The above digital storytelling project is about the life of the late Antonio Giordano, an Italian journalist, author and community leader who arrived in Australia in 1924 as a stowaway before going on to make a significant contribution to the migrant experience.
I am convinced that my digital storytelling project could be used in a number of different contexts. As an example, my current employer—an educational institution here in Victoria—consists of two colleges, namely the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce (ASSC) and the College of Science, Health and Engineering (SHE). I believe both Colleges could use my project as a prototype of a visually engaging, interactive, digital story developed using an emerging new learning platform, namely Shorthand Social. I see platforms like Shorthand Social, Shorthand Pro and Microsoft Sway as exciting new digital storytelling platforms which will help to bring history to life and make it so much more immersive than it has been in the past.
In fact, I have already had a preliminary conversation with an academic from the School’s Department of Languages and Linguistics and hope to have similar conversations with other academics across both colleges in the near future. The Shorthand Social platform lends itself to several different disciplines including history, languages, journalism and design. In terms of my specific project I believe my audience to be historians, students of history, history teachers, students of Italian, teachers of Italian, journalists, students of design, students of journalism, biographers, academics and writers as well as anyone interested in anthropology.
Moreover, there are several local organisations that may be interested in my digital story including the Italian Australian Institute at La Trobe University, the Museo Italiano, the Italian Historical Society, the Immigration Museum and the Melbourne Museum. As well as that, similar institutions in other states may also be interested since I know for a fact that Giordano spent time in every Australian state except for Tasmania plus the Northern Territory. I can see the Italian community both here and interstate viewing my digital story then wanting to create their own digital stories. There may even be some overseas interest in the sense that in 1969 Giordano received an award “in recognition of his work on behalf of Sicilian immigrants in Australia” from Il Centro Orientamento Emigrati Siciliani (COES) in Italy. Even after all this time its possible that this particular organisation may still be interested in Giordano. Last but not least, I believe Giordano’s Estate here in Australia as well as his descendants in Italy may be interested in the contents of my digital story.
This project was conceived as an opportunity to create an engaging multimedia feature article on specific events in the life of Giordano. I should point out that I’ve always been interested in social history and I saw this digital storytelling project as a perfect opportunity to create something which would hopefully inspire others to act. In other words, I wanted to take advantage of the affordances of the platform and create a piece of social history which would transcend the book.
In doing so I was keen to make my digital story as interactive and immersive as possible. I didn’t want my creation to look or feel like a traditional biography in the form of a book. I wanted to share an interesting story and at the same time create something entirely new. Something which would exist only in the digital realm and which would by definition be available to just about anyone, anywhere and at anytime. Assuming of course, that they have a reliable internet connection.
I hope that my digital story on Antonio Giordano will resonate with audiences both far and wide. My story is currently available to the digital public across the world 365 days a year and I am hopeful that it will be well received. Ultimately, I would like to see it being used perhaps as an example of a new and innovative way of presenting historical information. Perhaps my story will inspire a whole new generation of budding family historians to do something constructive with those shoe boxes full of old photos and letters. I hope so.