Media release for immediate use
Professional storytellers at an international gathering in Paris were moved to tears at the reality of the lives of asylum seekers. The 100-strong storytellers were attending the annual conference of FEST (Federation for European Storytelling), on June 3rd, 2016.
Tellers without Borders (TwB) spokesperson Brendan Nolan spoke of a listener at a storytelling session in a Dublin Direct Provision Centre who suddenly arose, mid-story, to say she had not been so relaxed in eight years and wanted to go off to sleep while the moment lasted.
He recalled refugee children sitting on carpets eating apples in a Hamburg refugee camp listening to fairystories in wonder. He spoke of TwB colleagues telling stories in tandem with carers to get over language understanding difficulties.
Tellers without Borders storytellers tell stories to people in need in many countries.
In quoting his TwB colleague Gauri Raje, Nolan reminded everyone that while Scheherazade, the storyteller of Arabian Nights, of more than a thousand years ago, told a new story every night for three years to stay alive, the modern refugee has to tell their own story to officialdom just as well so as not be sent back to where they had fled from.
And while many storytellers present offered to help with the work of TwB, Tellers without Borders founder Micaela Sauber warned of re-traumatising victims through unskilled if well-meant intervention.
TwB is to shortly provide specialist training for storytellers in trauma situations.
Notes for editors
Tellers without Borders is a growing network of professional storytellers from many European countries and the Middle East. So far, Tellers without Borders have been active in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Haiti, Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza Strip/Palestine, Palestine/West Bank, Germany, Austria.
Methods are taught and materials supplied to multipliers and others who live and work with children and adults in crisis areas and in critical conditions.
Healing tales from around the world are collected translated and published and further training for storytellers is held regularly