Once Upon a Tomorrow - Goethe-Institut Max Mueller Bhavan | India

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Once Upon a Tomorrow

Once Upon a Tomorrow brings together narrative experts to think, explore, prototype — and imagine new modes of narrative change that lead to collective action of hope. Over the course of the next three months, we will come together through Action Labs, Knowledge Studios, and Narration Hubs, to create a resource set that shows the possibilities and hope of how narrative change can be generated through collective action for hopeful futures. About the Project

Once Upon a Tomorrow

Past Events: Festival of Ideas

Festival of Ideas © Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan

Event Series

Through a series of deep dives and workshops, the group of Once Upon A Tomorrow examined how stories work, the social as well as psychological pathways they navigate, and tried to steer them towards a more hopeful future. That future cannot come without collective action. With the help of tools developed during the course of the project, we invite you to engage in our Festival of Ideas which seeks to change the way we think about stories, and the act of storytelling, in an increasingly divided world.

The Newsletters

With a total of 7 newsletters, the goal is to document the journey our experts have embarked upon, to examine the processes and discuss the methods through which they hope to seek change in their collective practice.

Extracts from Newsletter #7

Extracts from Newsletter #6

Extracts from Newsletter #5

Extracts from Newsletter #4

Identities and practices are formed over time by constant reiteration of certain thoughts and ideas. They are manifested in the notions of nationality, the rules surrounding gender; food and religion, to objects and spaces that are turned into markers of right and wrong. The idea of the Self, as we have learned, emerges from its relation to the Other; in the gaps between them lies the terrain of belonging and unbelonging. And what storytellers and those in the business of sharing stories are constantly attempting to do, is to narrow those gaps — not by erasing the differences but by acknowledging them and recognising the ways in which unbelonging occurs. 
The team of narrative experts at Once Upon a Tomorrow have shared examples of unbelonging, both personal and otherwise, to talk about the kinds of practices that have become normalised over time, and offer us a ‘hack’ to combat those experiences.

Extracts from Newsletter #3

Extracts from Newsletter #2

A single story is a dangerous thing — it does not speak for everyone. How can storytelling become diverse and inclusive without diluting the essence of the story? Let us talk in each other's voices.

The second edition of the newsletter explores the challenges storytellers face in trying to tell the "right story": whom does it belong to, and what are the best ways to tell it and make sure that all sides are being heard? 

Extracts from Newsletter #1

This newsletter is called The Postcard of Possibilities. Through various conversations surrounding storytelling, our experts determined that there are many members of society who are neglected in their practice. This could be for a number of reasons such as disability or access. If you could write a short note to somebody who has unwittingly become an outsider or rather, an "Other" to your craft, what would you say? 

More on Storytelling



Children’s books shape the world view we grow up with. It is important for children to be able to recognize themselves in stories, illustrations and narratives and, at the same time, to learn about the different realities of life around them. Does children’s literature in Germany, Finland and other (Northern) European countries today reflect the increasingly diverse societies in which we live, or does it make a growing proportion of the young population invisible?

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