Home / Martina Jordaan, Head of Community engagement and postgraduate students at the University of Pretoria (South Africa)
Martina’s project is guided by the following research questions: Will digital storytelling create a broader understanding of local history? Will digital storytelling encourage the documentation of the local history of Mamelodi? Will digital storytelling develop community cohesion and community building?
The project aims to digitally capture the community's stories, especially the pensioners, that were part of the history. Martina believes telling personal stories with the use of multimedia can be a powerful way to create narratives. In an age where the exchanging of personal letters is no longer the standard, digital storytelling is a new form for documenting an individual's experiences, whether through multimedia video creations, blogs, podcasts, activities on social networks, or other story forms. The digital stories will be short (1–3 minutes), first-person visual narratives that synthesize still and moving images, a voiceover recording of the participant telling their story, and at times background music and text to document personal experiences. Digital storytelling promotes active sense-making among participants about past (and often hidden) experiences by engaging them in a supportive story production process.
The community partnership will be between the University of Pretoria, the Mamelodi campus and a group of pensioners in the Mamelodi community. The group of pensioners created The Historical Society of Mamelodi that Reverend Mkhule Chris Nkomo spearheads will spearhead the project with a group of pensioners. The Historical Society of Mamelodi management team consist of: Reverend C.D. Nkomo, Mr. Veleleni Mashumi, Mr. Morris Legoabe, and Mr. Glen Mokwena.
Martina hopes to empower the pensioners from the local community of Mamelodi, spearheaded by The Historical Society of Mamelodi, in basic computer literacy and how to use the video editing software, WeVideo, to create their own digital history stories. The computer labs at the University of Pretoria, Mamelodi campus will be used for the initial training and the development of the first round of digital stories. The project aims to empower community members to use computers, have basic computer skills, use a video editing software, upload and manage a YouTube channel, and access the broader community.