Oral Literature & Storytelling

This section deals with initiatives which study, gather and make available orally transmitted literary texts as well as projects focusing on the artistic expression of all forms of oral literature, including storytelling, spoken word, music, dance and theatre.
Foto: Simon Rawles

    The Griots of West Africa – much more than story-tellers

    As the bride and groom leave the town hall in Bingerville, just west of Abidjan, a group of women sing and dance. The lead singer cups her hands around a small megaphone to project her voice. They sing the praises of the just-married woman, and gather around the more affluent members of the wedding party, praising their nobility and beauty – all with a twinkle in their eyes and an expectation of reward.More ...

    Hira Gasy: Musical theatre in Madagascar

    Hira Gasy is a form of storytelling theatre with musical elements that is mostly performed for ritual purposes and done so in the open. It started in Madagascar towards the end of the 18th century with influences from Asia. It still has an important social function to this day.More ...

    The Singing Chameleon: South Africa

    Gcina Mhlophe © Annerie Jansen van RensburgGcina Mhlope is one of the most famous writers and storytellers from South Africa.This video shows her presenting the book “The Singing Chameleon” in front of an audience of 130 children and adults at the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg.More ...