Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Telling to Remember

I recently presented a paper at a conference on Bible translation in Dallas. My topic was on storytelling and collective memory. I was inspired to research this topic after reading and reviewing McIver's Jesus, Memory, and the Synoptic Gospels. I am also a storyteller, and promote Biblical storytelling in various language groups that have no written Bible. Thus, the link between storytelling and memory becomes compelling to me. So, we encourage storytellers to learn these Biblical stories in groups, hoping that group learning and processing will enhance the memory and telling of that particular story. It is fascinating research seeing how studies in drama, artificial intelligence, and psychology contribute to this topic. Here is the paper I presented.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Storytelling is part of life

One of the aspects of storytelling is that firstly, it is part of life and most everyone I would say enjoys a good story. Secondly, I like researching storytelling because one can look at it in so many different ways, from storytelling in early childhood, to storytelling in sacred literature, to storytelling being linked to artificial intelligence. Pick a field, storytelling is part of it. 

Another interest of mine is photography. So, when I read about storytelling being the key to creating strong images I thought I would share my excitement. You can read about it on the DPS post The Secret of Creating a Strong Image by Oded wagenstein The quote I especially like is that 

"It doesn’t matter what subjects you like to shoot. If you want to become a good photographer, you have to be a good storyteller first. An image with a story, one that evokes emotion and curiosity will rise above other images and catch the viewer’s attention."
The idea of telling a story with a photo is a good challenge for me. I know the story behind the photo, but helping the viewer in on it is the challenge, keeping in mind who the audience is and what the main point of the photo is. Then, once those parts are composed another challenge would be to convey the twist, or the unexpected event, which is what makes a story interesting. The photo above is a farmer in Kerala, India at the end of the day in his manioc garden. I like the photo because of the color, I like manioc, and he obviously takes pride in his work. Not much of a story though.

 The photo below is from Papua New Guinea of cooks showing off their meals they made and served. Again, I liked the food they served while participating in a storytelling workshop there. What is interesting to me is the man on the left who was not a cook, but still was included, which is typical of life in the Pacific.

Here's to learning more about storytelling and how it ties into our lives!