What was something that changed your perspective on your YES year? That was the question that 18 YES alumni from 11 countries were asked at the YES Digital Storytelling Workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh. DSW participants didn’t simply answer the question, but responded by creating a digital story that dove into their personal narratives. In four days, alumni pitched stories, wrote scripts, interviewed, filmed, and produced short digital stories about four of the DSW participants and how something on their YES year shifted their perspectives.
The alumni didn’t do this alone, three professional videographers taught the DSW participants a range of contemporary multimedia and videography skills and mentored them throughout the production process. Alumni attended sessions on conducting interviews, capturing a story, telling visual stories, the art of photography, developing photo essays, creating a story arc, writing a script, the elements of production, and the post production process, which included advanced editing techniques. With this new knowledge, DSW participants produced four beautiful short films, which you can watch at the bottom of this story or on the YES YouTube page.
Before filming began, DSW participants were challenged to practice their videography and photography skills through photo essay challenges, photo walks, and capturing portrait and documentary images. You can see some of their images in a Flickr album and on their Digital Storytelling blog.
After the first day of the workshop, DSW participants were broken into four production teams. Within their teams, each member of the group pitched a story about how their perspective changed during their YES year. Each alumni created a complete story arc, and then presented their proposed storyline to their team. Working as a collaborative unit, each group selected one story to turn into a digital storytelling film. After four days full of long sessions, filming, photographing, producing, and even some post-midnight editing sessions, the films were ready for their premier.
DSW participants were delighted that Kelly Ryan, Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, and Tahnia Shahid, Program Manager for Student-Teacher Exchange Programs at the U.S. Embassy in Dhaka, attended the Closing Ceremony where all the DSW films were premiered. Other esteemed guests, including representatives from nonprofits and journalists, attended the Closing Ceremony as well. DSW participants premiered their films, and then fielded questions from the audience about their production process.
With their new skills, the DSW participants will be able to further engage their commitment to service projects and bettering their communities with multimedia and digital initiatives. DSW participants now have the skillset to present their work beyond documentation, and share their work and impact with peers, community leaders, and decision makers to build awareness and continue to better our societies. Be on the lookout for some incredible new digital stories to surface from YES alumni!
The Digital Storytelling Workshop was hosted by iEARN-USA and iEARN-Bangladesh from October 2 to October 7, 2018.
The Digital Stories