Digital Storytelling South Africa exists to celebrate and promote the power of stories to bring people together.

Founder Pam Sykes fell in love with digital storytelling in 2010 after seeing stories produced for NGO Sonke Gender Justice by Silence Speaks, a project of StoryCenter. She writes:

After 20 years as a journalist, sub-editor and PR copywriter I was deeply disillusioned with journalism as a way of telling stories, particularly about Africa and South Africa. The available set of lenses — poverty, conflict, AIDS, wildlife and tourism — kept reproducing the same old stereotypes. It was frustrating, offensive and just plain boring. I was looking for a way to make stories that could accommodate the whole variety of human experience — the trivial as well as the tragic, the joyful as well as the sorrowful. When I found StoryCenter, I knew I could stop looking. I booked my ticket to California to learn how to do it and haven’t looked back since.

Since then, I’ve learned that a person doesn’t need to know anything about video, or computers, or even how to read and write, to make beautiful, compelling digital stories. I’ve learned how to work with storytellers on tablets and laptops and smartphones, on Mac and Windows and Android, all in the same half-hour. I’ve learned a whole lot about cable management. And most of all, I’ve learned that really, truly listening to someone else’s story is an act of love that can change the world.