Stories, whether told digitally or traditionally, provides the possibility for individuals to better understand themselves as well as those around them. These stories acts as a window that allows readers to see and experience other people’s circumstances and perspectives.

Digital storytelling is the modern expression of the ancient art of storytelling which involves sharing the universal human experience. This social phenomenon reveals the power of the individual voice to influence positive change (Lambert, 2007).

It is the intermix of the humanistic nature of storytelling with a variety of multimedia, including photography, video, audio techniques, and typography.

Tacchi.J., Kitner, K.R. & Mulenahalli, K. (2014) states that, Digital stories are generally short, two to five minute personal multimedia films put together using as few as two and as many as 30 photographs, sometimes with video content.

This powerful communication tool cuts out the long clutter of information that bores people, and speaks a message without a complicated explanation.

Image Use and Digital Storytelling in Refugee Crisis:

Image use and digital storytelling has become increasingly popular campaign methods used by individuals and non-governmental organisations dedicated to refugee relief.

Digital storytelling empowers the refugees by permitting them to tell their stories, who they are and how they are in their circumstance. This is crucial, particularly for those who have suffered violent disruptions in their lives, being uprooted from one place and dropped in a new environment beyond their control.

Sharing their stories not only allows refugees to reclaim their identities but also offers them an outlet for dealing with lost and painful memories and emotions. It also permits them to take control of their own life’s narrative as well as it also foster understanding on the part of the audience, of the refugees’ experiences.

Sharbat Gula was an Afghan refugee girl. When war broke in Afghanistan in 1980 she and her family migrated to Pakistan and settled in a refugee camp.

Steve McCurry photographed Sherbat gula and titled her photo as “Afghan Girl,” which was featured on the cover of National Geographic in June 1985.

Steve McCurry says

“She humanised the true struggle for war refugees globally with no words spoken, simply her face. Her face defined the collective refugee feeling and the struggle. In seeing this current global refugee crisis, it’s almost like people in Europe and the US are scared of refugees. Or they simply don’t want the burden of hosting them. But we forget none are actually more scared than the refugees themselves. They are forced from their country, their homes. ”

Her face became an icon for the refugee population because it reflected the hardships of refugees fleeing war and it also helped to establish sympathy for displaced persons by bringing the image of an intense will to live to the developed population’s attention.

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