Telling Stories to Change the World is a powerful collection of essays about community-based and interest-based projects where storytelling is used as a strategy for speaking out for justice. Contributors from locations across the globe—including Uganda, Darfur, China, Afghanistan, South Africa, New Orleans, and Chicago—describe grassroots projects in which communities use narrative as a way of exploring what a more just society might look like and what civic engagement means. These compelling accounts of resistance, hope, and vision showcase the power of the storytelling form to generate critique and collective action. Together, these projects demonstrate the contemporary power of stories to stimulate engagement, active citizenship, the pride of identity, and the humility of human connectedness.
Table of Contents
@contents:I "The Language of the People Was Born:" Stories in the Service of Healing, Tradition, Cultural Vitality, History
1. Zuni River – Shiwinan K’yawinanne: Cultural Confluence, Edward Wemytewa and Tia Oros Peters
2. The Memory Book Project in Kampala, Uganda: "We’re Not Going to Die Today or Tomorrow," Magaret Ssweankambo, Naome Kuteesa, Margaret Nabuma, and Joyce Kasujja ; edited by Madeline Fox
3. Telling the Truth: How Breaking Silence Brought Redemption to One Mississippi Town, Susan M. Glisson
4. Our Ancestors Danced Like This: Maya Youth Respond to Genocide Using Ancestral Arts, Czarina Aggabao Thelen
5. An Unlikely Alliance: Germans and Jews Collaborate to Teach the Lessons of the Holocaust, Deborah Roth-Howe, Herbert L. Roth, Gabrielle Schmitt, Dr. Annegret Wenz-Haubfleisch, and Rabbi Robert Sternberg
6. Storytelling in SisterSong and the Voices of Feminism Project, Loretta J. Ross
II "This Needs Urgent Attention:" Stories in the Service of Protecting, Defending, Building Audience and Allies
7. "Our Stories Told By Us": The Neighborhood Story Project in New Orleans, Rachel Breunlin, Abram Himelstein, and Ashley Nelson
8. A Story of Suicide and Social Change in Contemporary China, Sharon R. Wesoky
9. Depo Diaries and the Power of Stories, Etobssie Wako and Cara Page
10. Immigrant Stories in the Hudson Valley, Jo Salas
11. Our Stories, Their Decisions Voter Education Project, Natasha Friedus
12. Drawing Attention to Darfur, Annie Sparrow
13. INSAN NATAK: Phoenix or Dodo in Lahore, Muhammad Mushtaq
14. Everyone Needs to Know: Five Stories About AIDS and Art in India, Nandita Palchoudhuri, David Gere, Monimala Chitrakar, Samiran Panda, and Mithu Jana
III "Weaving Freedom into New Tongues:" Stories in the Service of Challenging and Transforming Beliefs
15. The We That Sets Us Free: Imagining a World Without Prisons, Alice do Valle
16. Hearing the Great Ancestors and "Women Living Under Muslim Laws", Aisha Lee Fox Shaheed
17. Creating a Forum: LGBTQ Youth and THE HOME PROJECT in Chicago, Megan Carney
18. From Storytelling to Community Development: Jaghori, Afghanistan,Wahid Omar
19. Sins Invalid: Disability, Dancing, and Claiming Beauty, Patty Berne
IV The Power and the Limits of Stories
20. Anne Braden, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Rigoberta Menchu: Using Personal Narrative to Build Activist Movements, Catherine Fosl
21. Trafficking Trauma: Intellectual Property Rights and the Political Economy of Traumatic Storytelling in South Africa, Christopher J. Colvin
22. Imagining Cuba: Storytelling and the Politics of Exile, Myra Mendible
23. Stories in Law, Martha Minow
Rickie Solinger is a historian and curator, author of books including Pregnancy and Power: A Short History of Reproductive Politics in America and Wake Up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race before Roe v. Wade.
Madeline Fox is an educator and researcher currently pursuing her PhD in Social Personality Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Kayhan Irani is a community arts practitioner who in 2007 was awarded a certificate of recognition by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg for her arts work in immigrant communities.
"It is difficult to underscore the importance of books like Telling Stories to Change the World. Indigenous Peoples are now revealing prophesies about an immanent end to dominant systems that are based on greed, corruption, materialism and an artificial separation from Nature, the very things that cause social and ecological injustice....Books like this one remind us that we are all related and that an arts-based dialogue that allows oppressed people to tell their stories can help with this awakening." -- Teachers College, Record, October 16, 2008