“Changing the Nature of Storytelling”: Chicago Students Remix Neil Gaiman’s “Neverwhere”


5.26.11 | This week’s StudentSpeak focuses on digital storytelling using the book “Neverwhere,” by British author Neil Gaiman.

The students in Chicago’s YOUmedia program remixed the themes and ideas in the book to tell their own story of a magical realm that coexists and parallels the “real” world.

In Gaiman’s book, the magical realm is “London Below” coexisting with London Above. In students’ hands, the magical realm becomes the tunnels beneath the city, a video game based in the subway station, and zombies, of course.

As part of the project, high school students from around Chicago created original comics, photography, graphic design, writing and video all based on or inspired by “Neverwhere.” You can view their work on this Tumblr blog.

“Neverwhere” is the current selection for the One Book, One Chicago city-wide book club.

As Gaiman told Spotlight during a recent visit to YOUmedia, remixing a story is an exciting extension of the original creation—and itself a creative act.

When readers start remixing the original, says Gaiman, “It gets them further into the book, into the ideas of the book, into the worlds. I think we’re at the beginning of something, which is changing the nature of storytelling. … it’s like collage. It’s like this whole new glorious thing.”

StudentSpeak, a video series produced by Spotlight, goes behind the scenes to show how teens use digital media in their daily lives. View previous webisodes here.


video, writing, youmedia


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