The general objective of the Cassandra project is to build capacity for young (aged 18 – 30) storytellers as ‘socially engaged performers’: how can a storyteller convey personal messages and deal with social challenges through performative and artistic strategies. It also wants to raise the capacity of storytellers and storytelling organisations to work internationally, reach new audiences and confidently approach their role of platforming art for social good. Five European countries will be part of the project: Poland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Belgium. Cassandra secured funding through Creative Europe with the Federation for European Storytelling as the primary partner.

WHAT IS SOCIALLY ENGAGED STORYTELLING? To us, socially engaged storytelling means sharing narratives that resonate with you personally while addressing issues of global significance. It's about telling stories that raise awareness of social challenges, spark meaningful conversations, and inspire positive change.

STEPS TAKEN: In April 2024, our young storytellers travelled to Alden Biesen in Belgium alongside their mentors and the directors of their home countries' international festivals where they participated in an intensive training program to develop their artistic voices, build technical stagecraft skills, and learn about their roles as custodians of intangible cultural heritage. Simultaneously, the partner festivals engaged in round table discussions, peer learning, and practical workshops. These sessions aimed to strengthen international connections and collaboratively refine their strategies to elevate and platform diverse voices. The course coincided with Alden Biesen’s International Storytelling Festival where we could see some of the world's best storytellers in action and meet them in person to share experiences, advice and encouragement.

NEXT STEPS: Each participant will create their own 20 minute solo storytelling performance which could stand alone or combine with others to form a 1-hour show featuring other young storytellers. They will attend two 4-day laboratories in Alden Biesen, Belgium and Amsterdam, Netherlands, to learn creative and business skills, develop their performances, and prepare for international platforms. The themes of each performance will be chosen by the storytellers themselves based on a personal connection to global issues. During the research phase, participants will engage with communities aligned with their theme to collect, shape and test their stories. The young storytellers will lead their own process, supported by an experienced local mentor who may offer artistic, organisational, or dramaturgical suggestions.


7 March 2024 Digital kick-off meeting

17-20 April 2024 Four day course including masterclasses with expert storytellers, during the International Storytelling Festival in Alden Biesen (BE)

May-October 2024 Research and development of storytelling performances in dialogue with relevant community groups, including three local try-out performances. The participants will be supported in this process by Fortellersentrum and storyteller and artistic director Lina Teir.

1-5 November 2024 International performance laboratory and performances as part of the Amsterdam Storytelling Festival (NL)

3-6 April 2025 Performances at Fortellerfestivalen in Oslo (NO)

Juni 2025 Showcase at the Federation for European Storytelling conference in Rome (IT)


This project is sponsored by the Creative Europe programme with FEST as lead partner. Other partners include: 

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