The project presents a creative juxtaposition of digital platforms—a combination of audio, video, archival images, soundscapes, and social media, among others—to tell the stories from 1914–1918 in 2014. It features a collaboration between Unitec (academics and students enabled in digital storytelling technologies and methodologies), oral historians, heritage researchers, and community archivists from Auckland Libraries and Auckland Council. The project More Than A War brought a unique digital voice to the historical record in ways that allow the user to engage interactively with the content. This is a novel direction for digital storytelling in New Zealand, demonstrating the innovative quality of this work. Furthermore, the project significantly enhanced student engagement and learning; their creative responses not only contributed to the practice of transmedia and digital narrative but also to the historical record. Finally, the project exemplified the benefits of successful collaborative partnerships.
THE RESEARCH TEAM
Dr Sara Donaghey – chief investigator
Sara Donaghey is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies, Unitec, New Zealand. She has a PhD in cultural heritage management and is a specialist in historical research and oral history narratives. She was one of the principal researchers for a project recording the experiences of first generation Dutch immigrants to New Zealand in the 1950s and is currently engaged in a transgenerational research project using oral narratives to inform representations of lesbian identity in New Zealand
Sue Berman – partner investigator
Sue Berman is the oral historian for Auckland Libraries. Her role as curator supports the creation, interpretation, and management of oral history collections. Sue’s work includes the teaching of best practice oral history and research skills. She supports creative digital interpretative work that encourages further interest and access to collections.
Nina Seja – partner investigator
Nina Seja is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication Studies at Unitec. Her areas of specialization include cultural history, and digital media and photography and their intersection with social movements and social justice. Nina was the lecturer and course coordinator for the two courses through which this project was designed and executed.
Technical assistance was provided by Munawwar Naqvi, Technology Centre Coordinator for the Department of Communication Studies at Unitec and Intern Arnaud Bailly, Masters student in Project Management from Universite de Haute Alsace, France. A historian from the Heritage Unit of Auckland Council also contributed to the project by introducing students to historic heritage resources.