Community storytelling using hypermedia.
This thesis investigates how community groups make use of hypermedia
technology to tell their stories. Hypermedia software can enable
multimedia and multi-linear production which brings new modes of
expression and approaches to organising material which can lead to new
ways of telling a community story.
Using Ricoeur's consideration of the role of imagination in social action, it is
argued that storytelling is an important process in maintaining and
strengthening community. A review of community media production
reinforces this argument that story is integral to community experience and
action and considers how this is influenced by choice and engagement with
Hypermedia as both a technology and a form for community representation
and story as well as approaches for facilitating the use of hypermedia
software in community or participatory media production are explored
through a hypermedia storytelling project with St Paul's Carnival
Association, Bristol, UK.
This project was both observed and facilitated by the author which allowed
privileged access to the emerging process. Different methodological
approaches were required to accommodate these different roles.
Facilitation approaches were borrowed from participatory development and
community media which favour participant-led processes. The approach to
observation borrows from ethnomethodology in that it favours the
participants' accounts of their production and is influenced by Certeau's
account of tactical and strategic activity.
Analysis of the case study suggests that hypermedia technology can be
used to produce rich representations of community experience. Theprocess of production is shaped in particular ways by choice of media,
context of production and motivations of participants.
Particular attention is drawn to the following aspects:
• How hypermedia story making relates to community identity and action
including the dynamic between individual and collaborative practices
• the process of storymaking as a community project including
participants' tactical engagement with both story and technology;
• the form of the emerging hypermedia community story in particular the
collage-like nature of hypermedia production and the appropriateness of
this form for the partial and provisional nature of community story;
• the role of the facilitator;
Suggestions are made for a framework for community-based hypermedia