At The Conway Hall, London - 10am - 4.00pm, Friday 19th February 2016

First speakers announced!

In Uncategorized on November 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm

First of all – thanks to everyone for the suggestions via comments and emails for speakers. I’m working through them and starting to approach people to speak at the event next year, but am still looking for more ideas. I’ve had lots of suggestions for oral storytellers and interactive/performance theatre-type-people, but I’d love some more left-field ideas.

I’d love to find someone who edits movie trailers, as i’m intrigued how you balance telling the story with *not* telling the story. Actually, someone talking in an interesting way about Spoilers generally would be brilliant. Also, Propaganda, or storytelling in politics. Storytelling with/about objects would be interesting, as would story telling with music (but not necessarily song…)

In the meantime, I’m pleased to say that a few people I’ve approached have now said yes, so here’s the first group of speakers:

Cory Doctorow needs no introduction, as he’s a brilliant sci-fi writer, copyfight activist, blogger and all round internet superhero. I’ve seen Cory speak many times, but I’ve never heard him read a story. So this is a really selfish way of rectifying this, and hearing one of the most interesting sci-fi writers of our time actually read a story, and not mention copyright once. I’m hoping he’ll wear a cape.

Jon Spooner is one of the co-founders of Unlimited Theatre, one of the most innovative theatre companies in the UK. I saw Jon perform Ethics Of Progress, an amazing monologue about the quantam entaglement, wonder and the potential for evil in technology. It was an incredible piece of storytelling, so I’ve asked Jon to come along and do something similar. He’s currently working with space scientists and primary school kids, so might bring a work in progress along from this work, which sounds fantastic.

Annette Mees is part of Coney, a group of really exciting writers, performers and artists who tell stories in strange and intrgiuing ways. They have just finished a run of A Small Town Anywhere at Battersea Arts Centre, which used game structures to tell a story about how political ideals threaten the communities of a small town. It sounded like an incredible, emotional experience, in which there was no ‘audience’, and everyone took part in telling the story. I’m looking forward to what Annette will come up with for The Story next year…

I’ve nearly confirmed a few other excellent speakers, so I’ll update the list as soon as I have them confirmed. If there’s someone you’d like to see, please recommend them in the comments!

  1. > Storytelling with/about objects would be interesting

    I once heard Tony Dunne talk about how people made emotional connections to the inanimate objects in his Placebo project. It was as an aside from the main thrust of the project, but I remember being fascinated by the behaviours observed in the users and how they made stories for the Placebo objects they adopted.

  2. Hi – love the announcments so far.

    I think in the context of modern discussions of interactive theatre, narrative online etc the really good oral storytellers, particularly those going for a certain style which aims to retrieve a model from the past (ie strong technical training but predominantly live composition, as with Ben Haggarty) are the left field. Or a left field anyway. So much of what we experience these days is coming from either a theatrical, literary or lately – “get up and join in physically” basis – that we have moved away from the imaginative exercise of listening to pure oral storytelling.

    But for other ideas. I don’t know how much flexibility you have with the building/rooms etc. Is there anyone out there working with building based narrative (a la Rennaissance Cathedrals). I’ve been at a couple of conference with people building things out of cardboard – but nothing I’d recommend as very strong in a narrative sense – maybe someone else has come across something else out there because it has to be possible.

    Again dependant on space – are there small side rooms where instead of speakers you could look for curators. Short film; animation and digital storytelling (ask the guys at glamorgan for the last one) would be options for “drop in” and get a quick narrative hit – and in all three of those fields you’d find both very traditional narrative styles and all sorts of unusual options – but I can’t imagine you having time to chase “wow” recommendations for 10-20 of each of these – perhaps easier to find one person for each with a good eye.

    Finally Luci-Gorrell Barnes has a very beautiful installation called the Book Shed. The experience has its own surreal narrative quality – and each participant also gets to experience a hand written/hand drawn narrative – in solitude or with one or two otherpeople. Possibly still a bit performance focused for what you want?

  3. Can I recommend Leslie Hill and Susan Paris, who produce intensely lyrical and poetic storytelling through site specific media arts and film? Their most recent project is stunning, a study of what are Gut Feelings- linking the feelings we get from story and narrative and dialogue with those ‘second brain’ feelings we feel in the gut. Very touching, funny and throughtful, Leslie is a great speaker too.

  4. Hey – exciting! Would it be possible to post up the date and time when the next tranche will become available a few days in advance? I want to be sitting at my desk, mouse finger poised.

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