Category Archives: storytelling

Mile High Stories Rides Again

Thanks to the efforts of the indefagitable Daniel Weinshenker, the Mile High Stories project is going to be starting up again this next month. Daniel, who works with the Center for Digital Storytelling, has hooked us up with the Colorado Historical Society. The CHS is doing an exhibition later in 2007 on the history of Italians in Denver and Colorado; a group of us (including our partner in this venture, Tim Roessler) will be working with some of the elder Italians in the Denver community to tell their stories.

The Center for Digital Storytelling has a great program, and has really defined the digital storytelling space. This is an opportunity for us to use these techniques to get some great personal histories about the Denver of yesteryear. As this moves forward I’ll be updated the Mile High Stories site (which is currently woefully out of date).

Living Cultural Storybases

I saw this on the worldchanging blog today:

According to their website at, the purpose of the organization is as follows:

To nurture the oral heritage of minority cultures in a digital world by combining:

• A trustworthy participatory process that engages and empowers the youth, dispersed communities and displaced members of minority cultures to embrace and grow their traditional narratives.


• A generalizable technology which provides appropriate, two-way access for all the population and a dynamic audio database architecture that reflects the culture, inviting further contributions and stimulating internal social debate.

Pretty good idea, I say.

Eyes Wide Open

Two years ago I worked with the American Friends Service Committee to create a three minute movie honoring the dead in Iraq, both American and Iraqi. It’s part of their “Eyes Wide Open” project, where they display a pair of boots for each American serviceperson killed in the war.

I’m very proud of the movie; it’s incredibly moving and was frankly very emotional to work on, probably the most gutwrenching project I’ve ever done. We sorted through hundreds if not thousands of photos, and culled them down to just those that best expresses the pain and suffering of all those who are part of this misguided conflict.

Now, two years later, we are approaching another milestone; very soon, we will pass 3,000 American dead in the conflict. Of course, this doesn’t begin to count the many tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Iraqi’s killed, nor those injured or whose lives have been ruined. I went back and looked at the code of the movie I built (we count the Americans killed), and two years ago the number was 1,400.

I think the most disturbing part of this experience is how little change we were able to effect. I admire the folks at the AFSC for their dedication, and I suppose there is some late (very late) admission that the invasion was a mistake. But the suffering goes on, and gets worse. Our country’s image has been wrecked abroad, and we are still divided at home. The human cost and the financial cost are frankly beyond imagining.

Anyhow, here’s the link if you want to see the movie: