Handheld Un-Conference Explored How Digital Storytelling Can Improve Health Care

OK, I admit that this entry is from almost a year ago, and for some reason, I never published it at the time. The most current aspect of this project is the accompanying DVD expected to be released. The un-conference’s site asks interested folks to email to be notified of the release date. I’m a little curious as to why it hasn’t been released almost a year after the [un]conference. Maybe a victim of the economy? More:


HANDHELD includes the new short film UNEXPECTED, featuring the candid and provocative dialogue between young mothers who have experienced homelessness and the health care professionals who help deliver their babies.

From the conference Web site:

HAND-HELD was an [un]conference that explored how digital storytelling and new media can be harnessed to improve health care when the tools of creation are placed in the hands of citizens.

The day-long event was the culmination of a three-year experiment in socially-engaged media-making undertaken by the National Film Board of Canada — a filmmaker-in-residence project at St. Michael’s Hospital.

The event showcased the remarkable results of an 18-month participatory media project, I WAS HERE. We put digital cameras into the hands of young mothers who have experienced homelessness to document their lives, and their experiences with the healthcare system. Their photography and video work were the starting point for the conversations during the day.

HAND-HELD was an [un]conference; the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants.

HAND-HELD brought together a small, hand-picked selection of health-care professionals, academics, media-makers, politicians, decision-makers and young parents who have experienced homelessness — all experts — in a unique open-source day to envision our collective future of health-care in a democratic and digital age.