For our project, we are researching refugee lives somewhat after they have fled their homes because we want to learn about their victories and struggles in what has hopefully become their new home so our refugee readers will know that there are others with similar stories who understand their struggles and can potentially network with them. To accomplish our goals, we will create a website as our storytelling platform. One idea which I think is particularly interesting is the incorporation of an interactive map with hotspots into our website, and each hotspot is clickable, prompting a zoom effect and allowing the reader to hear refugee stories from that specific region. Once the zoom is complete, we could potentially have a panel of photos of each person with their first name centered on their photo that link to individual stories; however, the issue of ethical information sharing and anonymity is very important to us, and we want to do everything in our power to ensure that the storytellers are comfortable with the project, so the amount of detail they reveal will obviously be entirely up to them. If they are uncomfortable with the use of their names and faces, we can make a panel of impactful quotes from each story that open a single full story when clicked. From there, I think it would be interesting to have the audio from each interview along with a transcription of the interview to add to the impact of the stories and communicate the emotion each storyteller feels, as well as humanize the stories further by connecting them with a voice.
I have many questions about our project. For example, how wide will the scope of our project be? Will we solely attempt to contact refugees in and around the Charlotte area? Or will we expand our search for stories across the US—or even farther—through technology? How will we balance providing impactful details and clearly connecting a human to each story with ethically sharing information and potentially maintaining anonymity? How will we realize our ideal website? Will we need to review or learn tools like HTML, CSS, and Bootstrap? Or will the relatively simple, broad WordPress editing suffice? How will we attract readers to our project? And once we have readers, how can we help refugees network with other refugees while still maintaining ethical levels of anonymity? At the moment, many of these questions feel overwhelming; however, I think discussing them with my group, as well as simply beginning to work on the project, will help me answer some of them and give me a strong start towards answering the others.
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