14 Feb 2014

Storytelling for a Greener World: Tales, Talks and Songs

Here's a date for the diary: Friday 11 April 7.30pm at Stroud Subscription Rooms - and here's the press release of this exciting event with the Green Party's Jonathan Porritt:

When Noah knew the Flood was coming, just how did he get people aboard the Ark? After all, he knew it wasn’t going to be just a passing shower! Whilst the debates on climate change and global warming rage, we saw the wettest January on record , with ongoing  floods devastating homes, farms, wildlife, lives, work and transport. We can choose to respond with a story. Is it to be denial, or make do and mend, or an everyday heroic story of practical and social transformation, or…?

As an organisation conserving and caring for our environment, you may be exploring new ways of engaging people with nature.  One way is storytelling. A new book called Storytelling for a Greener World : Environment, Community and Story based Learning will  be launched on 11 April at 7.30pm at Stroud Subscription Rooms by Jonathon Porritt, and  some of Britain’s finest storytellers who  work with leading environmental organisations.

The floods devastating homes, farms, lives, transport and the environment today challenge us to re-imagine a greener future in the face of climate change. Storytelling for a Greener World on Friday 11th April at 7.30pm at the Subscription Rooms, Stroud, will tell vivid stories of a resilient future, as a first step in getting there. There will be moving stories of re-connecting with nature and also hard hitting talks by Jonathon Porritt of Forum for the Future and Alida Gersie, co-editor of a new Hawthorn Press book on how storytelling can help create a greener world.

The evening celebration includes stirring songs by local choir Circle of Song and magical nature tales told by some of Britain’s finest storytellers including Eric Maddern, Finding our Bearings; Edward Schieffelin, Reframing the Apocalypse to Rescue a Rainforest in New Guinea and local Stroud storytellers Anthony Nanson, The Passenger Pigeon, Kelvin Hall and Kevan Manwaring. Alida Gersie PhD, storymaker, pioneer art therapies trainer, advisor to leading arts, health and environmental NGO’s and governments, will introduce the power of a new book Storytelling for a Greener World to help make a difference. She co-edited this book with Anthony Nansen and Edward Schieffelin. Alida will show how storytelling can help us reconnect with nature, ‘to see the world in a grain of sand’.

Stories such as a friend describing a skein of geese in evening flight can invite action. She will explain some core principles and methods of story-based learning for change. Alida Gersie, “If the typical content of movies, the news, video-games and social media is anything to go by, many of us seem to like tales about calamity. More often than not we relish the thrill of horror stories that don’t affect us personally. On top of this we are pretty unresponsive to warning stories that urge us to change a habit or life-style in order to avoid future disaster. So what kind of stories cans those who care about the environment and its troubles usefully tell? Are there ways of engaging people with stories that facilitate the turning of benign intent into sustainable behaviour? And if so, how is all of this best done? These are the kinds of questions that I will explore on 11 April’

Jonathon Porritt, eminent environmentalist, will challenge us to raise our game in confronting the challenge of living more sustainably with this local launch of his new book, The World We Made. Told through the eyes of Alex McKay, a 50 year-old teacher writing in 2050, his book describes the key events, technological breakthroughs and lifestyle revolutions that he believes could transform the world over the next few Jonathon Porritt, ‘“The irony is that we are surrounded by astonishing innovation on every side, in terms of both technology and new thinking on economics, social and governance issues. A fair, dynamic and genuinely sustainable life is still available for all of us in 2050 assuming only that we get a move on” Storytelling for a Greener World will launch this new book from Stroud publishers Hawthorn Press: “At the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh a growing belief in the power of storytelling to communicate on environmental matters has led to us scouring the world for sources of inspiration. Storytelling for a Greener World has come along as an answer to our prayers and makes us feel part of something big and profoundly important to life.”
Ian Edwards, Head of Exhibitions & Events, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
Notes to Editor
1. Storytelling for a Greener World - Tales, Talks and Songs : Friday 11 April 7.30pm at Stroud Subscription Rooms Tickets from www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk, 01453 760900 Price: £12.00 (£10
concs, under 18’s £6.00)
2. For more information, review copies and interviews with Storytelling for a Greener World authors and editors Alida Gersie, Anthony Nansen and Edward Schieffelin, please contact Martin Large (01453 757040) martin@hawthornpress.com or Meredith Debonnaire merryshin@googlemail.com
3. About Storytelling for a Greener World. Edited by Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson, Edward Schieffelin (Published April 11 2014 by Stroud based publisher Hawthorn Press, ISBN 978 1 907359 354 www.hawthornpress.com)
4. For more information/interviews with Jonathon Porritt please contact Anne Paintin a.paintin@forumforthefuture.org

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