It is said that creative work needs to be
done in loneliness, have you ever tried to create a story
with 10 people or more? Here's an opportunity to try it!
• To explore the images we have about
people from other cultures, social groups etc.
• To be aware of how these images
condition our expectations of people who belong to other
8 - 10. Note: larger groups can be sub-divided
• A ball
• Paper and pen for the observer
• Flip chart and marker pen.
1. Ask people to sit in a circle.
2. Ask one of them to be the observer. Explain
that they have to sit outside the circle and write down
the story that is going to be created.
3. Explain to the rest of the group that
together they are going to create a co-operative story.
For this they are going to use a ball.
4. Then say: " This is the story of
Antonio, a young man from Madrid" and pass the ball
to a member of the group and invite them to continue with
the next one or two sentences of the story, and to then
pass the ball to someone else.
5. Continue in this way so that the story
is built co-operatively.
6. After 10 or 12 turns ask for the ball
and say: "Antonio knows Ali, a Moroccan boy who also
has a story" and pass the ball back to someone in the
circle and ask them to start telling Ali's story.
7. Bring the activity to an end after about
10 or 15 minutes.
Debriefing and evaluation
Ask the observer to read the notes they
took about the stories. Then ask the group to say what the
stories of Antonio and Ali tell them about their different
lives and follow on with comments about how this relates
to the images we have about young men from Madrid and Morocco.
Make notes of the main points on flip chart.
Ask where these images come from. Did everyone
have similar images of Spain and Morocco? Why? Why not?
Tips for the facilitator
It is best if the story is made spontaneously
and with a fast rhythm. In this case the observer may have
difficulty in noting everything down. This problem may be
solved by having a second observer or by recording the story
on a tape.
It is important that the activity is initially
presented simply as the creation of a co-operative story.
The names of the characters will lead the
group to the theme you want to explore. Therefore, if for
instance, you want to do some work around immigrants you
should choose names traditionally associated with the majority
and immigrants. If you want to deal with images of men and
women, choose male and female names.
This activity can be adapted to any situation
where there is discrimination by setting the scene in the
first sentence of the story: "This is the story of
Frank, a young homosexual..." or "This is the
story of Maria who is physically disabled..." and compare
it to the story of somebody from the mainstream in society.
1. Divide the group into two sub-groups
and ask each group to work on only one of the stories. Afterwards,
compare the two. This variation has the advantage that the
participants do not suspect that the stories are to be compared.
It is important that the participants are
split into the sub-groups at random.
2. Form two sub-groups and ask each group
to draw or write the biography, or an important moment in
the life, of one of the characters in the story. Afterwards
compare the two biographies or stories.
Suggestions for follow up
If you like stories and enjoy surprises
then read the 'Tales of the World'.
IF Ali was living in Antonio's country,
how would he feel being part of the minority, and how would
Antonio feel being one of the majority? Try 'Force
You may like to go read 'Ashique's
story', which you will find in Compass. Ashique is a
child labourer in Pakistan and the activity raises issues
about childrens' rights, social rights and globalisation.