“Playing with the Team”: The Development of Communities of Practice in a Digital Storytelling Project


  • Peter John Westman University of Wolverhampton




community, learning, performance, anthropology, agency


Since its emergence in the early 1990's, digital storytelling has been variously identified as a new media practice, a consumer and community-led movement, and a textual system. However, given its relative nascent status, there remains the need for further academic research focusing on the different forms it has assumed. During the spring/summer of 2011, I conducted an examination of Taking the Field (TTF), a digital storytelling project that aims to celebrate grassroots cricket in the UK through the construction of stories by village and county-level clubs. In contrast to most previous projects that aim to have the participants “speak” by constructing their own stories, TTF stories are researched and constructed by project staff with the assistance of the clubs.

My research centers on the experiences of two clubs in the project, Blaina CC and Spondon CC, through interviews and elicitation techniques with club and community members using the completed stories and the artifacts used in their construction. Through the theoretical framework of Gell's anthropology of art, I consider how digital stories act as objects that mediate social agency during their creation and how the structure of this type of project contributes to the formation of communities of practice in the 'performance' of collective identity.

Author Biography

Peter John Westman, University of Wolverhampton