Chennai Storytelling Festival 2022

February 2022


"Ways Storytelling of Various

Cultures, Religions, World-views,

and Practices can Facilitate

Growing, Maturing, Teaching and Learning,

Playing, Creating, Transforming, and/or Healing

in Individuals and Groups -- and the

Healing of the Environment."


1) Fri 4th, Sat 5th, Sun 6th. 

2) Fri 11th, Sat 12th, Sun 13th       

3) Fri 18th, Sat 19th, Sun 20th.

4) Fri 25th, Sat 26th, Sun 27th.




The below is in India time. 

For the times in other locations, please see    







3) Fri 25th, Sat 26th, Sun 27th Feb.


Fri 25th -- 5:30pm-10:30pm.

Sat 26th -- 8:30am-3:30pm, and 5:30pm-11:30pm.

Sun 27th -- 8:30am-3:30pm, and 5:30pm-11:00pm.





                      Fri 25th Feb 2022




5:30pm-10:30pm (Fri 25th Feb)




5:30pm-7:00pm, Fri 25th Feb.


"Mindfulness and the Art

of Storytelling, Version 2.0".

Stories from time beyond can be

the shortest and surest way to

connect people.  Not only that,

they help us to look deep inside

our soul, connect with our own

inner-self, and embrace the calm

and the pause.  Mindfulness is

all about being in the moment.

Now when both the stories and

mindfulness come in conjunction,

they form a potent and powerful

concoction, and help to create



Last year in CSF 2021, we embarked

upon this journey of "Mindfulness and

the Art of Storytelling, Version 1.0"

Many of the fellow tellers reached back

not just appreciating the content but

also asking for the next or the beyond.

So this year, we at CSF 2022, are

bringing in "Mindfulness and the Art  

of Storytelling, Version 2.0", where we

will imbibe the focus created by this

powerful mix - Mindfulness and



As part of this 90 minute workshop,

you will build a new level in your

skillset.  Key takeaways from this

session include -

* The Art of Mindful Storytelling.

* Mindful Eating.

* Two highly acclaimed exercises

to enable you to be more mindful.

* Narrative of a personal journey

by a fellow teller.


Sonia Bareja Punhani (New Delhi).


7:00pm-8:30pm, Fri 25th Feb.


"Trauma, Torment, and Peace:

Exploring the 'Jesus Sends Demons

Out of a Person' Story through

Expressive Arts Activities".

A demon, speaking metaphorically,

is something that haunts us from the

past.  We feel shackled to a few things

and much as we try to free ourselves

from these prisons, it has a way of

drawing us back in.  Come and explore

the story of how Jesus cast out the

demons from a man who was tormented

and traumatised for years on end, finally

finding his peace at the Master's hands. 

We would invite you to explore the use

of Expressive Arts (involving a combination

of the arts, including movement and dance)

to reflect about the story.

Elizabeta Alkovic (Croatia) and

Sandhya Ruban (Chennai).


Storytelling  (Fri 25th Feb)

8:30pm-8:50pm.  Karen Gummo (near Edmonton,  

                         Canada), "Off With the Mask!"

                                  (an original story based on an

                                  Icelandic ghost story).


9:00pm-10:30pm, Fri 25th Feb.


"Myths and the Making of Womanhood".

The objective of this workshop is to

assist participants to identify the contexts

of, and connections between, ancient

thoughts and modern realities for women.

Participants will gain more understanding

of how myths have been used to crystallize

current roles, expectations, and beliefs

about women. Participants will be invited

to engage in thought-provoking discussions

regarding ways to heal current wounds

inflicted through sexism and gender biases.

Saundra Gilliard (Pennsylvania).





           Sat 26th Feb 2022




8:30am-3:30pm, and 5:30pm-11:30pm (Sat 26th Feb).




8:30am-3:30pm (Sat 26th Feb)




Storytelling  (Sat 26th Feb)

8:30am-8:50am.    Dana Sherry (California),

                                    "The Story of Tuan Mac Cairill"

                                    (an Irish legend).

8:50am-9:10am.    Timothy Cope (Minnesota),

                                    "The Boy Who Cried Wolf"

                                    (an Aesop's fable).

