We engage students and community organizations in innovative online and offline learning and training opportunities about digital visual culture.




Voices of Muslim Women Digital Storytelling Program

The 2018 cohort of the Voices of Muslim Women Digital Storytelling Program

The 2018 cohort of the Voices of Muslim Women Digital Storytelling Program

This exciting 7-week-course taught Muslim women in the community how to script their personal narratives into meaningful films. The students were encouraged to explore stories and issues that meant a lot to them, create a script, and then taught digital storytelling techniques in order to share their stories impactfully with the community. The films from this course were presented at the Voices of Muslim Women gala and the KPU DigitaLENS VMW Film Festival. 


Videos from the 2018 program:



"To say the Voices of Muslim Women Digital Storytelling Program is unique would not be giving it the justice it deserves, for it is so much more than that. Part social justice learning, part collective therapy session, part film making and photography skill building - it comes together to form a twice weekly class that asks students to think, think again, examine, self reflect and finally to create. Surrounded by a diverse group of other Muslim women, I felt safe to share and express and to listen and be heard. Through the space created to allow me to dive into my memories and feelings, I was able to produce a five minute film about my life journey. Creating this piece of work was something I would not have done if it was not made possible by this class. This is monumental because it was the soft stepping stone I needed to remember part of me that I thought was lost. Experiencing my classmates create their digital stories was a learning as much as it was an inspiration. Each class enabled us to find out a little more about the other culminating in a group of women that have become true friends. And it is in that I believe the ultimate value in this program lies. It's the connection and the collective knowing that we are not alone. It's being seen and realizing that our voices are heard.And then ultimately it's the taking of those voices out of the classroom and into the community to raise awareness, create change and enable women to stand up and speak up in ways they may not previously have thought possible. "

-2018 Voices of Muslim Women Digital Storytelling Student




"I was wary about taking the program but I’m thankful I did. The instructors taught me what it means to be an advocate for social justice, that the process of taking a selfie reveals who you are and how to create a digital story. I’d recommend others to take the program, not only because of what you’ll learn, but also because it gives you a sense of safety to openly share your stories and form friendships that will last a lifetime. The VMW Digital Storytelling course was the space that I needed to meet Muslim women in my community and find safety to share my story. Beyond teaching us the craft of story building, selfie making and digital storytelling, what set this course apart was the space that was held for us every week to share unapologetically. Aisha, Katie and Alia created a class that cultivated our stories in a way that remained true to ourselves."
-2018 Voices of Muslim Women Digital Storytelling Student


Digital Literacy for Novice Storytellers; IN PARTNERSHIP WITH Princess Margaret HIGHSCHOOL



Overview of the DigitaLENS Film Screening Event, the annual event to showcase the work produced by each years cohort. 

Interview with between some  DigitaLENS students with local blog, Surrey604.


Mass media images of youth life in Surrey are reductionist and stereotypical where everyday life is reduced to gang violence, youth victimization, and cultural and religious conflicts.  What images of everyday life would we see if Surrey youth could control the cameras and tell the stories themselves?

This partnership grouped a digital storyteller with a peer mentor from the journalism program to work with a group of grade 8-12 high school students.  Our students and the program director trained the high school students in digital storytelling techniques so that young people could tell their stories--the real stories--that will aim to challenge the negative mass media images of youth life in Surrey.


Outcome of the Program: