I was at the Beyond the Border International Storytelling Festival recently, which was great as it I had seriously thought it would never run again. The festival has had a few years off due to funding woes and for most festivals that normally means that they won’t be seen again. Not so for Beyond the Border. This year they were back just like there had been no break at all and I was very happy to be there.
It was a superb festival with lots of amazing music and stories from all over the world. Whenever I get to events like this I’m amazed at how riveting storytelling can be. How just listening to one person telling a story can captivate your imagination.
I’m so impressed at the immense cultural heritage that’s gathered in one place. It also reminds me of how easy it is to forget our own cultural heritage, and how in large cities we can forget our stories.
Stories are important, they help us to understand where we are in the world and make sense of things. Living in cities can disconnect us from our stories, and being at an event like Beyond the Border helps reestablish that connection, helps us remember our own stories and reminds us to continue to tell them.
It feels good that Beyond the Border is back. It should be on again in 2012, and I hope I’ll be there.