The future is here. You might not recognize it yet, not know it yet, but it travels with you whereever you go. You hold the future in you, and it is yours to mould and shape into whatever you want it to be.
We’re living in uncertain times. Refugees and migrants, economic hardships and war, climate change and climate change denial. The list is nearly endless. As I talked about in a couple of posts last year, I’m actively exploring how narratives and stories can help us shape the future into something that holds more promise. ”The Great Narrative” was a term I used, a term to encompass everyone, and, by default, everyone’s stories.
I’m finding that this train of thought has a direct influence on the way I approach more hands-on projects as well, be it entertainment, documentaries, experimental stuff, social media campaigns or something else. If we accept that we – and everyone else, naturally – have the power to shape and change our futures through stories, isn’t this something to be taken into consideration when working with audience engagement and other similar strategies? I think so, clearly.
What we’re looking at is an evolvement of the old adage from propagation planning, of giving people a direction and the necessary tools, and they will tell the stories you would like them to tell.
Now, instead, we’re looking at something that goes deeper. What I find I want to create is an alluring, enticing, engaging image of a possible future for the audience. It is a future they hopefully long for, yearn for, and one that holds promises of the solutions and possibilities they crave (even if they didn’t even know they craved them from the outset). It is out of necessity a true image (if perhaps not the full image) that is clearly accessible, through means and tools provided by us, the creators. This means that when the audience interacts with my story, it’s not only in order to advance the storyline, it’s in order to create a future for themselves to arrive at.
If we can dream it, we can make it. Our task as creators is to paint the dreams we want the engaged audience to have, and make sure they mirror the future they arrive into, when following those dreams.