Accepted Paper:

Personal Storytelling for Wellbeing. Creative Digital Media to Explore Form, Content and Process  


Julie Walters (Sheffield Hallam University)

Paper short abstract:

Experiences of illness and disability are often strange and difficult to communicate. This paper explores how facilitated media making workshops using digital storytelling and stop-motion animation enable the creation of personal narratives. Research as part of my doctoral thesis will be presented.

Paper long abstract:

In the beginning, I created a personal digital story in a facilitated workshop. It was about my sister and I and our tangled encounters with mental suffering and recovery. The workshop was a cathartic and life changing experience which I wrote about in Walters (2018). Since then I have made many stories and been on a multifaceted journey of discovery about how to enable others to experience this catharsis. I have taken courses in digital storytelling facilitation and stop-motion animation, and now I am in the final leg of my doctorate, the title of which is also the title of this paper.

I am a woman with Three heads:

One: Psychiatric system survivor.

Two: Art and Design practitioner and

Three: Health care educator - Occupational Therapist.

Fascinated by the impact meaningful creative activity has on a person's wellbeing, I was lead to the gap in knowledge which my doctoral study seeks to fill: What it IS - an activity analysis - a consideration of a process of making. Materiality within the constraints of time and space, plus an exploration of the meaning of it for a small group of participants. I present findings from my primary study and examine the following questions

-what is the nature and pattern of activity which comprise a media making workshop

-what meaning do participants gain from undergoing this process?

Ref: Walters, Julie (2018) Chapter 12 in Cultivating Compassion: How digital storytelling is transforming healthcare. eds. Hardy, Pip and Sumner, Tony. Palgrave Macmillan London.

Panel P020
Making, Materials and Recovery: Perspectives "from the inside"