November 13, 2020 “East African Storytelling“
Some readings, art, music, and other resources. These are not required readings. They have been shared with us by our guests, or are things we have looked up after an interview for further information or just because we were curious.
We share these materials with you for interest and pleasure’s sake.
If you missed this week’s class, you can listen to it here:
This week we had the incredible pleasure of listening to stories and speaking to two very well celebrated storytellers: Tololwa Mollel and Chunga Otiende. They each tell stories in the traditions of East African storytelling, but they have their own unique styles and voices.
Tololwa Mollel shared more about his journey as a story teller, you can read it here: https://hum101onair.files.wordpress.com/2020/11/my-storytelling-background-notes-and-a-bit-about-haya-haya-hayaj-by-tololwa-m-mollel.pdf
In addition to being an incredible storyteller, Tololwa Mollel is a prolific children’s book writer, many of his books have received awards. Check them out, you might even already have read some. You can find many of them at your local Edmonton Public Library: https://epl.bibliocommons.com/v2/search?query=Tololwa%20Mollel&searchType=author&_ga=2.241716418.192906086.1605111926-2424865.1605111926
Chunga Otiende runs a storytelling company. To learn more about what his company does, check out the Story Makers Society facebook.
We also learned about how Jan Selman has been using storytelling as a methodology to better understand the complexities of communities in East Africa. Here is an article about that work.
Tololwa talked of how Africa is a colonial construct, that before colonization there were not the same boundaries and constructs of space. Here is a decolonized map of Africa made by Jordan Engel. Notice how it seems “upside down”. Is it? Who decided that the top of the earth would be Europe and North America? The earth is a ball, how can there be a top and a bottom of something that has no edges? Why is North on the top? We once spent most of a class thinking about this. How does flipping the world upside down possibly tell a different story? Curious? Here is website to help explain how there really isn’t a top to the world: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20160614-maps-have-north-at-the-top-but-it-couldve-been-different And here is an article from The Guardian that starts off thinking about maps differently with Africa: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/02/google-maps-gets-africa-wrong
There are many ways people tell stories, and it is no different in Africa. Here are 15 contemporary artists who will get you excited to learn more about the many rich histories and cultures in East Africa. https://www.residentadvisor.net/features/3229