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.