EROTICS South Asia: Storytelling

Storytelling has been an integral part of EROTICS South Asia experiences, both in-person as well as remotely when, in 2020, due to the pandemic APC and EROTIC Partners have re-imagined and co-created in Nepal with Body and Dat, in Bangladesh with Parsa Sanjana Sajid and in Sri Lanka with the Women and Media Collective the way stories can be told and circles can be hold in the digital.

Thanks to storytelling networks were initiated, empowered and nurtured. The relationships they helped creating are the gentle fabric of feminist and queer / LGBTIQ activism and love.

We share here the three modules we have created. Each of them address one aspect of producing and distributing stories in digital formats. We invite you to read, use and share them and also to share with us your review and suggestion.

Storytelling from remote: Safety and care in online spaces 

This module sprouted from a digital storytelling workshop for Erotics South Asia partners and APC staff held online in August 2020. The shift from an in-person meeting to an online workshop in response to the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in an experimental exploration of creative and feminist space-making that is grounded in collective care. A few months later in October, APC held their 2020 global member convening, Closer Than Ever, where themes of care, safety, and change emerged again. Some seeds from that event are in this document too. The facilitation team of both events saw an opportunity to create a section to share learning and reflections as building blocks for future storytelling workshop space-making.

Developed by superhumans Zana Fauzi, Liy Yusof, hvale vale, Jennifer Radloff,with illustration from Sonaksha Iyengar the module is organized in 5 sections. This module hopes to serve as an opportunity to rethink the ways we conduct storytelling workshops in a remote setting environment. It aims to embed digital safety at all levels of the storytelling process and can be used to support existing work in other themes. It is written for facilitators and trainers as a starting point of considerations for the process of making safer and caring spaces for remote storytelling workshops in any context. It has more questions than answers.

Following the Introduction the first section Rethinking communication reflects on how workshops should not replicate the asymmetrical communication structure of webinars. Move to Rethinking funding a section that reflect on the new distribution of resources. With in-person meetings, we allocate funding to visas, elements of privacy, spaces for focused attention, meals, technology, and materials needed to make the workshop possible. Now that the money isn’t going to venue rental or accommodation, where should it go to achieve the care and safety of everyone involved? Is it really cheaper to move online?

The third section Rethinking facilitation address the new circumstances that have compelled us to change our notion of space, even for people already working semi-remotely. Many facilitators find it challenging to adapt to holding space online despite years of experience facilitating in-person meetings. Iterative workshops such as the Erotics digital storytelling workshops could not and will not neatly translate to online spaces. Maybe this is because the ‘space’ is not directly comparable to a tangible hall. Although visas are no longer a requirement to attend, every person in the room still accesses it from their own unique digital circumstances. The module close with a crowdsourced section of Recommended resources, tools and further reading co-created with and by the wisdom, knowledge and generosity of all participants.

Embedding Digital Safety in Storytelling

Developed for APC by Cheekay Cinko and Angela M. Kuga Thas this module has four four sections.

  • Introduction, which looks at some of the issues on digital safety as it applies to digital storytelling
  • First section on Digital Identifiability and Content Production aims to expand how we understand anonymity, non-identifiability and storytelling. It challenges us to shift our focus on security and our safety in telling our stories by better understanding digital identifiability, that is, how recognizable you can be depending on context, the information shared, and the digital data that tells on you.
  • Second section “General Safety Considerations in Content Production and Choosing Technology for Storytelling” is about ways in which a storyteller can secure themselves, the people in their stories, and the stories themselves as they create and share their stories.
  • Third section Safety and Online Videos is about the safety, privacy and ethical considerations in creating and publishing videos online
  • Fourth and last one Safety and Podcasts focuses specifically on safety considerations in podcasting

Creative commons licensing, distribution and attribution

Developed for for APC by the one and only Scann, who is also the Coordinator of the CC GLAM Network Platform (Global network helping Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums open content. Run by the #OpenGLAM community) this module has four main sections enriched by multimedia.

The availability of works under an open license has increased dramatically since the Creative Commons licenses were launched in 2002. As of today, there are around 2 billion works released under a Creative Commons license[1], and many more with other types of licenses (such as the GFDL)[2].

The reason why the Creative Commons licenses became so widespread it’s because they offer considerable flexibility to creators and users. Creative Commons licenses include six licenses and two public domain tools. Creative Commons are standardized tools. Each of the licenses and tools have three layers of legal language, user language, and machine readable code. This is what makes CC licenses such a powerful tool. They have been translated to many languages, so users can understand in their own language what they can and can’t do with a work that is licensed under a CC license.

However, it is not always easy to understand how to use works under a CC license, or how to license your own work. Additionally, CC licenses only cover the aspects of a work that are related to copyright. Any other right, such as personality or privacy rights, are not covered by the CC licenses. This means you need to examine the work you’re planning to incorporate in your storytelling or narrative to decide if you can use it.

To decide if you incorporate a particular work into your narrative, you need to first understand some important aspects of the licenses and your intended use.

The module hope to help storytellers to attribute and credits themselves as well as authors, creators of images, gif and instances of videos that resonate with them helping to understand how best to choose, attribute and share.

Understanding how to reuse material

  • Understanding your use
  • Other considerations when using and reusing CC licensed material
  • What happens if I use a material offered under a CC license and the author decides to remove or change the CC license?

Understanding how to attribute

  • Using the TASL approach
  • Attributing works in the public domain
  • A note about license versions

Searching openly licensed resources

  • General tips for your search
  • Repositories of openly licensed content
  • Multimedia: Wikimedia Commons, Cultural Heritage Institutions, Internet Archive, Flickr, Other government or public institutions
    Vector graphics: The Noun Project, Public Domain Vectors
    Images: Other websites
    Sounds: Bandcamp, Soundcloud, ccMixter, Free Music Archive


  • Ethical & other considerations
  • Searching for content
  • Reusing content


[1] Creative Commons annual report (2019), available here:
[2] This tutorial will only work with CC-licensed material to avoid introducing more complexity.