emails between the workshop “graduates” in a way that I have not known in previous workshops. From “Why isn’t my story on my memory stick?” to the more challenging I’m not convinced of their appeal to the general audience – and certainly not of their staying power – as compared to a traditional story”.

I would answer the second question by pointing to the question Greg Dyke put to me when I was running the BBC Telling Lives project.

“I watch hundreds of hours of television in the course of my job and most of it is soon forgotten so tell me Barrie, why can I still remember the first digital story I ever watched?”

It was also good to meet up with Helen Simondson again from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne and Tom Banaszewski who is an American teaching in Shanghai. More about them in a later posting.