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Orkney Story Tellers & Guests at the 2023 Storytelling Festival

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival (SISF) is working with the Orkney Storytelling Festival (26-29 Oct) to bring guest storytellers Peter Chand and Shonaleigh Cumbers, and illustrator Katherine Soutar to the festival this year, as part of SISF’s Go Local programme of activity taking place across Scotland throughout October and November.

These three guests will be telling stories alongside the huge talents of Tom Muir, Fran Flett Hollinrake, Marita Lück, Erin Farley, and Chris Perry whose passion for storytelling make the Orkney Storytelling Festival possible.

Peter Chand, and Shonaleigh Cumbers (Photo credit Katherine Betteridge)

Storyteller Peter Chand is renowned for his powerful, evocative and moving stories from the Indian subcontinent. He regularly visits his family in the Punjab, collecting traditional stories which he translates into English, along with his ever-growing repertoire of world stories which he shares in schools, festivals, libraries, theatres and cultural events across the world. Peter can be heard talking about this year’s festival and sharing stories on episode one of Another Story – the Scottish International Storytelling Festival’s new podcast series currently available. 

Shonaleigh Cumbers is one of Europe’s leading storytellers, who carries thousands of oral stories from the Jewish tradition, tales she lived and breathed during her childhood. She is a highly respected performer who regularly appears at storytelling festivals and events in Europe, American and Australasia and regularly collaborates with Peter Chand. For many years Shonaleigh has shared the techniques of the Drut’syla storytelling tradition with students across the globe which comprises twelve interlinked cycles, each of several hundred tales. Traditionally the drut’syla repertoire is passed down for centuries through generations, but documentation is sparse, and Shonaleigh is probably one of the last carriers of this age-old tradition.

Joining them is illustrator Katherine Soutar, whose artwork can be seen on the covers of the History Press’ folk tale series, She will be live-drawing during Shonaleigh’s stories, bringing the visual arts together with oral storytelling.

For those who can’t make the festival there are six episodes of Another Story – SISF’s new podcast series to enjoy, and  audiences can also join in online at Global Lab – a series of digital storytelling and development sessions looking at our planet’s eco-system and how ecological passion drives twenty-first century storytelling in association with Earth Charter International, and in week 2-  Shared Lives (23-26 Oct) will focus on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the importance of valuing dignity, respect, equality and compassion in our lives.

Looking ahead to this year’s event, Scottish International Storytelling Festival Director, Donald Smith said:

All over the world human and environmental rights are under threat. But against that there is an activist and creative tide building towards a different future. The Storytelling Festival is part of that wave.”

Listings Information

Scottish International Storytelling Festival
13 – 29 October 2023
In person in Edinburgh and across Scotland, and online
For tickets and more info visit www.sisf.org.uk

Connect with the festival on social media @ScotStoryFest #RightToBeHuman

Orkney Storytelling Festival
Thu 26-Sun 29 Oct (various times)
Booking and info www.orkneystorytellingfestival.co.uk

poster for the Scottish Storytelling Festival

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