9:10am-9:30am.    Allison Cox (Washington state),

                                    "Waving Back: A Story of

                                    Community and Healing"

                                    (a true-life story).


9:30am-10:30am, Sat 26th Feb.


"Stories of Healing in Islam".


Additional info about this session is here.


Mashuda Muthi, Mubeen Irshad, and Zarin M .


10:30am-Noon, Sat 26th Feb.


" 'Ko Au, Ko Koe' ('I Am, You Are') ".

This is an identity-focused workshop

that encourages the storyteller to look

within -- past/present/future.  We

explore ways of creating connections

to others, the Moana Pacific way.

We use Storytelling to navigate the

pathway to transformation, and

ultimately, healing.  I draw upon

Storytelling tools (terminology,

customs, rhythm, movement)

from my Moana Pacific ancestry

to guide us.

Tuaratini (New Zealand).


Noon-12:30pm, Sat 26th Feb.


"A Personal-experience Story about Surviving

Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005".

Nilguen Yalay (New Zealand).


Storytelling  (Sat 26th Feb)

12:30pm-12:50pm.  Haritha Kannan (Chennai),

                                    "Two Friends"

                                    (author unknown, 

                                    adapted by the storyteller).

12:50pm-1:10pm.    Maricris Basto (Philippines),

                                      "Who Moved My Chair?"

                                      a twist on a popular parable

                                      and book.

1:10pm-1:30pm.      Apoorva Dheekaw (New Delhi),

                                      "Ganga and Shantanu

                                       Healing and Growing Apart"

                                       (from the Mahabharata).

1:30pm-1:50pm.      Jaskirat Kaur (Hyderabad),

       "Noori" (an original story).


2:00pm-3:30pm, Sat 26th Feb. 


"The 'Jesus Calms the Storm' Story would be

Explored Experientially Through Expressive

Arts Activities".

Please join us for this interactive, biblical

story workshop-session on 'Jesus Calming

the Storm'. Through reflective, creative

activities, we will discover the relevance

this 2000-year-old story has for us today. 

Gilly Southwood (South Africa) and

Sue Hodson (South Africa).


3:30pm-4:30pm, Sat 26th Feb.

Storytelling and Discussion

Angela Halvorsen Bogo (Norway).

"The Travelling Companion",

written by HC Andersen in 1835,

"The Travelling Companion' has

a traditional story's timeless, epic

quality and power.  Angela Halvorsen

Bogo began telling this mysterious

story during the disruption of the

pandemic despite first coming across

it decades ago. What does the story

show us about trust when the worst

possible things happen? What

resources do we need to navigate the

unknown?  The storytelling will be

followed by a reflective process and





4:00pm-6:00pm, Sat 26th Feb.

Special Event

Hindi Storytelling.

The event Poster (containing

the Zoom link for the session)

is here.

For info, please contact

Sonia Bareja,

soniabareja76 (at)




5:30pm-11:30pm (Sat 26th Feb)




5:30pm-7:00pm, Sat 26th Feb.


"Exploring Humour and Crafting

Comedy in Stories".

As the old adage goes, laughter is

the best medicine. Humour and

comedy can elicite hearty laughter,

thereby lightening the mind and

brightening the ambience.

Therefore, in this workshop we

aim to incorporate humour into

storytelling, so that storytelling

and humour can together become

an effective healing mechanism

for adults. Why and how? Our

workshop aims to introduce our

participants to answers of these

questions. Participants would

learn techniques and methods

of presentation of comedy and

infusion of humour into storytelling.

The workshop can be useful for

any storylover.


The workshop poster is here.


Debjani Bhaduri (Chennai) and Team.


7:00pm-8:30pm, Sat 26th Feb.


"Improvised Group-storytelling (with

a theme, 'Group Mind')".

When we tell an improvised group

story, we sit in a circle as the story

passes from one person to the next. 

Each person listens, and then

contributes the next piece.  We tell

group stories like this to overcome

the fragmentation and incoherence

of modern life.  We tell them to restore

our integrity.  We listen and respond

with intent, not to prove our prowess

as storytellers, but to find community

through group mind. 

     This workshop is about telling group

improvised stories.  Like all storytelling,

these stories depend on a strong narrative. 

