Big stories, small towns: Murray Bridge and Raukkan

Potter, Martin, Grieve, Anna, Lee, Jeni, and Mchawala, Sieh (2012) Big stories, small towns: Murray Bridge and Raukkan. [Creative Work]

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[img] Video (QuickTime) (Big Stories - Murray Bridge: Ken Wells [High Resolution]) - Supplemental Material
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[img] Video (QuickTime) (Big Stories - Murray Bridge: Longriders Christian Motorcycle Club [High Resolution]) - Supplemental Material
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View at Publisher Website: http://bigstories.com.au
 
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Abstract

Big Stories, Small Towns is a transmedia documentary project (www.bigstories.com.au). This iteration of the project was initiated in 2011 and was based in the towns of Murray Bridge and Raukkan in South Australia. The project seeks to describe multi-layered communities and explore complex relations between people, social backgrounds, technology and place. The question that framed this iteration of the project was: "What are the most effective techniques for practitioners developing and delivering facilitated participatory digital media projects within an institutional context?" While a level of interconnectivity has always underpinned storytelling within communities, shifting global dynamics and new mediums that constitute what Appurdai (2001) calls the mediascape allow for an alternative examination of multi-layered communities and the complex relations between people, social backgrounds, technology/media and place. ‘Big Stories’ move fluidly and organically across this mediascape. They are shown locally through exhibitions and screenings. They are shown to other towns to inspire connection and creativity. They are ‘local stories with global impact’ (Potter, 2009) through their distribution via festivals, broadcast partners and on the bigstories.com.au website. The research, embodied in the stories produced within this iteration of the project, illustrates how the stories might be disseminated, but also showcases the process and values that underpin the production of the participatory, digital media. In 2011 with the financial support of Screen Australia’s National Documentary Program, the South Australian Film Corporation, Country Arts South Australia, Murray Bridge Council and Raukkan Council the Big Stories, Small Towns team (Martin Potter, Jeni Lee, Sieh Mchawala, Anna Grieve) worked in the towns of Murray Bridge and Raukkan in South Australia to create films, photo essays and a range of other media including an exhibition at the Murray Bridge Regional Gallery. The project premiered at the 2012 Adelaide Film Festival, the Australian International Documentary Conference, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, DocFest UK and over 20 other international film festivals. In 2012 the project was the first Australian winner of an award at South x South West (SXSW) – winning Community Champion.

Research Statement

Research Background The fragmentation of traditional media models of production and distribution has enabled new models for participation with public screen institutions. This project used participatory media to document multi-layered communities and explore complex relations between people, social backgrounds, technology and place. Using a practice-led methodology, it asked what the most effective techniques were for practitioners developing and delivering facilitated participatory digital media projects within a specific institutional context.
Research Contribution ‘Murray Bridge and Raukkan’ is the second iteration of the acclaimed transmedia project, Big Stories, Small Towns. To explore the new possibilities for participation in a changing mediascape, a custom content management system and a single, centrally hosted web platform were built to support engagement of multiple communities. The process of producing these stories was also refined from previous iterations. This new model of participation shifts attention from individual stories towards practices of collective identification and action, creating acts of participatory storymaking. It offers a model of positive deviance empowering individuals and communities to reject ‘deficit discourses’ that marginalise them and their ways of life.
Research Significance Partnerships with government, non-government and private sector organisations enabled this innovative transmedia work, which has been identified by peers as a form of best practice for web and participatory documentary. It was funded through Screen Australia's National Documentary Program, the SA Film Corporation, and other grants to the value of $248,128. The project was SXSW Interactive Community Champion 2012, and has featured in more than 20 international festivals, including the International Documentary Festival (Amsterdam, 2011) and the UK’s DocFest. The project was part of an exhibition at the Murray Bridge Regional Art Gallery, and it has been used as a case study for Country Arts SA’s Regional Centre for Culture.
Item ID: 51917
Item Type: Creative Work (Recorded/Rendered Work - Audio/visual recording - NTRO)
Keywords: documentary, digital storytelling, transmedia, participatory media, Murray Bridge, Raukkan
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Additional Information:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following works may contain images and voices of people who have died.

Funders: Screen Australia, South Australian Film Corporation, Country Arts South Australia, Media Resource Centre, Murray Bridge Council
Projects and Grants: National Documentary Program (Screen Australia)
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2018 02:47
FoR Codes: 19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190205 Interactive Media @ 40%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200102 Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies @ 40%
19 STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING > 1902 Film, Television and Digital Media > 190204 Film and Television @ 20%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9502 Communication > 950204 The Media @ 25%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9503 Heritage > 950304 Conserving Intangible Cultural Heritage @ 25%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8904 Media Services > 890403 Internet Broadcasting @ 50%
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