Tag Archives: storytelling

Public Speaking – Scarier Than Death?

11 Nov

RASAG members were given tickets to a Sheffield United Game

The RASAG group have been busy as ever…  Courtesy of FURD, several members attended a football match at Bramwell Lane Sheffield.  Two members, Firas and Shiran, went on to speak on stage at the Showroom Cinema about the match as part of Sheffield Converation Club’s “Off The Shelf “event, which saw Phil Vasili reading from his book about Walter Tull – one of Britain ’s first black professional footballers in the early 1900s.  We are looking forward to receiving some photo’s of both events so that we can add them to the blog. 

The following week, FURD organised several tickets to view the film Africa United at the Showroom – participating members really enjoyed watching the film.  Firas said of it 

It is really nice film and I know now allot about African people and I know how African people love football. The film show many thinks not just about football, and I think the film is suitable for children and adults and all family but unfortunately it shows many violence views”

RASAG members enjoyed a free trip to the cinema

Last Saturday four RASAG members joined together with members of other community groups to enjoy a day of free public speaking training organised by City of Sanctuary and delivered by Speakers Bank trainer. Jen Skapeti.  The group really enjoyed the day and felt much more confident in speaking at the end of it.  This was a really excellent course which was well structured and delivered.  As part of the group, RASAG members often have to speak in  public with little or no preperation time.  Firstly, during the Legends Project, members were up on stage sharing stories with only one day’s training under their belt.  Since then, members have been required to speak at events such as the You Choose funding event and at the “Off the Shelf” festival mentioned above; considering English is not their first language and many of us confess to public speaking being our worst fear, above illness, povety and even death, this training will prove invaluable – thanks Speakers Bank!

Four RASAG members enjoyed the training

Legends

29 Jun

As the Legends Project approaches the finale of this leg of it’s journey, appearances at Gleadless Valley and Sharrow festivals, it seems that the time to take stock is nigh…

Legends kicked off with a workshop on the 18th July and despite complications including court appearances, fork lift truck driving lessons, hospital appointments and illness, we had a marvelous time with singing, dancing and lots of storytelling!

Activities that we worked on included a storytelling circle where  we took turns in sitting in “the magic chair” and telling a story to the rest of the group – everyone chose their own tale and did this exercise by themselves – something many would not have felt confident to do at the start of the day.

The magic chair was the place to tell stories!

We also asked people to take a piece of flipchart paper to a quiet corner and write or draw something they would like to tell about.  This produced some fabulous results that formed the basis of our exhibition.  As I had hoped in the planning stages of the project, this allowed people to express feelings and ideas that reflected on the refugee and asylum seeker experience, with people sharing elements of the story of how they escaped their country and feelings about the injustice of their struggle for freedom.  There were also funny personal anecdotes and stories which expressed a dilemma, calling on the addressee to answer questions about morality and due cause…

We put the written stories on the wall and discussed them

We took a break to enjoy a meal together and stories continued to bound across the table, with magic amulets and language being particularly strong topics!

The next day some of the participants and our professional storyteller Roisin Murray set up a gazebo at Heeley Festival and entertained adults and children with our stories.

In the evening we went on stage at Assist’s One World Over Concert, where we enjoyed explaining the project, singing a song and telling some stories – the group felt great and really elated after this event!

On Monday 21st June the group entertained audiences at Central and Ecclessall library and we showed an exhibition of stories and photo’s which was of great interest to the attendants.

The exhibition of stories and pictures was well received in the libraries

After a week in the storytelling wilderness RASAG was out in force at the Heeley Institute Variety is the Spice of Life community lunch yesterday.  Nine participants entertained an audience of over 50 people with songs, stories and more stories!  City of Sanctuary’s film maker Andrew was there and we are all very excited to see the results of his filming.  This was our greatest event so far and the participants really came into their own, taking center stage and proving the personal growth that’s been achieved through the Legends project.  The aim of the Legends project was to give people a voice and to help them to interact with the community and it was a source of great pride to see this in action.

Next on the agenda for Legends are appearances at Gleadless Valley Festival on Saturday 3rd June at 11.50 and on Sharrow Festival’s Community Stage on the same day at 1.15.  If the Heeley Institute appearance is anything to go by, we’re going to take the crowd by storm!

Storying Sheffield

12 Jun

I was very pleased to be able to attend the Storying Sheffield showcase yesterday, an innovative project with remarkably similar aims to the Legends project. (http://www.storyingsheffield.com/).  I was impressed and somewhat envious of the scale of the project both in terms of the multimedia exhibition and the crowd, who were packed in by the hundred.  The exhibition was vibrant and varied, with features including a mobile of comments about Sheffield, photo stories, video footage of interviews and arrays of items representing participant’s image of the Steel City, from cutlery to boiled sweets, ale to art.   Regrettably, I was unable to reach the short film exhibition space, as forcing my way through the crowd with a sleeping toddler in her pushchair was inhibited by the announcement of the live presentation, a review of the project’s achievements with plenty of humour and some excellent poetry. 

Although enjoyable and informative, the presentation was somewhat inhibited by numbers, as I could neither see the stage nor hear all of the speeches – some people at the back of the room started to filter out as a result.   The presentation was curtailed by the prospect of the Lord Mayor’s imminent arrival, and this being the third event I was to see him at in 10 days I began to fear stalking accusations and set to promoting the Legend’s performances.

On the whole the promotion went well, although I began to see the flaw in my leaflet, which simply gives the name Sheffield RASAG, without explaining that it is a refugee and asylum seeker community group…  I found myself repeating this fact to people over and over while both relishing the fact that I hadn’t blown the whole printing budget on the flawed design, and regretting that I didn’t have more printed to cover the numbers at Storying Sheffield and have some left for Peace in the Park (http://web.peaceinthepark.org.uk/) and and the launch of the Summer of Sanctuary, Together at Devonshire Green (http://www.eventsheffield.co.uk/event/14525/summer-of-sanctuary-together-in-sheffield).  With a miniscule budget of £20.00 to cover the entire project it is a constant dilemma of whether to spend or save and I left this event feeling that I had underestimated the levl of potential to promote Legend’s this weekend.

Having thouroughly enjoyed Storying Sheffield and been convinced that their aims and ethos is noteably similar to our own, now’s the time for RASAG to see if they can offer us any help with promting our events and extending our lifespan, which is hanging in the balance after the rejection of an important funding bid…  Like Storying Sheffield we intend to be back bigger and better next year, so lets find out if there’s any potential for collaboration and stand united, narrating in the face of adversity!

Performances and picnic

9 Jun

Legends storytelling group will be performing at

Heeley Festival Sat, 19/06/2010 all day in a gazebo

One World Over Sat, 19/06/2010 – 19:00 – 22:00. In Aid of ASSIST, at the Montgomery Hall, Surrey St (by the big wheel)

Central Library Surrey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 1XZ, 12.30 – 1.30 Mon 28/06/2010

Ecclesall Library 120 Ecclesall Road South, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S11 9PL, 5.30 – 6.30 Mon 28/06/2010

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113963548647447&ref=ts#!/group.php?gid=105594016150685&ref=ts

The RASAG/Big Lunch picnic will now be held at Sharrow Summer Flea Market, Old Junior School, South View Road Sheffield S7 1DB on 12 – 5 pm, 18/07/2010

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113963548647447&ref=ts