Friday, July 1, 2016

Week Four: Digital Story Critique

This week I have chosen a very intimate and personal digital story to highlight.  In my own research, one of the areas in which digital storytelling is emerging as a tool is in healthcare.  There are a number of sites which highlight digital stories produced by patients and their caregivers.  These are both sobering and empowering, which in itself is a unique combination of emotions.

The author of this story is telling a very personal story in a very intimate way.  Delving into issues of life, living and death and dying create a vulnerability and an empathy which serve to draw the viewer into the story.  We all become participants in the universe through viewing this story and as significant as we may feel in our current place, there is also a certain insigificance when we consider the vast universes which lie far beyond where we are.  "You see more, You see further. "You see deeper."  

The literacy dimensions in this piece are perhaps not as sophisticated as in many other remixed pieces.  However, the writer has chosen a piece of music which really blends together with the story and with his story.  I personally enjoyed the analogy to images from the Hubble Telescope.  As a dying man, he is clearly thinking deeply about what he is learning in the process of dying and he is indeed seeing more deeply.  There is also a vocal quality which is strong and while the music does not overpower his narrative, it does enhance the strength and resoluteness of his story.  The written narrative is the strongest part of this story. It is actually a very simple story visually.  The author includes nothing personal in the visuals.  Every photograph is an image from the Hubble Telescope. There are no transitional elements.  

I am not sure that I would characterize this as a story brought to life. This is housed on the University of Houston Website for educational purposes.  This story is authentic  The photos are all still--with no video elements other than photos changing.  I am not entirely sold on this as I feel that they do not necessarily add to the strength of the story or the power of the narrative.  
This is such a strong story that could really rest upon its own power.  I honestly would have loved to have seen the story teller's face and watch him tell the story.  I would have liked to have heard the story from his perspective.  I did note that it is posted anonymously at the author's request.  Perhaps it is painful to share something as intensely personal as the story of one's perspective on one's own death. That being said, when you are looking at eternity in the face, photos from space and galaxies far removed from this earth also have a certain power.  I would have altered the visuals in this producti

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