Story Festival – An Intercultural Exchange

The first ever Story Festival (16 – 22 May 2022), new to our cultural calendar, was extremely popular with participants and facilitators alike! Workshops were held in Clarence Halls such as Howrah Community Centre, Cambridge Hall, Sandford Hall and the Barn. It was a celebration of collaboration and exchange, centering Clarence’s diverse and intercultural communities. Through stories of food, dance, and song, we learnt about each other’s worlds. 

With skill sharing workshops like Recycled Japanese Kimono jewellery, Arabic Calligraphy, to cooking sessions making Dumplings and Afghani Bolani as well as dance workshops from all over the world, there was something for everyone.

Participants had lots of time during workshops to connect with the facilitators – the hope for the festival was for people to have an opportunity to learn something new and unusual about another culture and have fun doing it. All the workshops sold out and many people missed out! We look forward to having some of our facilitators back over the next few months so there will be more opportunities to sign up for a class or two.

To finish off the big week, we had  a big get together in the sunshine at Rosny Farm on Saturday the 21st – yes, Election Day! With Market Stalls, diverse food offerings, music and dance from around the world.


2022 Program:

Monday 16 May

Colombian Dance at Cambridge Hall: Learn the vibrant movements and rich history of Colombian folk dance.
Thai Dance at Howrah Community Centre: Learn basics of this narrative dance style from Northern Thailand. 

Tuesday 17 May

Contemporary Arabic Calligraphy: Create your own souvenir using techniques of contemporary Arabic calligraphy
Dumpling Cooking Class: Learn how to make yummy dumplings!
Sri Lankan Dance: Immerse yourself in the history and tranquility of this prominent traditional dance.

Wednesday 18 May

Bolani cooking class: Learn to cook delicious Afghani street food, bolani, and about the significance of food in Afghan culture.
Japanese Calligraphy: Explore the relationship between the soul, the meaning of Japanese characters and sumi (ink).
Seed bead accessory making: Create amazing accessories with basic techniques in bead threading and weaving.

Thursday 19 May

East African weaving workshop: Learn to weave natural materials and create baskets which can be used for anything.
Persian Dance: Step into the flexibility and grace of classical Persian dance.
Recycled Kimono Accessories: Turn recycled Kimono off-cuts into beautiful wearable pieces.

Friday 20 May

Chinese Ink Painting: Experience the unique brush strokes and techniques of Chinese brush painting.
Recycled Kimono Accessories: Turn recycled Kimono off-cuts into beautiful wearable pieces.

Saturday 21 May

Market Day at Rosny Farm: A day of stalls, food vans and performances at Rosny Farm Arts Centre
Samoan Creation Story workshop with Lila Meleisea: Gather to reflect on a traditional Samoan creation story and its implications for community connectedness now.
A Light Snow Experience: Brew tea, create handicrafts and listen to music that reflects this solar term of the Chinese zodiac calendar.
Nitty Gritty: True Stories Told by Real Humans event Listen to the experiences of people in your community who are taking to the stage for the first time.



Sunday 22 May

Clarence Authors Series: Cecelia Loppy: From The Gambia to Tasmania; from a near tragic death at birth to an abusive childhood and tumultuous and tragic teenage years, Cecelia Catherine Loppy tells the story of her life in conversation with Helen Shields


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