IRC17, Bengaluru, March 03-05, 2017

 

05. #ArchivesForStorytelling

Last updated on Oct 31, 2016.

 

Description of the Session

In the oral history realm, where history is recorded based on oral accounts and typically via interviews, we can imagine that each storyteller has many different stories, each story has many different storytellers, each story has many different themes and vice-versa, and so on. Moreover, each personal history might be related to others based on common entities (eg. people and organizations), objects, time and space (eg. events, geography), and other conceptual objects that the accounts may comprise of. For example, is a given story referring to an event that someone else may also talk about in a seemingly unconnected way?

There is an incredible range of stories recorded in institutional archives and other stand-alone oral history projects. The point is not to re-store them in a new space on the web but to have a way to re-point to them in a new scheme. That is, make the connections explicit. The numerous stories among all of us, as separate individual accounts, might feel like they are irrelevant and unimportant beyond a few individuals or a closed group. By being able to see the interconnection between various individual accounts, can these stories become meaningful and relevant to a wider audience?

While WWW itself is a gigantic source of material, archives have existed for millennia at various institutions and with individuals. We discuss here the relevance of modelling archives for today by taking the knowledge bank of Indian Digital Heritage and NCBS@25 exhibit by presenting the work done towards storytelling using these archives.

Concern: #ResearchToolsAndInfrastructure.

Session Plan

We have three representative individuals who present 1) a traditional folk story, 2) a transformation of this into an online visual story and 3) an elaboration on working on a demonstrative stories archive.

A traditional folk narrative that is a representation of the intangible cultural heritage of the Vijayanagara Empire is presented and some of these questions are brought forth regarding the related archival material that would help bring about development of visual versions of that story online. The role of social networking as part of this archival information is also discussed. The work on creating the stories of NCBS for its 25th year anniversary will be used to illustrate the archives work done to help in the rendition of stories relevant to such an anniversary.

Documentation Plan

We will be presenting ongoing work in this area and will be providing a post-conference write up as a summary of the the content presented including relevant audience discussions.

Paper Abstracts

Not applicable.

Details of the Team

Jayant is currently working at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, where his task is to help digitize data gathered by various research groups working in the Cultural Heritage domain. Prior to this, he researched online privacy and social networking from a Human-Computer Interaction perspective.

Venkat Srinivasan worked as a research engineer at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; independent journalist/digital archiving. At SLAC, he work with teams that develop instruments for use in experimental stations at the world's brightest x-ray source laser facility. He got interested in digital archiving when he started conducting oral histories with SLAC employees. He does journalistic work, mostly about the sciences. Educational background is in engineering and journalism. Recently he has worked on “History of NCBS, Exhibit and Online Narratives”.

Chaluvaraju is a professor of Tribal Studies, Kannada University, Hampi. One of his areas of interest is the intangible heritage of the Vijayanagara Empire. He has a large collection of folk narratives from the local and tribal communities around the Hampi area. He has been the PI for intangible heritage part of the Indian Digital Heritage project of Dept of Science and Technology.

Bhanu Prakash has been working on developing front end tools for delivering visual stories from archives. He has worked with the NCBS@25 project of delivery stories from the history of NCBS and also on methods to render the folk stories of Vijayadashami into visual stories on the Web.

Dinesh is the Technical Director of Janastu, a non-profit organisation. As technical director of Janastu he works in Bangalore, India on issues like Web content accessibility for the low-literate, use of 3D methods for location interpretation, methods on using social semantic web concepts for storytelling and developing open source social platforms.