The narrative element supports us and

provides a framework through which we

can connect around a common theme. 

     The workshop introduces group

improvisational storytelling and explores

group mind through hands-on activities

and side coaching.  We will review classic

story structure and the facilitators will give

an example of a group improvised story. 

Then we dive into telling stories first in

breakout groups, then in the main group. 

Please come prepared to listen, and to

be changed.

Bruce Kirchoff (North Carolina) and 

Katherine Barron (North Carolina).


8:30pm-10:00pm, Sat 26th Feb.


"Changing Paradigms Through Stories".

This workshop will help participants

to broaden their perspectives and

question their takes on the world.

Through the use of stories and

reasoning, participants will have

opportunities to gain insights into their

perspectives. The workshop will utilize

exercises, examples, and stories to

explore our paradigms ("distinct sets

of concepts or thought patterns"), and

demonstrate new ways to interact in

our society.

Judy England-McCarthy (New Jersey).


10:00pm-11:30pm, Sat 26th Feb.


"Melding the Japanese Art of Kintsugi

with Narrative Therapy Practices".

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of

mending broken pottery with

glue and gold.  Kintsugi honors

the cracks and celebrates

'brokenness' not as damage,

but as strength.


Narrative Therapy honors and

acknowledges the many influences

that impact how we see ourselves

and others including messages

learned from family of origin,

gender, culture, society, religion

and politics.  Narrative Therapy

practices unpack the complexity

and context of our life stories, to

move from a problem story to a

preferred story.


Kristin Pedemonti, facilitator and

Narrative Practitioner, invites

participants to explore the metaphors

of Kintsugi: broken, pieces, and the

glue that assists us to mend.

Participants will be invited to reflect,

journal and participate in small group

discussions questions such as:

"What does broken mean to me?"

and "What is the glue and gold that

helps me to survive?” We will explore

additional questions that evolve out

of the discussion.  Together we will

illuminate our cracks and celebrate

our journeys.


Kristin Pedemonti (Pennsylvania).





           Sun 27th Feb


8:30am-3:30pm, and 5:30pm-11:00pm (Sun 27th Feb).




8:30am-3:30pm (Sun 27th Feb)




8:30am-10:00am, Sun 27th Feb.


"The Dance of Truth -- Family Storytelling".


(Please bring one treasured photograph or

artifact, and please wear comfortable clothing

for movement.)


We gather together to connect.  And in our

newly interwoven online world – we sit still

for long periods.  Our bodies are meant to

move, to dance…  Dance can be broadly

described as walking, running, hopping,

blinking, sweeping, swinging and even

slouching!  Our stories happen in motion. 

When I visualise the events of any story,

I see a lot of action.  The activities that we

will engage in through this workshop should

help you to imagine your story as you move

wordlessly through it.  Whether we realise it

or not, when we use gestures in our storytelling,

it is a kind of a dance interspersed with

stillness.  Through the activities in this

workshop, I look forward to helping you

embrace the idea of using movement and

stillness to develop the pathway of your tale

and possibly (but not necessarily) to add

movement to your storytelling.  We will do

a physical warm up together and then if you

are shy, you can turn your camera off for your

own free movement time.  Be bold as Mr. Fox

would say; be ever so bold, but not too bold. 

Be ready for some soothing, creative work.


Karen Gummo (near Edmonton, Canada).


10:00am-11:30am, Sun 27th Feb.


"Preparing and Telling a Long Story, and

basing a Workshop on the Long Story".

Mixing into the whole:

a) Questions for, and discussion with,

listeners, and

b) Other brief stories of various kinds,

c) Story-related role-playing (by teller

and listeners).


In this workshop we would work with the

story of one of William Shakespeare's

final plays, "The Tempest". 


Eric Miller (Chennai).


Storytelling  (Sun 27th Feb)

11:30am-11:50am.   Sree Karuna (Vishakapatanam),

                                       "A Place Called Home"

                                       (a personal-experience story).

11:50am-12:10pm.   Arumugam Srinivasan (Chennai),

                                       "Choose Your Circle"

                                        (author unknown).

12:10pm-12:30pm.   Vibha Gulati (Sydney).

