[click on the Nola tab in the menu to see all stories]
I’ve always been fascinated by storytelling, narratives and expression of meaning. But I’m also a creative person, and I love photography, in all forms.
I started exploring digital storytelling in my Research Master (2008) with a small research of digital storytelling in dealing with trauma.
Over the years it’s been on my mind how I could express what I want to tell using a combination of images, sounds and words. In 2013 I made my first visualisation, trying to express what silence means to me, but it didn’t really trigger me to continue on that road.
In the fall of 2013 I started a new project, called Nola. It tells the story of honours education at my university through the eyes of a puppet girl. Nola is based on the Toy Story figure Jessie. Nola is an adventure, not just to explore digital storytelling, but also to innovate reporting. The Nola-adventures have replaced boring field trip reports and connected many colleagues and students to what goes on in honours education at our University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht. Nola-pictures were posted life on the HU honourspage on Facebook and later put together in a digital storybook posted on the HU honoursblog.
The Nola adventures also reflect the ups and downs of projects and innovation of education. When the state-funded project for honours (Sirius) ended and the implementation in our institute slowed down, Nola felt rather lost. What to do next?
I moved back to Journalism and took Nola along, I tried to continue through my own honours programme in journalism: Europe in the World, but I guess the thrill was gone…
Until, after a year, I started to get internationalisation back on the agenda at the School of Journalism. A lot of what goes on in our exchange programmes challenges students to excel and some initiatives are offered as honours projects. And so Nola became the figurehead of internationalisation and accompanies me on my field trips in Europe and beyond.
As part of our honours programme Europe in the World we went to Australia in 2015 and presented at the World Journalism Education Conference in New Zealand (2016).
More recently we have embarked on a new honours project in Europe. As part of the European Journalism Training Association we cooperate in fact-checking education with lots of other J-schools.
So after a phase of transition, Nola is back on track. Meanwhile, social media have also developed and Nola moved from HU-honours on Facebook to her own page on Instagram (nola_instaventures).