How your community can breathe new life into an old story using digital storytelling

Digital storytelling is not only a way show what your not-for-profit is doing, but can also be a powerful way to capture a community’s heritage.

Old Salts making 'stickies'Coastal communities in Western Australia have undergone a significant change in the years. Once built on the crayfishing industry, the towns have now focused on a growing tourism industry.

However, ICAN and the Jurien Bay Community Resource Centre realised how important it the area’s history is and formed the Contemporary Old Salts project in an effort to use digital storytelling to  preserve a long tradition called “stickie-making” (beehive crayfish pots).

They decided to interview two veteran Fisherman, more commonly known as ‘Old Salts’, about their experiences as an Old Salt and about the construction of “stickies”. However, instead of just showing a recap of the interview, they decided to get footage of actual makings of the “stickies” so that viewers could see a step-by-step guide of how the stickies are produced and see how much time and effort goes into the production of a single stickie pot.

The videos were filmed using the flip cameras, donated by Cisco through Connecting Up’s DonorTec program. This allowed them to edit the videos to be more appealing with added speedup effects and make the sound more audible. The final video would be integrated with their “stickie-making’ exhibition last month in addition to promotion via online resources.

They produced a full length documentary that has been donated to the local shire library and the state library for their historical records, ensuring that the stories and memories reach future generations of their region.

By using digital storytelling techniques, they were able to capture the rich history and culture of the Jurien Bay for future generations to embrace. Not only that, but they served those who helped to shape their community by breathing life back into old memories of the Old Salts as they recounted their stories.