Aladdin explores Intercultural Stories

By March 15, 2017 Features No Comments

The Erasmus+ project Aladdin & the Intergenerational Lamp connects seniors with younger at-risk individuals through storytelling, promoting skill sharing and intergenerational understanding as well as increased confidence and motivation. Superact have been working with organisations in France, Hungary, Catalonia and the Netherlands to give older people in retirement the skills to run storytelling workshops. The partners came together at Superact HQ last month to make plans for a forthcoming conference and anthology of intercultural stories. First item on the agenda: ‘what are intercultural stories?!’ Laura from Elan Interculturel (France) tells us more…

European partners of the Aladdin project met once more in February, in Wellington. Welcomed by our English partners, we spent a journey as enriching as it was friendly. ‘Friendly’ thanks to an exchange and an international cooperation in which each person appreciated the qualities of the others: thus, partners’ humour and rigour were complementary. ‘Enriching’ because everybody could describe the progress of the project within their associations and share experiences, both positive and negative. We could also foresee the next steps of the project.

Those people who had already experimented with intergenerational workshops could explain the difficulties they had met with, giving partners advice in order to help them to prepare their workshops to come. Regarding the next steps, we spent some time organising the international conference in Amsterdam, taking place from 27-30th June. We will keep you updated with details, so don’t forget to consult our website and facebook page in order to stay informed!

The meeting gave us the opportunity to think about the collection of intercultural stories we will write. How will we  collect intercultural stories from participants? Are we looking for traditional fairy tales or personal stories? What type of questions should we ask them?

We divided into two groups so that everybody could think about the question. From the word “culture”, we extracted the following words: “ancestors”, “identity”, “shock”, “traditions”, “values”

These last ones encouraged us to formulate questions related to stereotypes, cultural codes, food, rules, language, misunderstandings…Considering these reflections, we suggested different questions to ask in order to persuade participants to share intercultural stories, such as:

“what is your favourite family tradition?”          “who is your hero that inspires you?”

The answers will give participants the opportunity to orally exchange intercultural stories which can be personal as well as traditional. We eventually decided to settle on the question:

“Can you remember a story that a grandparent used to tell you when you were young?”

Thus, the answer to the question can be a fairy tale as well as a historical story or personal anecdote….but whatever form it takes, each intergenerational and intercultural story will be enriching. We are looking forward to collecting stories shared orally by our seniors and young adults!

The meeting in Wellington passed by so fast…but fortunately we will meet very soon in Amsterdam in June to make more plans and spread the joy of intercultural stories across Europe.

If you work with the 18–30 age group, do email stu@superact.org.uk to see how we could collaborate: to lift and creatively improve the lives of under-privileged young adults, together.