Why?

With !F Lab, we want to create a connection between social innovation and ‘interactive storytelling’.

Right now, we have a rare opportunity to influence the evolution of an emerging medium – interactive factual narratives.

!F Lab is based on the understanding that those interactive narratives have not yet developed a common ground and a production language of their own. The emphasis is on learning through practical experimentation and the freedom and space to practice. We explore and develop ideas to interactively talk about social challenges.

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Rather than borrowing ill-adapted methodologies from documentary formats, !F Lab seeks to innovate and merge complementary elements of idea development in design and storytelling into an original and innovative process, with an emphasis on the user experience.

!F Lab?

!F Lab is a series of training events designed to guide storytellers and digital makers through a production process for interactive factual narratives. Participants will develop their idea into a working prototype and create finance and marketing plans to take their project onward.

!F Lab:

  • is short for Interactive Factual Lab – a guided development process for the next generation of storytellers. It is a space for new ideas, experimentation, and coproduction across digital and creative forms.
  • is where code meets storytelling, walking the unmapped territory between documentary, journalism, social communication, and web design.
  • is an !DROPS initiative, led by Sandra Gaudenzi and delivered with support from Creative Europe.

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Interactive factual storytelling?

‘Interactive factual storytelling’ is any project that starts with an intention to document reality using digital interactive technology. You may also hear us referring to them as ‘IF Narratives’ or interfactuals.

Our aim is to create a neutral space in which all formats are equal. Therefore, we have chosen to use the terminology ‘!nteractive factual storytelling’ – rather than other common names, such as i-docs or web docs. That way, we also want to be inclusive and acknowledge that this genre is broader than documentary alone. Together, we aim to explore the question: How can we use interactive media to communicate our factual stories today?

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The first two editions of !F Lab took place in 2015 and 2016. We trained more than 40 people in developing their own interactive factual. The third edition of !F Lab takes place between May and July 2017 in Ghent and Lille (France), where we will receive an international company of storytellers. Registrations closed on the third of April (www.iflab.net/register).

From 2017 on, !F Lab is also a methodology that !DROPS uses to tell stories for social change.

A couple of projects that were enabled with !F Lab’s help:

Shirin Anlen – Tzina Symphony of Longing
Produced by and selected for IDFA 2016
Jill Vanparys – Ava – Trix
Britt Wray – Aurator