Storytelling is an ancient practice that serves to bring understanding and meaning to human existence. From oral storytelling combined with gestures and expressions to rock art, music, carving trunks of living trees and even complex forms of tattooing.
Later on, other forms of telling stories came to life: mosaic, sculpture, writing, drawing, painting, video, the media, Facebook… Actually, everything is a story. Our lives are stories. And often our opinions and ideas are formed and shaped by the stories we hear. So it is important to tell stories that are inclusive, to challenge prejudices and exclusion. To hear and to be heard. In the video below Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says it clearly: a one-sided ‘single story’ is dangerous.
So we tell other stories and challenge the world around us. We do this through storytelling workshops and publishing, together with many different people from all over the world. People that are often not heard, or not encouraged to tell their stories.
Storytelling is healing, on a personal and societal level. It is also believed to be an incredibly efficient peacebuilding tool. In practice we often see that storytelling practices enable participants from all walks of life to connect to each other, and to build a genuine understanding about the ‘other’.
Each workshop is entirely tailor-made, often together with the participants – depending on the group dynamics (size, age, gender, interests), the context and the aim of the group. However, the base of the content is as follows:
1. Introduction to storytelling
2. Symbols: the beginning of storytelling
3. Journalism and activism
4. Myths and fairy tales
5. Poetry, music and resistance
6. Theatre, movement and body language
7. Reflection and documentation
8. Publication, presentation, exhibition
Since 2015 we made many different storytelling workshops. We worked together with local communities, organizations, NGOs, schools and institutions, and often the result was a new publication.
The projects were based in South Africa, Thailand, Colombia, The Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Ethiopia.