As mentioned in my earlier post Journey to Volda, I have come to this part of Norway to co-lead a residential workshop with the Volda University College’s new Masters of Media program. I was invited by Ana Sanchez-Laws one of the professors of the course. Ana used to be an academic at the University of Canberra (UC) a few years ago, though we never met during her time at UC.

The venue for the workshop was just incredible – so much to inspire the students. We stayed at the Standalhytta Cabins in Østa, about 30 minutes drive from Volda.

At Standalhytta © Tracey Benson || bytetime
At Standalhytta © Tracey Benson || bytetime

The cabin itself is a very interesting building with the original cabin being built around 1908. The more recent extensions look completely integrated with the building with a very interesting feature separating the old and the new – these strange door carvings. When I first say them I thought they were Tikis…

As intriguing as these strange carvings were, they did not distract me for too long – it was outside the cabin that really was the main game.

Though inside was very cosy 🙂

At Standalhytta © Tracey Benson || bytetime
At Standalhytta © Tracey Benson || bytetime

One of the things I love about walking in the forest and mountains in Norway this time of year is the abundance of berries – there was heaps of blueberries for the picking.

This was an amazing setting for the students who, over the course of the workshop developed story ideas and then created a prototype cross media project. The first day was started with myself leading a couple of sessions to start generating story ideas and then after lunch Ana led a session on integrating some theory. One of the main readings was Roland Barthes An Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative, which was a great way to give some theoretical context to storytelling.

There were some really great ideas and I was awed by the diversity of skills and experience in this group. In many ways it was like ‘cross media on steroids’ as when I teach this subject at UC we spent 6 weeks on the prototype project. Here are some pictures of some of the sessions.

We also had some really cool technology from a number of video cameras to a drone and a few students brought along their cameras and equipment.

It was a really fun and energy filled few days! Thank you Ana for inviting me 🙂

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