The performativity of digital stories in contexts of systemic inequality

18 Jul 2017

Digital storytelling has entered Higher Education over recent years as a tool to engage diverse classrooms, harnessing the power of personal storytelling to establish affective connections across difference. This article reports on a digital storytelling project in the context of South African teacher education, where students reflected on a social issue in Education, as a means to understand systemic inequalities governing our classrooms. Moving beyond Butler?s notion of performativity, towards an understanding of how both human and non-human matter can shape subjectivities as suggested by new materialist feminist authors such as Barad this study will explore how one student, her story and the audience are entangled in and across space and time. I will show how digital storytellers are both composer and composed: how within the digital story process, stories create the possibility for storytellers to experiment with new subjectivities that could become real with time and repeated performance but how these stories also act upon the storyteller based on the context the story is told in. I will also reflect on how our entanglements foreground the importance of an ethical and responsible engagement with the power of stories in the context of socially just pedagogies.