Spanish

It is Story celebration time in India December 2018. The country will be hosting two International Storytelling festivals back to back in the cities of Bhuvaneshwar and Hyderabad respectively. I, Deepa Kiran, a storyteller and curator for both the festivals, am delighted to share more about them and invite members of The Spanish Professional Storytelling Association to join us and enjoy the celebrations.

Spanish

Festival´s name: Festival at the Edge

Place: Shropshire, England

Trajectory (including its origin and evolution): Storytelling & Music festival, offering performances, workshops, on-site camping, plus a variety of caterers and traders over the third weekend in July. The oldest storytelling festival in England.

Target Audience: Families and adults with an interest in story and its application.

Coordination and Direction- A team of eight volunteers from the Organising Team

Web page: www.festivalattheedge.org

Social media: https://www.facebook.com/groups/18816182382/?ref=bookmarks

Duration: Festival starts Friday 19.00 ends Sunday 17.00. Next year is 28th year.

Spaces: around 1400 visitors.

Nationalities involved: Artists from all over Britain and usually at least 2/3 from Europe and further afield every year.

Sponsors: Very little. Maybe 5 percent of festival cost.
We are a not for profit organisation. The cost for the majority of the festival is covered by ticket sales, plus commission from traders etc.

This text belongs to the 67st Bulletin: A trip of stories

Spanish

When one works with those who have had to leave behind everything, often stories and their deep groundedness in orality is all they have been able to carry with them across geographical boundaries. This is not just a metaphor. It is the ground, the reality of migrants’ lives. How do you carry a lifetime in 30 kgs of checked in baggage? And that is for those who are the more privileged migrants. Travel on a rickety rubber dinghy packed without an inch to spare between people, and you’d be lucky if the life jacket around your neck does not suffocate you. 

In such circumstances, stories become many things - memories, life rafts, entertainment, lullabies, home. 

But for many refugees in the current hostile climate for refugees, stories have become currency. The relationship between stories and their exchange as currency is not new. In traditional stories, one finds storytellers plying their trade for coin. Scheherazade told stories to save lives of women in her husband’s kingdom and herself. But she also told stories in response to the king’s command ‘Tell me a story’. The choice of story was up to her. And that changed everyone’s story in the kingdom. Telling stories has not been divorced from earning a living or saving a life. 

But in the current climate of the importance of ‘personal’ and ‘cultural’ stories in almost every part of our lives, stories take on a commodification where life and death are the stakes that are in play. Right-wing media and discourse trades on ‘stories’ of the parasitic nature of migrants, and on the other hand, sympathetic discourse equally relies on ‘stories’ that reveal the strength and vitality of migrant presence and contributions. Almost everyone speaks through these ‘stories’ – starting from personal instances told in third person that progressively get more abstracted and rarified as they travel over print, tongues and impressions. They sway policies.