The Power of Visual Storytelling

Photo by Carlos Montalvo @kelsen28 @Twenty20
[title maintitle=”The Time ” subtitle=”For Story Is Now.”]

As the world faces the same challenges of a global pandemic, we’ve all watched people come unhinged. The sheer aggression that seems to inundate our news feeds, social media, and the cities and towns we live in, it’s paralyzing. The cry for coming together is bellowing so loudly it’s piercing our ears, our hearts, our minds, and our souls.

And there has never been a more important time for storytelling. With writers like Ava DuVerney creating powerful content that opens our eyes to systemic racism—the racism that has plagued this nation with more hate than one can fathom—escapism, education, and unity is what the human race craves.

America has become (or rather, historically accepted) a cesspool of ugly behavior, racial division, gender inequality, and political animosity and chaos. How do we process everything that’s happening without being fueled by rage? That is where the power of story comes into play.

Much like listening to childhood fables being passed down from generation to generation, what stories are we going to tell our children to help them understand the present climate of racial/gender/economic/cultural inequality and apathy? How do we help them navigate their future so that these injustices don’t befall them?

It’s up to us, the storytellers entrusted with creating content, to create high quality content that awakens, unites, polarizes, and informs.

Thankfully there are networks streaming original content including feature films and it seems even traditional networks are wrapping their heads around the need for more boundary-pushing, diversity-represented, socially conscious, and female-driven content.

Don’t be afraid to watch shows that confront issues facing us and our children like suicide, rape, violence, hate, mental illness, social media dependence, racial injustice, and gender discrepancy. Talking about it is how we evolve as a species, and subsequently how we heal the pain together.

In the words of John Lennon, imagine the world living as one. We have a responsibility to be voices of those who cannot speak, who cannot stand up, who cannot revolutionize. Film and television may seem trite to some but the modality of expression has proven one of the most powerful, alongside music. The world needs story. We need to gain a better understanding of one another and in doing so, perhaps compassion can take hold and break apart the divisiveness we’re becoming far too accustomed to.

To all of the filmmakers, showrunners, content creators and songwriters out there, now is the time to use your voices to lift, to ignite, to inspire, to awaken, to educate, to revolutionize, and to unite. We cannot sit idly by as people around us break apart. We also cannot pretend that the systemic brokenness isn’t affecting us all.

The bridge built by visual storytelling leads us to one another.

And the time for story…

Is now.

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How am I using my voice?

“I wrote Spiraling. What began as an award-winning short film about suicide, loss, trauma, and motherhood has evolved into an original anthology series about suicide, identity, systemic racism, social media strangleholds, social awareness, compassion and hope.

I’ve also written another original series, The Confidence Men, that takes place in the 1920s. While the series focuses on great cons, it tackles non-traditional ideas of family, the beauty of diversity, the importance of strong women, the ripple effect of events, and the intrigue of a hearty game of cat-and-mouse.

I am also writing a book (fictional) that delves into a mother’s letter of hope and apology to her daughter that includes acknowledging child abuse, loss, regret, family, cultural entanglement, and surviving long enough never to snuff out imagination and hope. I decided to read parts of the story on a podcast I will launch at the end of July as a monthly 4-6 part narrative.”

— Dawn Garcia, Writer/Editor/Dreamer