Monday, June 25, 2018

Williamstown Literary Festival 2018

'In the cosy comfort of the library, while outside an icy wind blew, Jackie Kerin and Sarah Depasquale kept the audience spellbound with their carefully crafted blend of evocative music, storytelling and kamishibai. With impeccable timing, just as Dr Ward's amazing plant filled case was aboard a ship, Australia bound, a particularly wild and heavy squall of rain lashed the library windows and had us all feeling like we were in fact afloat on a turbulent sea! A lovely session!'

AKA (Australian Kamishibai Association)

Kamishibai (paper theater) is a Japanese way of telling stories. Once popular in the 1930s - 1940s, it was swept aside with the introduction of television.

But kamishibai is back and new stories are being published and there are festivals and gatherings of kamishibai storytellers popping up around the world.

Bernard Caleo
Bernard Caleo (comic book maker, actor, storyteller) and myself formed a Facebook Group a few years ago, and calling it the AKA (Australian Kamishiba Association), we hoped to gather kamishibai enthusiasts from around Australia to share ideas and grow skills.

Daniela with her kamishibai stage and stories
We now have members from Victoria, NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia as well as a few overseas guests.

Tetsuta Watanabe's 1940s Japanese tale of 'Mr Carrot' was a favourite
With growing confidence, we decided to go public and so pitched ourselves to the Williamstown Literary Festival 2018 offering: a display, two shows, introductory session and workshop for children.
Anna telling a story to an enchanted crowd
The plan was hatched when Anna Manuel said, 'Let's do it!' Anna shouldered a huge amount of the planning and arrangements with the festival organisers: curated the showcase of Kamishibai Stories for Kids and facilitated the workshop. Together with her partner Anthony, she also designed our flyers and banner.

L-R: Alex Kharnam, Daniela B├╝cheler-Scott, Jackie Kerin, Matt McArthur,Tetsuta Watanabe, Anna Manuel

And I would like to express gratitude, on behalf of the team, to those members of Storytelling Victoria who so kindly gave up their time and helped us with the display table. We were overwhelmed by your willingness to down tools and lend us hand.

And please, if you would like to be part of the fun, don't hesitate to join our group and follow our Page.

Find us on our AKA PAGE HERE


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