Negotiating Conflict: A Discussion of Interactive Documentary as Constructive Storytelling in Societies Emerging from Conflict
Storytelling is often cited as an important device for recovery and transformation in societies emerging from war and conflict. When official storytelling processes are problematic or non-existent, the process of addressing a conflicted past is often tackled creatively. Existing forms of unofficial storytelling have been identified as therapeutic and empowering but also as having limitations. The potential of an emerging form of narrative representation known as interactive documentary has been used to help negotiate themes of conflict, but remains under-researched. This paper explores four modes of interactivity (Gaudenzi 2013) and applies key factors in Jessica Senehi’s (2002) constructive storytelling to explore essential commonalities and differences between the two. The paper argues that interactive documentary has the potential to offer a unique contribution to the negotiation of complex and contested narratives of conflict but may contain limitations depending on how technologies are applied to realise the aims of constructive storytelling.