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!
We tell and narrate tales to find ourselves in them.
We give them voice through the air we breathe, so that its frequency echoes in the one that listens.
We tell ancient and modern tales through our body and our way of expressing.
We tell from within our inside, leaving room for the emptiness so that this vacuum can express itself.
That is why we breathe the words we orally give away to whoever listen to us.
All the rest happens by itself, nobody else takes part.
Tales arise from the storyteller´s emptiness, from its zerO, which is Oxygen, and from there the tales display themselves in Orality.
From Orality, through that zerO´s Oxygen, they come back to the each one´s emptiness.
From one silence to the other, going through the teller´s voice.
Translated by Estibi Minguez
I met Jan Blake during the Tales conference in Beja, Portugal (September, 2015) and I have the pleasure to listen to a conference and to attend to a workshop that was really inspiring. I have to thank Sonia Carmona, that give me the idea to make this interview.
Compiled by Karen Chace -- www.storybug.net
David Ambrose, Storyteller and Director of Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival, (Wales, UK), accepted the invitation to be interview for AEDA’s website. Jennifer Ramsay was the interviewer and she elected to follow the structure of ‘The Hero’s Journey’, a common structure in traditional wonder tales. We hope you enjoy reading the interesting result.
Once upon a time there was a young man called David who had a flare for organizing events. David loved bringing people together and he dreamed of creating a space for artists to interact with enthusiastic audiences. He would often venture out into the underground alternative Arts scene in London and Guildford to be with like-minded people. The freedom of this experimental rebellion against the normal, straight arts scene opened up a whole new world. His dream became reality when he became director of multi-disciplinary Art Centre in the south of England and he dedicated his time and energy to organizing events there for many years.
Reflection from Jennifer Ramsay, Professional Storyteller and Art Therapist.
Many storytellers seem surprised when they discover that as well as being a professional storyteller I am also an Art Therapist and sometimes ask “What does storytelling and art therapy have in common?” The answer is simple because they both evolve around stories.
A lot of the stories I tell follow the structure of the hero’s journey. A character leaves his normal everyday life to answer a call to adventure. There he will find friends and mentors to help him pass the tests and enemies on his path. At the end of the journey the character is normally richer and wiser and there is learning. Every person also has their own hero’s Journey and as an art therapist my job is to accompany my clients so that they can take charge of their lives and feel comfortable in the leading role of their personal life journey. I also try help them contact with their inner resources so that they are able to overcome whatever tests may appear in their paths.