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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 12: Afterword


← 236 | 237 → Chapter 12


Dana E. Salter and Heather M. Pleasants

Getting Here


I vividly remember my first forays into community-based digital storytelling work. I’d been working with Eugene Matusov’s “La Red Magica,” class and research project in an amazing place called the Latin American Cultural Center. I wanted to strike out on my own, and force myself to learn some things from the ground up—I wanted to know about using IEEE 1394 cables and Hi8 and about what would happen when kids had control over their literacy work with what was then “new” media in out-of-school environments. In 2006, after connecting with other community-based media workers at the Gathering of Digital Storytellers at MIT, I felt like I had found my tribe—a diverse group of artists, scholars, activists, researchers—all invested in using media within community contexts to address a variety of issues. Over the next few years, I looked forward to the stories, questions, and ideas generated in after-session coffee meetings that were had in other similar professional meetings; even establishing a “virtual happy hour” with a good friend across the miles to continue talking through ethical, conceptual and practical dilemmas. However, it wasn’t until after listening to Lissa Soep talk about her work with Youth Radio at a dinner after her 2010 American Educational Research Conference talk that two things crystalized for me—the first was that there was a side to the...

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