Monday, 10 February 2014

13 Commonwealth Tales!

Glasgow 2014

We are delighted to announce that as part of Big Lottery's Celebrate Fund, we have been awarded £9285 for our new project 13 Commonwealth Tales.

The project builds on the success of last years storytelling project and ties in with cultural celebrations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

13 Commonwealth Tales will involve us researching and retelling ten traditional folk tales from around the Commonwealth, along with a traditional tale from the UK and one from our own area of Inverclyde. We also hope to make contact with similar groups in other commonwealth countries and invite them to continue and contribute to a new folktale which will start here, and travel around the Commonwealth being added to.

All the stories explored and collected, will form the basis of two publications. The first will be an illustrated children's book retelling the stories in a very straightforward manner to encourage retelling. It will feature Captain Kidd following a map around the Commonwealth looking for hidden treasures and will be illustrated by Mhairi M Robertson, who worked with us last year on Wee Nasties.

The other, Uncommon Tales, will be a 32 page comic, charting the adventures of Sir Glen Douglas Rhodes as he travels the Commonwealth on the run from the sinister local cult, the Cluthee, with mysterious artefacts from his collection. The childrens book will be published and distributed for free to local schools and at a celebration event in September. The comic will be made available exclusively in digital form, also for free. It will be illustrated by Andy Lee, our resident artist, currently busy painting vikings and steampunk robots.

As part of the project we will also be working with pupils in partnership with the superb Digital Commonwealth project, sharing new digital skills for storytelling. The project will conclude with a storytelling festival, with local and national storytellers sharing commonwealth tales in the historic Dutch Gable House, along with an exhibition of illustrations from the project celebrating the stories and characters of commonwealth folktales.

The Commonwealth Games presents a real opportunity for us to explore, celebrate, compare and contrast the cultures of other commonwealth countries and of course in times past, Greenock was a vital port in the trade across the empire and commonwealth, so has connections and associations with many commonwealth countries.

Our free open events and storytelling training will be scheduled throughout summer 2014 to capitalise on the Commonwealth Games. The project seeks to explore cultural similarities and differences apparent in how we tell stories and what we share. 

There will be lots more info on all of this very soon, best way to keep up with what's going on is here on the blog or via our twitter. As ever, the whole project is volunteer led...but as we all know, voluntary doesn't mean amateur.

Over the next few months on the blog, we'll be sharing traditional tales and mysteries from the Commonwealth, even just a quick glance at what's out there has revealed spider gods, rainbow serpents, sharktopus teeth, monkey ghosts, wendigo and goatsuckers. Sounds like fun...

For more information, contact

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