Digital storytelling uses technology in order to capture people’s stories digitally, weaving together images, music and narration to create a vivid, multi-media story in the form of a short movie. Story creators are taken through a workshop in order to equip them with the technical and other skills needed to create the stories themselves. In the case studied, a group of gender and HIV activists participated in intensive four-day workshops sponsored by a South African non-governmental organisation. Seven interviews were conducted with workshop participants to capture their experiences of the workshops. Following a grounded theory approach, the interview transcriptions were analysed using an open coding process, which lead to the emergence of a clear central story line. The conceptual framework or theory emerging from this qualitative case study is that in digital stories as tools for social change and activism, technology’s role can be understood through conceptualising it as a medium and a mediator, with its properties as a medium enabling it to play a mediating role in a number of different types of relationships. A potential gap in the literature was identified in the process of writing this dissertation, which is that most examinations of the use of technology in social change and activism concentrate on the Internet and email. Hence there is a need for further research into how a range of technologies are currently and can potentially be used in the services of social change. It is hoped that this dissertation will contribute to addressing that gap.
Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2008.