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Stories As Change

Stories As Change

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Date(s) - 04/22/2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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Thursday, April 22, 2021, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm CDT.

A talk to reflect on how storytelling can reconnect communities with their heritage and identity

About this Event

As storytelling techniques have become more sophisticated, the storytellers have become more distanced from their audiences. Away from the sophistication of the urban centres and cultural capitals, communities can become marginalised. Local identities are diluted by powerful external narratives beamed in from far away via television and Internet. Young people are subjected to sophisticated modern myths in the forms of national and global film, television content and advertising. Their dreams, aspirations and life plans become informed and influenced by narratives constructed half way across the world and received on smartphones .

The danger is that audiences become passive consumers, with little critical understanding of construction methods and storytelling techniques being used to shape their aspirations. Globalisation erodes that sense of connection to the local community and landscape, replacing it instead with a desire to set out for greener pastures.

To coincide with Earth Day, join us for a fascinating presentation by award-winning filmmaker Oliver Wilkins on the transformative power of storytelling to facilitate positive change within local communities of Asia and Africa. Wilkins has created projects in collaboration with partners such as the British Council, British Museum, Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage and Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to encourage diverse communities in Yemen and Egypt to explore their communal identity via narratives, and has brought to the fore how these can be used as tools to advance societies in areas that substantially lack social engagement.

This event is part of Converging Paths 2021, an initiative in partnership with the Barakat Trust and with the support of The Altajir Trust and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

 

About Oliver Wilkins

Oliver Wilkins is an independent Emmy award-winning British filmmaker. Wilkins works on creating advocacy projects designed to empower marginalised communities. He lived in Egypt for many years, working with international organisations across the region. He created “Sotna” – Egypt’s first news programme presented entirely by children and the first Arabic-language documentary on people living with HIV/AIDS. His film on children using animation to fight against corporal punishment in schools in Egypt won an International Emmy. He lives in London.

 

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