#ChangeMaker Narratives — “Storytelling” is Back on Campus
This ChangeMaker describes himself as a Middle Class White Male who takes the topic of #inclusivity seriously. He is, therefore, keen on issues related to ethnicity, diversity and inclusiveness.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Fiddian Warman, Artist_in_Residence at the Bloomsbury Institute London and Founder of the Society of Digital Artists (SoDA).
Fiddian encourages people to share their stories in conversational style and uses roadshows/ salons in and around London Bloomsbury and the Knowledge Quarter, to bring these stories to life.
One of these mobile salons labelled the ‘Shoeshine Stories’ — is a project where he invites both staff and students to sit down with him as he shines their shoes and chats with them about their experiences at the Bloomsbury Institute.
Following these informal chats, the stories are then etched on tabletops and other work surfaces in the student hub and Guild Office of the Institution. This activity later morphed into a #reliquary which he presented at the Teaching & Learning Conference (TLC).
In essence, the project involved building a physical shoeshine stand that records conversations, enabling me to clean people’s shoes in exchange for stories. Selected fragments of those conversations were then immortalised by transferring the text onto desktops, screens, cabinets and tabletops in the Student Hub.
From London to Jo’Burg
Storytelling and organisational stories have proved to be the new norm — a powerful vehicle for audience (and stakeholder) engagement. It is now a global phenomenon from London to Johannesburg (Jo’Burg) and much farther. And, yes, higher education institutions have plugged in.
In a recent University of Johannesburg newsletter published on 25 March 2021, and entitled “A Story of Hope,” University of Johannesburg students, in partnership with Brand South Africa and the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa, have embarked on a project to brings to life the power of stories for societal change:
“We have the power to change society if we understand each other’s worlds and experiences.”
The students share their stories of hope and resilience, inspiring those around them to play their part. View Amogaleng Tlhowe story of hardship and triumph in the video clip below.
You may also wish to read “Art Converters and Art Convergence: An Entrepreneurial Imperative,” which speaks to the narrative of the Arts for Entrepreneurial development — including entrepreneurship education.