Stories are powerful in many ways. In society they can keep history alive or teach norms and values. Stories can also be a tool for dialogue, they can help people reflect on their lives, discover different perspectives and foster understanding.
Christian Aid Myanmar uses digital storytelling to reflect on a process of dialogue to build social cohesion between communities in conflict in Rakhine State.
Participants make their individual story in a group process, a story circle. Using creative exercises people inspire each other, help each other to reflect, to focus and to find their message drawing from their personal experiences and emotions. Each participant records their own story, and creates supporting images. Voice and images are then combined into a short video.
Besides the empowering effect the process has on the individual, it can contribute to social cohesion within or between communities. Presenting people’s voices, the videos can inform, raise awareness, inspire action or initiate further dialogue.
These are the stories of four students who participated in ‘Bridging the Gap’, a project in Rakhine State in Myanmar that aimed to enhance mutual understanding and social cohesion through dialogue and youth leadership.