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Community-Based Multiliteracies and Digital Media Projects

Questioning Assumptions and Exploring Realities


Edited By Heather M. Pleasants and Dana E. Salter

Within community-based digital literacies work, a fundamental question remains unanswered: Where are the stories and reflections of the researchers, scholars, and community workers themselves? We have learned much about contexts, discourses, and the multimodal nature of meaning making in literacy and digital media experiences. However, we have learned very little about those who initiate, facilitate, and direct these community-based multiliteracies and digital media projects. In Community-Based Multiliteracies & Digital Media Projects: Questioning Assumptions and Exploring Realities, contributors discuss exemplary work in the field of community-based digital literacies, while providing an insightful and critical perspective on how we begin to write ourselves into the stories of our work. In doing so, the book makes a powerful contribution to digital literacies praxis and pedagogy – within and outside of community-based contexts.
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Chapter 3: Entry Point: Participatory Media-Making with Queer and Trans Refugees: Social Locations, Agendas and Thinking Structurally


← 44 | 45 → Chapter 3

Entry Point: Participatory Media-Making with Queer and Trans Refugees: Social Locations, Agendas and Thinking Structurally

Ed Lee and Liz Miller


Along with the emergence of social media, increased access to digital forms of media making has reconfigured the possibilities for engaging in community-based multiliteracies. As access to digital media forms has increased, so too has the need to incorporate critical notions of literacy. Miller et al. (2012) suggest that to reformulate “notions of literacy and to adapt our curricula and projects...we must develop new tools for critical literacy and for understanding the terms of these tools and platforms. Integrating these tools into the classroom or community group, in combination with personal narratives, is a meaningful way to broaden notions of literacy, to introduce critical social issues, and to raise questions around voice, truth, ethics, history and intellectual property” (p. 7). One avenue for engaging in critical literacy is through collaborative media projects, where directly affected community members can frame their own stories and “reflect on the relationship of their personal narratives to larger social concerns” (Miller, 2010, p. 3).

Through a collaborative creation process, Mapping Memories sought to engage in collaborative media making, in order to engage in developing critical literacy with directly affected community members (Miller, Luchs & Jalea, 2012). Mapping Memories was a government research-funded and university-driven initiative which brought together Montreal-based educators, filmmakers, policy advocates, organizers, students and youth to develop a...

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