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Here is a link to some of that discussion that has been archived on Storify.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!


Project development workshop – call for co-creative projects

For those of you interested in the sound of our ‘Co-Creative Media Exchange’, here’s a little bit more information about what we’ve got planned, and how to get involved.

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Co-Creative Communities program. Tix available now.

Co-Creative Media Exchange: A Call for Project Submissions
Submissions close 11 October 2012

Do you work in community media or community arts and have a great idea for a project?

We want to hear from artists, filmmakers, broadcasters, media producers, cultural workers and organisations who want to develop an interesting co-creative community media project. It can be a brand new project or a new angle on an existing one. What matters most is that you’re exploring how to help communities make and distribute their own media and stories.

What’s happening:
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) are hosting a professional and project development opportunity for community arts and media makers as part of a large multi-year research project into community uses of co-creative media.

Taking place on 9 November 2012 at ACMI, Melbourne, this half-day ‘media exchange’ will give selected participants the opportunity to workshop their projects; receive feedback, advice and support from national and international guests; participate in peer-to-peer mentoring and make new connections across community arts and media.

Limited travel assistance is available for interstate and regional participants who need to travel to Melbourne for the ‘media exchange’. Financial assistance from QUT may also be available to projects that are suitable for further research and interested in being involved in the research project in 2013.

Projects might explore:
– New approaches to working with communities to co-create content
– New models of making community tv and radio production more accessible and participatory
– Collaborations between traditional broadcasters and community arts and media makers
– Experiments with using digital media to tell community stories
– Experiments with using social media platforms to creatively collaborate with audiences
– Scroll down for more information about what to include in your submission

How the day will work:
– Successful participants will get 5-10 minutes each to pitch their project idea to the room
– Participants will then get 3 hours to workshop their project in detail with some of the most interesting thinkers, makers and innovators working in community arts and media.

Who will be there:
Participants will get to workshop their ideas with community arts and media figures including:
– Sam Gregory, Program Director of the leading human rights agency WITNESS;
– Sue Schardt, Executive Director of the innovative US-based public media organisation the Association of Independents in Radio;
– Scott Rankin, writer/director and Creative Director of award-winning arts and social change organisation Big hART;
– Mimi Pickering, award-winning documentary filmmaker and community media Director at the celebrated Appalshop in Kentucky, USA;
– Colin Griffith, online media expert and Director of the Australian Centre for Broadband Innovation;
– and many others.

Participation in the ‘media exchange’ is free, but places are strictly limited. For your project to be considered, please respond to the submission questions below.

Send all submissions to by 11 October 2012

What to include in your project submission for the Co-Creative Media Exchange

Please respond with 1-3 sentences for each question. Feel free to include links or a CV but please don’t submit audio/visual material.

1. What is your project?
2. Who is it for and why?
3. How is the project participatory, collaborative, or co-creative?
4. What do you hope to achieve with the project?
5. What resources do you need to make the project a success?
6. What connections do you have, or do you hope to make, with other communities, organisations, networks,
etc, on this project?
7. Do you need travel assistance to come to the ‘media exchange’? If so, how much and for what?

Additional Details
– Names of people who would attend the ‘media exchange’:
– Organisation (if applicable):
– Contact Email and Phone:
– Estimated Project Cost:
– Estimated Project Timeframe:

Submissions or queries to
Closing date: 5pm Thursday 11 October 2012

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.