Home » For and about students » Events: Conferences, Workshops, Lectures, Talks » 2023 » June 2023 » Storytelling through role play for community projects: cocreation and reflective practice
A cross-fertilisation participatory workshop open and suitable to a broad range of Techne-funded PhD students working across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Where and when?
In person, at the Egham Campus of Royal Holloway University of London, International Building, Room No IN148 (behind the Humanities Office and Hot Desk, who can direct).
Monday 5th June 2023, 10.30am -5.00pm with lunch and afternoon breaks. A sandwich lunch and light afternoon break refreshments are provided. Once you have booked via EventBrite please email the Organiser with any dietary requirements.
Dr Efi Spentzou, Classics, Royal Holloway University of London (email@example.com)
For catering purposes, registration for this event will close on Friday 26th May 2023 5.00pm.
Storytelling is social capital, linking individuals together and bridging groups in, at times, unexpected or transient but empowering and perhaps even lifechanging communities. A wide range of socially engaged PhD programs that aspire to blend top-rate academic understanding and successful down-to-earth social intervention increasingly place immersive storytelling techniques in the centre of their processes. But for impactful and empowering communal stories to emerge, a finely balanced set of practices are required. These involve co-creation, mentoring, critical facilitation, and engaged learning. The success of these in-role retellings corelates with a deep feeling of ownership so that the involved communities are able to ‘change the story’ in a process freed from an expectation of fixed outcomes and centred on a genuine engagement with what happens ‘in the moment’. And for this deep feeling of ownership to emerge, finely-tuned, patient and persistent practice is required.
This hands-on development day provides the space for shared reflection on, and practice with, the wide-ranging benefits and inspiration that collectively curated stories can have in community projects and socially engaged programs of research. Through its stepped design and cumulative experience it invites participants to consider critically and relationally practical, strategic and mental processes that could reorientate their relationship with their work and their forging of new partnerships.
The development day draws on the experiences, processes and competences gained in the Myth and Voice Initiative: storytelling for communities, a workshop program enabling safe, ‘othered’ and empathetic spaces for curated communal stories and retellings triggered by Greek mythical storylines. The Initiative is developed collaboratively by students and staff at Royal Holloway and led by Dr Efi Spentzou and Dr David Bullen, the facilitators of the present event.
Who is the training day for?
This participatory workshop is offered as a share, feedback and cross-fertilisation day open and suitable to a broad range of Techne-funded PhD students working across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. A small number of places is available for other postgraduate researchers and early career researchers at the Humanities, Performing and Digital Arts and Social Sciences at Royal Holloway. This is a day designed as a supportive, motivational and creative space for self-development. This event is for you if:
Day Schedule (10.30am – 5.00pm)
A brief period at the start of the workshop will be taken by introductions and short ice breaking activities, aiming to enable a team feeling.
CURATING EACH OTHERS’ STORIES
In the first part, you will have the chance to share, hear and co-curate in small-group activity short stories about your research practices and the unique skills, memories and competences that you wish to contribute to the co-creation space of this collaborative workshop. In this part, we aim to create a reflexive environment able to offer you critical distance and fresh perspectives from which to view and value your work, placing it alongside shared accounts of practices, expertise, stories, and community stakeholders.
DRAFTING A CO-DESIGNED RESOURCE FOR A COMMUNITY PROJECT
In the second part, you will be given the chance to co-design a draft for a participatory storytelling workshop based on the Greek Myth of Io and her experience of abuse, forced mobility and homelessness, toxic masculinity and other related issues. Through its attention to gendered violence and female suffering, the story is an apt case study for engaging with sensitive topics and difficult conversations through story(re)telling. No prior knowledge of the myth is required. The activity and process will be shaped by your special field of expertise, and your imagined groups and communities. Drawing on collective past and current research and practice this part invites you to work with the story of Io in order to visualise a dialectical environment conducive for collaborative storytelling and imagine/design processes, creative methods and techniques that would support your imagined participants in their communal expression.
CO-CREATION, FACILITATION, MENTORING: REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
In the third and final part, we will reflect back on the flow of co-creating, facilitating and mentoring roles adopted variously by individuals during the interactions in Part Two for the drafting a community project resource. Building on this, we will work on the impact of the day’s co-creative experience with Io on your own practices and methods and on your understanding of particular audiences and settings that you (wish to) involve in your work. You will also be invited to reflect how this experience might feed into your use of storytelling and particular stories that pertain to your own research This part of the program will include discussion of critical and developmental facilitation models and modes of engaging with the dilemmatic spaces of facilitation and active pedagogy that can strengthen your professional self-awareness and your work going forwards with the particular communities that you already engage with or aspire to reach.
Attendance, access and registration
Attendance is in person for the whole day.
Venue is International Building room no IN148 on the Royal Holloway Egham Campus, (TW20 0EX). The International Building is accessed by the main campus road and is situated next to the Boilerhouse. The room is on the first floor and lift is available via the side entrance to the left of the building, i.e. the Boilerhouse side.
Nearest train station is Egham Station which is a 20 minutes-walk away. A bus stop with links to Egham centre and other local areas is situated outside the main gates. Parking is free on site and car pre-registration is not required.
To participate in the event, registration is required. Please register at the Eventbrite link at the top of the page. Numbers for this co-creation workshop are limited and participants will be accepted on a first come first served basis. For catering purposes, deadline for registration is set for Friday 26th of May 2023 at 5.00pm
Dr Efi Spentzou is a Reader in Latin Literature and Classical Reception at Royal Holloway. She works at the intersection of classics and contemporary critical thought with an enduring emphasis on feminist and broad gendered approaches. Her research explores strife, marginalised communities, and borderline identities in ancient narratives and their contemporary literary reception. Efi is also the Lead for the Myth and Voice Initiative: storytelling for communities which operates as an ally of grassroots organisations supporting their relationships building work and their active citizenship programs through role play and collective story(re)telling of ancient stories from modern perspectives. https://pure.royalholloway.ac.uk/en/persons/efrossini-spentzou
Dr David Bullen is a Lecturer in the Department of Drama, Theatre, and Dance at Royal Holloway. He is also a theatre director, writer, and dramaturg. His research and practical interests centre on myth, adaptation, feminist and queer theatre practice and eco-dramaturgies. He is a founding member and co-director (since 2011) of By Jove, a collective of artists and academics whose mission is ‘to take myths, pull them apart, and weave them back together for a contemporary audience’ https://www.byjovetheatre.org/. David also sits at the Board of Trustees for Actors of Dionysus, an award-winning charity and fringe touring company that produces accessible classical theatre and performs nationally and internationally at theatres, arts centres, festivals, outdoors spaces and schools. https://www.actorsofdionysus.com/