A week ago, I met a young and accomplished composer artiste who saw immediately where I want to go with Digital Storytelling. He not only inspired me but also worked closely with me to put together a self-explaining video for Digital Storytelling Asia. It is not just Hagen Troy Tan‘s skills, creativity, and accolades but who [...]
A week ago, I met a young and accomplished composer artiste who saw immediately where I want to go with Digital Storytelling. He not only inspired me but also worked closely with me to put together a self-explaining video for Digital Storytelling Asia. It is not just Hagen Troy Tan‘s skills, creativity, and accolades but who he is and his belief in people, in me, that makes him amazing.
The young man has been in the music industry for 13 years and for the past three consecutive years has been Sony BMG (Asia)’s top music composer. Hagen’s creative efforts have led him to be noticed by some of the biggest names in the music industry for various collaborations (Ocean Ou, Harlem Yu, Wilbur Pan, Jocie Guo, Joi Chua, to name but a few). Hagen’s song, “A Wonder in Madrid” (“Ma De Li Bu Si Yi”), written for Taiwan pop queen Jolin Tsai, led her to be “Best Female Artiste of the Year” and was also nominated for “Best Song”.
Here are two more of his videos.
The songwriter, music producer, artiste, rock star was recently appointed Health Promotion Board’s Breathe Icon/Ambassador.
Hey Hagen Troy Tan — how do I say thanks without saying thanks? You’re cool bro.
Every time I see her on the news, she sits smiling in her home under house arrest or has a large crowd following her. I know she is seen as a beacon of hope by her Burmese people. But in those short clips, she never speaks. I never really took the time to know Daw [...]
Every time I see her on the news, she sits smiling in her home under house arrest or has a large crowd following her. I know she is seen as a beacon of hope by her Burmese people. But in those short clips, she never speaks. I never really took the time to know Daw Aung San Suu Kyi‘s story or find out what led the Nobel Committee honour her with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.
A few days ago, I listened to two talks she delivered at BBC in June/July 2011. Her talks deserve to be listened to again.
Passion translates as suffering and I would contend that in the political context, as in the religious one, it implies suffering by choice: a deliberate decision to grasp the cup that we would rather let pass. It is not a decision made lightly – we do not enjoy suffering; we are not masochists. It is because of the high value we put on the object of our passion that we are able, sometimes in spite of ourselves, to choose suffering…
Fear is the first adversary we have to get past when we set out to battle for freedom, and often it is the one that remains until the very end. But freedom from fear does not have to be complete. It only has to be sufficient to enable us to carry on; and to carry on in spite of fear requires tremendous courage.
You can listen to her two talks and read the transcripts at BBC – The Rieth Lectures.
Then see if you agree with the Nobel Committee.
“…the Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to honour this woman for her unflagging efforts and to show its support for the many people throughout the world who are striving to attain democracy, human rights and ethnic conciliation by peaceful means.” —Oslo, 14 October 1991
I started my 30-day exercise regime on 16 July. I’m supposed to be on day 11 today but I missed four days of exercises in between. It’s hard to keep at it. I can always find an excuse why I can’t. Well the point is to keep pick up and get started again. I have [...]
I started my 30-day exercise regime on 16 July. I’m supposed to be on day 11 today but I missed four days of exercises in between. It’s hard to keep at it. I can always find an excuse why I can’t.
Well the point is to keep pick up and get started again. I have to do a lot of self-talk… The good news is, I did seven days out of the 11.
Keep going Angel.
A condensed version of this article appeared in the TODAY papers on 10 August 2011, a day after Singapore celebrated her 46th birthday. Click to download the PDF Telling The Singapore Story. Prime Minister Lee Hsieng Loong’s opening message at the HeritageFest launch resonated with me. “Home means you must have some memories, you must have [...]
“Home means you must have some memories, you must have shared experiences and you must have some sense of where we came from, why we are here what it means to us… we will tell the stories about it to the younger ones and the next generation…we will connect to one another, connect to our parents and past, and to our children and future.”
For a struggling start-up social entrepreneur with a passion to “Create Storytelling Movements. Empower Ordinary people to tell their stories,” PM Lee’s statement is a beacon of hope, an affirmation that Digital Storytelling Asia (DSA) is on the right track. Storytelling is what Singapore as a nation needs.
When I speak of storytelling I do not mean the “once-upon-a-time” fairy tales that we think belong only to the domain of children. Stories are the stuff that life and memories are made of — the stories of our lives shape us. History is story. There are national stories and there are personal stories. We all have histories even the quietest of us.
