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Scotland's Contemporary Storytelling Festival Returns To Glasgow This July

The festival itself will end with a collaborative, family-friendly event held within The Village Storytelling Centre's own community.

Glasgow's contemporary storytelling festival returns in 2022 as part of Scotland's Year of Stories for an eclectic exploration of Re: Connection and Transformation - Storytelling in a Precarious World. Presenting a hybrid programme of performance, screenings, an exhibition, talks and workshops, the 2022 Village Storytelling Festival seeks to connect national and international creatives alike through modern-day storytelling.

New for 2022, the festival will also launch its much anticipated The Aurus Project - a toolkit created with international partners, focused on how to use the power of storytelling when working with marginalised or isolated communities. Accompanied by further workshops and performances throughout the festival, The Aurus Project presents an exciting opportunity to encourage others to take pride in their stories and overcome social exclusion via practical understanding, resources and professional exercises.

Split between one of Scotland's most noteworthy creative hubs, the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), SaltSpace Cooperative Gallery, online and St. James Church (Pollok), the 5-day festival is set to provide a line-up of internationally-acclaimed storytellers premiering their work in Scotland as well as brand new commissioned pieces created by iconic Scotland-based storytellers commissioned by The Village Storytelling Centre.

Faithful to their long-standing ethos of stories as medicine, The Village Storytelling Festival seeks to bring people together through the power of imagination and creativity. Audiences can expect an all-embracing range of voices, perspectives and artistic formats within each performance.

From an exploration of Scotland's historical witch hunts to aerial acrobatics paired with beautiful stories of selkies and the sea; tales that abandon all rules and expectations; observations on ancient plants and modern relationships; visual explorations of myth; and immersive digital experiments confronting what it means to tell stories online, The Village Storytelling Festival aims to capture, inspire and comfort all.

Vitally, this year's festival will feature performances created by the communities across Glasgow that are supported by The Village Storytelling Centre, who form the heart of the organisation's work. These include a heartfelt exploration into female homelessness, with the Simon Community Scotland, stories of new Glaswegians who have lost their homes, lives and countries but met in Scotland to make new connections, told by The Voices of Peace Storytellers, alongside a collaborative exploration of memory, imagination and community via the Pollok Picnic of Stories.

Emma Collins, Creative Producer of The Village Storytelling Festival:

"We are thrilled to be able to present a programme that not only features some of the most exciting work being created in storytelling both in Scotland and internationally, but also reflects and encourages us to explore our world right now. A world which is, indeed, precarious and challenging but is also beautiful, diverse, poignant and full of possibility and where reconnection through our individual and collective stories is so desperately needed."

The festival will open with More Than a Footnote: A Quest to Restore Queer Stories - an explorative, narrative-driven performance by Lauren Bianchi, Colin White and Sarah Rankin, centred on reclaiming what has been stolen with regards to queerness and queer identity. Following on from similar themes of journey and emotional movement, the festival's live performances will close with Raymond Wilson's I Hope Your Flowers Bloom - a heart-breaking, emotive insight into the dichotomy between nature, friendship, modern relationships and healthy masculinity.

Other live events include Phil Okwedy, Michael Harvey and Adverse Camber's discovery-based work, The Gods Are All Here - a skilful enmeshment of folktales, myths and legends of the African diaspora sparked by the discovery of his parents' love letters; Wolf Girl, the story of East Prussian children fleeing to Lithuania post-WWII told via a re-binding of fragile memories and past echoes by Daiva Ivanauskait?-, Agn?- Čepaityt?-, Kristina Meilut?- and Andy Gunn; #HELD(IN) - an energetic swirl of discovering what a true hero is through traditional Greek myths by Ferhat Kaplan, Tania Christina, Robbie Wallin and Marjolein Frijling; and more.

Spanning the 5-days is Sarah Rankin and Davis Ivanauskait?-'s new online work - Connecting Stories: A Film, in which family and community are examined through the local Scottish lens of Pollok, Glasgow, in the context of pandemic childbirth and integrating the youngest of an existing generation into a wildly unknown new environment.

In exhibitions, The Village Storytelling Festival presents Mirror Mirror in My Hand - an poignant examination of women and girls created in partnership with The Village Storytelling Centre and local Glasgow women's charity, Say Women, held at SaltSpace Cooperative Gallery. Supported by Lauren Bianchi and Nicola Dickson, the visual art exhibition probes popular fairy tales, myths and cultural assumptions as a means of placing women and girls 'front and centre' via themes of reflection, reframing and regaining control.

The Village Storytelling Festival will also see a wide collection of exciting family events. Join storyteller Dan Serridge at his dinner table of foolishness - Feast of Fools - as you choose the tale he regales you from a pick-and-choose menu of brilliant imagination; Paper Rainbows tells a multi-perspective story of friendship and connection through beautiful shadow-puppet work, performed by The Village Young Storytellers, an artist collective of 13 to 16 year olds from Pollok; Choose Your Own Adventure!: The Great Democratic Story Experiment - the latest instalment in Mark Borthwick's highly successful digital story Zoom series - combines collaborative character population and high-tech storytelling to create an immersive, exciting evening for the whole family.

The festival itself will end with a collaborative, family-friendly event held within The Village Storytelling Centre's own community - Pollok, Glasgow. Free and unticketed, the Village Mini-Fest is set to include performances from local musicians and circus performers, face-painting, film-screenings, sports, crafting and storytelling. Some performances from the festival will be re-featured (Paper Rainbows, Harp and Carp) alongside the Pollok Picnic of Stories - a synergetic experience in memory, imagination and locality from the minds and hearts of Pollok's creative community.

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