I am the lead artist for The Forked Tongues Storytelling Collective. I train and support newly arrived and migrant women to share oral stories bilingually or multilingually. It encourages the sharing of cultural stories, cultural learning, it offers a safer space to talk about our similarities and differences, promotes maintenance of first languages at home and increases literacy. Importantly it assures and affirms women who arrive that they have the means to make money, they have a voice and people want to hear them.
These fabulous women have worked over years and now for the first time in 4 years the Sydney Storytelling Conference will happen. I want to take these fabulous socio-economically disadvantaged women and support their access and exposure to professional storytelling. Help their dreams grow bigger, help storytellers see what multilingual powerhouses are up and coming in our community and develop their networks.
For the Forked Tongue tellers this will inspire their understanding of where storytelling can take them. It can offer them a network of professional storytellers (from NSW, Australia and abroad) to inspire what stories they tell and how and lead to further performance opportunities. The conference is daunting for them as it is two days away from family - a difficult undertaking for those of a refugee background and it is entering an environment that is English language/culture dominated.
Adding women's voices from the margins and empowering them to speak up, feel confident and share stories. The women will also commit to regular performances at the To Your Door events facilitated by Think and Do Foundation.
Funded by Sydney (May 2023)