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Positively Trans

Digital Storytelling Workshop Prep Information

Digital Story Production Checklist

Instructions for Photos and Videos

Story Privacy

Ideas for Getting Photos and Videos before Traveling to Berkeley


We will meet on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday April 25 to 2280, 2019.
Each day will run from 9am to 5pm.


At the StoryCenter office:
1250 Addison St. Suite 103
Berkeley, CA 94702


The first day of the workshop will be a transgender-only space and will be facilitated by Anand Kalra who has been collaborating with Positively Trans for many years.  You will meet with him and staff from the Transgender Law Center, and get a full day to share stories and think about your challenges and triumphs, vulnerabilities and strengths before making a final decision about the exact topic of your digital story.

Ngozi Oparah will facilitate the workshop with Anand during the last three days of the workshop. Her background is focused on self-exploration and development via experimenting with and reapproaching narrative. She has taught creative writing and art for several years and is in her second year of facilitation with StoryCenter.

Anand is a gifted group facilitator, and creative soul who has extensive experience in video, communications, and the performing arts.


We want to make sure you have an enriching and rewarding experience, so … please read this checklist carefully! It will help you understand how to prepare and what to expect. You can find an agenda below my signature block.

We will support you every step of the way!  The workshop will have it's hard moments, as we talk about experiences that have been challenging.  But we also want you to be excited about the story you decide to share and we want to give you as many tools as possible to share it in a way that makes you happy.

To Prepare:

  • Watch some stories.  The stories on the Transgender Law Center Positively Trans page are a good place to start.

  • Think about your story. There won’t be time to talk about all the experiences that you've had as Transgender Woman of Color impacted by HIV, so you will want to pick out a specific story that says something important about your life. You will work on your script together with the StoryCenter facilitators, who will support you in deciding what you feel comfortable sharing/not sharing and in coming up with ways to produce the story you want to make.

  • Brainstorm some ideas in writing. We encourage you to write honestly and simply about what happened, including details that make your story unique and reflective of your experience. Use short uncomplicated sentences.  It should sound like you are writing in a diary and NOT like you are preparing for a speech.

  • Bring pictures. Take pictures and short video clips BEFORE you leave and bring digital pictures and hard copy pictures that are important to you.

You may not know what your story is going to be about, but take pictures and video anyway.  We can also take pictures around our offices at Berkeley, but you will probably be happier if you have pictures that represent where you are from.

Instructions for Photos and Videos

Downloading images - do not rely on downloaded images or video!  Since the stories are public we need to make sure there are no copyright issues.  The default copyright on all internet images is restricted use. Only images and video  that we know have a creative commons copyright, or are specifically designated as free for any use, can be used. If we don’t know we can’t use them.  Also, images must have a resolution of at least 1280 x 720 pixels. It’s easy to mistakenly download low res images.

What should you take pictures and video of?  Places that you go to a lot, or that you used to go to a lot, or things that might appear in your story that you never want to see again.  See the list at the end of the page for inspiration. You don't have to take pictures of everything on the list.

And, finally, take any new video or pictures with your phone using landscape orientation!


Story Privacy

These stories will be used publicly. You will have the option to remain anonymous, and we can help you create a video that you really like that is also anonymous. We can talk more about this, and respond to questions at the workshop.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Berkeley, and to helping you create stories that you are proud of at the workshop!  Please let Ngozi Oparah know if you have questions. Her phone for text or messages is - (404) 825-4741.

Ideas for Getting Photos and Videos before Traveling to Berkeley

  • City life  - sidewalks, crosswalks, parking lots, streets, doorways, parks, pigeons, planters, public transportation… etc.

  • nature - beaches, rivers, lakes, oceans, birds, plants, trees, rocks, mountains… etc.

  • schools,

  • stores where you buy things that are important to you,

  • local parks,

  • local bars (the kind you drink at and the kind that are on windows),

  • your local skyline,

  • your local sunset,

  • your transportation,

  • the door to your house or apartment,

  • through the window of your bedroom,

  • through your kitchen window,

  • through the windshield of your car,

  • the top of your dresser,

  • the courthouse and/or detention facility,

  • local cop cars,

  • your favorite clothes,

  • whatever represents pride and joy in your life,

  • whatever represents chaos and confusion in your life,

  • the place in which you defended yourself,

  • the place where you decided to take control of your life,

  • the place where you decided it was important to be kind to yourself,

  • the place where you nurture love,

  • the place where you feel like you can be your favorite version of yourself.