re:discovering myself // Swapping Community Digital Practice for Academic Research

May 31, 2016

I remember storming into Pilton Video in 2011, demanding some "sort of volunteering

experience". Thankfully, Joel Venet, was kind enough to find me something to do.

 

Joel is still a great friend and a mentor. He had  introduced me to the whole idea of participatory media and video activism. Pilton Video ( now Screen Education Edinburgh) provided me with a unique  opportunity to work alongside experienced media tutors, filmmakers  and community activists. It was back then that I decided to define my role as a participatory media worker. 

 

 Never Give Up // Collaborative Documentary by Alicja Pawluczuk 2011

 

Over the years,  I’ve collaborated with communities from all over Scotland and South East Asia. I experimented with different technologies and participatory methodologies. (To be perfectly honest though, most of the time I just followed my instincts, which seemed to work just fine!)

 

Being open minded often helped me, when things would not go according to plan. With some of the most challenging projects, I experienced some of the most amazing transformations. My work as a digital media practitioner taught me a lot - not only about other people, but mainly about  myself. 

 

Participatory practice is definitely a two - way learning process. You invite people to a storytelling journey, in return they open your eyes to new ideas and ways of life.

 

Other peoples’ stories were always at the centre  of my work. This is what I am good at - empowering others to express themselves. Now is the scary part, I am  faced with a challenge of creating and managing my personal narrative in this blog.

 

It’s time to stop my practical digital work for a

bit and actually REFLECT on it. 

 

I’m re:discovering my role.

 

I me expecting to have loads of time to read, think and write about digital media stuff. 

I am sure that my new life, as a PhD student, will also provide me with loads of exciting stories.

 

 

 

So, my plan - for the next 3 years - is to curate this space with some interesting content regarding digital co-creation and social impact ( which is the topic of my proposed research project) as well as my personal perspective on my life as an aspiring academic...

 

Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

 

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Dr Alicja Pawluczuk

Digital Media Practitioner and Researcher with extensive experience of participatory media project design and facilitation both in Europe and South East Asia. Founder of digital storytelling educational collective www.digitalbeez.org. Associate Lecturer & PhD student at Edinburgh Napier University. Interested in Digital Youth Work/Literacy and Experiential Teaching Practice, ICT4D, Digital Inclusion, and Digital Activism. An active member of the Digital Youth Workers Network in Scotland. 

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