What are the actual inner processes taking place when youth shape and share stories about their lives through digital storytelling? In the present study, we follow an experiment in religious education in a local congregation outside Oslo. In the autumn of 2005, the Church of Norway initiated a project wherein young people raised questions of faith and life in short biographical mini-films called ‘Digital Faith Stories’. As the title suggests, digital tools are central to the project. We focus on the youth participants, analysing their role as media producers and following the construction of their stories. The adult leaders of the project are also given some attention. The analysis shows that the method of ‘Digital Storytelling’ might lead to a more systematic educational method for including the lifeworld of the young in religious training. The research has been carried out in cooperation with Prof. Knut Lundby.
Media researchers have not been much preoccupied with a genre named Digital Storytelling. Since its origin in the early 90s, it has spread from California to the rest of the United States and has been evolving for several years now as a media practice around the globe. I therefore want to draw more attention to digital storytelling, here understood as a specific genre developed at the Center for Digital Storytelling (CDS) in California and defined as a short, first-person video narrative that combines voice recordings, still and moving images, and music or other sounds (www.storycenter.org). Such storytelling is regarded as both a movement and a method; and it is in its idea a short personal story, about the self. In the subtitle of his book Digital Storytelling, the leader of the center, Joe Lambert, highlights that this type of narratives are Creating Community through Capturing Lives of individuals (Lambert 2009). This genre is embedded in a democratic and empowering ideology. Along these lines, the main concern of this article is to discuss whether a change can be observed in the digital storytelling genre from an individualistic perspective to a more collective perspective - a shift from narrating selves to narrating communities. In examining this question, this work draws upon 45 films produced by bachelor students at the University of Oslo in 2010 and 2011.