This programme includes storytelling evenings in different courtyards, storytellers from different cultures and countries appearing in the city streets, story tours through Kaunas, and cozy storytelling evenings in Kaunas cafés – activities for everyone in Kaunas to discover, listen to and get to know one another.
The programme’s curators, Daiva Ivanauskaitė and Milda Varnauskaitė, are professional storytellers who’ve been actively promoting the art of storytelling in Lithuania for several years. They will be joined by storytellers from abroad, including Shona Cowie (United Kingdom), who will create storytelling performances assembled from stories collected in Kaunas; Katrice Horsley (United Kingdom), who’ll invite us to think about the future of Kaunas; and Gauri Raje (United Kingdom and India), who will introduce listeners to India’s rich culture of storytelling. Kaunas residents and guests will also have the opportunity to listen to the stories of French storyteller Abbi Patrix (France) and get to know Finland and its stories better with the help of storyteller Markus Luukkonen (Finland).
This series of events seeks to help the people of Kaunas, who so often fly past one another on the street and never seem to find each other, to meet and listen to the stories of other people. We’ll invite you to ask each other: Where can I find you? and then come together in the city’s courtyards, streets, and cafés.
Shona Cowie is a Scottish storyteller and facilitator who researches and platforms the stories of Mediterranean migration. Working with European leaders in applied storytelling, The Village Storytelling Centre, she leads pioneering programmes in the local heritage, care, recovery, and community sectors, and her work with young people was recognized as exceptional in an award granted by the Scottish Civic Trust. She aims to bring those who have been marginalized to the fore in her stories.
Markus Luukkonen is a storyteller and performer from Finland. He tells his stories in a down-to-earth and dynamic style and likes to combine personal stories, folk tales, and myths in his performances. He combines black Finnish humor with beautiful images and observations from people’s lives.
Markus works as a solo performer and director and also participates in various storytelling groups.
Katrice Horsley is a professional storyteller and consultant and founder of Narrative4Change. The organization aims to raise awareness of how narrative-based learning can be used as a powerful tool for community development, organizational change, skills, education, and personal development. Through Katrice’s training, participants learn to define their visions and goals, understand how they will feel once they have achieved them, and develop a plan to achieve them.
Gauri Raje is a storyteller, educator, and workshop facilitator working with adolescents and adults from multilingual, multicultural, and disadvantaged backgrounds. She draws on a variety of genres: fairy tales, epics, myths, and autobiographical narratives. She tells stories in a variety of languages including Urdu, Hindi, English, and other Indian languages. She is especially interested in the concepts of witnessing in storytelling, translation, multilingualism, and embodied nature of creating stories. Gauri’s earliest memories of storytelling are of sitting curled up in a sari and her grandmother reading stories to her.
Abbi Patrix has been exploring the art of storytelling for thirty years with the organization she founded, Compagnie du Cercle. Working either as a solo performer or with other artists, he has a taste for mixing the spoken word with other disciplines such as dance, music, and mime. His work is at the crossroads of theatre, music, and movement, enriched by multidisciplinary material, on a permanent quest for new ways and voices to enrich the form of storytelling. Abbi uses both personal and contemporary forms, which he constructs using different sources: traditional stories, life stories, diaries, his own memories, and literary texts.
Daiva Ivanauskaitė tells tales inspired by myths and folk traditions from Lithuania, Scotland, and other lands – stories about tricksters and cheeky devils, stories about fairies and dragons, stories about stories themselves. Daiva makes every tale her own, finds parallels with her life and explores themes of identity, environment, and togetherness. She deftly guides the audience through her vivid, enchanting imagination and heightens her stories with interaction and Lithuanian songs. Daiva performs on stage at festivals and spoken word events, with community and women’s groups, with families, and in schools.
Milda Varnauskaitė is a professional storyteller and teacher of storytelling. Milda appears as a storyteller at various events in the Netherlands and Lithuania, sharing autobiographical, folklore, historical stories, and combinations thereof. The Amsterdam International Storytelling Festival, the Terschelling Oerol Arts Festival, and the Explore the North Festival in Leeuwarden are just a few of the many venues where Milda has told stories. In Lithuania, Milda collaborates with Vilnius University, Kaunas – European Capital of Culture – 2022, and the National Museum of Lithuania. She studied storytelling at the Berlin University of the Arts, Oslo Metropolitan University, and graduated from the Mezrab Storytelling School in Amsterdam, where she also worked for more than 3 years at the Mezrab Cultural Centre, one of the largest storytelling centres in Europe, attracting around 800 people every week to different storytelling events.
Venues and timetable of the events: various Kaunas cafes and public spaces, TBC.
IMPORTANT. A detailed programme with venues will be announced in the summer of 2022.
Organizers: Kaunas 2022
Photo: © unsplash
LT/EN, Other, Performances