Storyteller Kamini Ramachandran with Jessica (China), Yi-Ren Tsai (Taiwan), Madhu Sakhrani (MOE Singapore), Natasha Beaumont (Australia), Ast. Prof Tam Po-Chi (Hong Kong Institute of Education), Selina Busby (Royal Central School of Speech & Drama), Prof Judith Ackroyd (Regent's University London), Emeritus Prof Juliana Saxton (Uni of Victoria), Prof Mei-Chun Lin (National Uni of Tainan)
Kamini's resources for The Ramayana - a beginner's guide to story and text - timeless Amar Chitra Katha comics, illustrated books and her grandfather's old books in Malay and English
Kamini's resources for remembering The Ramayana epic - story games, card games etc.
Kamini's unusual props for The Ramayana - antique Javanese batik story cloth, Indian wooden sandals, brass pots, Balinese shadow puppet of Sita, stick-on bindis for the audience

Navigating cultural and social values through storytelling and drama education

Research Hub for IDIERI 2015 - 8th International Drama In Education Research Institute

Open Culture In The Asian Century: Reimagining Drama Education

Date: 30 Jun – 5 Jul 2015
Location: National Institute of Education (NIE)

Kamini Ramachandran participated in a research hub for IDIERI 2015.

Navigating Cultural and Moral (social) Values through Storytelling and Drama Education in the Local and Cross-Cultural Context
Leaders: Lin Mei Chun, Tam Po-Chi, Tsai Yi-Ren, & Kamini Ramachandran

Recently, there has been a growth in research exploring the significance of adapting drama education to local contexts. Discussions around this idea include concerns of aspects of story selection, the cultural perspectives in drama practice, teacher training methods, and also potential difficulties in borrowing the pedagogy for non-western contexts. This research hub would like to take a cultural lens to solicit famous stories from different cultures and explore in what ways cultural factors affect the practice of storytelling and drama education. Through drama workshops and group discussions, this research hub aims to build an open and dialogic space to promote cultural exchange. In addition, we will discuss the role of drama education in cultural transformation.

The Asian Story that Everyone Should Know

The Ramayana is a renowned Asian epic that is common to India, South East Asia and China. For centuries it has been told, written about and enacted in the form of dance, theatre and music. However, in today’s classrooms and homes this story is rarely told by teachers or parents. Kamini Ramachandran’s workshop will explore storytelling from a performing artist’s perspective with a strong focus on cultural authenticity in repertoire and telling/performance.

Discussion Points:

The misconception of the word ‘storytelling’ in today’s local context.
Why are Western stories being used in classrooms and homes in place of culturally relevant stories?
How do we select appropriate stories that are culturally relevant in a multi-cultural society like Singapore & Malaysia?
The importance of being culturally authentic in the telling/performance of a story as opposed to neutralizing and sanitizing stories.
How do we navigate race, gender, class, political sensitivity, religion and the minefield of issues when re telling traditional oral narratives?