There are no prerequisite skills or knowledge needed before taking the course. You will just require openness, curiosity and interest in learning about digital storytelling and community food growing. To do the practical activities, you will need a smartphone.
When doing the course, keeping a learning journal can be helpful as it enables you to write and create written and visual notes about what you are learning as you engage in the various module activities. Some entries may be short and specific, while others reflect on what you have read or learned. Noting your reflections can deepen your learning experience. You can use a physical notebook or create a Word document to record your learning on the computer or other digital devices. The key is to make it a fun, interesting experience rather than a chore.
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We really hope you’ll enjoy this course!
“Food is a powerful vehicle for storytelling. This is true both for individuals and at the collective level. Food is who we are, where we come from, how we live, what we believe, and who we will become.” (Williams, 2017, Telling Stories Through Food, Accessed: 06/09/2021)
Food and storytelling have always been connected. On an individual and collective level, the food we grow and eat not only generates stories about its origin, but also creates a space for people to share their stories and to create a feeling of community. These stories we tell each other make a community. These are positive, uplifting stories which bring people together and galvanise action to overcome personal, community and global challenges.
This course is about empowering people to create their own radically hopeful, uplifting stories of community food growing during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Our approach is ‘accessible tech’ i.e. the course revolves around using everyday tools (smartphones and simple editing software).It's true that we do not need any technology to do this. But simple accessible technologies give us the means to go beyond face-to-face storytelling, to put our stories online and so reach more people.
What type of transformation around food and agriculture do you think we could bring with our phones? We can use smartphones to gather rich audiovisual information for our stories, to produce them at minimal cost, and to share them virally throughout our community and beyond. Using smartphones allows us to capture the story as it unfolds in real time, to enhance the story with additional information (drawings, maps, pictures, graphs), and to add diverse perspectives afterwards. Digital storytelling about community food growing can therefore support your initiative by engaging a wider audience and creating a ‘social memory’ of local impacts and benefits.
This course builds on the highly successful ‘hands-on’ and participatory approach developed by the Cobra Collective to empower communities through digital storytelling of positive local practices.
This course is part of the project “Digital storytelling about group food growing” run by the Open University and the Cobra Collective in collaboration with the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) and Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming.