The Asia-Pacific Digital Storytelling Project was initiated at the University of Auckland by filmmaking academics Sarina Pearson and Shuchi Kothari, and filmmaker Peter Simpson. We began Asia-Pacific Digital Storytelling because we saw an opportunity to foster more grassroots digital media production in the Pacific.
Initially we ran a pilot workshop in Suva, Fiji in November 2013, followed by one in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Both pilots were enabled by funding from the University of Auckland’s Te Whare Kura and support from Dr. Theresa Koroivulaono at the University of the South Pacific. Together with teachers and technical support, participants in the pilot workshops successfully created and shared personal digital narratives in video form.
The pilot workshops led to a 5-year collaboration with The University of Auckland’s School of Nursing. We have now facilitated workshops across New Zealand that focus on personal narratives of health. As a collective body of work these stories offer a glimpse into contemporary experiences of place, mobility, whānau, culture, health, and palliative care in the Pacific.
The hope of the Asia-Pacific Digital Storytelling project is that everyday storytellers can engage with digital technologies and share their experiences and perspectives with a wider audience.