University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance



Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a unique way to make a short video. A digital story is a powerful and brief visual narrative, usually focused on a single moment in someone’s life. Digital stories are told in first-person voice, using a minimal amount of words and images. Between August and October 2013, we conducted 4-day digital storytelling workshops, recruiting 31 young pregnant and parenting women to participate. Criteria for recruitment were that the interested participant be enrolled as a student at The Care Center in Holyoke. All participants produced digital stories.

Our four digital storytelling workshops served as a venue for transforming assumptions about young parenting women and producing novel understandings of teen pregnancy and parenting. In collaboration with participants, we analyzed the problem-oriented and stigmatizing discourse of young motherhood, especially as they relate to structural violence, notions of fit parenting, and youth-directed sexual politics.

Ultimately, we see digital stories as putting a human face on policy. We believe our process gives space to those who are often positioned as passive objects. Workshop participants define relevant issues and create media that potentially influence policy makers and the public alike.

We invite you to read the Hear Our Stories Discussion Guide for additional information.