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Digital Storytelling

Intended Audience

All members including people living with cancer, family members and significant caregivers.

Program Description

In this workshop, members will be guided as they create their very own short film (Digital Story) about a meaningful moment or experience in their lives. Each participant will creatively write a short 400–500-word story before selecting images/video/music to accompany the narration. They will then put it all together using a basic video editing software to produce a 2 – 4 minute video. They then have the opportunity to have the experience of sharing their completed Digital Story with the other participants on the final night of the program. 

Benefits and Impact

Telling one’s story can be an important way for people living with cancer to find hope, be part of a community, and cope with their disease (Chelf et al., 2000). Digital storytelling has been closely studied in Calgary by Mike Lang (Lang et al., 2019), and numerous benefits of the practice have been found, such as reconciliation of past experiences, distraction from treatment, and reconnection with friends and family (Laing et al., 2017Laing et al., 2019). Therapies involving creative arts have also been found to improve several health related outcomes in cancer survivors, including quality of life and anxiety (Boehm et al., 2014Bosman et al., 2021). 

What to Expect at a Session

The workshop will be facilitated by Common Language Certified Digital Storytelling Facilitator, Melody Williamson, over Zoom or in person, as indicated in the program registration. During the eight sessions, Melody and an assisting facilitator will help you to do the following: 1) Find meaningful moments in your life experience that you would like to explore in a digital story, 2) Write your story and record it in a voice-over, 3) Craft your own story by combining your voice-over with still images/video clips and music using basic video editing software, and 4) Share your story with other participants in this small, hands on workshop. No previous experience is required. A computer/laptop with the Chrome browser downloaded, are all that is needed. Tablets and phones cannot be used for this program. Equipment can be provided, if necessary. 

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