DocuStory & Impact Campaigns: Examining the Dynamics of Cocreating Change through Digital Storytelling

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Hayes, Gary , W.
College of interdisciplinary studies
Digital Storytelling is a prominent element of modern-day culture that affects daily life and has the power to create impact on individuals, communities, and societies. Media practitioners and scholars are beginning to develop and evaluate strategic impact campaigns for documentaries with social calls to action, a process sometimes referred to as “impact producing.” This transdisciplinary participatory action research aimed to cocreate a strategic campaign for a DocuStory on liver wellness designed to spread awareness about hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that disproportionately affects Indigenous communities. Using a media practitioner impact model, in collaboration with an Indigenous community & health leadership, iterative cycles of planning, action, and reflection in a conversational and accessible way, acted as a social intervention to explore how to cocreate impact. Through participatory action research, pragmatic inquiry was used to generate context-specific knowledge using a holistic and relational approach allowing for primary, secondary, and tertiary impacts to develop. Key learnings emerged in regard to enhanced understanding of cultural collaboration, respectful cocreation approaches, the importance of formal and informal relationship engagement practices, leadership within the impact campaign, and how collaborative storytelling for the purpose of generating impact can affect change. Keywords: impact campaign, participatory action research, documentary, cocreation, Indigenous/non-Indigenous collaboration, leadership
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