storytelling centre voor conflicten

Three reasons to apply storytelling in conflicts

There are different methods for resolving conflicts, bringing different groups and generations together and thus increasing a sense of social security; useful methods that all work at different levels. The Storytelling Centre Foundation works with storytelling. But what does this mean and what does it deliver?

What do we mean by storytelling?

Simply put, storytelling is the art of telling a story and listening to it. Both ancient and contemporary stories are very suitable for interpreting meaning, identity and development, because they are metaphors of age-old human structures and customs. People often used stories to explain the inexplicable. Even the development of science has not affected the power and value of stories. There is still a need to take in the value of our own environment, but also of other cultures and traditions, through stories.

Three ways storytelling promotes social change

1. Storytelling demands connecting with the other, but first of all with oneself

The personal story is the basis; it is up to the participants how far they want to go. Experience shows that participants are relatively quickly willing to look for their own stories that have done something with them. And by establishing a connection with themselves (it sometimes generates considerable emotions), they can also connect with others more easily.

2.Listening is just as important as telling. Participants therefore also learn to listen and react

There is always the case of two-way traffic. Learning to listen to the other is a competence that the participants can also use in their future lives, especially in problem situations. Listening to someone is often the start of a solution.

3. Making and telling a story is a necessity for changemakers

Someone who can tell a good story holds the attention of the listener and can bring what he wants to tell into the spotlight. This contributes to increased self-confidence, which in turn can lead to more active participation in the neighbourhood, with friends and in society. These young people can stand up as role models.

In short, storytelling – or in Dutch just telling – is increasingly being discovered as a means of bringing people together. Because storytelling is about both the narrator and the listener and brings them into contact with each other, storytelling projects create connection. And it is precisely this connection that is necessary to work towards an understanding and peaceful society.

Curious as to how we apply our storytelling method in conflict areas or to promote social cohesion in conflict areas? Take a look at our showcases or contact us.


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