’Stories for Change’ is the title of a project by Digital Storylab which aims:
 
  • To give voices to unheard or marginalized groups and to create debate on gender and women’s rights.
By using the so-called Berkeley method of digital storytelling which allows participants to explore their personal stories and thereby identify moments of change in their lives, the project has resulted in 5 video portraits of participants in the Palestine Marathon 2014. Thus, the 5 stories have been visualized and digitalized in a strong and powerful way. The project also aims to find future partners for digital storytelling collaboration in Jordan. These will eventually be trained in facilitating future workshops on digital storytelling in order to enable them to assist in establishing local centers of digital storytelling.
 
Digital storytelling has proven a powerful tool for articulation of sensitive subjects, empowerment and self-expression. Gender-related topics such as harassment and physical or mental abuse are perceived as extremely sensitive in the Middle East and North Africa. This constituties an inherent problem in dealing with these issues since one basic requirement for tackling a challenge is the will, opportunity and ability to talk about it. Therefore, the Berkeley Method seems to have a great value in the countries where is has been used and tested.
 
For instance, being a female runner in Palestine is seen as something unusual and often generates harassment in the streets. The video portraits are a chance for the female participants to voice their frustration over this harassment, which might otherwise be a difficult subject to discuss in public or in the media. Thus, the portraits are a chance to get their message across to a wider audience – including men and boys. This is only one example of how digital storytelling is a tool for voicing injustices. 
 

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