Festival of Indigenous Storytellers (India)
Darjeeling, West Bengal
7-10 Dec, 2012

"Storytelling Workshop
Inspired by Tribal Storytelling"

The 3rd Annual Festival of Indigenous Storytellers (India), is a project of Acoustic Traditional.  The Festival Schedule is here.  For additional info, please call 0 89723 13930, or e-mail <acoustic.traditional@gmail.com>.

The Storytelling Workshop described below would occur as part of the Festival.  To communicate with Dr. Eric Miller about this Storytelling Workshop, please call 0 98403 94282, or e-mail <eric@storytellinginstitute.org>.

Concept Note for the Storytelling Workshop

This Storytelling Workshop is designed for adults.  Teenagers could also participate.

In this Workshop, we approach and perform storytelling in ways inspired by Tribal storytelling.

The Workshop would be activity-based.  Participants would spend much of the time telling and discussing stories.  Various storytelling techniques would be presented, and Participants would have opportunities to practice these techniques.  Numerous aspects of storytelling -- as they may occur in conversation, performance, and ritual -- would be demonstrated and discussed.

Storytelling as it relates to tribal cultures is the focus of the Workshop.  Thus there is an emphasis on storytelling in relation to the earth, other aspects of nature (including vegetation and animals), and ancestors; and on ways in which storytelling can illustrate how all things are connected to each other.

This Storytelling Workshop works especially with the theme of forests.  We look at stories about: being lost in a forest, escaping into a forest, meeting someone in a forest, not wanting to leave a forest, etc.  We consider the forest as a dangerous place; and also as a place of rejuvenation and healing.  Story elements we utilise include: leaves, branches, bark, and roots of trees; tree-houses built on upper branches of trees; the smell of earth; insects in the earth and on trees; animals and plants of the forest.

This Storytelling Workshop might also touch upon the themes of shamanism, shape-shifting, and journeys in spirit-realms.

In this Workshop, we beckon the stories to come out of the trees and out of our hearts, and be seen and heard.

Participants are encouraged to prepare for the Workshop by thinking about their favorite folk tales and episodes of epics -- stories that they heard as children, and that they enjoy telling to children. They might especially think about the ways these stories may relate to animals and other aspects of nature.

This Storytelling Workshop would be led by Dr. Eric Miller, a co-founder and the director of the World Storytelling Institute, an NGO registered in Chennai.

Dr. Eric was raised in NYC, was trained as a Folklorist at the University of Pennsylvania (in Philadelphia), and has settled in Chennai.  He has studied storytelling with professional storytellers in NYC, and with Kani (Kanikaran) Tribal people of Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu.

Dr. Eric conducts various other Storytelling Workshops, such as those designed for teachers, parents, screenplay writers, tour guides, and people in the business world.

World Storytelling Institute

Dr. Eric's personal website