Wednesday, 25 February 2009

journeys towards justice

journeys towards justice
Journeys Towards Justice

To celebrate the 'International Day for Sharing Life Stories', the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) will present Journeys Toward Justice, a convention that explores the theme of Human Rights and the power of the moving image to connect people to life stories as a powerful advocacy tool.

On Saturday 16 May, ACMI will hold a free day-long event presenting talks with organisations and individuals that work to preserve and promote human rights, illustrated by life stories captured on film and told live. The aim of sharing these life stories is to promote issues of human rights as part of the global event. 

ACMI's Screen Events Manager Helen Simondson said: "ACMI is proud to be an active part of an international movement of digital storytelling practitioners that celebrates viewing, collecting and sharing life stories as a way to promote dialogue and diversity in our society." 

Through year-round Digital Storytelling programs ACMI engages the community to collect and share personal stories through the moving image.

Helen Simondson and Screen Events Coordinator Lisetta Moscardo will discuss Digital Storytelling at ACMI and how this citizen media program has given voice to those that are often not represented. They will also discuss how the program assists in breaking down the barriers that exist for telling stories of human rights, making the content accessible to the public and ultimately exacting social change.

Throughout the day, four organisations will discuss the power of stories to exact change and will share content that they have produced. Each of the presentations will also include a special guest to tell their personal story.

The program includes:

Researchers Anthony Rodriguez Jimenez and Caitlan Nunn from the Refugee Health Research Centre at La Trobe University and filmmaker Tamsin Sharp, who together will present a fascinating long term research project that draws on documentary practice. Their See Through Me project is an exploration of racial and religious discrimination as it is perceived and experienced by ten young Somali Australians. 

Members of the Koorie Heritage Trust (KHT) will share how they protect, preserve and promote the living culture of Aboriginal people of south-eastern Australia through capturing stories. In particular KHT will focus on the work they have done with the Stolen Generation.

Directors of the Human Rights Film Festival, Evelyn Tadros and Naziath Mantoo, will talk about their vision to make human rights accessible, relevant and significant to the broader Australian community through the Human Rights Film Festival. 

Professor Sarah Joseph, Director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, will speak broadly about human rights and how moving image stories can provide a mechanism for social change.

The event will end with a screening programmed by ACMI for which digital storytelling and media practitioners are invited to share their short format stories and projects focussed around the theme of Human Rights. Expressions of interest should be sent to

The inaugural 'International Day for Sharing Life Stories' took place on 16 May 2008. Throughout the world, over 90 events were convened simultaneously, the result of a global effort led by joint organisers Museum of the Person in São Paulo, Brazil, and the Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley, USA.

The ideal that motivated this initiative was the belief that listening, collecting and sharing life stories is essential in the process of democratising culture and promoting social change. These two founding organisations used their networks to reach out to similar centres around the world and, as the swell of support and participation grew and more individuals and organizations endorsed the initiative, centres and community groups began to plan events in their own communities, many without any special funds in support of their activities.

ACMI's Journeys Toward Justice event - as part of the 'International Day for Sharing Life Stories' - will be held in Studio 1 from 1pm - 5pm, Saturday 16 May 2009.

Further information

Claire Butler
Communications Coordinator
[direct phone] 61 3 8663 2415 [fax] 61 3 8663 2498 [mobile] 0434 603 654
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