- Screening the story and catalysing action
This is perhaps the most moving stage in the process. Participants see their own completed stories for the first time, and those of their peers. Screenings often give participants unexpected insights into those who they have gone through the storytelling process with; and this helps cement the bonds that have been established.
Within a transformative storytelling approach this final phase of the workshop provides space for reflection on what happens next: where this story will go, how it has contributed to the personal transformation of the storyteller, and how it can contribute to opportunities for transformation in others.
A powerful exercise to conclude with recognises the relationships that have been established within the group, the personal achievements that have happened, and the journey for all which is still to come: See One Small Stone below.
One Small Stone: Gather small stones from around the venue – one for each participant. Place the stones in a container and ask participants to close their eyes and pick a stone from the container. Once everyone has a stone, have them close their hands around it and close their eyes. Read out the following quote from Alice Walker and tell participants that their own small stone of activism is in their stories and in their hands. The stone will be a reminder of their contribution – and of the workshop.
“It has become a common feeling, I believe, as we have watched our heroes falling over the years, that our own small stone of activism, which might not seem to measure up to the rugged boulders of heroism we have so admired, is a paltry offering toward the building of an edifice of hope. Many who believe this choose to withhold their offerings out of shame. This is the tragedy of our world. For we can do nothing substantial toward changing our course on the planet, a destructive one, without rousing ourselves, individual by individual, and bringing our small, imperfect stones to the pile. Sometimes our stones are, to us, misshapen, odd. Their color seems off. Their singing comical and strange. Presenting them, we perceive our own imperfect nakedness. But also, paradoxically, the wholeness, the rightness, of it. In the collective vulnerability of presence, we learn not to be afraid. …even the smallest stone glistens with tears, yes, but also from the light of being seen, and loved for simply being there.” (Alice Walker, Everything We Love Can Be Saved, Introduction, p. xxlll – xxv.)
>> See next section: Workshop evaluation