The Edinburgh Reporter (Edinburgh, Scotland), October 10, 2015
The stranger is often a revealer of truth; his arrival casts a stone into the water, shakes us out of our complacency. But who is the stranger? What separates him from us – what makes him ‘strange’? The theme of the 2015 Scottish International Storytelling Festival is Stories without Borders; it will celebrate not separation and difference but connections – the things that unite us across the world – and this year, with the festival’s special focus on the Middle East and North Africa, this has turned out to be especially – and unexpectedly – topical.
When the festival started in 1988, the organisers were so unsure of an audience that they held it all in a small gallery in the old Netherbow Theatre. Storytelling was seen as a bit weird, and very much the domain of rural communities, travellers, islanders – the only other people interested in it worked in research institutes.
Fast forward 27 years and the genre has not only become more popular, it’s uber-cool, and as likely to pop up in Hoxton or Hackney as Skye or Sutherland. Stories are still told in the traditional way – but they’re also shared in films, in pictures (the theme of this month’s Big Draw is storytelling through drawing), in dance, theatre and music, on websites, on Twitter, in blogs and on vlogs.
Subjects Covered: storytelling festivals