I changed my mind.
The books I read and wrote about will be re-scheduled for other times. However, I decided to address a topic that currently intrigues me more - it is something I use for my teaching work in Culture Studies, as well as a workshop I am going to present at the end of April at the Northlands Storytelling Conference. With these things in mind, here is my actual theme (for real this time!):
Tales of Many Shapes and Colors:
Representation and Diversity in Storytelling
As I see it, there is no reason why there shouldn't be a parallel discussion in oral storytelling as well.
Here are some things I believe:
|Knights of color|
in shining armor?
People want diverse stories.
You can't be what you can't see. (Or, in our case, hear about)
People want to see themselves in the stories they hear.
People want to see their experiences and problems represented in the stories they hear.
Storytellers have a responsibility towards their audiences.
Here is the thing: First and foremost, I work with traditional stories. Myths, epics, folktales, fairy tales, legends, that kinda stuff. And people have been pointing out that there are many things that you don't see represented in these stories - simply because they were written down in times when these issues and identities were not talked about (or have been erased since).
This does NOT mean that:
- stories like that should not exist
- stories like that have never existed (you just have to dig for them)
I want this A to Z to be a resource for storytellers and people interested in stories. Each day, I will pick a topic that has been questioned in relation to traditional stories, such as:
|How about female knights?|
Can you name any folktales that feature female friendships?
Why are there so few traditional tales with LGBT+ representation?
Are there any stories where a male and a female hero fights side by side?
What about legends where heroes of different religions coexist?
And I will take a closer look at traditional stories to see what I can come up with. Of course, there will be topics that are truly hard to fill with any folktale or myth (this is why we need New Trad, as my colleague and guest blogger Danielle Bellone so eloquently explained). But it can often be surprising what you can find when you scratch below the surface.
Happy A to Z!
(My other theme, on the MopDog, will be Crazy Hungarian Cartoons! Check it out here)