Edgeryders and the dilemma of storytelling

I have moved this conversation that emerged in association to another thread on a grant application to here, as it’s a larger topic and think it best to open it up outside the research network so as not to confuse projects.

Most relevant thoughts shared by @natalia_skoczylas:

"…The second thing I could add to this is based on our idea with @alex_levene to experiment a little with the stories we have on the platform (and those we don’t have here yet) - and focus on storytelling and journalistic aspect of edgeryders. If you’d like to see that as an addition to the application, for example, a production of zines, or other visual and/or literary media as a spin-off from the project, I think we could also help working on it. I’d be especially interested in storytelling workshops delivered by women from MENA region to their European friends, finding interesting and suitable modes of preserving and presenting stories.

This way we could offer support based on the projects we would for sure like to concentrate our energy on in the future.
Let me know if it makes sense @anique.yael and @alberto if you find it useful - for now, the application is very brief, but I could assist a bit with the vague idea for the first submission and then join for the second stage as well."

and then myself ie. @anique.yael :

“… :cherries: incidentally what you’re talking about in terms of storytelling is super aligned with some side conversations and movements of thought around Edgeryders and the dilemma of storytelling and media that I’ve been involved in with @nadia and @unknown_author (yipppeeee). Perhaps we could include this as a talking point in the OpenVillageFest call scheduled for next week (see here for those interested) and see what strategic maneuvering we can do to get more support (in addition to the potential AdvocateEurope grant idea)…? For example, I’ve been thinking VICE Impact could in fact be an option worth exploring… Whatcha think?”


Definitely seems there’s some momentum gathering here and I’m wondering if Medenine might offer some seeds to explore as a start… @yosser @zmorda as I’ve come in quite late to the camp preparations I’m not sure how you’re approaching storytelling - might it be worth exploring some citizen journalism like activities on the side? In a similar way to the urban game for example. At the least I could possibly look to incorporate something into my session on communication although I do feel like they’re separate … Anyways, just making some connections where they seem to be calling and worth exploring only if things are easy considering how much we have on :slight_smile:

Also @bilal would definitely appreciate hearing more about what happened with Les Hackers Dans La Cite Arabe - might you be willing to share your take? We’re submitting a proposal for a MENA network of women citizen science and biohacking practitioners and while I’ve been doing some research it’d be great to hear why things didn’t kick off with that project from your perspective if you have a moment merciii


Hey guys!
I’m quite new here, so I only know a few of your stories.
But as it happens, I’m right now preparing for my master thesis, which I’d want to be about new methods of creating and communicating visions together. - I guess Storytelling will be a huge part of this.

So if there are options to apply these methods in an EdgeRyder context - workshops or civic design projects - I’d be happy to use them, to help make an impact and to have use cases for my thesis.


Hi @anique.yael @unknown_author @natalia_skoczylas I’ve followed this thread and love the proposition. From South Africa there’s not much I can do in terms of contribution but the power of storytelling and community narratives have always been close to me. I’ve been exploring Digital Storytelling as a means to capture the lived experience of a storyteller, as he/she sees fit. I have worked on various projects ranging from ecological restoration stories, stories of violence and safety, community care, global health, etc.

At the moment I’m writing an article on how social media is being hijacked by civic society to play to the imaginations of their audiences, to mobilize funds, reputation, networks etc. My argument is that the stories told online (in my interaction with these specific civic structures/ngos) hardly mimics the lived experience or the focus of that entity, and can be considered authentic and inauthentic simultaneously. Im doing so by discussing some case studies. I am completely sure many people wont like it BUT…

I agree with @unknown_author that these stories would mobilize and inspire a new generation, as I’ve seen it in my space in the context of public health. Incorporating citizen science, action research, visual and social anthropology, etc to capture those micro narratives, in contrast to the macro- which is pretty much alive, even though not proven, in the public domain.

I would love to see such initiatives present at the next festival and to follow the progress of all of you in your initiatives. It is but a dream that soon I get to work with some of you in such initiative. I’m not sure if I’m making sense. Short answer: I LIKE!. ALOT!


My relation with writing is complicated :slight_smile: Over 10 years of practice, mostly unpaid, or sometimes paid (little) but for pieces that are super long (10 pages), require days of research and self-translation :slight_smile: And then recently one of the platforms I’ve been active on for around 7 years and where I published around 400 articles closed… I"m looking for a new space and ideas now.

Anyway, the easiest space where we could explore and experiment, maybe also give edgeryders some extra exposure, would be medium - where we can easily self-publish and link stories to the platform. We could possibly combine the journal-making, experimental storytelling project part of the AdvocateEurope and fundraising effort (voluntary payments for posts? payments in altcoins? printed editions?)

There is also this quite interesting project in San Francisco called Pop Up Magazine, where on an event storytellers present the magazine in a form of a live performance, with music etc. It’s too bombastic maybe for us, but it’s definitely worth considering in the context of next OpenVillage as one of the formats in which we could frame and present the stories?

