Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Back in Bris, Little Tots and the Single Story

Back in Brisbane after corporate storytelling trip to Perth. It was a bit quick and I didn't manage to catch up with Perth storytellers. (Sorry about that WA storytellers.)

The session with Honda Australia salespeople and managers at the Burswood Entertainment Complex went well. It was good working with a local jazz band, John Bannister and The Charisma Brothers, as well. One thing I like about these corporate awards nights is the smiles on peoples faces as they are acknowledged for their hard work.

Really enjoyed our visit to the Art Gallery of WA. The Warholl to Picasso exhibition is definitely worth it and the general gallery collection is quite special. Good to see some old favourites again like Lin Onus's 'Maralinga'.

In my corporate storytelling presentation to Honda, I've been making the assertion that, 'If you want to oppress a culture one of the easiest ways to do it is to stop the people from telling their stories and especially stop them from telling their stories in their language.'

So today I was pleased to hear that idea expanded on in a Ted talk by ‪Chimamanda Adichie: 'The danger of a single story.'‬  She won me over very quickly with 'I'm a storyteller and I'd like to tell you a few personal stories about ...'  In her talk Chmamanda argues very eloquently about the effect of our tendency to simplify our perceptions of peoples and culture into - 'single stories'.

She says, among many other things, - 'Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person but to make it the definitive story of that person.'

She finishes her talk with:

'When we reject the single story, when we realise that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.'

I like that.

Told three different stories to some Little Tots children at Stretton today. So many different faces and cultures, all hungry for fun and stories. We had both but I do see that it is easy to slip into one type of story.

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