A filmmaker and a researcher team up to talk about storytelling, protest and digital identity across Europe and beyond it, drawing on personal experiences - their own and those of the people they are meeting in the course of their work. In their dialogue, informed by their different approaches to understanding society, people and their relationships, Treasa O'Brien and Tanya Lokot look at how sharing personal stories can help people connect across borders and embrace the commonalities and differences in their expressions of dissent, and how digital networks can help or hinder this diffusion of ideas and tactics.
Through documentary film-making and academic interviews in the field, grassroots-level storytelling emerges as a key mechanism of connecting individuals into networks of meanings. Digital social media enable these horizontal, loose networks, allowing for broader distribution of personal stories and for a multiplicity of interpretations of narratives about issues such as austerity, corruption, free expression and human rights. We ask how this power of networked storytelling can influence our shared experiences of dissent, our solidarity in the face of injustice and our capacity for empathy toward other human beings.