Stories are shared memories. They can be painful ones like seeing a loved one through cancer or happy ones like remembering the old kampung house we grew up in, or the silly ones that make us laugh at ourselves. We have personal, family, community, and national stories. Stories engage not just our minds but our emotions and glue us together. Stories are the heritage that we leave with our children and our children’s children.
In the 9 September 2010, TODAY papers, Yeo Lay Hwee wrote, “The Singapore Story – A new narrative, a new story that can engage the younger generation, is needed.” Commenting about the immigrant issues, she said:
“I also have a nagging feeling that the unhappiness about the large influx of foreigners is only a symptom of some larger issues and questions. It is not about us and them, but it is a question of who we are, what kind of society we want to build and what kind of Singapore we want to have.”
Have we come closer to finding our Singapore Story? Our “romantic narratives” of fantastic stories about marvel-filled adventures, of unlikely knights turned heroes on a quest? There are unsung heroes in our midst — they are our mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, people we meet each day in our homes, schools, work, and play. There are heroes in the making. The young people in our midst who shape tomorrow.
Our children need to realise that their lives are stories that they are writing by the choices they make each day. They have the power to become heroes by the brave and sacrificial choices they make — to not live indulgent lives but to live well and to live for the good of others.
To quote Yeo again,
…We now have to think of a narrative that will take us from First World to XXX — the unknown? We need a new narrative, a new story that can engage. And this story can no longer be written by the Government alone…
The story that can engage our imagination must begin with a “WE”. It has to be a story that as many people who want to participate in the writing must be given the opportunity to do so.
It has to be a story that we all believe in.
Our individual stories are like little streams that converge into a river and into the ocean. The Singapore Story is the sum total of the stories of her people.
So where do we start?
Moving HeritageFest to the heartlands and creating events like these are steps in the right direction. PM Lee hit the nail on the head when he said, “These trails should be developed by the community, as a ‘grassroots, bottom-up’ effort.”
BBC Wales and BBC England initiated storytelling projects. ‘Capture Wales” project ran successfullyfrom 2001 until 2008. Nearly 600 stories were produced and it won some awards including a BAFTA Cymru. ”Telling Lives” (England’s parallel to the Wales project) ran from 2002 to 2005.
“Everyone has a story to tell” the sites say. All over the UK, “people made Digital Stories about real-life experiences and each story is as individual as the person who made it. Each Digital Story is made by the storyteller themself, using his or her own photos, words and voice.”
The series which were screened on BBC and showcased on their websites with the aim to “Connecting communities is a key aspect of the BBC’s contribution to social value. Many of our programmes, our physical presence and our grass-roots activities serve to encourage participation and a sense of belonging.”
In my keynote address at the International Digital Storytelling Festival organised by the Aberystwyth University, the Arts Council of Wales, the National Council of Wales, and the BBC held in Wales on 17 June 2011, I said that my dream is to create storytelling movements and to empower ordinary people to tell their stories.
John Hartley and Kelly McWilliams in the book “Story Circle” (2009),wrote:
“…Digital storytelling… is less developed in Asia, Africa, and South America. Most of the workshops held on those continents have been run or led by Western organizations or Western workshop facilitators and, by large, have not resulted in ongoing local programs…”
Digital Storytelling Asia is a Singaporean initiative. As far as I know, an early mover (if not the first mover) of digital storytelling in Asia. DSA which collaborates with the National Book Development Council of Singapore is a bottom-up initiative that seeks to fill that gap by creating storytelling movements and empowering ordinary people to share their stories.
The late Dana Atchley, also known as the father of Digital Storytelling said:
“The stories and anecdotes we share with one another
are the ways we let each other know
who we are,
where we come from,
where we are going,
and most importantly,
what we care about.”
We need to keep telling and listening to our stories. We need to help others find and tell their stories.
Target reached. Day ONE of my 30 days 30 minutes challenge to myself. I watched Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days and decided that for the next 30 days (well it’s 29 now) I will walk for 30 minutes. I’ve given myself the allowance to replace walking with swimming or any other form of exercise. [...]
Target reached. Day ONE of my 30 days 30 minutes challenge to myself.
I watched Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days and decided that for the next 30 days (well it’s 29 now) I will walk for 30 minutes. I’ve given myself the allowance to replace walking with swimming or any other form of exercise. The point is to do it for 30 minutes everyday.
For someone who would much rather sit in front of the computer, this is a very good start. So pat pat on my back.
More ideas than life to live
DANCE as though no one is watching you...
LOVE as though you have never been hurt before...
SING as though no one can hear you...
LIVE as though heaven is on earth...
Beloved of God
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