Transformative Encounters? Racism and the Sonic Representation of Stephen Lawrence's Story
Aziz, T. (2021). Transformative Encounters? Racism and the Sonic Representation of Stephen Lawrence's Story. International Digital Storytelling Conference. Loughborough University (online) 21 - 22 Jun 2021
This presentation explores the role that digital storytelling can play in engaging young people in a dialogue about racism in contemporary life by revisiting the murder of Stephen Lawrence in 1993. Focusing on an exhibition of the multi-channel, sound-only installation, [re]locate, at the Otter Gallery (University of Chichester) in late 2015, and the accompanying learning programme undertaken with Year 9 pupils from local secondary schools, the paper reflects on the analysis of qualitative feedback elicited from pupils following their encounter with the artwork. Using an analytical framework of thematic analysis and the dimensions of narrative engagement proposed by Busselle and Bilandzic (2009), it examines the benefits of using an ‘immersive’ sound-only story environment to promote dialogue about the impact of racism, discrimination and stereotyping in society. It concludes by pointing towards the transformative and educative power of the artwork, and its potential to act as a catalyst for social activism: motivating young people to become proactive in tackling racism in their schools and community spaces.
|Keywords||digital storytelling, surround sound, audience engagement, anti-racism, social justice, installation art|
|Web address (URL)||https://storytellingacademy.education/dst2021-conference-announcement-24-hour-online-marathon-in-june/|
|Accepted author manuscript|
|18 Jun 2021|
|Publication process dates|
|Accepted||18 Jun 2021|
|Deposited||03 Dec 2021|
|Web address (URL) of conference proceedings||https://learninglab.si.edu/collections/dst-conference-2021-storytelling-for-a-just-future/tLGZOyx3b4vsUP9i|
[re]locate is a multi-speaker sound-only installation revisiting the Stephen Lawrence case, as framed by the media and public debates associated with the Stephen Lawrence Public Inquiry (Macpherson Report). The installation is a culmination of earlier AHRC-funded practice-led research, in which sound, storytelling and computer-mediated technology were used to find new and innovative ways to encourage an audience to re-examine the complex and multi-layered narratives associated with the case. The installation, together with an accompanying visual display, was produced with funding from the Arts Council of England.
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