Restorative Narratives have potential to ‘stimulate people to move forward, to pick themselves up’

For the past two years, Images & Voices of Hope has been exploring a genre that we’re calling Restorative Narrative — stories that show how people and communities are making meaningful progressions from despair to resilience.

Longtime summit attendee and ivoh award winner Sanjeev Chatterjee recently created a video about Restorative Narrative, based on interviews he conducted during our 2014 summit. We showed the video at our 2015 Restorative Narrative Summit, held in late June, and are publishing it for the first time here.

We welcome you to share it with others who you think would be interested in this storytelling genre, which we plan to continue developing over the coming year. We’re particularly interested in the impact that this genre can have on people and communities.

Here are some highlights from the video:

  • “What are the ways in which a journalist can craft a story and look at the world in a way that helps a community or people move forward to improve their lives? That’s led us to this notion that we’re calling Restorative Narrative — the idea that this narrative, this story, has a way of restoring hope, restoring one’s confidence that things can get better, is stimulating people to move forward, to pick themselves up, to work for change. … It has to do with sinking yourself deeply, and bringing yourself deeply, into the community that’s affected, establishing trust. Saying that we not only want your story, but we want to honor your story and the role that you played in it. … We’re talking about a relationship between the journalist and the storyteller or artist and the people in the community.” ~ ivoh trustee Jon Funabiki
  • “A Restorative Narrative is a story that shifts the paradigm of what comes before it. … it has the potential to help that person who experiences it leave that baggage and embrace a new perspective.” ~ ivoh trustee Ozioma Egwuonwu
  • “What would be restorative is to make visible the responsive adaptive capacity in our midst right now, at this point in time, so that what is working and what is smart can grow and fulfill the potential it has. There are great ideas around the world that have this potential.” ~ David Bornstein, co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network
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