Storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used for good or for harm. As storytellers, we have the power and the responsibility to tell stories in a way that respects the dignity and autonomy of the individuals whose stories we share. By collaborating with these individuals, we can create media that is authentic, compelling, and inspiring. And by doing so, we can help to create a world where everyone’s stories are heard and valued.
The question of who a story belongs to is a complex one, especially when it comes to stories about real people and their experiences. While the storyteller may craft the narrative, it’s important to recognize and respect the agency and autonomy of the individuals and communities being documented. By obtaining free and informed consent at every stage of the process, and by striving for a collaborative, equitable approach, we can create stories that are not only powerful but also ethical and responsible.