Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Australian Fairy Tale Society: 3rd Annual Conference “Into the Bush - Its Beauty and Its Terror”

The Australian Fairy Tale Society is an interdisciplinary, intercultural, intergenerational, national group that fosters a deepening understanding of fairy tales and their relationship with our evolving contemporary identity. 
The AFTS annual conference was held, this year, as part of the Glen Eira Storytelling Festival - a conference within a festival.

The day-long event included, academic papers, readings and re-tellings of tales, animation and art works.

These beautiful book images were shown as part of Robyn Floyd's paper, Stockwhip Wand and Cabbage Tree Hat: Australia Identity in Australian Fairy Tales.

Themes of identity, transition, sexuality and motifs: animal brides, lost children and mythical creatures  (bunyips) were examined. The patterns of female relationships in fairy tales, isolation, antagonistic sisters, step mothers and collaboration  were laid before us. 


Angie Rega introduced us to her spellbinding tale: The Bush Bride of Badgery Hollow, a dark story of the dangers of taking an animal bride: in this case a Sugar Glider Woman.

This conference is always of a very high standard and rich as a plum pudding. The performances and readings are complimentary to the theme and offer respite from the academic.

The keynote was delivered by Jackie Kerin from Storytelling Australia Victoria, who relished the opportunity to explore, from a personal perspective,  the shifts in the rational mind when confronted with bush myths and 'storied landscape'.

As part of the conference the  Society's AGM was held and can now proudly introduce the new committee.
L-R: Catherine Snell (president), Thanh Luong, Jo Henwood, Penelope  Clay (secretary), Louis John- Krol (vice president) and absent but there in spirit,  is Gypsy Thornton.

The AFS thanked the hard-working out-going president, Dr Belinda Calderone  who was also a superlative conference MC.
If you would like to explore more deeply the activities of the AFTS, you might like to consider joining The Victorian Fairy Ring led by Louisa John-Krol and the Monash Fairy Tale Salon led by Dr Rebecca-Ann Do Rosario and Dr Belinda Calderone.

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