Testimonies of a Culture in Transition

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Chip Rees is a  storyteller. With his firm Witness The Way We Live, he uses both audio, video and other forms of multi-media to help clients better understand their customers and share the stories of their lives for the purposes of creating better brand relationships. He does this for a living.

What he does “for fun” is use these same storytelling techniques to record history and facilitate conversation on the very real and complex issues of our day – struggles that have become storytelling lore but have real implications for inspiring change. He calls this experimental effort The Dilemmas Project, a multi-media platform for engaging citizen participation around the ongoing dilemmas ordinary people are facing every day.

Per Chip, “This is just our form of creating a dialogue to find solutions. We don’t want to be judge and jury, we simply want the story to be told. We create opportunities that enable storytelling by others on the dilemmas they face in these changing times.”

Besides being a forum for input, they also tackle storylines that they feel aren’t being told. Right now Chip and his team are out interviewing Mayors of small to mid-size towns to understand the problems they are facing and the choices they are making to navigate their communities towards survival. We read the news, we hear a sampling of individual tales but…“When you assemble an abundance of these perspectives, it give you pause to reflect on the nature of the problem,” notes Rees.  These are stories that are affecting our lives and communities.  We see and hear the outcomes but we are not engaged in the nature of the problem itself which minimizes our opportunity to change things at their root level.

These days, we are all faced with daily dilemmas.  Each one inter-connected to the dilemmas others are facing. Witness is looking for guest writers and storytellers.  If you have a dilemma or point of view to share, contact Chip at [email protected], maybe your story will inspire change.

image credit: Miguel A. Yuste at Creative Commons

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