The Tales of Fire | storytelling evening | Slovo 21
Romani actors tell various stories, thus continuing in the oral tradition of passing on history and culture. Storytelling has been a part of Romany culture for as long as people can remember. In the past, Roma would meet in one house to hear “paramisára” (stories). Storytelling is both an art form and a theater performance, but it no longer resonates as much among today’s younger generation as in the past, and so Slovo 21 has made storytelling a part of its literary project called Gavoro (village). This project, begun in 2017, aims to promote Romani literature so that it may find followers among Roma and members of the majority population. The Romany storytellers are members of Paramisara (storytellers), an association of Romani authors founded by a group of writers as part of the Gavoro project.
Tajana Gašparović studied theater and radio dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Art in Zagreb and has organized workshops and storytelling sessions for children and adults since 2011. Her first major step towards the world of storytelling was a workshop at Emerson College’s School of Storytelling in the United Kingdom. She expanded her own activities in Croatia by studying drama and puppetry at the ZeKaeM Theatre. After moving to Prague, she joined the Storytelling.cz group of storytellers and has been involved in storytelling festivals in Prague and České Budějovice.
The non-profit non-governmental organization Slovo 21 was founded in Prague in 1999. Our main focus is on providing support for and promoting the integration of Roma and foreigners living in the Czech Republic. Through cultural, educational, emancipatory, and media projects, we work to improve relations between the country’s minorities and majority society. We also fight against racism and xenophobia and seek to improve the image of minorities in the media. Slovo 21’s largest project is the Khamoro World Roma Festival, which won the 2019–2020 EFFE Label, a European award for internationally recognized cultural festivals.