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The Future of Storytelling

Posted by: | Posted on: June 2, 2018
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Storytelling is a human behavior that has survived through the centuries. From generation to generation, the storytellers of the world have added to the earth’s narrative. Storytelling is not just a record of our history but storytelling defines our present and creates our collective future.

A brief history of storytelling

In the past, storytelling was not merely a form of entertainment but a way human beings recorded history.

There’s no doubt that throughout the centuries, storytelling has had an anthropological significance in human development.

The evolution of storytelling began with oral tradition, ancient manuscripts, mass-printed books, and we are now in the digital media age, where stories are recorded in many different forms.

Before human beings learnt to write, we were already able to draw.

Rock paintings were used for this purpose and around the world, these paintings have survived around the world. Rock art is an amazing way to see what was important to the early humans.

Then writing systems were developed by various cultures around the world and for many years, the art forms of writing grew to become the accepted form of documenting history and communicating thoughts.

The written word was enhanced by other creative forms – acting and music. While in the past, painting, writing, acting, film and music have been considered as separate skills, the growth of mass media is rapidly bringing these together.

Mass media or mass hysteria

The explosive growth of the internet is radically disrupting both the way in which stories are spread around the world as well as the art of storytelling.

Social media continues to make it possible for us to tell our stories in more ways than we ever have in the past. It also is enabling us to seek out audiences around the world.

The gatekeepers are falling and stories that would have only been shared between friends in the past now spread around the world through social networks. The internet is a leveler that allows everyone to broadcast their thoughts to the world. and feelings first hand.

This has led to a bewildering explosion of free stories shared through videos, essays and social posts.

Will technology help or hinder?

Besides the ability to share stories easily on the internet, the continual development of technologies and new types of media is creating a new breed of creative artists.

As we plunge headlong into a technologically advanced world, art and technology are rapidly heading for an intersection.

These days, to produce a creative work requires a multitude of talents. Speaking, writing, acting, drawing and making films are becoming skills that are quickly becoming basic requirements of a storyteller.

In the past, to be a filmmaker required access to expensive equipment and training. In recent years, we have seen the rise of amateur photographers.

We’ve seen a raft of star instagrammers rise in popularity and YouTube has provided the platform for anyone to make videos. You can buy a smartphone that can capture high-quality video and editing software is readily available.

Modern storytellers have so many more options than were available to the ancient cave painters. Compared to 20 years ago, we have an incredible amount of resources available to us.

The important questions are: How will these new technologies change storytelling? Will storytelling continue to be an art form or simply a way to document history? How will these technologies change the way art is presented?

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