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The Interreligious Storytelling Festival is back in Mulhouse

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By Cathy Gerig

After two years of absence due to Covid-19, the Mulhouse Interreligious Storytelling Festival is making a comeback. It will take place from Tuesday 24 to Sunday 29 May.

Amateurs or professionals, storytellers have an appointment in Mulhouse from Tuesday 24 to Sunday 29 May, on the occasion of the sixth edition of the Interreligious Storytelling Festival of the association Once upon a time. The meeting, canceled twice because of Covid-19, was born from an idea by Richard Gossin, now retired pastor and Bible storyteller. However, it is not reserved for believers. “It is an audience that is interested in tales, history, etc.”confirms Francis Muller, the pastor of the Reformed parish Terre Nouvelle.

This year, the Interreligious Storytelling Festival is breaking new ground. Instead of staying in the parish premises, appointments will be relocated to the synagogue or to the An Nour mosque. Coming from Alsace and further afield, poets, storytellers, musicians, singers and calligraphers will offer stories imbued with humanism, with the aim of encouraging listening.

An interfaith calendar

In Mulhouse, various highlights give pride of place to interreligious encounters. “Since 2005, the City publishes and distributes a free calendar on which appear all the holidays of the different religions”, illustrates Francis Muller. The representatives of the different cults accompany it with a text on a theme that varies each year.

The program :

Tuesday May 24 at 8 p.m. at the synagogue, “Poetic Prelude to the Festival” They are Jews, Christians, Muslims… Poets, storytellers, musicians, singers, they come to offer us their artistic talents and their generosity. And we have a heart and ears to amaze and delight us. Come and travel to the country of the Other. Free admission, tray

Wednesday May 25 at 8:30 p.m. at Terre Nouvelle, “The storyteller’s alphabet” with Frank Lalou, calligrapher, storyteller, writer. Have you ever seen story telling letters of the Hebrew alphabet? Frank Lalou knows how to give them a voice because he has listened to them since his childhood. It allows us to see them and hear them tell the story of our origins. Ticketing.

Thursday May 26 at 3 p.m. at Terre Nouvelle, “Elie, fury and silence”. An epic told from the Bible with storytellers Aëlle, Bertrand, Brigitte, Claudine, Huguette, Marie-Christine, Richard and Chantal Ngono, percussion. In times of famine and oppression, Elijah rises, uplifted by words and gestures inspired by an uncompromising God. It is on the mountain that he will finally meet him. Is it the same? Is he another? One thing is certain: there is silence… All audiences, stage.

Thursday May 26 at 8:30 p.m. at the An Nour mosque with MaryMyriam, storyteller, “Rûmî”. Rumi (1207-1273) is a Persian Muslim poet, founder of the order of whirling dervishes (mevlevis), mystical sage of Sufism. He was, during his lifetime, venerated by Jews and Christians. All recognized in him a spiritual master. MaryMyriam has worked with artist-storytellers Martine Tollet and Henri Gougaud. She accompanies her knowledge of Islam with the words of Khaled Roumou and the presence of Rana Gorgani. It offers us, for the first time, a narrated evocation of the master of Konya, friend of believers and unbelievers, for a spirituality of love. Free admission – Plateau.

Friday May 27 at 8.30 pm at Terre Nouvelle, “Güe, childhood of humanity” with MaryMyriam, storyteller. Epic poem: Jean-Marie Tisserand. Director: Corinne Tisserand. Creation at the 2019 Avignon Festival In the time of the rock shelters, a young girl discovers the life of her clan. His father, the great hunter, Rho, teaches him to recognize footprints, tufts of hair, the smell of musk, the language of game. His mother, guardian of the fire, sings the hunts and the daily life, the lullabies and the healing prayers. Often, the little girl lingers by the river. One full moon night, his mother tells him Güe, the world’s first epic, as a secret to share.

Saturday May 28 at 4 p.m. at Terre Nouvelle, “Let’s laugh and sing…”. The Contes à rebours company and the storytellers of Mulhouse Storytellers have funny stories in their pockets. They also know how to push the ditty. Come and share their facetious mood. For everyone. Free admission, tray.

Saturday May 28 at 8:30 p.m. at Terre Nouvelle, “Journey through lives” with Hamed Bouzzine, storyteller, singer, musician. For seven years, I shared the stage with the griot Alpha Kouyaté. During our countless travels, he revealed to me the culture of the ancient Mandinka empire. He gave me as a legacy the epic of Emperor Soundiata Keïta, the gesture of Ségou, the epic of Bakary Djian as well as all the founding myths. It is the latter that I recount in memory of this deceased friend, who introduced me to African speech and greatly influenced me in the art of the epic. From 8 years old. Ticketing.

Sunday May 29 at 11 am at Terre Nouvelle, “If I forget you, Jerusalem…” with Khadija Ourouh and Richard Gossin (narrative, vocals) but also Chantal Ngono (melody and percussion). A poet says that Jerusalem is the navel of the world. She bears the scar of the birth of mankind. “In her, every man is born,” says the psalmist. Today, Jerusalem remains both a place of conflict and a horizon of hope for the peoples. Khadija Ourouh and Richard Gossin echo a few great stories evoked in Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions. Chantal Ngono makes her melodies heard and her percussions resonate. From 8 years old. Ticketing.

Sunday May 29 from 12:30 p.m., at Terre Nouvelle, “Boeuf conté”. Participants in the final party of the festival will meet storytellers, musicians, singers, dancers, poets. There will also be something to eat and drink in joy! History to have fun. Would you like a good couscous? Everyone is invited, free. Meal: couscous and drink (12.50 euros).

The venues of the shows: Terre Nouvelle: 25, rue George-Sand; Synagogue: Synagogue Street; An Nour mosque: 178, rue d’Illzach, Porte C. For tickets, click here.

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