Project Highlight – Storytelling for Change
Storytelling for Change
On August 20, the Storytelling for Change program was started in Istanbul&I in partnership with Taghyeer, a local initiative for youth empowerment. Storytelling for Change is a practical summer training program for youth focusing on developing storytelling skills in a variety of areas. The program targeted Arab youth between the ages of 16 and 19 with a potential for storytelling. The program is ten weeks long and includes twelve trainers and five supervisors from both Taghyeer and Istanbul&I. The program is expected to last two months.
Led by Mohammed and Abdulrahman Alard, the program’s idea stems from the belief that storytelling, a very human concept, is now an essential part of the new digital age and constitutes quite an advantageous skill for all domains and areas of life, from politics to cinema to game design. Participants are expected to come out of the program with a beneficial set of skills in storytelling as well as a new-found awareness and critical understanding of the world that would allow them to launch into the storytelling realm. This, precisely, contributes to both Istanbul&I’s and Taghyeer’s mission of youth empowerment.
The program is split into two areas: skill development and knowledge acquisition. Moreover, participants learn the necessary tools for storytelling by going through four media: text, sound, picture, and video. It also focuses on four major outcomes: (a) increasing qualifications and consequently productivity; (b) increasing awareness and understanding of the world (through documentaries, books, etc.); (c) inspiring new interests by providing productive outlets; and (d) contributing to the goals of Taghyeer of turning tools into products to sell and further develop Taghyeer programs. Throughout the two-month program, participants will work on various projects to utilize their knowledge and skills and eventually build portfolios to help them find opportunities in the field of storytelling. Furthermore, the program is filled with diverse activities such as field trips, book readings, film screenings, discussion sessions, and talks with guest speakers.