Asian Congress of Storytellers


Diane Wolkstein

Speaker: Diane Wolkstein

The Nature of Storytelling

What is the nature of story? A potter uses clay, an artist uses paint and a storyteller uses plot, character, mood, words, silence and more. Despite the many technical aspects of story to master, the key to meaningful storytelling is the relationship between the storyteller and the audience. Establishing our relationship to the audience begins with our understanding of the nature of the story we are telling. Diane will speak about the technical, emotional, and ethical aspects of story, illustrating her talk with stories of the mind, heart and spirit from European, Haitian and Asian cultures.

Eddin Khoo

Speaker: Eddin Khoo

The Door to the Twelve Eye Spots:
Ritual, States of Wonder, Orality, Healing and the Traditional Storyteller

Southeast Asia remains a landscape forged of an epic imagination. From the annals of classical history to the recitations of the community storyteller, the traditional storyteller has served as keeper of wonders, at once a social commentator, oral historian, genealogist and healer. The Door to the Twelve Eye Spots explores the ritual, social and metaphysical dimensions of the traditional storyteller in Southeast Asia. Settling first on the resplendent traditions of Kelantan in the northeast of Malaysia, this presentation ventures to conduct an expansive discussion of a variety of storytelling traditions in the region to discover the central role of the storyteller in Southeast Asian society, the metaphorical element in the shaping of community imagination and the power of stories to inspire healing and the resuscitation of self.