Scotland’s Contemporary Storytelling Festival returns to Glasgow in July
Glasgow’s Contemporary Storytelling Festival returns in 2022 as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories for an eclectic exploration of Re: Connection and Transformation – Storytelling in a Precarious World. Presenting a hybrid program of performances, screenings, an exhibition, talks and workshops, the Village Storytelling Festival 2022 seeks to connect national and international creatives through modern storytelling.
New for 2022, the festival will also launch its highly anticipated The Aurus Project – a toolkit created with international partners, focusing on how to use the power of storytelling when working with marginalized or isolated communities. Accompanied by other workshops and performances throughout the festival, The Aurus Project presents an exciting opportunity to encourage others to take pride in their stories and overcome social exclusion through practical understanding, resources and professional exercises. .
Split between one of Scotland’s most notable creative hubs, the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA), the SaltSpace Cooperative Gallery, online and St. James’s Church (Pollok), the 5-day festival is expected to offer an internationally acclaimed lineup of storytellers showcasing their work in Scotland as well as brand new commissioned plays created by iconic Scotland-based storytellers commissioned by the Village Storytelling Centre.
True to its longstanding philosophy of stories as medicine, the Village Storytelling Festival seeks to bring people together through the power of imagination and creativity. Audiences can expect a full range of voices, perspectives and artistic formats within each performance.
From an exploration of Scotland’s historic witch hunts to aerial acrobatics paired with great stories of Selkies and the sea; tales that abandon all rules and expectations; observations on ancient plants and modern relationships; visual explorations of myth; and immersive digital experiences confronting what it means to tell stories online, the Village Storytelling Festival aims to capture, inspire and comfort everyone.
Vitally, this year’s festival will feature performances created by Glasgow’s communities which are supported by the Village Storytelling Centre, which forms the core of the organisation’s work. These include a heartfelt exploration of female homelessness, with Simon Community Scotland, stories of new Glasgow residents who lost their homes, lives and country but met in Scotland to build new relationships, told by The Voices of Peace Storytellers, alongside a collaborative exploration of memory, imagination and community via the Pollok Picnic of Stories.
Emma Collins, Village Storytelling Festival Creative Producer:
“We are delighted to be able to present a program that not only showcases some of the most exciting works being created in storytelling both in Scotland and abroad, but also reflects and encourages us to explore our world at this time. world that is, indeed, precarious and empowering but also beautiful, diverse, poignant and full of possibility and where reconnection through our individual and collective histories is so desperately needed.”
The festival will open with More Than a Footnote: A Quest to Restore Queer Stories – an exploratory and storytelling performance by Lauren Bianchi, Colin White and Sarah Rankin, centered on recovering what has been stolen in regards to queerness and queer identity. Following similar themes of travel and emotional movement, the festival’s live performances will close with Raymond Wilson’s I Hope Your Flowers Bloom – a heartbreaking and emotional insight into the dichotomy between nature, friendship, modern relationships and healthy masculinity.
Other live events include the discovery work of Phil Okwedy, Michael Harvey and Adverse Camber, The Gods Are All Here – a deft tangle of folk tales, myths and legends from the African diaspora sparked by the discovery of the letters of love of his parents; Wolf Girl, the story of East Prussian children fleeing to Lithuania after World War II told through a binding of fragile memories and past echoes by Daiva Ivanauskaitė, Agnė Čepaitytė, Kristina Meilutė and Andy Gunn; #HELD(IN) – an energetic whirlwind of discovering what a true hero is through traditional Greek myths by Ferhat Kaplan, Tania Christina, Robbie Wallin and Marjolein Frijling; and more.
Covering the 5 days is Sarah Rankin and Davis Ivanauskaitė’s new online work – Connecting Stories: A Film, in which family and community are examined through the local Scottish lens of Pollok, Glasgow, against the backdrop of childbirth pandemic and the integration of the youngest of an existing generation into a wildly unknown new environment.
In the exhibitions, The Village Storytelling Festival presents Mirror Mirror in My Hand – a poignant examination of women and girls created in partnership with The Village Storytelling Center and Glasgow’s local women’s charity, Say Women, held at the SaltSpace Cooperative Gallery. Supported by Lauren Bianchi and Nicola Dickson, the visual art exhibition probes popular fairy tales, myths and cultural assumptions as a way to bring women and girls to the fore through themes of reflection, reframing and of regaining control.
The Village Storytelling Festival will also see a wide collection of exciting family events. Join storyteller Dan Serridge at his crazy dinner table – Feast of Fools – as you choose which tale he regales you from a pick-and-choose menu of brilliant imagination; Paper Rainbows tells a multi-perspective story of friendship and connection through beautiful shadow puppets, performed by The Village Young Storytellers, a collective of artists aged 13-16 from Pollok; Choose your own adventure! : The Great Democratic Story Experience – the latest installment in Mark Borthwick’s bestselling Zoom series of digital stories – combines a collaborative character population and high-tech storytelling to create an immersive and exciting evening for the whole family .
The festival itself will culminate in a collaborative, family-friendly event hosted within the Village Storytelling Center’s own community – Pollok, Glasgow. Free and ticketless, the Village Mini-Fest is expected to include performances by local musicians and circus artists, face painting, film screenings, sports, crafts and storytelling. Select performances from the festival will be picked up (Paper Rainbows, Harp and Carp) alongside the Pollok Picnic of Stories – a synergistic experience in the memory, imagination and locality of the minds and hearts of Pollok’s creative community.