The 2016 Intercultural Digital Storytelling Project is led by two Senior Fellows who participated in the inaugural fellowship in the 2014-2015 school year. The Senior Fellows, advised by the #IDSP co-founders and working through the Digital Learning Commons, plan and facilitate the fellowship experience for #IDSP16. Please feel free to email them with any questions about the project.
Katie lived in the interior of Panama for a year, where she co-taught English with a Panamanian teacher at a public high school. Here’s what woke her up in the mornings:
“There was what I called a symphony of nature. It sounds lovely, but many mornings it really was not. Even so, it became home. It went like this: The rooster would wake up first (this could be as early as 3am). He would start doing his thing, and wake up the many street dogs that slept up against my house. They apparently were not morning dogs, because they would start angrily barking at the rooster who was still making tons of noise. Once I was awake enough to register all of this, it dawned on me that there was a steady background noise as well, and that’s when I would tune into the bullfrogs. I have no idea when they would start, but once I was awoken, I couldn’t un-hear them. It began as a really frustrating way to wake up, but after a few months I secretly loved it. I took a recording of it on my phone last time I was in Panama, just to remember.”
Anna spent many years learning Flamenco dance, and did her undergraduate research with the Roma community in Sevilla, particularly looking at how different Flamenco rhythms and lyrics pass down key insights into the rich history and culture of Roma/Gitano people.
Most memorable experience? ‘El Caracol de Lebrija’ is a huge outdoor flamenco festival that happens every year in the small village of Lebrija. Diana, a lady that took me under her wing, invited me to this exclusive festival. I was blown away. The festival gets its name from the large barrels of snails that they pour out in plastic cups for all participants. Deeply rooted in tradition, it is one of three similar events that happen every year, all based in different towns named by the traditional food they dish out to invitees. Roma families travel from all over Andalucía and the rest of Spain in huge groups for these events. Flamenco legends perform for their family, peers and friends, and I have never seen or been a part of such a raw musical experience.
Katie and Anna Traveled to Panama in January, 2016 to host a digital storytelling workshop for the youth. View the film the kids produced as well as a short documentary on the process: