It’s World Storytelling Day!

It would be a little difficult to fully celebrate World Storytelling Day on A Storied Career in the spirit intended — given that it is a celebration of the art of oral storytelling. Here’s how the World Storytelling Day site describes the event:

World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling. It is celebrated every year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in the southern. On World Storytelling Day, as many people as possible tell and listen to stories in as many languages and at as many places as possible, during the same day and night. Participants tell each other about their events in order to share stories and inspiration, to learn from each other and create international contacts.

This year’s theme is neighbors. Here’s a little more about the day and about preparing a story — from Andree Iffrig.

Though all the following are not fully in the oral storytelling spirit of the day, I thought I’d use this space to list what some of my Twitter “neighbors” have been saying about storytelling in the past few days:

  • Debuting today for World Storytelling Day is Tactical Nomadic Storytelling, an art project by Pattie Belle Hastings that combines live storytelling and props with mobile digital media (visual and audio). The project is described as comprising a “mobile storytelling projection unit and a series of trickster stories that combine video/animation, audio, mobile devices and live performance.”
  • In Second Life, you’ll find Virtual Macbeth participating in the The Virtual Worlds Story Project Presents: The Second Life Story Quest, a project running in as part of the celebrations of World Storytelling Day. From the organizers:

    The Story Quest brings writers from around the globe to participate in a fun-filled and challenging story writing exercise to celebrate World Storytelling Day. With five genres to choose from, writers will travel to a variety of sims, collect clues, and use elements of those sims to craft their stories.

  • Storytelling continued to be a significant topic at South By Southwest (SXSW) festival/conference with much Twitter buzz focused on a Tuesday panel called The Future of Visual Storytelling is Interactive — Or Is It? Panelists included Panelist Victoria Ha, James Milward, Mark Pytlik, Phil Stuart, and Rick Webb. Here’s how the SXSW Web site described the panel:

    Whether online, on mobile phones, DVD or in physical spaces, the way we tell stories is … changing. What is the future of telling visual stories, with the reality of shorter attention spans, clickable culture and evolving technology that enables new ways to display and interact with cinematic content and narrative. This panel explore[d] the opportunities, challenges, technical and usability issues and whether any one actually cares about interactive films.

    At Cover It Live, you can read a transcript of the panel’s discussion.

    One blogger self-described as a Ph.D. candidate in comparative literature at Indiana University and a narratologist was disappointed with the panel, concluding that its members “had really little understanding of what narrative was.” A snippet:

    The model that was presented within the first five minutes was shockingly binary: on the one had we had the “passive” story-telling (which implied linear narrative models) on the other end of the spectrum we have “interactive” (which was egregiously labeled as “open-ended”).

  • The Twitterverse also buzzed this week about Best NOTES on FILMMAKING and STORYTELLING on the NET.
  • Huge buzz yesterday about an article on Advertising Age, Data Visualization Is Reinventing Online Storytelling, in which Garrick Smith writes about visualizations that change the way we “create and consume narratives about events, products and services.” I’m having trouble seeing narrative/storytelling in the examples he cites, though I marvel at the amazing things being done to help us visualize data.