Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Converting Oral Traditions Into Transmedia

When I was a kid, my dad used to gather us up for a day trip to a field somewhere outside of Edmonton to see a crocus field. They weren't real easy to find. The flowers bloomed just as the snow melt, and you had to time the trip just right because the beauty was short-lived. The petals disappeared after just a couple of weeks. 

My telling you this story makes it an oral tradition, and the story has been passed down the family line.

Every culture has traditions, and there are traditions unique to every family within those cultures. My dad was Ukrainian and my mother was Scottish, so my ancestry is rich with cultural influence. My immediate family didn't necessarily follow them, but we made up some of our own. There are some traditions, that were unique to a district's culture. For example, I'm not sure if kids growing up in the Ukraine, Russia, or even other parts of Canada had the same "monster" in their closets that took the form of the musical instrument: the accordion. This was commonplace in the city where I grew up. We would all cringe when our parents would bring it out and coax us to learn how to play.

Digital media is the perfect environment to preserve family oral traditions. From Instagram to Pinterest, blogs to YouTube, you can individualize a story or turn it into a collection.

The following video is about preserving the oral traditions of the Ifugao people. I hope you can see what I see as your eyes view the first few screens: a multitude of ways to stretch the tradition further through sight and sound via digital media.