Sunday, June 30, 2013

Federation for European Storytelling Conference (FEST) Rome 2013

Jackie Kerin sharing the Roman experience.

With the support of storytelling colleagues, friends, my Folk Club and Hobsons Bay Council, I represented Storytelling Australia (Victoria) at the Federation for European Storytelling Conference. Following the Conference was the Rome International Storytelling Festival.

The idea for a European Federation for European Storytelling was first mooted in 2001, in Paris at the Maison du Conte in response to the challenge faced by storytellers to be recognized for their art. Behind the Federation is the idea that as a group, storytellers would have more ‘weight’ as well as providing a network for building expertise, collaborations, and the development of new storytellers.

FEST is a not for profit organization with its address in Belgium.

To be a member you have to be based in Europe. Members include: storytellers, producers and festival directors. Non members are welcome.

Since its formation, FEST has met in Oslo (Norway), Lausanne (Switzerland), Reading (England) and Toledo (Spain).

This year, FEST attracted 90 delegates. The non member guests included, Canada, Pakistan, the USA, Singapore and Australia.

The conference is a mix of discussions and idea sharing: training young storytellers, audience development, putting storytelling on the cultural map.

Many discussions were parallel to those we have in Australia eg, agreement of the function and design of a website, cultural appropriation, encouraging young tellers etc

The big difference between Australian and European storytelling, as I saw it, is the separation of storytelling as art, from storytelling as a ‘tool’ to educate, heal etc. Many of the storytellers are deeply connected to their oral traditions and focus on the folk tales from their place. I perceived less interest in original stories and autobiographical storytelling.

The next FEST Conference will take place in 2014 in the north of Sweden and should we wish to send another Australian we will need time to fundraise and apply for grants to get them there. FEST was exhilarating and exhausting. I learned much and am keen to share my experience.

I met several old friends of Australian storytellers and compiled this little film for you all.

I have also created this video of the Conference. Its a little rough (my first attempt at such a thing) but I thought it was a better way of sharing the experience with you, rather than a long email.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jackie Kerin: Off to Rome to the Federation for European Storytelling Conference and Festival 2013

I’m off to Rome for the Federation for European Storytelling Conference. Its a privilege to represent my storytelling colleagues from Storytelling Australia (Vic). Seems like the popularity of oral storytelling is going from strength to strength. Look no further than UK Daniel Morden’s spectacular impact at the recent Sydney Writer’s Festival.

I won’t be presenting at the FEST Conference; Australia is not a member of the Federation (wrong continent) but I have memory stick in my bag with photos and introductions from some of the finest Victorian Tellers, that I will show off with pride.

Following the Conference I’ll be working at the Rome International Storytelling Festival where I have a show, for children and one for adults. I'll be telling original stories based on material bandicooted from the State Library of Victoria newspaper indexes, tall stories inspired by the work of Graham Seal and Bill Wannan, stuff from my own head blended with urban myth and I have my indi comics/zines and original kamishibai story packs to trade.

I’ll be working with Mariella Bertelli, who will also be translating for me. Mariella visited Storytelling Australia (Vic) a while ago – some of you will remember her tale from The Decameron.

As I lay my stuff out to pack – I'm thinking it looks like I've raided one of those Aussie souvenir shops in Swanston Street but I can assure you, its all of the finest quality, original and loved. I've purchased a new memory card for my camera with the plan of documenting the experience to share on my return.

La Senora Jackie K

Thanks for your support:
and family and other friends.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Storytelling Program: Newport Folk Festival 5 -7 July 2013

Dave Davies CD Launch 
From Ironbark to Dandaloo, Dave has been bringing us poems and stories of the bush for many years now. This will be a special event as Dave is launching his CD The Man From Ironbark. The CD showcases Dave's extensive repertoire, including C.J. Dennis' The Play, Banjo Paterson's How Gilbert Died and Henry Lawson's The Lights of Cobb and Co. Come along, enjoy a poem or two, and pick up your own copy of the CD.

Newport Bowls Club, Sunday 10:30 am - 11:00 am 
Entry: Wristband or pay at door

Niki Na Meadhra (invitation to tell a story or sing a song)
Storytellers, poets and musicians are invited to join around a crackling fire with one of Melbourne's favourite storytellers. There'll be candles to light the room and spicy chai to warm the heart and loosen the tongue. Bring words to share and ears to listen. All welcome but remember this is a storytelling evening for adults.
Niki na Meadhra is the imagination behind Enchanted Evening, a monthly night of traditional tales held in the Bishop's Parlour at Abbotsford Convent.
Stories by the Fire is hosted by Storytelling Australia Victoria (Kate Lawrence and Jackie Kerin) and No Worries Curries (chai).
Newport Scout Hall, Saturday 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm 
Entry: Wristband or pay at door.

Jackie and Dharma invite the young ones to bring their big people to the Newport Festival Story Time! 

Between them, Jackie Kerin and Dharma have told stories and sung songs with thousands of children at festivals and libraries, nationally and internationally. Their love of language and the oral folk tradition is reflected in their apparently infinite repertoire of rhymes, chants, handclaps.  

Jackie and Dharma will be signing books and cds
Newport Library / Kids Zone, Saturday 10:30 am - 11:00 am
Entry: Free

The Miller's Tale. In company with Simon Leverton and The Rag and Bone Men,
The Miller, fresh from the 14th Century and smelling like a rose, is back by popular demand! Damsels beware! Chastity belts available at the door. The Miller's last appearance was at the Williamstown Literary Festival in 2012 where his tale caused much merriment.
 The Miller (aka Danny O'Connell) was originally the invention of Geoff Chaucer who sadly passed way 14 October 1400. Geoff now resides in Westminster Abbey. Danny O'Connell: raconteur, actor, singer, instrument maker. 
Simon Leverton: member of the NFFC, plays guitar, sings, is a retired Morris Dancer and the man behind Live@Newport. 
The Rag and Bone Men are a motley bunch of wannabie Englishmen who hold to the view that pie, chips and mushy peas are England's greatest gift to the world. They play Morris tunes and sing songs redolent of the rolling English countryside, and the rollicking local hostelries.
 WARNING: The Miller is rude, makes sexual references and uses language that may offend
Newport Bowls Club, Saturday 08:00 pm - 09:00 pm 
Entry: Wristband or pay at door.

For your easy digestion, this is a summary of the story telling events at the Newport Folk Festival. Preview the full program HERE