Masterclass with Seema Anand

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A storyteller and mythologist specialising in women’s narratives, Seema Anand is affiliated to the UNESCO initiative for preserving Endangered Oral Traditions. In a two-part interactive session with the Communication Design students of IIAD, she spoke about  personal narratives and the power of storytelling.

In her masterclass, Ms. Anand discussed the various ways to tell a story and the multiple perspectives that are involved. At the heart of her talk was the importance of stories and storytelling. She explained “stories are the most powerful tool of influence. Stories that we tell create our identity, they set the precedence for who we are and how we behave”.

Taking examples from Indian, Greek and Chinese mythology, Ms Anand discussed how a story when narrated, reminds one of something which is what one calls the ‘take’ from a story. A story means what people want it to mean. She also went on to discuss the pedagogical aspect of all stories which were written with the intention to teach. However, in these stories everyday behaviour and patterns can be traced.

The masterclass provided the students with a great opportunity to not only understand gendered notions of storytelling but also get a chance to link mythology to present day society. It also gave the students an opportunity to be part of the entire story writing process, from the conceptualisation stage to giving the narrative structure and adding details. The students then shared their individual ideas making it an extremely informative and interesting exercise.

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