Co-Creative Documentary and the Politics of Listening, October 18, 2016 – University of Houston

Digital storytelling can offer dynamic pathways for developing relationships of inquiry, learning, and knowledge production through dialogical collaboration across domains. As a co-creative practice, digital storytelling can render a nexus of domains–aesthetic, ethical, socio-political, institutional–more tangible and open to analysis. Attention to these encounters of ‘political listening’ (Arendt, 1958; Bickford, 1996; Dreher, 2009) might provide a framework for building and theorizing shared practices within proprietary contexts. To explore the collaborative and dialogical essence of digital storytelling, this talk will draw from a longitudinal (2007-2010) ethnography of media production with political asylum seekers and labor migrants in Ireland. Said research aimed to develop an exploratory and critical practice of inquiry that not only responded to the ethical complexities of research with refugees (Jackson, 2002), asylum seekers, and undocumented migrants, but also to create opportunities for research subjects–as emergent media practitioners and engaged scholars (Cammarota, 2008; Fine, et al., 2000)–to interpret, analyze, document, and publically screen their depictions of Ireland.