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Welcome to Our World of Stories

TAKE A BIG BOW, BENGALURU!

If the inaugural Storytellers’ Conference in Singapore 2018 was a great first course for FEAST, then Bengaluru succeeded in serving up something even tastier and more fulfilling!

136 participants (a 30% increase over 2018) enjoyed two days of content-rich workshops, two excellent keynotes (by Sue Hollingsworth and Fran Stallings) some wonderful performances (both as part of the Conference and the BeSt Festival) while re-connecting with old friends and forging many new friendships. There were 88 participants from all over India, plus attendees from Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Oman, Scotland, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE, and USA.

There was a buzz about Bengaluru, from the afternoon of the 21st, as people began checking in at the Chancery Hotel, which was also our conference venue. The lobby was alive with the raucous joy of reunions and the pleasure of welcoming new members to the FEAST family. Indeed, with so many participants staying at the hotel, breakfast and dinner times were jolly affairs with plenty of bonding over bowls of cereal and networking over naan!

By 5.30pm many hands were pitching in to help set up the Welcome Dinner, arranging table flower decorations and erecting the blank mandala which everyone subsequently took a turn to fill with colour during the Conference, with Ariyo Zidni from Jakarta, as host of FEAST 2020, filling in the final piece to close the Conference. Over dinner, any ice dissolved, as tables played with their own sets of Story Dice, creating their own spontaneous stories to everyone’s mutual delight.

The Chancery’s main function room was a perfect setting for the conference, providing us with a comfortable, intimate setting with excellent acoustics – very much like the story field in Sue Hollingsworth’s keynote, where everyone could feel safe and their suggestions/ideas valued rather than judged.   

A highlight of the opening ceremony was the launch of our second anthology of Asian folktales, ROYALS WISE & OTHERWISE. The book looks fabulous – largely due to Uma Krishnaswamy’s beautiful full-page illustrations and the high-quality printing by Sundarsan Graphics (who also print for Tulika Press.)  I assure you that the 27 stories inside are every bit as appealing as the cover! Copies are available from our store.










The slideshow captures something of the variety, activity, intimacy of the venue, as well as the fun, food and friendship of the Conference. Links to the drives with all the photos will be sent to all Conference registrants.

More detailed accounts of the 14 workshops, the two Forums and the Story Clinic, will follow.

What I want to highlight is the atmosphere of openness, trust and sharing which was continually in evidence. FEAST is not a hierarchy, and those who had just joined or who were at the start of their story-journey, talked over the (delicious) lunches or teas with tellers with over 20 years experience, one-on-one, without restraint.  

Start preparing for FEAST INDONESIA 2020!  

Roger Jenkins, Director







What is FEAST?

The Federation of Asian Storytellers was set up by a group of experienced storytellers with a vision of promoting the art of storytelling in Asia.  It was officially launched in Chennai on 24 August 2018.   Through the work of the Federation, we want to create more opportunities for tellers to perform , internationally and inter-culturally, by organising Festivals, performances and teller exchanges.

We also want to share our skills and encourage FEAST's members to learn from one another, as we have learned from each other while performing together in Festivals over more than a decade.  We want to celebrate Asian stories and the many ways in which we make these tales connect with our audiences.

Through the work of FEAST we hope to develop new audiences and a new generation of storytellers.  We look forward to welcoming you to the FEAST - either as a chef (our tellers!) or as someone hungry to be fed (our audience).

Learn about our Objectives 

Why Join FEAST?

Access regular webinars  that offer  you the chance to learn from experienced tellers as they share ideas on different aspects of storytelling.

The annual conference is a chance to meet fellow tellers, take part in practical workshops and see/hear lots of storytellers in action. The conference will be held in a different Asian city each year.

FEAST was set up by the directors of storytelling festivals in Bangkok, Chennai, Jakarta, Kuching, Seoul and Singapore, so if you tell a story at the Conference . . . you may be talent-spotted!

Professional members, have your own page which can introduce you to people looking for a storyteller outside of your usual contacts.

Enjoy our catalogue of stories told and recorded by our members - and  not only in English, too!  (The full catalogue will  only be accessible to members.) Over time it will become a fascinating and invaluable resource.

Looking for a story? Or a story on a theme? Or for a particular age-group? Or occasion?  Submit your storytelling questions to our Forum and tap on the shared wisdom of like-minded people.


Become a Member

If you like to tell Asian stories, come join the FEAST! 

Meet other storytellers who not only share your passion but who are willing to share their skills and stories. 

Who knows what opportunities you might discover or create?   You'll certainly hear a lot of stories which you can think of adapting and adding to your telling repertoire! 

We have six kinds of membership: which one suits you?

  • Professional
  • Community
  • Young Storyteller (you must be under 30 years old) 
  • Institutional
  • Institutional: Story Festival
  • Non-Resident in Asia        


Note we have a special price for new members joining and Registering for the Conference at the same time.  There are also discounted two and three-year subscription plans that offer you the security of renewal at current membership rates.


           DO YOU WANT YOUR STORYTELLING TO                       REACH A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE ? 

If you do, then you should consider sending an audio recording  to Shanthini Venugopal who runs the Storytime blog

Every week she broadcasts two or three tellers in an entertaining mix of story and song.  Feast members including Sheila Wee, Kiran Shah, Banu Mathy, Sowmya Srinivasan, Jackie Kerin and Roger Jenkins have all shared stories on this exciting platform.  

Shanthini will listen to submissions from anyone with a story to share - you don't have to be an experienced professional, and several children have already been featured.

The important thing is to make a good audio recording. Avoid being in a noisy environment and a room with lots of echo (a bedrooom is often a good space as its soft furnishings absorb echoes). A simple sound editing software (such as Audacity, which is free) will enable you to remove unwanted ums and ers, pauses or mistakes:  if you stumble when recording, simply pause and then restart the sentence.  When you replay it in Audacity, the sections to snip out become very obvious and it's simply a question of highlighting the offending seconds and click the scissor icon! Short (4 - 8 minutes) is always good, with 10 minutes absolute max length. 

Send your recording to Shanthini 


ROYALS:

WISE AND OTHERWISE

FEAST's second collection of stories will be launched at the Conference in November


Royals Wise and Otherwise is a collection of Asian folktales on the theme of royalty, with 24 of our members sharing one of their favourite tales on the theme. 

Kings and Khans, Emperors and Empress Dowagers, Maharajahs and Sultans, Chieftains and Feudal Lords, have a long history with the peoples of Asia. Some are revered and remembered with respect, while others live on in stories of their infamy.

These stories reflect our mixed feelings about those who, through accident of birth, find themselves wielding great power over the rest of us. You will find rulers who are determined to do right, no matter how difficult it may be, as well as those who only desire to do right for themselves.

The tellers also offer tips or cultural information to help you bring these stories to life when you tell them to your audiences! There are suggestions on vocal intonation, characterisation, gestures and mime to dramatise specific moments. If you like to incorporate audience participation, the tellers often highlight when and how they themselves seek responses when they perform their story.

Each story is accompanied by a lovely full colour gouache illustration by UMA KRISHNASWAMY - the one on the left is for the telling by Lynne Kirk (Hong Kong) of the Chinese tale of The Heavenly Weaver .

You can pre-order the book when you register for the Conference and get a 30% discount on the regular price.


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