BURN PILE: Let's go to the movies... Digital Stories & Human Hearts


This frosty loveseat at the bus stop across from the UM campus wasn't very inviting, but it brought to mind Sofas, a digital story that touched me (and, according to YouTube, about 10,250+ others). Sofas is a brilliant example of digital storytelling--sincere, simple, and honest, a result of the work going on at StoryCenter. Their motto is "Listen Deeply, Tell Stories," and both are skills we're in heavy need of today. In homage to Sofas, I've pulled a selection of digi-tales for you to enjoy, laugh with, and cry over. These are personal testaments to the myriad ways our lives weave into a human whole, despite differences we impose, fabricate, and perpetrate. Remember in this holiday season that the only wars we wage are those we create, that hatred and othering only isolates yourself, and that to fight the good fight is to fight for the good of all. 


~ Story Center ~

Sofas - by Wayne Richard

A story about a young man, home, homelessness, and sofas.

Listening ... and Telling - by Elizabeth Ross

A story about persecution, multigenerational abuse, and the sanctuary of artistic practice.

Content Advisory: This story addresses child sexual abuse, rape, and homicide. 

Content of Character - by Bess Turner

A story about becoming an activist, racial inequality, and, ultimately, some justice.

This Is My Home - by Bill Tall Bull

A story about grandparents, the Sand Creek Massacre, the Cheyenne people, and one man's healing process through the Healing Run.

The Gift of Nonviolence - by Leroy Moore

A father, a son, a beating, an activist, and dead weight.

Content Advisory: This story addresses the topic of child abuse. 

The 8th Step - by Ed Popovitz

A story about a man, a dog, and getting clean.

Rites of Passage - by Nikiko Masumoto

A story about comparing one's educational experiences with those of her grandmother who graduated from high school at a concentration camp for US citizens of Japanese descent during WWII.

Wrecking/Renewal - by Ray Baylor

A story about hope in the wake of urban "renewal" and the loss of family homes and established neighborhood communities.

Unmapped roads - by Heather Browne

A story about a mom, a son, a divorce, and a road trip.

What Remains - by Sara Prahl

A story about a picture, a woman, degenerative MS, and what remains.

My Write to Draw - by Max Bessesen

A story about a cartoon named Billy, sharing creativity, and becoming a writer.

The Mayor of Mooresville by David Queen, UM MFAer, way-cool human, and awesome storyteller.

What happens when a man builds his own town from the ground up?


And, as a reminder that sometimes trash, tape, and an engaged imagination are all you need for a revolution, Austin Kleon nails it again:

Hint, hint: http://nationalhomeless.org/ 
"The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected."