I just got back from the most amazing three days! A friend and I went to Potter Valley, near Ukiah, California, for a workshop put on by the Center for Digital Storytelling.
We learned how to put together a 3-5 minute Quicktime movie using stills, video, voiceover and music. It’s going to take me a few weeks to get it all together, but I hope to post my story here.
My friend (also named Carolyn) told the story of her search for her grandmother, who died of breast cancer in the early sixties. She compared what she knew of her grandmother’s experience with her own early detection and cure.
The story I chose to tell was about how I coped with abuse as a child, how internalized stereotypes of sexual victims stood in the way of my healing, and how connecting with other survivors brought me through that to a deeper understanding of myself.
There is something so powerful about telling your story, putting words, images and music to it. Like Kelly in Strong at the Heart, I experienced that transition where you get a new perspective on your experience through the work of film making. (Her film, of course, was much longer and more professional. She received an Emmy for it.)
Other stories told in the workshop included a young woman’s search for her purpose in life, a love letter to a new bride, a poem that evoked the pain of homophobia in the African American community, and a lively story of four adult siblings who traveled around the country on Amtrak and got to know each other in a deeper and sweeter way.
Amy Hill is using digital storytelling for a very moving project with sexual abuse survivors called Silence Speaks. You can see other people’s digital stories at her site.
Tony Sandal’s entry on literature dealing with pedophilia and sexual abuse is currently in a very good version, so I’m posting the link again. Just know that Wikipedia entries change and change, so there’s no guarantees. If you are looking for novels and nonfiction on these subjects it is currently a rich place to go.