My dissertation research involves a secondary analysis of interdisciplinary audience perspectives on digital stories by adopted youth, and youth in foster care in Canada, in-partnership with the Adoption Council of Canada, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), and York University, and Ryerson University, where I am a student.

In the summer of 2017, I had an opportunity to co-facilitate three digital storytelling workshops in Toronto, Moncton, and Winnipeg, with youth who were adopted, or in foster care. Facilitators from the Adoption Council of Canada, CAMH, and a digital storytelling lab at Guelph University assisted the youth with creating a video-based story about their adoption, and/or foster care experiences.

My interest in this research topic is three-fold: I have lived experience as an adoptee; I am a digital media artist and have created artistic works in video installations and documentary video; and I am interested in learning about interdisciplinary adult perspectives on digital stories.

To collect the data, I will conduct video-elicitation interviews with participants on Skype and study their perspectives, to learn about “What makes a great story?”, and about the impact of these digital stories on their work in the arts, health, and social services.

The results of the study will be shared widely, and primarily with: youth who created the videos, with participants who are interested in reviewing a summary of the study, with my dissertation committee, and with research partners at the Adoption Council of Canada, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. It is my hope that this research will increase awareness about the experiences that youth in the Canadian adoption and foster care system face, as well as provide insight on the diverse perspectives and similarities across professions, on the medium of digital storytelling as a platform for this population of youth storytellers.