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Critical junctures: place-based storytelling in the Big Stories, Small Towns participatory documentary project
journal contributionposted on 2017-08-01, 00:00 authored by Martin PotterMartin Potter
© 2017, © The Author(s) 2017. Since 2008, the multi-year and multi-platform Big Stories, Small Towns documentary project (bigstories.com.au) has facilitated the telling, recording, archiving and dissemination of auto/biographical narratives in Australia, Cambodia, West Papua, Malaysia and Indonesia. Through this work, a critical juncture has been identified in the mediascape where reconstruction can materialise. While a level of interconnectivity has always underpinned storytelling within communities, shifting global dynamics and new mediums allow for an alternative examination of multi-layered communities and the complex relations between people, social backgrounds, technology/media and place. I argue that this represents a fundamental shift away from a centralised vision of storymaking (i.e. author/documenter-centric) to a collectivised storytelling practice. Thus, this article moves attention from the rhetoric of texts to practices of community organisation and the technological and embodied material relations, which aspire to produce a collectively enacted sense of place and identity.