A work for collaborative performance by Kenya (Robinson)
Questions are the entry point for human creativity. This search - for the whys and hows; and the whos and whats - has inspired everything from scientific discoveries to spiritual quests. But most importantly, young humans explore their new world by questioning and building a sense of themselves, by collecting answers, or, making them up as stories. Vivian Gussin Paley suggests that stories are simply “play in narrative form”. I would like to test this conceit by creating a series of bilingual play workshops that use the cultural histories of particular geographic spaces, and Black folktales from the Americas, as material for storymaking.
(Basically though, I want to learn to speak Spanish. I think that testing my skills in the context of early childhood is a worthwhile pursuit - AND I get to emphasize the material of identity. Which is a main thrust of my artistic practice anyway... Identity is not this static thing but a notion of fluidity that connects us with others.)
For the purposes of this project I've identified 4 storymaking tools:
- ORIGIN: "In comic book terminology, an origin story is an account or back-story revealing how a character or team gained their superpowers and/or the circumstances under which they became superheroes or supervillains. In order to keep their characters current, comic book companies, as well as cartoon companies, game companies, children's show companies, and toy companies, frequently rewrite the origins of their oldest characters. This goes from adding details that do not contradict earlier facts to a totally new origin which make it seem that it is an altogether different character. "Origin story" or pourquoi story is also a term used in the study of myths. It can refer to narratives of how the world began, how creatures and plants came into existence, and why certain things in the cosmos have certain qualities."
- METAPHOR: "A metaphor is a figure of speech that identifies one thing as being the same as some unrelated other thing, thus strongly implying the similarities between the two. It is therefore considered more rhetorically powerful than a simile. While a simile compares two items, a metaphor directly equates them, and so does not apply any words of comparison, such as "like" or "as." Metaphor is a type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via association, comparison or resemblance including allegory, hyperbole, and simile."
- EXAGGERATION: "Exaggeration is a representation of something in an excessive manner. The exaggerator has been a familiar figure in Western culture since at least Aristotle's discussion of the alazon: 'the boaster is regarded as one who pretends to have distinguished qualities which he possesses either not at all or to a lesser degree than he pretends...exaggerating'."
- ACTION: "Action is the mode fiction writers use to show what is happening at any given moment in the story," states Evan Marshall (Marshall 1998, p. 142). Jessica Page Morrelllists action as one of six delivery modes (Morrell 2006, p. 127). According to Jordan E. Rosenfeld, action scenes help the " . . . reader to feel he is participating in the events . . . " (2008 Rosenfeld, p. 173). Although action is widely used in fiction, the most-effective techniques for its presentation are a subject of ongoing discussion."