Origin Stories

Workshop by the Civic Imagination Project

"We are the stories

we tell ourselves."

Joan Didion

1. ICEBREAKER

Dialogue Prompts:

 

What is the meaning of your name?

  What meaning do you associate with your name?

Is there a story behind how you got your name?

 

 

2. INTRODUCTION

Defining what we mean by 'Memory Objects':

 

  Objects that remind us of something personally important in our past.

Objects that help us to think about our shared future.

Objects that connect us to our cultural identities.

 

 

3. DESCRIBE MEMORY OBJECTS

Part 1: Identify an Object

 

Describe a Memory Object that reminds you of a special time in your life: 

 

Choose an object from your past that is still relevant to you today.

It may be something that you still have.

It may be something that you lost or gave away along the way.

 

 

 

 

 

3. DESCRIBE MEMORY OBJECTS

Part 2: Writing Prompts

 

Write briefly about following details:

 

How did the Memory Object enter your life?

Why does the object still matter to you today?

 

 

 

 

 

4. SHARE MEMORY OBJECTS

Dialogue Prompts

 

In dyads or small groups:

 

1. Share your Memory Object

2. Respond to Memory Objects of other group members

3. Reflect upon how shared objects connect to themes such as sentimentality, family community, loss and other.

 

 

 

5. CRAFT ORIGIN STORIES

Part 1: Story Indicators

 

Create a narrative where:

 

1. You imagine yourself as a character or create a new fictional one.

2. Your Memory Object plays an important role for a special power or skill.

3. This power is then wielded into something meaningful to you in the story.

 

 

 

5. CRAFT ORIGIN STORIES

Part 2: Story Examples

 

This exercise draws on traditions of superhero and fantasy fiction, such as:

 

Superman or Black Panther

Hunger Games or Harry Potter

Never Ending Story or Star Wars

 

 

 

5. CRAFT ORIGIN STORIES

Part 3: Writing Prompts

 

1. Write a story that is related to your memory object.

2. Write it as an Origin Story* drawing on popular culture narratives.

 

*Origin Story means here a backstory of a narrative

that helps to explain how a character emerged.

 

 

 

6. SHARE ORIGIN STORIES

Part 1: Dialogue Prompts

 

1. Share your Origin Story connecting it to the memory object you selected.

2. Listen to others sharing their Origin Story.

 

 

 

6. SHARE ORIGIN STORIES

Part 2: Emergent Themes

 

1. Reflect on the themes that were brought up by the diverse origin stories.

2. Share your thoughts with the group on the prompt below:

 

Prompt: What themes do you notice in the origin stories shared?

 

 

 

6. SHARE ORIGIN STORIES

Part 3: Identifying Themes

 

Questions that can help identifying themes in the origin stories:

 

Who were the characters? What motivated them to act?

What power did the memory object introduce to the narrative?

What difficulty did the characters have to overcome?

How did the story end? How could it continue?

 

 

 

 

7. FINAL REFLECTION

Dialogue Prompts:

 

1. How could the origin story you received be used

to generate a sense of connection between people who may otherwise see the world in different ways?

2. How could this be used to inspire people to view an issue

of social or cultural relevance differently?

 

 

 

 

"There is no greater agony

than bearing an untold story inside you."

Maya Angelou

Workshop 'ORIGIN STORIES'

By crossingborderseducation

Workshop 'ORIGIN STORIES'

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