After few weeks of workshops and days of recordings, we can say that so far, the experience has been energizing and confusing all at the same time. The daily interactions, sharing of stories, trust, laughter, tears…all of this has made us certain of the value of a project that creates these spaces for things to be spoken and shared. And the tagline that we chose, almost impulsively, “The World is Listening”, is the banner under which this space has been created. Our participants want the whole world to hear their stories. Suddenly our role, as recorders and presenters, as the megaphone, becomes more than a simple digital or mechanical task. It is a creative challenge, one of listening to the language beneath the words, to empathizing with the hidden meaning which must so urgently be shared. To share someone’s story, you must first understand why it is so urgent to them. What is the profound message underneath it? What do they want the world to hear? One person may talk of selling the family cow, and for them this could mean defeat, or it could mean rebirth. The facts alone do not make a story, and words alone do not carry a message. To understand a story you must understand the storyteller. You must understand their deeply unique inner landscape, and the way in which each action, each event, affects it.
We know that the world does listen. However, journalists, politicians, artists, and even the people we interview in the camps, use the most powerful and gripping parts of the stories, in an attempt to understand and communicate them. How do we re-train ourselves to listen for new life, new meaning, new messages, and new understandings in this barrage of language?
Keep listening. Here are our first stories
“The Caravan” is a project that puts Syrian refugee voices from the Bekaa valley at the heart of a street theatre performance, literally, through the use of recorded storytelling audio. It is a project by Beirut DC, Sawa for Development and Aid, Clown Me In, Theatre Témoin co-funded by the European Union in Lebanon, Prince Claus Fund, UNICEF Lebanon, Goethe – Institut Libanon
The Caravan project is co-funded by the European Union within the framework of the regional program Med Culture