Workshop & Symposia.

Symposia – Challenging the Traditions: Can folktales reflect modern life?


If we change the narratives, can we slowly change the story?

Designed to intrigue and provoke, to question our narratives and to search for the intersection where the radical meets the traditional; today is a full programme of discussions about storytelling and the ‘other’.  How do traditional stories represent gender, race and sexuality?

Speakers including Asten Holmes-Elliot of Lock Up Your Daughters, Tawona Sithole, Gauri Raje, Donna Moore from Glasgow Women’s Library will offer three provocations.

Provocation One – One day my Prince will come.  Audio File

(9.30am – 11.15am)

The Princess stuck in the tower, the damsel in distress, holding out for a hero.

What are we waiting for and how can we adapt the traditional art of storytelling to include and celebrate the role of the strong, witty and independent woman?

This session will explore typical gender roles that exist in story and aims to question and rewrite.

The narratives we see repeated time after time in media and traditional arts have a huge effect on how women and girls are treated in society.

What effect do “Knights in Shining Armour” have on masculinity?

Provocation Two – From a Faraway Place Audio File

(11.30am – 1.15pm)

Exotic, not erotic. Stories from far and distant lands, but told by non-native tellers have a tendency to intrigue, but also to eroticise the ‘other’ – both the land and the people. Magical tales, beautiful people and brutal customs give an unrealistic notion of what both the countries and the people are like. This session explores how we can represent a cultural other in our practice without creating distance and alienating – or eroticising – the countries and people we are trying to represent.

Provocation Three – The Heart Wants What it Wants Audio File

(2.15pm – 4.00pm)

The stubborn Princess won’t choose a Prince. Jack would rather be paid in gold than in marriage. Mallie Whuppie most certainly doesn’t want to marry the King. Where can we find our LGBTQ+ narratives in stories? If lives aren’t represented, then how will people know of our existence – especially for those who are questioning their own sexuality? This session will attempt to queer the narrative we hear in story and folklore. When and how do we represent diverse relationships in a hetero-centric world?

Download Programme