Speaker

Dr Joanna Gilar

Dr Joanna Gilar is an academic, writer and storyteller based in Sussex who uses stories to help us find our way in the un-navigated territory of a transforming planet.

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Dr Joanna Gilar

A ritual facilitator and trained bodyworker, Joanna believes that stories exist in our chalk, grass, skin and bones, and if we speak with stories through these things they will speak back to us. She lectures in storytelling and folk music at the University of Chichester, and offers fairy tale courses, workshops, writings and performances using fairy tales, magic and ecology to explore where, with, and with-whom we are.

As a storyteller and performance poet Joanna focuses on the intersection between word and world. She believe orally told stories have the capacity to re-weave relationships between teller, hearer and space in which they are told. As David Abram has put it, “we cannot restore the land without restorying the land”. She has performed at schools, bookshops, university campuses, woods, fields and mountains across Europe. I have run a week of storytelling at an Italian castle, been a regular storyteller at an annual festival in the mountains of Moravia and celebrated the mapping of Sussex Folklore with stories of dragons and witches in the South Downs. The many organisations she has worked with include the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy, ONCA Centre for Arts and Ecology, Brighton Storytellers, London Dreamtime, the Italian Body&Society Lab, the Dark Mountain Project, Anderida Gorsedd, the Scottish Pagan Federation and Stour Valley Arts. Her poems and performances have been described as “spell-binding”, “breath-taking”, “astonishing” and “a gift”.

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