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Stories from around the world

by Archives October 23, 2007

The ninth edition of the Quebec Intercultural Storytelling Festival presents over one hundred storytellers from around the world.
I had the pleasure of meeting two African storytellers, Francois Moise Bamba from Burkina Faso and Manfei Obin from The Ivory Coast. Although from different countries, the two identify with each other’s view of storytelling as not merely a show, since it has always been part of their lives.
“My first memory of storytelling is when I was a kid and I did something wrong and my father sat me down and told me a story,” said Bamba. “What I remember is that I never made the same mistake again even though he had not punished me, the compelling story had a lesson that never escaped me.”
Bamba said that he eventually studied theatre and also kept telling the stories that he had picked throughout his childhood. He then met Marc Laberge, the founder of the festival at a function in Burkina Faso, that is when he was invited to come and share his stories for the first time in Canada at this year’s festival.
As for Manfei Obin, he has been to this festival several times but says he never thought he would be touring as a storyteller. “I went to France to study urbanization and I started doing music and telling stories as a hobby. Someone heard about me on campus and they invited me. I was the only one who could bring in the African stories for that night and that’s how I ended up being invited all over France and eventually started traveling outside the country,” said Obin.
Bamba and Obin both incorporate music in their stories. Obin says African stories have songs in them and mixing the story with sound is like music arrangement. However, he never wants the music to overpower the story because the story is the message.
The two artists never plan on which story to tell before an event. Bamba will present stories from his collection of A l’école des anc

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