Senegalese filmmaker to help make KU's academic stories digital

19 October 2018

Technology & Convergence

LAWRENCE — When he was a child in Senegal, Mamadou Dia would listen to his grandmother's stories. Now a filmmaker, he tells the stories of his native Africa. This fall he’ll be the first Visiting Interdisciplinary Scholar at the University of Kansas’ Hall Center for the Humanities and help scholars of all kinds take their stories to the world.

A former journalist, Dia has drawn acclaim as a filmmaker. His latest effort, “Samedi Cinema,” has gained international recognition and was selected for the Venice Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Festival International du Film Francophone de Namur and others. During his fellowship at KU he’ll work with faculty, staff and students to take their ideas, stories and findings from the page to the digital, visual world. While one might not consider a dissertation or journal article the genesis of a film, any story can be told in a visual way.

“We don’t always realize these kinds of stories can be told visually in a digital space,” Dia said of academic stories. “We’ll talk about how to take a story from an idea or narrative setting to a visual one.”

We live in an era where nearly all aspects of our lives can be quickly and easily shared via technology. Given the sheer amount of information a person can find every day it is necessary to find ways to make one’s story stand out, reach people it might miss otherwise and to make it more robust for those who might naturally be interested. Dia said he plans to work with academics to help them realize ways to share their work digitally, be it through a brief video summary of their work, an immersive, interactive digital representation or something in between. Read the full article on KU here.