Photograph byJolka Igolka

A Landscape of Women's Stories

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Am Somebody

Thanks to Tania van Schalkwyk for forwarding this I Am Somebody email.

Copied below is Toni Stuart's text.

So it is better to speak/ remembering/ we were never meant to survive. - Audre Lorde, Litany for Survival

I Am Somebody! is a youth organisation that uses storytelling to bring together 18 to 21 year olds from all races, cultures and classes in Cape Town. Using life and archetypal storytelling, we run a two-year mentorship programme with the youth to develop their self-awareness, get them to connect across the invisible barriers of race, culture and class to understand one another and build relationships based on compassion and trust. Thirdly, we help youth develop their innate gifts and then use these to address needs and issues in their own communities. Youth will do research into the issues in their own communities and identify one area they would like to tackle.
The group will then bring their research together and using the skills, knowledge and resources of all the communities represented, they will develop creative solutions to their problems. Our aim is to use the talents of all communities to start developing solutions to Cape Town's problems from the ground up.

"Storytelling, you know, has a real function. The process of storytelling itself is a healing process, partly because you have someone there who is taking the time to tell you a story that has great meaning for them. Stories differ from advice, in that once you get them; they become a fabric of your whole soul. That is why they heal you." - Alice Walker, author of The Colour Purple.

At the end of July, we are hosting a mini-storyteling festival and auction. This is our first fundraising event, to raise the money we need to start implementing our programmes this year. A number of artists who understand, believe and live storytelling through their work and life, will perform at the storytelling festival. Wang Thai Lagoon Beach has offered us their restaurant for the night.
We have started sourcing prizes to auction off, but we need a few big prizes like weekend getaways, breakfasts at hotels to really draw interest and raise a significant amount of money.

Below is a link to the blog of one of our mentors, Warren T Te Brugge. It features a short article and video clips of why we are doing this work.

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