METHOD 25: Storytelling

Both personal and traditional stories can be a rich source of relating human rights themes to lived experience. Participants need a receptive audience, often a small group, and control over how much they wish to reveal about themselves. Stories can be retold from a human rights perspective, dramatized, or analyzed in relationship to human rights issues and documents.

To stimulate narratives, ask "How is this an issue in our community?" and encourage participants to offer illustrative stories from their experience. These stories need not be personal; encourage stories drawn from legend, literature, films, television, or local history. Invite historical perspective (e.g., "How was domestic violence handled in your grandmother's day?") and analysis of these stories. (e.g., "How might the story be different if told by the police?").

Examples of Method:

The Human Rights Education Handbook: "Activity 17: Perpetrator, Victim, Bystander, Healer," p. 90; "Activity 19: Telling Our Stories," p. 95.

Bells of Freedom: "Child Prostitution." []

First Steps: "Stories from around the World," "The Boy with Two Eyes," "Poor Old Wolf!" []