World Storytelling Institute

Mission Statement

The World Storytelling Institute facilitates training in, performance of, and discussion about, forms of storytelling.

We define storytelling as, “relating a series of events.” 

Most traditional oral verbal arts can be considered forms of storytelling -- and all oral verbal arts can be utilised in the course of storytelling. 

In Tamil Nadu, south India, three traditional styles of storytelling are 1) Kathaiyum Pattum (Story and Song); 2) Villupattu (Bow Song); and 3) Katha Kalak Chebam, also known as Harikatha (God Story).  In cultures all around the world, there are similar styles.  We seek to help these styles be meaningful and useful in the modern world.

Storytelling in everyday conversation is of special interest to us.    

Storytelling, in the literal sense of the word, involves social events in which participants can give near-instantaneous feedback to each other.  Other ways of presenting stories are of secondary interest to us.

The contents and methods of storytelling styles constitute a great treasure of human experience and expression.  Storytelling helps people relate to each other, to the past, and to the environment.  We believe it is to humanity’s benefit to document and develop all of this, and we help with this process.

Storytelling for/by/with children, storytelling in corporate environments, and storytelling therapy, are among the many applications of storytelling that we are dedicated to studying and developing.  We also facilitate the exploration of new forms of storytelling, including storytelling via videoconferencing and other forms of interactive telecommunication.

For multi-language storytelling events, we are developing methods of simultaneous translation, involving both audio and visuals (such as projecting words on large screens).

The World Storytelling Institute
was founded as a Trust
in March 2008
in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India,
by Eric Miller, Jeeva Raghunath, and Magdalene Jeyarathnam.

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