                                       "Sleeping Beauty" (two versions).

12:30pm-12:50pm.   Shital Rayathatha (Chennai),

                                       "A Personal Story" (composed

                                        by the storyteller).

12:50pm-1:10pm.     Shiraz Saini (Chandigarh),

                              "The Girl with the Brave Heart"

                                       (a story by Tehran-born Israeli

                                       pop-star Rita Jahanforuz).

                                       More about this story is here.

1:10pm-1:30pm.       Ranjeeta Sachdeva (Lucknow,

                                       Uttar Pradesh),

                                       "Scared vs Sacred Sound"

                                       (author unknown).

1:30pm-1:50pm.       Manjiri Gogate (Mumbai),

                             "The Tiger's Whiskers"

                                      (a folktale from Korea).

1:50pm-2:10pm.       Seema Karanth (Bengalaru).

                                       "The Light Within" (a story from

                                        Srimad Bhagavatam, also known

                                        as Bhagavata Purana).

2:10pm-2:30pm.       Anuradha Rohra (Mumbai),

                                        "Crossing Borders" (an

                                         original story).

2:30pm-2:50pm.       Thenmozhi S. (Chennai),

                                        "Butterfly" (author unknown,

                                        adapted by the storyteller).

2:50pm-3:10pm.       Mike Facherty (England),

                                       "Celestial Hare" (an original story

                                        woven from several traditional


3:10pm-3:30pm.       Stefania Ganzini (Italy)

                                  of the Italian Storytelling Center,

                             "Giacomo Made of Crystal"

                             (based on a story by Gianni Rodari).




5:30pm-11:00pm (Sun 27th Feb)




5:30pm-6:00pm, Sun 27th Feb.

Special Presentation

"Ways of Using Storytelling to Revive,

Celebrate, and Teach About Traditional


Eric Miller (Chennai).


6:00pm-7:30pm, Sun 27th Feb.

Healing Story Circle.

Led by members of the

Indian Storytellers Healing Network --

Geetanjali Shetty Kaul (Mumbai),

Jyoti Pande (Bhopal),

Poonam Joshy (Bangalore),

Ramya Iyer (Bangalore), and

Sowmya Srinivasan (Bangalore).


7:30pm-8:30pm, Sun 27th Feb.

Storytelling and Music

"A Banquet of Joha" (Mullah Nasruddin stories).

Joha, as he is called in Palestine, is known

all over the world under different names:

Mullah Nasruddin and Hodja are but two

of these. Is he wise? Is he a fool? Or is

he simply “Joha the every person”? Come

and decide for yourself as Hend Qataa and

Rebecca Lemaire celebrate Joha and the

human condition, taking you on a journey

with this sometimes funny and sometimes

absurd character. On this meditative and

joyful pilgrimage, Hend and Rebecca weave

together songs, stories and music using the

oud, frame drum, flute and voice.  Both adults

and children from 9 years old are invited 

as they will enjoy the different levels of

understanding in these wise and fun stories. 

Rebecca Lemaire (Spain) and

Hend Qattaa (Gaza).


8:30pm-9:30pm, Sun 27th Feb.

Festival Closing Session.


9:30pm-11:00pm, Sun 27th Feb.


"Ritual Engagement with Folktales".

An experiential introduction to a 28-year

practice of attempting to feed the folktales

and allowing them to feed us for purposes

of enjoyment, emotional healing, gender

reconciliation and community building.

The exploration would include:

* Mythological negotiation.

* Ancestral legacies.

* Metabolizing insults.

* Recovery of self.

* Remembering.

* Cultivating one's heart and soul.

* Developing village heart and mind.


The Minnesota Folk Tale Gardening Club is a

peer-led cooperative, all-process, audience-

as-artist participatory sacred theater, based

in the world folk tale corpus, archetypal

psychology, expressive arts strategies and

culture studies. It was founded by Cristopher

Anderson in 1993, inspired by the work of

Robert Bly, Martin Prechtel, Malidoma Somé,

Margaret Rubin, Jean Houston, Clarissa

Pinkola Estés, and others.


The workshop poster is here.


Minnesota Folk Tale Gardening Club (Minnesota).







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