Stories Unending We‟ve really
always told stories In different styles, languages, and forms In art, music, dance, and the spoken word we have created and transmitted stories for centuries.. Some highlights..
Rock Art Cave Paintings
were used by prehistoric men across different continents They were used to depict local flora and fauna As well as to tell stories of hunts or more religious themes
Oral Traditions Before the
advent of forms of writing, cultural norms, traditions, and tales were transmitted orally This function was so central to societies that a number of individuals specialized in relating these oral traditions to members of the society These storytellers thus served as the guardians and transmitters of their people‟s tradition These stories were told in the form of drama, dance, prose, or poetry. To the right is a Kyrgyz manaschi..
The Written Tale The
advent of writing allowed the tales and traditions of people to be set down in a more permanent manner. Writing would ensure that tales could not be corrupted or lost over time Many of these written tales have survived through the ages and afford us a unique glimpse into ancient cultures and mores. This form of storytelling has effectively survived unchanged into the modern era. To the right you see the Deluge Tablet upon which is inscribed part of the Epic of Gilgamesh(circa 18BC)
The Performance of The Story
Many stories were told not just through oral recitation or written to be read but were performed before the people. These performances helped to illustrate the story to be told before the audience Many specialized groups were formed in societies to conduct this duty Here we see an actor performing as sugriva in the Hindu epic, Ramayana.
Remembered in Song Some
cultures kept and transmitted storied in the form of song. Songs were particularly effective due to being easy to remember and easily related and memorized. Ballads and epics served to preserve certain stories across the ages The song of the Prophetess Deborah as recorded in the Bible is one such example.
WAIT, What’s a Story Anyway?
“Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
Stories and Storytelling Well
technically, it‟s just relating a sequence of events. However, I‟d say it‟s more than that A story is truly a way to capture and communicate a human experience to another person. In the contexts of a culture, a story is just a way of preserving that culture‟s tradition‟s, religion, and mores. The art of storytelling then, revolves around preparing and presenting the information in the most relatable fashion possible. Consider Akan stories and proverbs…
How Has Storytelling Changed?
The traditional forms of storytelling: oral, written, drama, etc. remain extant But stories and storytelling have undergone some major changes: Ownership of the story The reach of the story Different Styles of presenting the story Take a look at some of the new ways stories are being told today..
Owning The Tale Most
traditional forms of storytelling do not ascribe a particular author to the tale Stories were considered to be commonly owned and commonly shared In this way, different versions of a story could be commonly found, as there was no fear of „copyright‟ e.g. Many ancient tales such as The Stories of Ananse or Beowulf have no definite author.. However, the advent of the written form changed all this as stories came to be more definitely owned by the individual and not the group.
The Reach of the Story
Ancient stories used to be targeted at fairly homogenous groups Modern storytelling however, has transcended cultural barriers and is targeted at people in general. This does not mean that stories have lost their cultural context.. Rather, storytellers have learnt that their stories transcend individual cultures and practices..
Different Ways To Tell The
Tale The different ways that ancient cultures used to tell stories is testament to the flexibility of storytelling as a medium In modern times and with the rise of technology, we may have seen a slow decline in the traditional forms of storytelling such as written and oral forms. However, new technologies have birthed even richer ways to tell stories. Take a look at a few..
Lights, Camera, Action Perhaps
the most recognizable form of storytelling today The advent of the cinema has taken the concept of drama and expanded it Movies today allow stories to be told in easily consumable and distributable formats all over the world. Millions pack into the cinemas for various movie releases every weekend across the world
Animation Visual art has
existed for centuries and has served well as a method of storytelling which abstracts the direct human element Visual tales such as those of TinTin and Asterix have captured the minds and hearts of many across the world The rise of technology has allowed for a greater exploration of this form of storytelling Leaders in this area are the forms of manga (physically drawn storylines) and anime in Japan. See Maus and the work of Miyazaki.
Video Games are Stories Too
You Know Starting from arcade games, to MUDs, and the creation of Dungeons & Dragons, a new form of participatory storytelling was birthed alongside the internet and computers Movies seek to immerse the person in the story visually But video games and gaming immerse people in a story by requiring their participation In this way, powerful connections can be created between the story that is told and the individual who lives it.
What’s In A Story Anyway?
“Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.” ― Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees:
Impact of A Story
A story today is more than a piece of text, more than 190mins of film, more than an hour long play. A story is a shared human experience a way to not only glimpse but be totally immersed in another‟s life. That is why a story from a culture totally different to yours and in a form you may be unfamiliar with, can still draw an emotional reaction It is because at the heart of it all the essence of our humanity is common. It is shared.
Tell Your Own Story
The beauty of a story is it can serve whatever theme the author wishes The strength of a well-told story is it‟s ability to make a connection even in those far from the author‟s time, culture, or context. Stories have been told around cars, phones, even shoes. Not to mention human lives They remain one of the most effective methods of generating empathy and sympathy in others.