Emerging Horizons, Part Five. Kenzie’s Story: Periods and Ellipses





This fifth installment of the Emerging Horizons series explores Kenzie’s digital storytelling (DST) experience (please see the introductory editorial, Crafting Meaning, Cultivating Understanding, to access the documentary film on which the series is based). Kenzie's storyline revealed how culturally accepted language and metanarratives around health and wellness can create dissonance for Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer survivors as they attempt to share their experiences with others. Alternatively, the genuine conversation inherent in the Story Circle, and throughout the DST process, could promote and stimulate the re-storying of ill-fitting, “hand-me-down” cancer narratives. Specifically, the reflective intensity and co-creative nature of DST could facilitate the discovery of deeper truths, or new truths, in healthcare stories while the narrative structure and creative limitations of a digital story could empower AYAs to craft a closed ending to a perpetually open-ended cancer survivorship experience.

Author Biographies

Dr. Michael J Lang, University of Calgary

Dr. Mike Lang is a health researcher, filmmaker, and Level 3 facilitator with Common Language Digital Storytelling. He has directed and produced five feature-length documentaries and four web series about the human health experience, in addition to publishing academic research articles and facilitating the creation of over 800 digital stories with a diverse cross-section of patients, family caregivers, and healthcare professionals. Mike’s professional and research focus is on using digital storytelling and documentary filmmaking in education, advocacy, research, and a therapeutic capacity within healthcare and wellness contexts. Connect with him on all socials @mikelangstories or via www.mikelangstories.com or commonlanguagedst.org.

Dr. Catherine M Laing, University of Calgary, Faculty of Nursing

Catherine M Laing is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary and Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs. She was Michael's PhD supervisor and has conducted her own prior studies in the area of digital storytelling in oncology.