Digital storytelling for truth and reconciliation

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Students in a fall 2019 Digital Arts Communication course on digital storytelling produced three beautiful and compelling short documentaries around the theme of Truth and Reconciliation on Turtle Island. Guided by Professor Aynur Kadir, the students developed their skills in creating reality-based digital narratives, collaborative production, and post-production analysis.

“The films not only represent strong technical quality, but they are also a very good example of Indigenizing curriculum and decolonizing classrooms,” says Kadir, who is a new faculty member in the Department of Communication Arts. “This course is designed to empower students to engage with this content through a creative project that provides them with a deliverable they can include in their portfolio for years to come.” 

As a key part of the learning experience, the students in DAC 302 were asked to work in collaboration with a local cultural or community organization to produce their documentaries. These organizations were the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre and the Games Institute, which generously volunteered time and resources for this process.

“The process of the filmmaking is an important learning and collaboration experience. Not only were the students getting involved with real world projects, but they also worked closely with Indigenous scholars and artists who are at the front line of decolonization.”  - Prof. Aynur Kadir

Kadir’s research interests and pedagogical practice center on producing multimedia for social justice and decolonizing digital technologies. This work includes collaborations Indigenous communities internationally to develop digital media that document, manage, safeguard, and represent Indigenous cultural heritage.  Inspired by the land she lives on, Kadir’s recent work in British Columbia was built on collaboration with the Stó: Nation and Haida nation. Since the summer, she is developing a collaborative relationship with Six Nations of the Grand River.

Visit the showcase page to view all three videos from the three DAC 302 production teams: Truth and Access, Decolonization through Art, and qCollaborative. Below is the first of these created by Samantha Lim, Anna Chow, and Manuel Calvino, about the life and work of Heather George, a Waterloo PhD candidate in History.

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