PROJECTS: CONFLUENCE SETS SAIL FOR AUSTRALIA
By Abi Hopkins
Traditional storytelling, handed down from generation to generation, has always been part of the world’s diverse landscape and plays an integral role in many cultures as it seeks to entertain, educate and cross cultural barriers whilst binding us together as humans.
Storytelling is an integral part of Arabic popular culture. In all parts of the Arab world, storytelling has been a very popular and much-appreciated form of entertainment for the general public. The traditional storyteller has different names in different countries and has distinctive styles of presenting stories and preserving their traditions.
In the Australian Aboriginal Culture, one of the worlds’ oldest cultures, storytelling has also played a vital role in everyday life since and has done since the beginning of time or the ‘Dreaming’ as it is referred to in Aboriginal culture. Passed down through generations, the Aboriginal people’s stories were told orally but were never written down. Their stories are their oral textbooks of accumulated knowledge, spirituality and wisdom from when time began and each story plays an integral role in the everyday lives of the indigenous communities.
Unknown to many is the long history between Aboriginal people and Arabic cultures and religion. Indigenous Aboriginal and Arabic communities have traded, socialised and intermarried in Australia for over three centuries and research shows that early Arabic settlements in Australia forged links between the cultures which still exist today.
Supported by the Australian Ambassador of Morocco, Confluence is now looking to research Aboriginal stories and find links with the Arabian stories and storytelling traditions, through the written and spoken word and photography. We are really excited to be forging links with these two very diverse but quietly interlinked cultures which will allow us to further connect with artists and storytellers in Australia. Discussions are already taking place with Australian funding bodies which will hopefully allow us to arrange artistic residencies in both Australia and Morocco whilst also producing another wonderful book of stories and photographs.
We will be keeping you updated as to progress in our blog posts so be sure to pop back soon to find out how we are getting on. If you are interested in being involved in this project, please join our growing community on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/156763514939687/ or contact us at email@example.com we’d love to hear from you!