Wednesday, December 19, 2018

FEAST'S Online Story Swap

Every year it seems there are more opportunities to connect with storytellers around the world and it doesn't always mean jumping on a plane and traveling thousands of miles.

The Federation of Asian Story Tellers, of which Storytelling Australia Victoria is a non-resident member, is hosting regular online story swaps. These Story Swaps are FREE and you can either tell a story or tune in and listen.

I joined the November Story Swap and had a great time.

It's easy to participate. Once you've registered you're sent a link that asks you to download the ZOOM software which is simple to install and use.

From here on it's pretty straight forward. Roger Jenkins and Sheila Wee host the Story Swap from Singapore and you can see people popping up on the screen from around the world. Apart from the storyteller and Roger, participants are muted but they can chat. I took a screen shot of Meenu Sivaramakrishnan in action. (Thank  you to Meenu for allowing me to use this image). This will give you a bit of an idea. You can see the dialogue box in the corner. The chat has options so you can share your comments publicly or message the tellers privately.
Stories are supposed to be 6 - 8 minutes. On the evening I attended, all were folk tales and most of them, I had never heard before. The tellers checked in from India, Singapore, USA, Holland, Croatia and Australia.

The Swap begins at 8.00pm Singapore time, which is 11.00pm (daylight saving in Melbourne) where I am. So it was a late night night but it was worth it.

This is a you tube video of the first Swap held in September. Roger's introduction is enthusiastic and no wonder, over 50 people checked in! Have a look. Sometimes the audio struggles to stay in synch but if you move the cursor along, you'll get a good feel for what it's all about and the variety of stories and storytellers.

For more information visit FEAST's website. And maybe at the next Swap, I'll see you there.

Jackie Kerin