Storytelling for social change: tools, mechanisms, superpowers
The second day of the XII international children’s media festival “Dytiatko” began with a master class “Storytelling for social change”. Writer and screenwriter Tania Postavna told online about the superpower of storytelling.
Starting her presentation, Tania Postavna noted that every person in everyday life becomes a storyteller every day. We create stories and use them to transmit the necessary information. This term originates from English.
Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, and the like have become particularly popular and relevant for storytelling. Every user of modern services becomes a public person to some extent, so they can communicate effectively, be able to present themselves, their project, and their activities, using communication tools and getting results.
“The present is fleeting, fast-moving and overloaded with information. Therefore, people need effective ways to process and transmit information, such as storytelling. But in order to master the art of storytelling professionally, you need theory, practice and life experience,” Tania Postavna emphasized.
The expert started from the theoretical base-by definition of the term, mechanics, application, functions of storytelling and its components and proceeded with practice. In particular through her brief story the finalists of the festival “Dytiatko” on specific examples learned how to effectively use storytelling, why it is so powerful, and specific examples have turned life experience into an interesting story.
“Storytelling didn’t appear yesterday. Stories have existed since time immemorial. Our ancestors used legends and fairy tales to pass on all the experience and knowledge accumulated by mankind from generation to generation. And today, every day we tell each other small and big stories, and some of them will always be remembered, becoming an internal reference point for a person,” she said.
The writer and screenwriter advised the audience to do an exercise-analyze the stories we tell every day to think about what emotions or moods we are relaying.
“People need stories to make sense of life and understand it. When we tell a story, we are simultaneously aware of our attitude to what is happening, and we also want to know how others feel about it, the writer says. – Story is a character in conflict. The story will not be exciting without these two components.”
According to the writer and screenwriter, storytelling is an effective tool for keeping a person’s attention, but at the same time, not everyone knows how to use it correctly.
“The human psyche is designed so that we react faster to the story of a particular person than to facts and figures. We identify with the character, the character of the story. His actions evoke emotions, inspire us, give us courage, teach us something. A trust relationship is formed.
Therefore, the main task of storytelling is to make something too complex simple, to share the story, building emotional connections. You need to master the easy genres of presentation, which are comedies, detective stories, and so on, and learn to wrap them in important things that everyone needs, but that people do not have the strength to treat carefully. This is the superpower of storytelling – to make complex things easy to understand.
In order to tell life in a story, you need to break it down into puzzles, think through the exposition, the development of the event, the climax, the decline and the end. The structure of the narrative should constantly keep the viewer’s attention,” Tania Postavna explained.
Storyteller is a lawyer for a person in a weak position. The history of mankind, and therefore storytelling, is moving towards liberation and unification, the expert notes. Therefore, “in order to show unification, one must necessarily understand, accept and show both sides. Then there will be drama, then it will be storytelling of the highest level. After all, good stories begin with accepting a different truth.
Massmarket always leads the narrator in the direction that is beneficial to someone, so you should be careful about the mass and trends, and create anti-trends. And, of course, the content, which in real life has replaced the form should be in the first place.
Tania Postavna advised young TV viewers of the festival to take writing seriously, because it also requires professional work, but at the same time to take everything with good humor and light irony. And she also recommended to read and write more, because reading provides a breadth of imagination and sharpness of view, and writing will polish the style and harden the technique.