AEDA is an entity that has always shown its support and interest in the project of an European federation of storytelling. Since FEST beginnings, we have considered AEDA part of the federation and we have contributed and collaborated in different areas.
Nevertheless, we have been noticing that the FEST organization and its internal functioning are not in accordance with the principles that we understand belong to an entity like this in matters like the internal administration or the transmission of information to all its members. That is why we renounce to continue being a member of FEST.
We are sorry to have made such a drastic decision, but we trust that in a not too distant future the situation can revert.
WORDS TO BRIDGE THE GAP
Those involved in oral narration spend their lives telling, saying, speaking; we are men and women of the word, of words, and we understand the power which hides behind them. We know that words can destroy and build, push and hug, injure and cure... For that reason, in these turbulent times, AEDA wishes to condemn all forms of violence, whether verbal or physical, and is sending out an appeal for dialogue, an appeal to create spaces in which to meet and share words, places in which to cultivate words which can bridge gaps, build harmony and bring people together.
This is not just an appeal to our politicians, but is also an appeal to all those caught up in the mayhem of recent days; to journalists, to people from our culture, to public figures, to one another, to you, to us, to everyone.
When I first started storytelling back in 1993 I was very attracted to telling Inuit stories and used to ask my self~what right do I have to tell this story? When a story is not from my culture, why do you I want to tell it so much and how can I get under the skin of it.
How? When I have not been to where the story comes from?
This was a difficult question to answer.
Where does Europe begin? Where does it end? Along what border, village, or mountain range...? Is it called Europa as in Sweden? Or is it Europe, as they say in England? Or again Evropa as in Serbo-Croatian? Is Europe a sign of separation, or rather a promise of overture? Is Europe defined by what makes us different or what makes us alike - through our desires and fears? And why, by the Gods, does Europe have the name of a Phoenician princess?
But whatever the answers might be that we continue to search for here, onething is sure - stories have always been able to travel far and wideacross Europe, needing neither passport nor visa, bringing along whatneeds to be said, and sharing generously with all who would like to listen.Stories have been presented here as ‘borderless’ and this is indeed the case. But at the same time they have roots, powerful roots, and roots can be of two natures: they can dig down deep into the earth, or run along just under the surface. The roots of storytelling share these two characteristics. They plunge profoundly into the culture or cultures of the country where they were born, but also spread out from the homeland and may grow in other lands, adapting to the local language and culture.
And if the imagery here has to do with the ground, the earth, it could be extended to the other traditional elements as well: stories have travelled over the seas with sailors and adventurers – so they can flow like water; they can be ‘airy ’ and ‘breathy ’ and be sung from one place to another; and they can even inflame you, as the tongues of fire in the biblical reference or in the image of the carnival fire eaters, and even in the Mayan as well as Chinese ideo-gramatical writing systems in which to speak is represented as fire spit from the mouth!