Igniting the imagination of the many – storytelling in a fragmented world

As the tools of publishing become democratised and readers turn into creators, the way we tell stories is changing...

By: Clare Howdle,   2 minutes

Image by Brooke Fraser and Andy Baron, from Things Organised Neatly

The way we tell stories is changing. As the tools of publishing become democratised and anyone can engage readers and viewers worldwide, the traditional models of how things are made, distributed and consumed are being turned on their heads.

And with this change comes opportunity. This is a world where reader is protagonist, where audience member is collaborator, where curator is curated. In our fractured digital landscape the boundaries between creator and created are blurring, with magical effect.

Taking a Feed to delve deeper into the rabbit warren of storytelling today and tomorrow I found endless projects, programmes and initiatives to lose myself in.

Here are three of the most diverting…


Part of the Tribeca Film Festival, Storyscapes celebrates five unique transmedia projects by content creators from around the world. The exhibition is designed to inspire viewers to see storytelling in a whole new way, featuring anything from interactive films and performances to games and social media.

“Every time a technology like Oculus Rift comes along it opens up a whole new space for storytelling possibilities,” explains Ingrid Kopp, the Director of Interactive at the Tribeca Film Institute and the woman responsible for curating Storyscapes. “Plus, with smart phones just getting faster and faster and different apps being developed for them all the time, filmmakers and storytellers are seeing many possibilities for utilising these devices in their work.

“Every time a technology like Oculus Rift comes along it opens up a whole new space for storytelling possibilities…”

“We felt it was important to take this work very seriously and to celebrate interactive storytelling with Festival audiences. At the end of the day, festivals like ours are wonderful venues for introducing new visions, new works, and new artists to receptive audiences.”

Hear more from Ingrid on the value of immersive art, her respect for elitist ideas around curation and her love of the abundance of what the web has brought us.


Laika’s Adventure
Starring a robot trying to make her way home, Laika’s Adventure is an educational experiment that teaches collaboration and problem solving. Children in classrooms more than 1,000 miles apart worked together to help Laika – a robot who had crash landed in Montreal from an alien world – find her way to Los Angeles where a rocket ship was waiting to take her home. “Powering” Laika with their stories, students developed their scientific and creative skills by helping the robot navigate her unfamiliar geography. When Laika reached L.A., she boarded a rocket and was shot into space, along with the children’s stories and work. The project organisers’ hope was that whenever the children who participated looked up into the night sky, they would think of Laika and be reminded of how far their imaginations could carry them.

Find out more about Laika’s Adventure… 


My Sky Is Falling
A participatory storytelling experience, My Sky Is Falling used the allegory of a dystopian future where free will does not exist to explore audience understanding, attitudes and empathy with issues faced by children in the US foster care system. Run over three performances where the audience participants shaped the course of the narrative, the creators gathered, measured and evaluated the responses of participants using electro-pulse sensors at key story beats in the narrative to better understand how the audience was engaging; with the story and with the real life experiences of foster care children that sat behind it.

Read the fascinating tale of the experiment, its objectives and its outcomes:



If you’re interested in the way stories are changing in the 21st century and the thinkers at the forefront of this evolution check out Building Storyworlds. It’s inspiring stuff.

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