Potential and challenges of public engagement using storymapping and interactive documentaries

Authors: Jessica Jacobs*, Queen Mary University of London
Topics: Communication, Cultural Geography, Middle East
Keywords: engagement, film, interactive, teaching, media, communications, cultural, human, critical
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Oakley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The growth of digital video and online learning platforms has led to urgent calls within the discipline to pay more attention to our media literacy (Lukinbeal 2014) and a renewed scrutiny of the idea that moving-mage research can only be categorised as a visual method (Jacobs 2015). While this has led to a growing interest in the way that filmmaking itself is changing the relationship between researcher and participant, it also raises new challenges in terms of measuring how audiences engage with geographical films. When geographers use or produce video for teaching or presenting their research, how can we measure and assess its impact - what kind of engagement is taking place with the audience and what tools are available to help us find out. This paper aims to explore the potential of online filmic platforms by reflecting on the author’s recent use of Klynt interactive documentary software to map Bedouin tribal history. It will discuss some of the processes involved in building the site, and show some excerpts from the films, in order to begin to analyse the potential these new tools have for the discipline’s desire to improve engagement with the public. The paper will also examine the notion of interactive – and briefly compare the use of interactive documentary with ArcGIS options such as storymapping. It will start to ask what a critical storymapping geography might look like and how these geographical filmic publications are being understood and engaged with by their audiences.

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