I decided to stick with the Center for Digital Storytelling site for this exercise. I wanted to explore all the other digital storytelling sites, but I only have one pair of eyes and not enough hours in the day. Bummer. But the videos I did watch were told extremely well in my opinion. Here we go…
Healing by Annamieka Hopps
This is a story about Annamieka Hopps, a 21-year old young woman who was diagnosed with Lymphoma when she was 19. In the beginning of her story, she talks about never seeing the inside of a doctor’s office and being a product of the New Age who ate organically along with adopting holistic medicinal practices throughout her whole life. So when she’s faced with cancer, she has to adopt this Western idea of healing to fight off her sickness. With her head shaved and her friends supporting her through benefit events, she took advantage of the time usually described as a time of depression and turned into a time a self-introspection. She says she used western medicine to fight her tumor, but she used her medicine to heal her soul. Kudos to her.
In the beginning of her story, Hopps is blowing bubbles, which, I think is representative of her personality; free flowing and blowing in the wind wanting to be one with nature. After that, pictures tell her story. The first few frames are representative of her diagnosis of cancer, which are pretty powerful because they fade from on to the other. It fades to all the western medicine that she’s not used to. By the middle frame the screen went black, and then there was an illustration of a woman with her head shaved and later came the rest of the image, which was a flyer promoting an even to help her with her fight against cancer. News clips about the benefits held for her were next. One frame, the one with her hand open and her hair on the ground is powerful because it speaks to struggle and triumph. The next few frames show her with her head cleanly shaved with henna tattoos all over it, which I thought was so pretty. A zoom-in affect was used for this photo along with the ones after it that spoke to her healing process. The instrumental soundtrack flowed really well with her journey too. It was somber at the beginning and progressively got better and was more spirit-filled. I loved it. Get to love it too here.
New Orleans by Gina Allen
This story is like so many stories in the black community to me. It reminds me of my mother’s story about when we moved back to Alabama after I was born in Omaha, Nebraska. It’s Gina’s story about how her parents grew up in New Orleans and all the good times they had there. She didn’t get to experience those same types of experiences they did because she didn’t have the pleasure of living in New Orleans, but in South Florida, where she thinks her culture has been lost (or getting to that point) After being uncomfortable as a child in South Florida because she was always “that one Black girl” in school, she decided to move back to New Orleans to let her kids experience their history, reconnect with her family as well as her identity. Awesome.
I really loved all the frames that Gina used in the piece from start to finish. Starting at the beginning, she puts the words ‘New Orleans’ on the bottom right, which catches my eye as it fades into the next picture frame. She uses the fade-up affect a lot, which I thought was appropriate. She zooms-in in a few picture throughout the story, but there was one particular picture that she zoomed out of, which was the picture of her family. She invites you into the whole family frame while telling of all these family stories that were shared at the dinner table. (Which I think is really symbolic of family. J) Most of the time she used the whole frame, and only on a few she would use a frame within a frame. I think she really weaves her words well with the frames too. The jazz music in her piece is mellow, uplifting, not too loud, and has an element of life to it, which goes well with her story. See what I’m talking about here.