Our Collective Cradle Story

4 Sep 2023

The Stories that move us

A collective storytelling exercise 




    During the Cradle of Creativity festival, delegates entered into a collective storytelling exercise, described below:

    Dear Delegates,
    Together, over the next week, we are going to be collaborating together on a collective “Story that Moves Us.” Shepherded by Tamara Guhrs, with a little dramaturgical secretarial help from a couple of different AI assistants, we are going to gather your prompts and suggestions that will help us build a collective “tapestry tale” that helps us imagine a pathway form where we find ourselves now, into an uncertain future.

    Look out for these daily prompts in your M&E feedback moments, and join us in this mysterious process of co-creation.

    Day 1, we will create our characters – please send adjectives that describe the kind of creature or creatures you imagine we need to send on this voyage into our not too distant future – they are an emissary, and they will be carrying important messages from us….what qualities must they have?

    Day 2
    What are the treasures they take from this world into the new lands they seek? [hint… what are the things you value, about your practice, your work, your world]

    Day 3
    What are the challenges they will meet along the way? What demons, threats, obstacles face them? [hint.. What are the threats to the work we do?]

    Day 4
    What do they have, and what do they need, to face and fight these challenges? [hint .. what are the

    Day 5
    First glimpses, rumours and sightings of this new land – what have they heard?

    Day 6
    The impossible choices they must make – what are they?

    Day 7
    Every journey has its own secret destination – Looking back, what are the things they have valued so much about this journey they are on? What are the gifts they found along the way? What does this new land look like?

    Here is the story that emerged….

    “In a world where possibilities stretched beyond the horizon, three emissaries—Kgotso, Mia, and Leo—embarked on an extraordinary quest to discover a new land. Each one was an artist, performer, and cultural architect, bearing qualities of fluidity, expression, diversity, and magic. Their spirits were luminous, roaring with excitement, open-mindedness, and hope. Their shared journey promised adventure and transformation.

    As they stood before the enigmatic suitcase, curiosity danced in their eyes. Rainbow butterflies, hair bands, shoes, helmets, and more were carefully placed inside, each item a symbol of their unity and potential. They carried teamwork, healing, insight, and creativity—the tools to unlock the treasures of the journey.

    Their path was not devoid of challenges. The marsh of despondency threatened to drown their spirits, the winds of uncertainty tried to divert them, and fires of destruction sought to consume their dreams. No hidden treasure or map was offered—only ‘roads less traveled,’ demanding their resilience and determination.

    Obstacles beyond nature’s grasp also awaited. Empty seats, burnout, lack of resources, divisiveness, and corruption loomed. But armed with dedication, resilience, and the strength of their friendship, they were ready to face anything.

    Their journey began with rumors of a new land—vibrant and culturally rich. They heard whispers of healing, memories linking generations, and the power of shared experience. The land offered ways to mend wounds, reconcile differences, and find freedom. It promised innovation, unwrapped talent, and boundless opportunities that shone like diamonds.

    Midway, they encountered a magical breathing elephant—a courageous, empathetic guide. The elephant’s breath carried seeds of creation, symbolizing the potential within them. But a heart-wrenching choice awaited: to follow their own beliefs or heed a funder’s directives. They wrestled with prioritizing togetherness, empowerment, or the welfare of future generations. The cost of continued service was a potential loss of empathy, or burnout.

    As their journey progressed, they looked back, realizing the true value of their endeavor. They treasured the love and creativity that blossomed. Their spirits were inspired and energized, refusing to bid farewell. They had seen and witnessed transformation. They understood the strength in vulnerability, the vibrancy in unity, and the power of genuine connection.

    Every challenge had become a source of strength, every obstacle a chance for growth. The journey’s end was not an end at all—it was a continuation of their shared magic. The new land they had sought was a reflection of their journey. It was a place of togetherness, shared challenges, and passionate determination. A realm where the fire of their dreams burned brightly and unity shone like a beacon.

    With hearts full of gratitude and eyes gleaming with purpose, they stepped into the new land. The treasures they carried—love, creativity, and unity—were not just for themselves but for all they would encounter. Their journey was a testament to the beauty of the human spirit, the power of friendship, and the transformative magic that resided within.

    And so, the emissaries continued, leaving footprints of hope and inspiration along their path. As they ventured onward, the world around them came alive with colors, music, and the shared energy of a united purpose. The new land embraced them, and they embraced it in return, knowing that every journey held its own secret destination—destination of growth, discovery, and a legacy of boundless magic.”

     Thank you to Tamara Guhrs, for bringing her storytelling guidance to this collective exploration.

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