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Fun Games, Demolished Word Orders and Dystopian Walks – Embarking on the Journey to Our Final Transmedia Work

Specialization Course Transmedia Storytelling – Blog 2
By Marija Pavlović

To open this blog in medias res, as one of our topics was giving feedback, explained through the very useful theory of Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process, I’d like to see this text as one possible feedback on the second seminar of the online Specialization Course Transmedia Storytelling. The seminar was held on Zoom on April 9th & 10th, the team composed by another inspiring teacher & mentor, Dennis Gaens, the project manager, Anne Lopes Michielsen, our mentor Corinne Heyrman and of course, us, writers: Arianna Giorgia Bonazzi (Italy), Alexandru Potcoava (Romania) and me, Marija Pavlovic (Serbia).

Dennis launched a very productive first day by elaborating further on the principles of Transmedia Storytelling, with some incredible examples from various disciplines and clear focus on the interlocking nature of the relationship between media used. If we try to lift this idea of interlocking interaction to the teamwork level, the challenge set upon us is to make interaction between 4 writers of various poetics and creative focus interlocking as well. That’s exactly where Critical Response Process comes handy. Learning how to give each other constructive feedbacks on ideas in progress, so we can collaborate in a more efficient and enjoyable way.

<What is the meaning of this art piece? What would the artist ask us about it? What would we ask the artist and how? How do we offer our subjective opinion?>

Through our own photo walk exercise, in which we created mini art works of our own, we could practice the Critical Response Process as well, learn how to dismiss old habits and adopt a new approach to constructive criticism. What we have also learned through these photo walks, is that there are common tropes and motifs that bind us creatively together in these isolating times. There is a great deal of silent dramas bursting from the photos of Berlin, Milan and Timisoara, a mutually understandable metalanguage, which permeates the air and style of all photos taken. There are communication barriers natural, cross generational and those imposed. And there is a powerful storytelling hidden in the street signs and fonts on the façades.

The second day was the day we started our first brainstorming, trying to exchange first seeds of ideas for our mutual transmedia piece. Ideas were flying around Chernobyl disaster and Vesuvius eruptions, around Google Translate and forever turning rolls of printing paper, around talking monuments and Instagram captions, teenager chat and many other current and universal phenomena. We have only started, and we are facing occasional disruptions due to our distance and unpredictable life circumstances. But I believe the disruptions are in the core of our zeitgeist, so they had to find a way to make themselves into the vital force behind our final work.

And before we make that work final, there will be a lot of creative travelling, without actual moving.

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