Aboriginal communities in Australia acquire skills for digital storytelling
The SharingStories Foundation works with more than a dozen Aboriginal communities across Australia to support children, young people and elders to record ancient creation stories in new digital formats. Through the SharingStories programme, participants acquire digital skills – including storyboarding, audio recording, sound design, filming, editing, photography, and animation – to record their community’s stories as animated digital touch books, which are also used as teaching tools.
Every programme is driven by the community and choices of content, story and images are guided by elders. Digital content often integrates drone footage, photographs, traditional imagery and songs relating to important sites. Every SharingStories digital touch book is recorded in traditional (and often endangered) languages and in English. In addition to digital touch books, the organisation support communities in the creation of interactive cultural maps, short films, augmented reality-guided tours of country and language apps as well.
Since it was founded in 2011, the foundation has co-produced 15 bilingual touch books, with seven new digital touch books to be launched in 2020. The organisation is also building an online education portal to be launched later this year, so resources approved by communities can be shared with schools and teachers around Australia. Funding comes from federal government Indigenous Languages and Arts, the Australia Council and various philanthropic organisations.