'Open narratives': Narrative as collaborative co-creation through collective cultural memory

Neha Sayed, Lily Diaz-Kommonen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


    Narrative ethnography is a testimonial of accumulated knowledge, narrated as a subjective personal experience for an interpretative audience, built on the format of storytelling. Recently, the digital paradigm has enabled the narrative to extend as a collaborative exercise where the digital media acts as a mediator of the narrative. This article is an attempt to develop a new form of narrative structure, evolved through collaborative dialogue between the community. The digital media acts as a trigger for narration based on memory ultimately generating a collectively constructed story as opposed to the traditional notion of narrative being constructed by a teller for a reader. Developing on the theory of collective cultural memory of Jan Assman (1995), the narrative is created within a community as a collaborative co-creation. We begin with generating an autoethnographic first person narrative content using digital media e.g.images /video, which acts as a mnemonic device, triggering the narrative dialogue. The narrative is thus generated in a workshop format, where the images are displayed on the screen and the community refers to them while they narrate memories. The collaborative exercise allows addition, correction and validation to the narration. This paper discusses a narrative we recently conducted in a rapidly changing urban space within India. This exercise is part of our larger agenda of understanding architectural place and its transformation under the influence of embedded technologies.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOpen Design for E-very-thing
    Subtitle of host publicationCumulus Working Papers
    EditorsCecile Kung, Elita Lam, Yanki Lee
    Place of PublicationHong Kong
    PublisherHong Kong Design Institute
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Electronic)978-952-60-0081-7
    ISBN (Print)978-952-60-0080-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
    EventCumulus Conference: Open Design for E-very-thing - Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    Duration: 21 Nov 201624 Nov 2016

    Publication series

    NameCumulus working papers
    PublisherCumulus International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media
    ISSN (Print)1456-307X
    ISSN (Electronic)1795-1879


    ConferenceCumulus Conference
    Country/TerritoryHong Kong
    CityHong Kong
    Internet address


    • Narrative ethnography
    • collaborative co-creation
    • collective cultural memory


    Dive into the research topics of ''Open narratives': Narrative as collaborative co-creation through collective cultural memory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this