In the world of storytelling, words and numbers have a complicated relationship.
When I was an Americorps*VISTA volunteer at the Center for Digital Storytelling, I was privileged enough to bear witness to hundreds of stories. Sitting in that circle and listening to folks from all walks of life share of themselves and their experiences never got old and, when my time at CDS came to an end, I carried so many of those stories with me into the world.
I knew that the experience had changed me fundamentally, but couldn’t quite figure out how and what that change actually meant. I was also trying to figure out what storytelling meant for the world at large beyond developing a greater sense of empathy for individuals. I would like to believe that increasing empathy in the world and storytellers taking control of their narratives are in and of themselves radical acts that create an inevitable domino effect of healing communities and rebuilding broken systems, but some days it seems like that burden is just too heavy to bear. How do we, not necessarily as storytellers, but as members of the storytelling community, communicate how individual stories relate to these systems on an institutional and societal level? How can we find patterns in individual experiences that suggest new solutions?Read More