Archive for 2020

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[Commlist] Collective Storytelling Challenge

Tue Apr 21 10:15:47 GMT 2020

Henry Jenkins's civic imagination research group is launching a global, collective storytelling initiative to encourage progressive thought about the current crisis.

You can read more about it here --

In the midst of the profound turmoil that has affected us all over the past weeks, our Civic Paths group brainstormed ways in which the civic imagination could be helpful to us and others. To come up with ideas, we first turned inward to understand our own unpredictable responses to fast shifting realities. We acknowledged the shock, grief, anger, uncertainty, fear, dread, and confusion. We then turned to what we had learned through our work on the Popular Culture and Civic Imagination casebook (featured here over the past weeks) to understand how we might begin to respond. This led to an exploration of how imagining and using imagination to connect with others could, in some small way, comfort us and help us see things differently, even for a moment.

Growing out of this, we are excited to launch “Reflections from the Future”, a participatory storytelling challenge that invites people to take a minute to imagine a future far beyond our current moment and share this imagination to inspire others to share their visions too. The collection will also become an enduring archive that preserves our imaginations at this current time.

We invite participants (that is all of you!) to submit their responses to the prompt below, via a simple form. The responses will then populate the Atlas of the Civic Imagination, a creative archive of our visions and aspirations. Accessible to all, this archive will then inform others to create, analyze and act. We chose the Atlas for this because we are committed to including perspectives from many places and walks of life. In fact, we are currently building out ways to submit in other languages (reach out of if this is of interest).

So, please join us! Respond to the prompt, participate, and help us populate the collection.

You can respond directly (just fill out the form). You can also share the prompt with others (students, community members, friends, and colleagues).

We know accessing imagination and hope is hard right now. We also believe it matters and leave you with a quote from Vaclav Havel that we return to often:

“Hope... is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success….. The more unpromising the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper that hope is. Hope is not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.” (Vaclav Havel, Disturbing the Peace, pp. 181-182)
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