@coloursinside, i’d love to hear what are your ideas and if you’d like to join us to check some of them out - that would be great. I am based in Berlin now, if you ever come by, let me know - otherwise, feel free to either join our call on the 19th or schedule one :wink:


Just pinging myself to this topic because new forms of journalism interest me. I have much respect for the model ‘de correspondent’ created in the Netherlands and will share their vision later today with the group :slight_smile:


Would it be considered blasphemous if i suggested that we could look at something that existed as a physical artefact?
I started the chat with @natalia_skoczylas by talking about how we are perceived by those outside the community (if we are perceived at all) I’m wary of inviting journalists into the space, because they tend to be lazy and use tired, untrue cliches to describe communities and ideas like the Edgeryders.
My biggest disappointment has always been that there are so many amazing stories and people on this platform and that they don’t get the spotlight they deserve. We’re very good at doing the connections and conversations between these people, but not so good at the amplification of those stories.
It’s inherent in the way the platform works that many of these drop under the radar. I don’t know if there is a better way of foregrounding this on the platform ( i think not) so i wondered if there was an offline mechanism that we could look at that created physical artefacts that shared those stories in a way that looked like journalism, but without outsourcing to a market that doesn’t understand us.

I’m slightly inspired by the work of Dark Mountain here in the UK (Books - Dark Mountain) who produce annual collectons of the their writing and work. The focus is on high quality physical creations which they draw from their contributors to the sight throughout the year. Their focus is much more on pure arts expression. But i wonder if there’s a place for a similar object that focuses on the work being done by Edgeryders?

What an amazing topic thanks @anique.yael to open it and thanks all to bring such qualitatif response

I’m also a big fan of storytelling journalism. For me there are a couple of good exemples in Belgium like 24h01 http://www.24h01.be or Medor (who is more an investigation journalism magazine then a story driven one) or the French Revue XXI http://www.revue21.fr
THINKING OUT LOUD: High quality semestrial products, but that are still centralized constructions with publishers, numbers of copies and lot’s of waste at the end. If Edgeryders should have physical object it should be one resonating the values: decentralized produced, locally crafted. A bit like how One Plus was making phones in the beginning: we have a demand of 20000 phones: ok we produce, next people will need to wait for the next batch. It could be here: Brussels want 50 copies, well a local fablab will have a bookmaking workshop to make those 50 Mooks ( Magazine - Books)
Nontheless what is most important is the way the content is shaped and for me 2 media sites stand out at the moment: De Correspondent and Usbek & Rita.

De Correspondent https://decorrespondent.nl
This media company has not only a great business model it also had massive influance on sociatal debates in the Netherlands in the last couple of years. Rutger Breghman is one of their strong writers who brought the ideas around Basic Income to the masses but at the same time being really humble in his creation of ideas, coming back on older ideas and rediscussing them. My favorite series on their website is ‘the declaration of dependence’, a series of articles about how we can create a more trustworthy and humain society by depending on one another.
They have a great system to highlight their resources, every piece is clickable and there is an interesting paywall. In fact they just put a paywall on the site to get access to all the content, but if you click on an article anybody posts from the website you can read the full article, this i find really great.

Usbek & Rita https://usbeketrica.com

This is a much more humanistic technological centered site that has a great community involved dynamic. it has it’s own currency that can be used to get access to specific parts or live events and you earn it by sharing, discussing or helping to write/ correct some of the articles. It are high quality but quite easy to read articles. And that is i think the key in having a succesful transition from the edgeryders stories to an EdgeMedia, how can we make it easily accessible while being high quality without playing with a popular agenda. All questions i would love to find answers for.

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From what I know, the Dark Mountain publications are very niched and this group have gradually built themselves two things which I find important also to distinguish, if needed between theirs and the approach this thread has put forward: a community of storytellers (I’m talking deep edgy reflections) and a readers based for that niche.
I guess the question for me is how much do we want to open up to a more mainstream audience and play the numbers game… This would make the effort more activist-y (just reading Laurel conveys this) and going for real spotlight. Which I dont know if it’s the case with D Mountain. Do you have any idea about their readership numbers Alex?

I don’t, but i could always reach out to them and see if they will share that info with me.
I’d be interested to see the balance between their online readership and their Book sales.
I believe that one of the founders is an old member of edgeryders, perhaps a little ping here: @dougald may help.

I agree they have built both of those areas over the years, mostly by focusing their development on writers, artists and thinkers. Most of their workshops and sessions are built around exploring these areas of creative output.
It’s interesting to see the similar conversation happening over on this thread about speculative fiction within the ER community though.
My view is i would love to see a real mix of work brought together. Fiction, journalism, photo journalism, interviews, how-to wikis etc.

@yannick really interesting suggestions for platforms that could be utilised. I really like the set up for De Correspondant, a good balance of open sharing and paywall.

Lots more to think about.

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