Once Upon a Tomorrow

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.

With a total of 10 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 #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


  • I’m a sofa in a little flat in Mumbai, but I’ve been around for much longer. I can't remember exactly when I was made, but I once belonged to a British-Indian family before I was hastily sold off in an auction to my new owners. I’m already ‘o-pressed’ to begin with, but I was designed as a symbol of oppression too. Just soft enough to be comfortable, but firm enough so you never forget that you're in a living room. People sit on me all the time, but not everyone can sit well with me. While the boys in this house may sit as they please, the little girls could never. “Sit straight,” they’re told, “no feet on the sofa, no eating on the sofa, no drinking on the sofa. And don’t even think about spreading out! Sit like a girl should.”

    I’m a sofa in a little flat in Mumbai, but I’ve been around for much longer. I can't remember exactly when I was made, but I once belonged to a British-Indian family before I was hastily sold off in an auction to my new owners. I’m already ‘o-pressed’ to begin with, but I was designed as a symbol of oppression too. Just soft enough to be comfortable, but firm enough so you never forget that you're in a living room. People sit on me all the time, but not everyone can sit well with me. While the boys in this house may sit as they please, the little girls could never. “Sit straight,” they’re told, “no feet on the sofa, no eating on the sofa, no drinking on the sofa. And don’t even think about spreading out! Sit like a girl should.”

  •  I am the tribal mark of the Yoruba people inscribed onto children's faces and bodies for identification purposes. I was a thing of pride, especially serving as a beautifying object on women’s faces, when they came of marriageable age. I now belong to the past. I may not have outlived my purpose but I have now been criminalised and prohibited.

    I am the tribal mark of the Yoruba people inscribed onto children's faces and bodies for identification purposes. I was a thing of pride, especially serving as a beautifying object on women’s faces, when they came of marriageable age. I now belong to the past. I may not have outlived my purpose but I have now been criminalised and prohibited.

  • Chhum chhum I jingle as I go. I’m made of silver, cool to the touch. The flowers engraved on me leave a loving impression on the wearer as if to stay with them even when I have been taken off. You can hear me even before you see me. I am the spirit of the dancer as my melody matches her moves and moods. Chhum chhum I jingle as I go. I’m made of silver, cool to the touch. The flowers engraved on me leave a loving impression on the wearer as if to stay with them even when I have been taken off. You can hear me even before you see me. I am the spirit of the dancer as my melody matches her moves and moods.

    Chhum chhum I jingle as I go. I’m made of silver, cool to the touch. The flowers engraved on me leave a loving impression on the wearer as if to stay with them even when I have been taken off. You can hear me even before you see me. I am the spirit of the dancer as my melody matches her moves and moods. Chhum chhum I jingle as I go. I’m made of silver, cool to the touch. The flowers engraved on me leave a loving impression on the wearer as if to stay with them even when I have been taken off. You can hear me even before you see me. I am the spirit of the dancer as my melody matches her moves and moods.

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? 




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