FCAC - Story-telling with Santilla Chingaipe
00:00:22 My name is Santilla Chingaipe.
00:00:24 I'm a journalist, filmmaker and an author.
00:00:29 I work across multiple mediums; print, digital, film, podcast and audio,
00:00:36 And I also curate public conversations.
00:00:45 It's just such a cliche, from as young as I can remember I loved books.
00:00:49 I grew up with the MTV generation, so I loved watching music videos and trying to recreate
00:00:56 them with my friends.
00:00:58 I love the cinema.
00:01:00 I still love the cinema.
00:01:01 I love going to see a really good film.
00:01:03 I grew up in a culture where oral storytelling is a big part of how we communicate and how
00:01:13 we empathise with each other in many ways.
00:01:17 And I love that stories can bring the world to people.
00:01:22 So if you are unable to travel to the other side of the world, for example, you can learn
00:01:28 about a culture, you can learn about other people.
00:01:34 There's the universal-humanity that stories bring, which I think is such an invaluable
00:01:40 thing, particularly when we are living in a world where we're sharing spaces with
00:01:45 different people from all walks of life.
00:01:47 And sometimes because of prejudices and all these sorts of things, we might not
00:01:52 necessarily see ourselves in other people.
00:01:55 And stories when done well can really remind us that at the end of the day, we all just
00:02:01 want the same things.
00:02:02 And I love that stories at their best can do that.
00:02:08 I love being part of an industry that really wants to connect us to our shared
00:02:17 humanity. And that is always what I'm seeking with my stories.
00:02:22 I'm always sort of seeking to not just highlight things that sometimes people might not be
00:02:28 aware of, but also remind people of that universal experience that we all share.
00:02:34 Regardless of your background, whether it's your race, your sexuality or religion or your
00:02:40 gender, I think those things don't really matter when you're sitting across from someone
00:02:46 and they're sharing something that you can relate to.
00:02:50 Even if you can't specifically relate to their lived experience, you can relate to that
00:02:56 experience of another human being going through something.
00:02:59 And I really, really enjoy that.
00:03:02 I enjoy that it opens up the world.
00:03:06 I mean, it's done that for me.
00:03:10 You know, the times when I was unaware of a lot of things, it was through books that I was
00:03:18 able to learn about it.
00:03:21 I mean, I'll give a perfect example, like I think about, some of the Fairy Tales I read as
00:03:28 a child had snow and, I didn't grow up with, I mean, I grew up in Perth and I grew up in
00:03:35 Zambia, so there's no snow.
00:03:38 So it was one of those things where in a book you're reading about something quite
00:03:43 descriptive and there's this experience.
00:03:45 Even though I couldn't- I didn't know what it (snow) felt like until years later, I still
00:03:53 got a sense of what that feeling would be like because of what I was reading and because
00:03:58 of the world that I was being taken into.
00:04:00 So, again, it wasn't an experience I was familiar with or that I knew, but that world was
00:04:05 introduced to me through the power of storytelling.
00:04:08 And it was pretty effective because it had quite a big impact on my life that when I
00:04:13 actually got to experience (snow) for the first time, it was really quite magical because
00:04:17 of that.
00:04:17 So that's just like a really simple example of one of the ways in which stories can
00:04:24 translate things that sometimes might not be your lived experience.
00:04:29 We all know that one story, that when we saw it, when we read it, when we heard it just
00:04:38 shifted our own perspective or just got us excited about something or made us want to
00:04:43 aspire for something.
00:04:46 That is something that I always want to try and leave people with, a sense of feeling like
00:04:53 you can live to your fullest potential, but also something that I've been thinking about a
00:04:58 lot lately is that everyone is deserving of access to opportunities, access to happiness,
00:05:07 access to all of those wonderful things, because it's their birthright.
00:05:11 If you are born in this world, you are deserving of everything amazing, and you shouldn't
00:05:16 be denied that because of your class or your race or your gender or whatever, should not
00:05:24 be the reason why you are not able to access that and stories have the power to really
00:05:34 shift that kind of perspective.
00:05:38 I got into my line of work through journalism.
00:05:43 So I started off as a journalist, I was working at SBS and I spent about eight years
00:05:50 working there.
00:05:51 I was a radio journalist and I really, really loved it because radio really laid the
00:05:57 foundation for a lot of my storytelling skill set, basically.
00:06:03 One of the wonderful things about working in radio is that you have to really draw the