We make sense of the world through telling stories and we understand who we are by connecting with others and listening to the stories that they carry. Your Story project, is a project made possible through a small grant by Alumni TIES and World Learning, and with the collaboration and support of Catherine Wimmer (France) and Marianne Jokivirta (Finland), both of whom are International Exchange Alumni.
By focusing on storytelling, Your Story has developed an approach to integrating media literacy skills in a way that also celebrates the wider community, and connects younger and older generations together, through the use of media and technology.
The project has kicked off with workshops in three small and close-knit communities, in Larnaka (Cyprus), Hyvinkää (Finland) and Mulhouse (France), where teenagers ages 14-18 got the chance to participate in the workshops focused on documentary, journalism and storytelling. During the first workshop, students were asked to question their understanding of reality, by reading and deconstructing media messages through semiotic analysis and then examining realist media products such as news and documentaries with this newfound critical lens of mediated representations. Finally, young participants explored how to conduct interviews with real subjects, and how to transform the raw data into a narrative, using a range of storytelling techniques.
Participating teens across each location are now working hard to find an older member of their community whose story they will tell through engaging in journalistic practice, and eventually creating a short documentary.
We are excited to see their results, and we are happy to support them in this effort as media creators.