Stories from Around the World

December 7, 2017


Stories from around the world…
The holidays are here, and it’s the season to be grateful for friends and family near and far. Kudos and thanks to our amazing advisors — they’re a global team who create and allow the space for empathy every single day. Tomorrow (Friday), nearly thirty of these extraordinary individuals will gather in New York for a “master practitioner” training weekend.  They’re coming from Ireland, England, South Africa, Mexico, Israel and all across the United States to fine-tune their Narrative 4 skills in order to pass them along! We’ll update you on all of their plans and progress next week. For now, dive into some global stories (below) and have a wonderful, safe weekend.


Students from Ironi Yud Bet during an “object exchange.” Photo: Taliah Nathanson


Our advisors in Israel recently added a new twist to the story exchange. Twelfth-grade students at the Ironi Yud Bet school in the Ajami neighborhood of Jaffa got together to “expand the lungs” of their storytelling practices. They brought an object of value to the classroom and told their partner a story about it. Partners then retold the stories with the objects in mind.  The story was related as if they owned the actual treasure and, in turn, illustrated the treasure of storytelling itself. Teacher and N4 advisor Taliah Nathanson said, “This is just the beginning.” We can’t wait to see where the Jaffa students take us!


Students close the story exchange by writing something positive about one another. Photo: Sophia de Vivo


Rome was the fulcrum of the world for one night last month when students from John Cabot University (JCU) traveled to campus late on a school night to close out their Service Day with Narrative 4.  All the international walls were taken down as 18 participants chatted with their partners about the lessons learned from the program. The students call many places home – the United States, Tanzania, Italy, the United Kingdom, Macedonia and Mexico — but in the end they found a home in one another’s experiences. Led by N4 facilitators Sophia de Vivo and Gentian Limani, the Narrative 4 JCU club continues to build connections among the university’s international student body. We’e excited to watch them create a new map of the world!


FARGO, North Dakota /MOORHEAD, Minnesota
Participants kick-off the story exchange. Photo: Gia Rassier


Partners share their uniquely powerful story collages with one another. Photo credit: Gia Rassier


“Difference” was the bridge-building word at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota last month.   Forty-five students and community members came together to share how significantly our communities can be shaped by coming together from seemingly opposite ends of the spectrum. The project was part of a larger N4 project focusing on immigration and community.  The participants shared stories after mulling over some significant prompts, including: “Tell a story about a time when you realized that a difference – yours or that of someone you know well – was a reason for celebration.”  From A to Z, the participants found a shared alphabet.

N4 Concordia intern, Sabina Beck, noted in the college newspaper: “It’s really hard to view someone as different and separate from you when you’re stepping in their shoes and telling their story from a first person perspective.”  Read the article here.


N4 Ireland ambassador Sarah Little (R) with her exchange partner. Photo: James Lawlor.


Workshop attendees share a meal, stories and a future. Photo: James Lawlor – Narrative 4 Irleland


Last month, community leaders from across Europe gathered at the Narrative 4 Ireland headquarters in Limerick. Artists, academics and storytelling activists from organizations such as Amnesty International took part in a two-day N4 story exchange training workshop designed to introduce our core methodology and share ideas. Narrative 4 Ireland is truly a hub for storytelling everywhere and we invite you to contact us if you are interested in joining the next workshop in Limerick!