So I’m on my annual (2nd year this year) pilgrimage to London. Why? The Story! This has got to be the most inspirational day (I hesitate to call it a conference) of the year. The Story is the brainchild of Matt Locke. As he says, he just wanted to create the conference that he really wanted to go to.
I was there last year, but was unable to rearticulate the pure joy that the day brought me. So much inspiration! This year – all I want to do is write about it. I haven’t felt so inspired to write in FOREVER! But that’s the whole point of this pilgrimage – to be inspired, hear new good stories and celebrate storytelling. I must admit that I feel exceptionally geeky travelling from Norway for the event, but it’s just so worth it. And after, I have the whole weekend to work on my inspiration and write in lovely London.
Margaret Robertson was the perfect MC for the event. She excused herself for only being interested in games, but her storytelling geek surfaced quite well. So I’ll do the talks chronologically:
I think I first heard of Ministry of Stories from my sister and I’ve been smitten by it ever since. Ministry of Stories is a writing center for t
hose under 18, inspired by David Egger’s project 826 Valencia. Apparently he had the idea of creating a writing project for young people and found the perfect place to run the project from. But the house required that there me some sort of shop front – so why not sell Pirate supplies?! Wonderfully creative! Here in London, they’ve chosen the Monster Supply theme. They were there at Conway Hall and it was lovely going up to the counter and having a debate if I really need some Colly Wobble or some Vague Sense of Unease. I wanted to buy them all ofcourse. Perfect gifts for my writer friends, but didn’t have enough cash on me.
Egger’s TED talk here.
Matt had a fascinating presentation on the narrative through SMS in ivy4ever. It was truly inspiring learning about how they used the medium. What fascinated me most about this talk was the way that the teenagers engaged with the character. Although it was evident that she was not real, the conversations were open and real. Matt talked a little about the realism and the troubles that come with it. When it comes evident that this is a bot, does it ruin the
narrative. He drew out some beautiful examples that it indeed did not. I kept thinking about the Norwegian phenomenon of the “pink” blogs. Øyvind Solstad once gave a presentation where he mentioned that some of the girls were acting as counselor’s to young girls struggling with growing up. We all know that advice is ta
ken more seriously by those our own age and the example that Solstad gave was heartwarming and quite honestly brought a tear to my eye. But I suppose creating a narrative that is about teenage pregnancy and is made specifically to engage these teenagers in conversations, such counseling is needed. – hmm – my thoughts may be straying away from what Matt actually talked about here, but this is what I’m thinking about after learning about ivy4ever. I’m really looking forward to learning more about sms narrative and Blast Theory. Will be paying attention!
OMG what a fascinating man! Truly – where should I start? Firstly he challenged the naivité of all of us who embrace collaborative writing on the internett and think that it will change the face of narrative forever. He doesn’t think it is so and challenged us all to step back and look at the larger picture. While at the same time he felt that TV was an old medium that was loosing it’s magic. He also mentioned that people were looking for the longer fuller story. Why do I feel like that is not the case in Norway. I feel that the British media are always interested in talking about this, but in Norway I don’t see it as much. For us th
e fuller story is dwelling on the local – that’s at least my impression.
Adam showed a short clip of a young Afghan BBC journalist interviewing a Taliban member about the burning of schools. He then showed us the whole entire clip of the interview which was surreal and absolutely fascinating. This small group of Taliban members had decided tha
t they should circle the camera with the large dangerous guns and missiles while he was interviewing their leader. Making the journalis
t fear for his life and making the interview seem like a Monty Python skit in my opinion. The journalist is wonderfully sarcastic in the intervie
w and made it just so informative and a fascinating piece of news. It put the surreality of the whole Afghanistan situation in the “real” light. For none of us can make sense of it all, and stuff like this reaffirms our suspicions that things aren’t clear cut. Or as straight forward as “regular” tv edited news stories try to make them. We don’t believe the polished versions anymore.
And now – I need some lunch! ;)