Arts in Recovery Documentary Screening

Creative Regions’ Afloat project has drawn to a close, and a screening of their recent documentary called Arts in Recovery will be broadcast on 31 Digital tonight on the 18th March at at 7pm, and again on Friday the 20th March at 9.30am and Saturday the 21st March at 5pm.

The Afloat project was a participatory arts projects initiated by Creative Regions in two stages in 2010/11 and 2013, and received funding through the Creative Recovery – Building Resilience initiative of the Queensland Government. An overview of Afloat can be found at this link. And a further description is available on Placestories in the Creative Recovery Network community:

“Afloat is a Creative Regions project funded through the Creative Recovery – Building Resilience initiative of the Queensland Government.  The project is occurring across the Rockhampton, Gladstone, Bundaberg, North Burnett and Fraser Coast Regions in response to the natural disasters of January 2013”


I was fortunate to be able to attend the premiere of the documentary at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Arts in December last year. It is powerful and emotional documentary, and demonstrates just how important the Arts are in disaster recovery work.

To discover more about arts in disaster recovery work, it is worthwhile tuning in to see this important documentary.

New England and North West Sound Trails

Another exciting storytelling project that is up and running is the New England and North West Sound Trails. The app for this project will be launched in June, 2014.

The sound walks started as an idea 2 years ago when members of the Uralla community decided to record conversations and tell stories about their town. These stories, conversations and memories will now form the first part of the New England and North West Sound Trails and is called the Uralla Sound Walk. A link to the first stories can be found here: Uralla Stories.

For further information, please also check out this link to The Story Project. This provides a platform for members from the community to tell and share their stories.

This is an exciting and creative project, and we will keep you posted. Make sure to ‘like’ the project’s Facebook Page to keep up to date on the project’s progress and developments.


An excellent resource of interest! “Making Art With Communities: A Work Guide”

In June 2013, Vic Health, in partnership with Arts Victoria and Castanet, published a valuable guide exemplifying key ways the arts is of great benefit in and for communities. This is an important and interesting collaboration between the Health and Arts sectors.

Below is a summary that describes the importance of the Making Art With Communities: A Work Guide:

“Art helps us to explore and interpret our stories and, in turn, share discoveries and learn more about how other people see the world. Participation in arts activities expand our networks, strengthen our social bonds and bring our communities closer together – the foundations for mental wellbeing.” (

Topics covered include:

  • Arts in the community
  • Working with communities
  • Working with artists
  • Developing the project concept
  • Managing the project
  • Managing people
  • Managing budgets and resources
  • Managing events
  • Completing the project.

Please click on this link for a PDF copy of the guide. It is worthwhile reading.



The Playback Oral History Project – State Library of Queensland.

The State Library Queensland is currently seeking Expressions of Interest for their Playback Oral History Project in 2014.

Below is a very brief summary taken from the SLQ Website. For further information, please click on the applicable links.

As a result from the State Library of Queensland’s Digitisation and Access survey it has been noted that the sheer volume of material captured over time and stored on magnetic tape is becoming progressively challenging to store, access and maintain in preservation for the future.

The Playback Oral History project aims to: “…digitise, preserve and provide access to 200 hours of Queensland’s un-digitised oral history material currently held in public libraries and local communities throughout the state”.

Expressions of Interest are sought for the following:

“From public libraries, in partnership with their nearby local museum, archive, heritage organisation or community group to:

  • identify twenty (20) hours of significant oral content from local collections for digitisation;
  • participate in a 3-day training workshop;
  • create and present new content using newly digitised oral history at a Heritage Tourism Symposium”.

A further description of this exciting project and contact details for Expressions of Interest can be found on the SLQ website, via this link.

The Communication for Social Change Award

Applications have opened for the 2014 Communication for Social Change Award. This is the only award of its type, and is open “specifically those that have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to using communication to transform and empower marginalised communities” (

If you or your organisation has made a significant contribution in some way, or you know of others that have, it is worthwhile applying for this award. Winners of the award receive a $2500 towards travel to the awards ceremony, that will also help promote the impact and highlight the importance that communication projects have in development efforts.

