Zed Grant Workshop: Digital Storytelling
Zeyno Pekünlü

5, 12,26 February 2013, 18:00 – 21:00, KAT1

The workshop will be in Turkish.

Before the invention of the printing press, even at times when transportation was slow and intercontinental transportation was almost impossible, there were storytellers who passed on utterances, thoughts and images. Nomads carried stories between places and the settled ones disseminated them across time. Storytellers were the keepers of collective memory and collective knowledge; they didn’t only disseminate but also collected, edited, reproduced, multiplied and anonymized stories, myths, thoughts and inventions. In his essay titled The Storyteller (1936), Walter Benjamin observes that he encounters storytellers less and less, which he then claims in relation to the decreasing relevance of experience and increasing value of information: “The value of information does not survive the moment in which it was new. It lives only at that moment; it has to surrender to it completely and explain itself to it without losing any time. A story is different. It does not expend itself. It preserves and concentrates its strength and is capable of releasing it even after a long time.”

A tradition akin to storytelling emerges with the use of digital means as of 1970s and a shared experience of digital storytelling is articulated with the expansion of World Wide Web. Today, internet is full of individual-social-historical narratives that are produced and consumed individually, collectively or interactively by utilizing digital technologies. Can these narratives live up to “the epic side of truth”, which is described as the distinguishing trait of storytellers? Or, do they wonder around the “plausible” borders of information?

This workshop aims to discuss the history and current state of storytelling, provide an introduction to digital storytelling and explore its potential in the context of art and activism through group projects. During the first session, the notion of storytelling will be discussed through a series of readings and examples from various fields (politics, advertising, activism, game, education, art etc.). Mediums of digital storytelling (film, animation, image, text, hypertext, sound, blogging, radio, social media etc.) will be explored. In the second session, while the discussion will continue by looking closely at new examples, the participants will start to form their project ideas. These projects will be discussed collectively with a focus on the content, materials and available technologies. During the two weeks following the second session, the participants will work on drafts for their projects. In the third session, the participants will present the drafts, which will be followed by a discussion of critique and suggestions.

The workshop is free of charge. The number of participants is limited to 15. To register, please send an e-mail to before 03.02.2014.

The workshop takes place at KAT1 (İstiklal Cad. Mısır Apt. No:163 K.1 D.2 Beyoğlu / İstanbul 34433 Turkey)

Zeyno Pekünlü graduated from the Painting Department of Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul and continued her education with master and PhD in the same university. She has also completed a second Master in Artistic Production and Research in University of Barcelona. Currently works as lecturer in Kultur University, Istanbul. Comprising a wide spectrum of material from the National Anthem, Nutuk by the founding leader of the nation, Yeşilçam melodramas, to daily news on violence against women, her works traverse public and private manifestations of various forms of subordination, and aims to problematize the technologies of power.