Sustainable flood memory

Trialling digital storytelling as a form of adaptive learning and knowledge exchange for resilience in 'at risk communities'.

Project Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Lead Organisation: UWE Bristol

Project Duration: One year

Project team/collaborators

Project aims

Co-working with the Environment Agency, this knowledge exchange project is exploring how flood memories and lay/informal knowledges garnered in the aftermath of the 2007 floods within the ESRC Flood Memory project can be exchanged within and between different types of communities using the medium of digital stories.

The 'Knowledge Exchange' project therefore trials the process of community-created digital stories (CDS) and their effectiveness/impact as a tool in adaptive learning for behavioural change in the context of local flood risk management.

A key aspect here will be to make links between the past (recounting stories and memories of experiences that have already taken place; 'post-flood learning') and 'the future' to see how these historical experiences translate into changing behaviours and future action.

Project summary

This knowledge exchange project is an additional part of the ESRC Flood Memories project, led by Professor Lindsey McEwen, UWE Bristol.

In the extension of the ESRC Flood Memories project, the project team is working in partnership with community members, the Environment Agency, Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Rural Community Council to identify short narratives or stories within our original interviews that reflect on different aspects of ‘preparedness for flood risk’ and building resilience.

This knowledge exchange project captures local/lay knowledge and reflections on preparedness that have been generated by communities who experienced flooding in 2007. We are working with some of the original interviewees in the ESRC Flood Memories project to create short digital stories.

These are 2-3 minute pieces of audio ideally with images suggested by the interviewee. These digital stories are then being shared in three new communities. Here the voices sharing learning are community to community rather than agency to community. Feedback on the effectiveness of this approach is being evaluated from different stakeholder perspectives (originator community; new community; agencies involved).

Project outcomes

  • Website and 21 Digital Stories co-produced with communities will be archived on the web as a legacy of the project.
  • An evaluation of digital stories as a method of knowledge exchange between communities.
  • Outputs written in collaboration with project partners.

Sustainable flood memories

The sustainable flood memories portal shares and exchanges community flood stories about different aspects of resilience in the aftermath of the July 2007 floods on the lower River Severn, UK. These stories were co-produced with communities as part of the ESRC Flood Memories project.

While the main focus of the project was on developing these personal stories, we have drafted some indicative text under other types of lay and expert flood knowledge (flood heritage, flood data, flood plans). Thus we can explore how these different important knowledges might build up and integrate with ‘flood resilience stories’ as ‘knowledge for flood resilience’.

Find out more via the sustainable flood memories images.

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