If you are interested, or know someone who is, please refer them to this link: 2014 CSC Award.



New Update from the Twitterverse.

It has been a few months since the last Twitter update, but many fantastic things have been happening around the world with community uses of co-creative media.

Upcoming conferences include the 5th International Digital Storytelling Conference in Ankara, Turkey from the 8-10th May.  This is a large conference with a diverse array of digital storytelling research, exhibitions and displays. Click here to subscribe to the Twitter list for that conference.

Another international event coming up soon is the 8th Digital Storytelling Festival to be held in Wales on the 14th June.

Also, there is the interesting Laundromat Project tweeted by researcher, designer, artist and educator Pip Shea.  Also, check out Pip’s free downloadable PDF booklets.

There is some really interesting research on Video4Change, and links to this work have been tweeted by researcher Dr. Tanya Notley. Definitely a link worth checking out. This is in addition to many great links from Witness, who are celebrating 20 years. The Human Rights Channel has also been nominated for a Webby.

Also worthwhile reading are the regular blog posts from the MIT Center for Civic Media, that has included blog posts about Engage Media and their work.

March saw a lot of tweeting from the Australian Arts community in relation to Creative Australia, the Australian Government’s 2013 national cultural policy. This is in addition to the future of digital radio, and government funding in the community broadcasting sector, that was also making an impact on Twitter that month. This campaign is ongoing. Make sure to visit the “Commit to Community Radio” page for further information.

These are just a few of the many things that have been happening around the world. Please make sure to keep following the @ozccmorg Twitter feed for regular updates.

Co-Creative Communities Forum Twitter Update!

It was a busy couple of months heading towards the Co-Creative Communities Forum in Melbourne last month. The forum was held at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) on the 8-9th November.

Co-Creative Communities was a successful forum with a wonderful and diverse group of Community Arts, Media and Community Cultural Development organisations taking part from all over Australia. It also produced a very busy forum Twitter feed from attendees and participants, full of commentary, insights, links and discussion as the panels presented various projects, ideas and initiatives. This ignited great discussion; both at the forum and online in other parts of the country.

Here is a link to some of that discussion that has been archived on Storify. It provides a brief overview of the narrative of the day. Plenty of discussions happened offline as well, and it was a very exciting and enriching forum.

Ben Eltham’s article about the Co-Creative Communities event was posted online, and provided a great summary of first day.

But please check out the Storify link for the extended Twitter story!


Appropriate Approaches to Online Community: An Experiment

I’m pleased to be posting this on behalf of Pip Shea, a designer, artist and PhD student here at QUT whose work is closely aligned with our Community Uses of Co-Creative Media research project. Pip has been developing these booklets as an experiment in translation across academic and community contexts, and it’s fantastic to see the first of them out in the wild!

From Pip’s original post:

Appropriate Approaches to Online Community is the title of the first booklet in a series of critical guides I have been developing for community artists. It is an experiment that attempts to translate some of my PhD research findings. The booklet was inspired and informed by a period of fieldwork at CuriousWorks.

The guide explores multiple aspects of making online community networks, so that practitioners might develop appropriate Internet practices – network solutions that take the specific needs of individuals and communities in to consideration. The guide promotes critical approaches to online community building, to encourage the continuation of creative practices beyond community arts projects.

Get the PDF at the original post

Recent Highlights from the Twitterverse.

Community Uses of Co-Creative Media’s Twitter stream has been going for a few months now, so we thought it would be a great idea to post a roundup of what is out there with digital storytelling and co-creative media practices in the wider community and around the world.

Recent highlights include a story from the well known StoryCorps, with a Kickstater campaign to fund a TV series of their animated digital stories. This looks really interesting, and the use of crowd funding is quite a fascinating idea, as it allows potential audience members to invest in the program that they will eventually watch. So, both the audience and storytellers are involved in getting it on the air.

