Digital storytelling to preserve intangible cultural heritage

As tradition slowly takes a backseat in our daily lives and technology takes over, there is an an ever-growing pressure to preserve our intangible and living cultural heritage. It is the role of museums to record these fragile artforms. Languages, musical instruments, theatre and dance are all at risk.

UNESCO promotes the use of interactive multimedia tools and digital storytelling technologies to preserve and build a better understanding of intangible cultural heritage.

Online newspapers and media agencies build dramatic video-style stories from a collection of still images. Mediastorm is an example of a company producing people’s stories with beautiful production values. There is no reason why these storytelling techniques cannot be applied to museums – in preservation and education. US photojournalist Colin Mulvany offers tips on how to make your audio slideshows. He recommends using the software Soundslides; but if you have iPhoto, iMovie or Final Cut Pro they would be just as effective coupled with the free sound program Audacity.

Sarah Rhodes

2 Responses to “Digital storytelling to preserve intangible cultural heritage”

  1. Joy Suliman Says:

    At the SoundHouse VectorLab at the Powerhouse Museum, we offer hands-on digital storytelling, and digital video and sound workshops which are very popular with participants from museums and the collections sector looking to create online and exhibition content. The next interactive storytelling workshop is in August.

    For more information, check out our website

  2. sarah Says:

    Thanks Joy for letting everyone know where they can attend workshops in Sydney. Digital storytelling classes give you the skills you need to bring your collection to life.

    There are several approaches to these short videos. One option is to cut archive material together with narrative and music laid over the top. Alternatively, you can build a mini-social history documentary around the object still used in the community.

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