Container Project Blog


Container Project

June 2006

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Thursday, June 15th

stories from canada and beyond

All the stories we facilitated in the past year were shared at the Digital Storytelling Conference at M.I.T. in Boston. To see the work we have done at Central Neighbourhood House, please go to
camille on 06.15.06 @ 04:40 PM CST

Wednesday, June 14th

The Container videos are online!

hi all,
The Container stories are now online for you to enjoy! Just click on the names of the storytellers below to see their movie.


Jen and I have recently finished working on some digital stories with the Immigrant Women's Integration Project. Jennifer is just finishing up a project at the 519 Community Centre. Through my work as a community art facilitator at the Art Gallery of Ontario I recorded and edited the voices of grade 1 and 2 students at Nelson Mandella Park Public School in Regent Park. The teachers created podcasts of the stories. We will be presenting some of our projects at a Digital Storytelling Conference in Boston at Massachusettes Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) next week!

camille on 06.14.06 @ 10:43 PM CST [link]

Sunday, April 23rd

Jennifer's story

Jennifer and I are back in Toronto with many fond memories of our time in Jamaica. Here's a summary of the project from Jen's perspective.

The ten participants, ages 15- 45, each created their own digital story, but they had a much bigger job as community leaders- they also learned how to teach the program! Each person shared what their greatest strengths. No one had to be a ‘media expert’. They put those strengths together to make a fantastic team, ready to lead a new group in creating their own digital stories.

The final week was so exciting to watch these new leaders teach as a team. Each leader took on important roles in teaching the program and supporting the new participants to make their stories. New participants include Paka, who used his own music that he recorded as his soundtrack. His story was about the importance of music is in his life, and how the Container helped him to create his own CD. Lisa was one of the original members of The Container, and her story took us back to the beginning- what it was like to create The Container, paint it , cut out windows, put together the computers, and open it to the community. Melissa honored her father by telling her story in memory of him. The final night we had a big event where we screened the videos, staged performances, danced, ate and celebrated the successful finish of the project.

Being a part of The Container Project and the community in Palmers Cross was such an honour. The community was so welcoming to us, and we learned as much from them as they did from us. Palmers Cross has many similar challenges as our community here in Toronto- there’s lots of violence, it is hard to find any work, education is too expensive… Mervin remembers growing up here and always being told, ‘nothing good comes out of Palmers Cross’. But everyone was quick to tell us, it’s not all bad, you need to be here, you need to know us. As Bockle ended his story, ‘It’s not what people think about you, it’s what you think about yourself’.

This month Camille and I are leading a digital storytelling workshop with immigrant women at CNH. Our own group of peer leaders were trained in December to deliver the digital storytelling program and it was their experiences that guided our work in Jamaica. They will now be using media to take on leadership roles in our community, and to support other women in creating and sharing their stories. Camille and I can now bring back our stories from Jamaica, and create a ‘full circle’ international experience of learning.

The digital stories will soon be online on the cnh and container project websites. Look out for them! We will also have a screening of all the videos soon. In the meantime, take a look at some of the previous projects we've done at Central Neighbourhood House:

camille on 04.23.06 @ 11:15 AM CST [link]

Friday, April 7th

Container Crew

container_group (76k image)
camille on 04.07.06 @ 01:21 AM CST [link]

Wednesday, April 5th

Jim working at his desk

jimatwork (97k image)
camille on 04.05.06 @ 08:29 PM CST [link]

Monday, April 3rd

Jim working in the shop

jim (110k image)
camille on 04.03.06 @ 09:46 AM CST [link]

Jim's desk in the shop

workshop (85k image)
camille on 04.03.06 @ 09:38 AM CST [link]

Sunday, April 2nd

Troy is wired up to sensors that control video

troy (48k image)
camille on 04.02.06 @ 11:58 PM CST [link]

InterActive Dance

Jim spent most of his time in a "shop" full of dusty computer parts in front of The Container experimenting with the use of sensor technology as a way to interpret dance movements by the participants. Young men streamed steadily in and out of the shop playing music and games or watching what he was doing.

After discussions with the performers and Mervin, he constructd a device which would allow a dancer to manipulate video images with their movements. To capture these motions he used accelerometers and tilt sensors. An accelerometer is a sensor device that measures dynamics of movement whereas tilt sensors are digital devices that give rough estimates of tilt angle. The devices have been designed to output midi data to allow easy interface with sound and video software. To capture the sensor data and send it to the computer we are using a small micro-controller (computer on a chip). Once the data is captured it is converted into a midi signal by the micro-controller and transmitted digitally. In this way the dancers' body movements have been digitized. Initially simple video images are being manipulated. This project is one that could be expanded. Once the participants see the potential of using digital technology as a way to interpret movements it is his hope that the program can be expanded to teach the participants more about the construction of the digital devices being used as well as the programs that allow video and audio to be manipulated by the sensor devices.

Jim hopes that as a result of his work, The Container will be seen as a place where cutting edge performance technologies can be utilized and experimented with. He says "I hope this will influence other artists in Jamaica to embrace technology as a form of expression."

When I asked him if he would return to The Container he answered. "Definitely! I would spend more time with instruction to give the youth there more power to create their own work and be less reliant on me."
camille on 04.02.06 @ 11:57 PM CST [link]