Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Kamishibai at the Williamstown Literary Festival June16-17

Kamishibai (kami- paper, shibai- theatre) storytelling is a Japanese way of storytelling that was popular in the 1920-40s. A small wooden stage was strapped to the back of a bicycle and the storyteller took to the streets and peddled stories. Brightly coloured illustrated cards, pulled through a side opening in the stage, were used to enhance the telling.
Kamishibai has been enjoying  a global revival. A quick search on the internet and you'll see resources, storytellers and festivals focusing on kamishibai in Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Germany, The Netherlands and many other countries.

Several years ago, in Australia, Bernard Caleo and myself (Jackie Kerin) set up a Facebook group, the AKA (Australian Kamishibai Association) to connect people around the country, share resources and learn skills. Our initial dream was to one day have a small festival.

Well our numbers have grown and we now have enough enthusiasm and talent in the AKA to launch ourselves onto the public.

We have several events in the Williamstown Literary Festival that will appeal to educators, artists, storytellers and children.

SATURDAY 16 and 17 June

During the entire festival there will be a display of bespoke kamishibai stages, resources, a children's play space and drawing table.
A mix of AKA members and Storytelling Vic: L-R Jackie, Michele, Tetsuta, Dani, Anna
SATURDAY 16 June

10.30 Introduction to Kamishibai
Bernard Caleo in conversation, will give the historical background to the 1930s Japanese street performances and will include a number of stories.
More info and bookings HERE

3.30 Kamishibai Stories for Kids 
Come and enjoy the dance between pictures and words as storytellers join to delight with their magical stories. Dani Bücher-Scott, Anna Manuel, Jackie Kerin and Tetsuta Watanabe.
More info and bookings HERE

SUNDAY 17 June

2.00 WORKSHOP for Children 
In this hands-on workshop Anna Manuel will teach children how to create a Japanese paper theatre and perform their own story. Suitable for 6 - 12 year olds.
More info and bookings HERE
Anna Manuel

2.00 The Amazing Case of Dr Ward and Other Stories
The transportation of exotic plants around the world reached new heights when in 1833 Dr Ward conducted an experiment between London and the colony in NSW. History told as a kamishibai with Jackie Kerin and Sarah Depasquale.
More info and bookings HERE

This kamishbai extravaganza has been driven by a small AKA team: Dani Bücher-Scott, Anna Manuel, Jackie Kerin and Tetsuta Watanabe (three of whom are members of Storytelling Australia Victoria). I don't think any of us imagined how much work would be involved but we have had a ball pulling all the threads together. And we are now confident and ready to inspire others to explore this wonderful way of making and telling stories.

AKA: Facebook
Anna Manuel: Heads and Tales Story Services
Jackie Kerin: Kamishibai
Full Williamstown Literary Festival program HERE

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