As part of our Representing Communities project we are working with primary school children in an exciting storytelling project. Entitled ‘Straeon’ (Welsh for ‘stories’), storyteller Michael Harvey has worked with three classes to create their own story which they have learned together as a class. Older pupils have also written down and edited their story in small groups, learning about the techniques that writers use when composing a story.
The next stage involves each class working with an illustrator to create pictures for the stories, and then a book will be produced and launched at the Hay Festival in 2015. Our work has involved observation and filming of the sessions, looking at what pupils contribute in terms of content for the stories, but also looking at the ways in which they engage with the creative process.
This often takes place through the body; acting out parts of the story, pulling faces of disgust, and expressions of concern for characters when things go wrong. We hope that the book will demonstrate the creative talents and potential of a group of young people who are from an area which is often represented as having no hope, aspiration or future. Through the arts and humanities, ‘Straeon’ provides an alternative way of looking.