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Watch the recording of the Digital Storytelling Festival 2023 to discover innovative ways to use digital tools to bring cultural heritage stories to life and learn from the experts in the field. Explore inspiring examples, spark your creativity and boost your skills! Explore the slides

The Festival took place from 9 - 10 May 2023.

Find out more about the Digital Storytelling Festival.


Day one - Tuesday 9 May

All times are in Central European Summer Time (CEST).

09:00-09:10 Welcome and introduction to the programme.

09:10-09:25 Keynote address by Waqas Ahmed, Executive Director of the Khalili Foundation. 

Waqas Ahmed will introduce The World Festival of Cultural Diversity - a global, synchronised celebration of cultural diversity supported by UNESCO. It is a year-round programme of events and activities leading up to the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on 21st May. The Festival is created and coordinated by the Khalili Foundation to spotlight efforts around the world to preserve and promote cultural diversity, especially through the cultural sector.

09:30-10:30 Crafting a video interview: Workshop with EFHA in conversation with artist Loukia Richards - Workshop

The workshop will reflect on the video ‘Craft as Political Art’, produced by European Fashion Heritage Association (EFHA) in the context of the Crafted project. The video - an interview with artist Loukia Richards about the fascinating craft of weaving kilims - will be analysed in its different phases of creation and used as a prompt to help participants develop their own storyline. The audience will engage in drafting ideas for each creative step, to acquire confidence in the development of a video storytelling project.

10:30-11:15 The power of storytelling for mental health and wellbeing - Talks and panel discussion

Tijs Van Steenberghe - Photovoicing Recovery Pathways

The photovoice project Recovery Pathways focusses on understanding how recovery is being shaped through the lens of recovery capital and gender. More importantly, the day-to-day experiences of women in recovery are the starting point. This presentation focusses on the meaning of the photovoice project for the recovery process of the participants while revealing how gendered dynamics of recovery capital are engrained in Western recovery pathways.

Liesa Rutsaert and Sam de Schutter - Huis van Alijn Outreach Lab

Welcome to the outreachlab at the House of Alijn, the museum of daily life! The outreachlab is a new department within our museum where we use the collection to create an impact on people's health and well-being. We develop methods and programmes targeted at people in the health care and social sector. In this presentation, we will take you through a number of storytelling methodologies and programmes, both online and offline.

11:15-11:30 BREAK

11:30-12:15 How to contribute stories to Europeana. Everything you need to know about copyright, guidelines and grants - Workshop

In this talk you will learn all about the amazing editorial that gets published on Europeana, how we do it and how we involve partners like you in the process! Find out how you can use Europeana's content for your own stories and pitch your own blog idea to the Europeana editorial team.

12:15-13:00 LUNCH BREAK

13:00-13:45 Art and music as ways to celebrate Black history - Talks and panel discussion

Willem Driebergen, Catharijne Convent

Gospel: Musical Journey of Spirit and Hope. Willem was involved in many different aspects in the development of an exhibition on Gospel music for Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht, helping the museum in a new adventure in storytelling. How do you present such a groundbreaking and fundamental music style in a traditional museum setting? In this presentation, Willem will give some examples for your inspiration and enjoyment.

Lela Harris, Artist

Bringing History to Life: the challenge of creating portraits without the benefit of visual references. This short presentation will explore how Lela Harris created a series of emotive portraits using fragments from historical archives and her imagination, to celebrate and remember the lives of six 18th Century Black Lancastrians who had previously been overlooked by history. The session will highlight her research and artistic process along with a glimpse into how the project impacted on her own personal journey of discovery. 

13:45-14:00 Wrap-up and look forward to day two.

Day two - Wednesday 10 May

10:00-10:10 Welcome and introduction to the day.

10:10-11:00 Free-writing the future - Workshop

Think of a future in which information about everything is readily available. In this future, it's trustworthy and safe, and it can link all areas of our lives in almost any way we can think of. Anything is possible. What does our interaction with cultural heritage look and feel like? What stories can then be told? What truths will be revealed? In this workshop, we'll use free writing to explore our storytelling future together. 

11:00-11:15 BREAK

11:15-12:00 Multi-sensory storytelling - Talks and panel discussion

Ellie Coleman, Royal Albert Memorial Museum

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery partnered with disability organisations and acclaimed sound artist Gemma Nash to create Sound Journey, a series of audio tracks designed to support museum visitors’ journeys around the museum in a creative and playful way. The work aims to inspire new ways of thinking about objects, based on the creative responses of people with a diverse range of abilities and experiences.

Sofia Ehrich, Odeuropa

What if our museums could use digital methods while also becoming more multi-sensory? Museums are traditionally vision-centric places making them places of limited engagement and for a particular audience. Through the explanation of Odeuropa’s City Sniffers: a smell tour of Amsterdam’s ecohistory, this session brings forward the best practices and challenges of using digital-olfactory storytelling.

12:00-12:30 Diversity and inclusion: why we need more LGBTQ+ stories. Introducing our first Online Creative Residency. 

Aleks Strzelichowska, Europeana Foundation

Cultural heritage should be by and for everyone. Unfortunately,  LGBTQ+ stories are often invisible within cultural heritage collections. During our Online Creative Residency, we'll work together to uncover some of these stories, tell them in various formats and share them to enrich our heritage with diverse voices.

Orla Egan,  Founder and CEO of the Cork LGBT Archive

Animating the archive: Cork LGBT Archive. Cork has a long and rich history of LGBT activism and community development. The Cork LGBT Archive gathers, preserves and shares that history. Orla Egan will discuss the various ways in which we work to animate the archive, to bring the history to life and make it more exciting and accessible. This includes publications, exhibitions, documentaries, theatre and walking tours.

Lonneke van den Hoonaard and Michel Otten, IHLIA

IHLIA LGBTIQ+ Heritage is one of the oldest LGBTQI+-  archives and libraries in Europe, founded in Amsterdam in 1978. IHLIA is the heritage organisation with a socially relevant and indispensable collection. IHLIA is continuously involved in collecting information about the LGBTI community and making it accessible. LGBTI stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexe person.

12:30-13:00 LUNCH BREAK

13:00-14:00 AI-assisted storytelling and art-making - talk and panel discussion

Anne Fehres, Farfara 2031

What does community-based arts practice in virtual space look like? How do you define the boundaries of a community online? Who are residents in virtual space? Does it include the 'other-than-human’? These questions and more are the focus of artist Anne Fehres in her project Farfara. Anne's work is frequently site-specific, collaborative and resonates strongly with the community she works in. Recently, the artist rethought her practice in a virtual space.

Liv, media and press professional

Find out how to use AI and Midjourney to turn the pictures you have in your head into real art. You will also learn how history and AI can be combined to create stories and images that engage with our cultural heritage and to enrich our toolbox for creating modern masterpieces.

Max Tiel and Joost de Boo, Founder at Thunderboom Records

How do you create live music using AI? What does it mean for artists to work with AI in a live setting? If you want to use AI as a musician on stage you need to work on a different level. Not only do you have to deal with your own musical input but you need to be able to adapt to the suggestions that the algorithm provides you with.

During the session we will collectively create new music using WAIVE Studio, our own AI music tool. WAIVE is an open-source AI-driven DJ system that is fed with audiovisual heritage materials, created by the Thunderboom Records Foundation and Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. WAIVE helps you create original dance music by using Dutch audio heritage materials in a unique way. 

We will show the audience how AI could challenge and enrich the live music creation process by using WAIVE Studio. During the workshop we will not only discuss the impact of AI on live performances but we will also collectively create our own music.

14:00-14:10 Wrap-up and thank you