How storytelling can be catalyst for change
Kiran Singh Sirah grew up listening to stories — it was a family tradition. At an early age he recognized the power of storytelling and how stories expand our awareness of what we know to be true.
So when Kiran started teaching high school in North London he turned to storytelling as a teaching tool to help his students facing difficulties with personal issues.
He said, “If they are able to tell their story then they can find their voice and when they find their voice they realize anything they want to be is possible. Art is the catalyst for change.”
“Art is the catalyst for change.”
Kiran’s work in London lead him to Scotland as a social justice curator creating programs enabling communities to come together to share stories. There he worked to build empathy, create a sense of belonging and began to see how his personal passion for storytelling was laying out a pathway for his career.
His next stop — The United States.
Kiran accepted a Rotary Peace Fellowship to attend the University of North Carolina to continue his work using storytelling in conflict resolution and bringing together ethnic and religious diversities. That was 5 years ago.
Now Kiran is the President of the International Storytelling Center speaking around the world about how storytelling can create social change. The International Storytelling Center hosts the International Storytelling Festival in Tennessee annually and this festival elevated storytelling as an art form that sparked the movement around the world.
Recently Kiran spoke at the Library of Congress and in April was a speaker at TEDx Nashville. Kiran will speak locally at the Tennessee Arts Commission 2016 Statewide Arts Conference in Murfreesboro, TN on Thursday, June 9th from 1:30 – 3:30 about using the arts as a social force for social change.
How to use storytelling to be a catalyst for change
It all starts with your intention. To tell your story, begin by sitting quietly and closing your eyes. Imagine a moment that changed the way you see the world. Think about that change and start from there. Don’t plan a linear path, focus on what you’re passionate about and every thing else will align. – Kiran Signh Sirah
To learn more about Kiran’s work visit his website at kiransinghsirah.wordpress.com.
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