Another very interesting piece of information is the recent post on the research of The Future of Storytellingconducted by Latitude 42 via the CBX Twitter feed. This research emphasised:

“1. How are audiences’ expectations around storytelling evolving as media experiences become more multiplatform, more customizable, and more participatory?

2. How can content creators and technologists make stories come alive, by allowing audiences to delve deeper into them or by bringing them out into the real world?

3. What are some best practices and new opportunities for the future of storytelling?”

Reference: CB Online 

Another great community project is the The Creative Recovery Pilot Project. This is fantastic. It is a 16-month initiative across three communities, including the regions of Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and Cassowary Coast in Queensland, that were hit hard by recent flooding and natural disaster in 2010-2011. It is really worth checking out, and to also see how stories have been shared on the online platform by Feral Arts called Place Stories.

One really interesting, and well publicised use of community co-creative storytelling, is the recent National Geographic collaboration with the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation. By using the Cowbird Storytelling Platform, this allowed both the magazine and the community to tell their stories unfiltered, and to share these with the world.

The Information and Cultural Exchange’s (ICE) recent blog post The Empowering Nature of Storytelling and self esteem, also shared a wonderful short summary of the Koori Kinnection Project, and the great things that storytelling has done for young people with the telling and sharing of digital stories and similar creative practices.

This is only a short collection of the wonderful projects that are out there, and we will be posting many more regular round ups and highlights of such great projects and initiatives that we come across via Twitter and other online travels.





Mobile media and digital storytelling

As a PhD student way back in 2005, I started to notice the development of dedicated apps and websites for mobile phone-based multimedia storytelling. I also got embarrassingly excited about the digital storytelling potential of iPods – first the iPod Video as a platform for personal micro-cinema, and a little later, the introduction of high-quality iPod voice recorders. And there were early initiatives that aimed to encourage people to exploit the new video-recording capabilities of mobile phones to create micro-cinematic works, like the 60 Second Story competition and the Siemens Micro Movie Awards.

With the rise of smartphones like the iPhone as well as über-platforms YouTube and Facebook, things have obviously moved on – and sideways – quite a bit.

Because of the mid-2000s focus on ‘user-created content’ as opposed to ‘social media’, I imagined at the time that these kinds of applications might promote the relatively easy, on-they-fly curation of personal and everyday experience into micro-narrative forms, but of course things turned out rather differently from that. In the Facebook moment, the network and its logics of sharing and ambient intimacy seem to have trumped the considered narrative. (Although Facebook’s recently introduced Timeline is an interesting, accretive reinterpretation of the life story).

Anyway, of course the rise and rise of the smartphone in advanced economies and the ascendancy of mobile media more broadly have generated a whole new wave of multimedia storytelling and video editing apps. A new one that has caught my eye recently via our Twitter account is Com-Phone: an Android app (with a Symbian version) for digital storytelling aimed squarely at community applications with a particular focus on rural communities. The Com-Phone app is part of the Community Media Toolkit developed by UK and South African university partners as part of a Research Council UK (RCUK) funded Digital Economy project. From a related press release:

Professor Matt Jones of Swansea University College of Science said: “This research project aims to give insights into how social-media sharing systems should be designed and deployed to benefit many billions of people beyond the mainstream ‘developed’ world contexts. We are also keen to see how the work can impact on people poorly served by conventional social networking solutions wherever they are in the world, including the UK.”

Com-Phone looks to be a highly usable multimedia narrative application supporting the assembly and editing of photos, multilayered audio, and text to produce a final video story; and because it sits within the larger ‘toolkit’ which is designed for a range of ad hoc scenarios that don’t depend on internet connectivity or even the availablity of electricity, it comes with interesting within-community or to-the-web sharing options. An interesting new development, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the take-up is in community projects.