Sixteenth edition of Hakaya Festival launched

20-08-2023 04:16 PM

Ammon News - Under the theme "Good fences make good neighbors," the sixteenth edition of the "Hakaya Festival" is set to take place from August 20 to December 20, 2023. This event is organized by Al-Balad Theater and the Arab Education Forum in collaboration with Egypt's El Warsha Theater Company under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture. This time around, "Hakaya" unveils a fresh appearance and an altered essence.

According to the organizers, each month will feature diverse activities with a focus on various aspects of reclaiming the centrality stories in our daily lives. This entails exploring a range of topics and building upon the achievements and insights amassed over the past fifteen years.

In the month of August, a plethora of events will unfold in public squares in Amman, Salt, and Karak. These events will witness the participation of storytellers, storytelling coaches, and writers from numerous countries: Zouhair Khaznaoui from Morocco, Yousef Baklouti from Tunisia, alongside Hasan Al Geretly, Heba Moanis, and Mohamad Abdelfattah from Egypt. Further participants include Hamza Al-Aqrabawi from Palestine, Mohanad Al Haj from Sudan, Daniel Allison, Douglas Mackay, and Janis Mackay from Scotland, as well as Yazan Masarwa, Faisal Al-Azza, and Sally Shalabi from Jordan. Notably, writer Taghreed Al-Najjar and Aheda Musleh, who will present a sign language performance, also join the activities.

This iteration of Hakaya dedicates discussions under the theme "Mujawara: Methods of Transmitting Storytelling Experience." The objective is to exchange training experiences in the art of storytelling among participants, thereby disseminating knowledge and expertise. This endeavor marks a stride towards nurturing a new generation of storytellers who will infuse our world with narratives, imagination, joy, and wisdom. As part of the "Home Arts Homecoming " project, the festival will showcase performances for refugees in Jordan, with a focus on Syrians. Additionally, performances tailored for refugee children will be followed by reflections and artistic activities.

The August session will also emphasize aspects related to children's literature through a dialogue session involving writer Taghreed Al-Najjar and storyteller Yazan Masarwa. This will be preceded by a children's storytelling performance that delves into the transformation of written narratives into spoken tales. It will explore how oral storytelling enriches children's literature and elucidate the symbiotic relationship between written and spoken text, bolstering children's imaginative faculties.

The organizers are commited to underscore the significance of preserving and archiving folk tales. This will be realized through a gathering for professionals in the field and a training workshop for individuals across various segments of society. Insights drawn from the "Timeless Tales" project, which captures approximately 400 folk tales narrated by refugees and displaced individuals from memory, will play a pivotal role.

Furthermore, the "Food Talks" initiative will establish connections between sustenance, resources, crops, and narrative. This will materialize through exploratory tours across diverse locations in Jordan.

A mural artist from the UK specializing in this craft, will adorn a neighborhood in Amman with a mural inspired by the neighborhood residents' stories. In return, a Jordanian mural artist will reciprocate by creating a mural in the UK thus fostering a cultural and artistic exchange.

This program places a spotlight on public street performances, storytelling presentations, and a call to attract new talents within Jordan's storytelling realm.

The sixteenth iteration of the Hakaya Festival is made possible through collaboration with the British Council, the Arab Theater Training Center, Al-Mamlaka TV, and Waw Al-Balad magazine. Additionally, partnerships have been established with entities including the Princess Basma Development Center/Karak, the Creativity Club - Karak, the Salt Development Corporation, the Caritas, the Sijal Institute, and the Muthanna Project.

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