Scottish International Storytelling Festival - Aberdeen Event

This event is co-sponsored by the Elphinstone Institute and the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and is part of the 2017 Scottish International Storytelling Festival, 'Open Word–Open World'.

A continuing collaboration between Pakistani singer Sara Kazmi and Scotland-based musician Sarah Hayes joins an exchange of stories and poems between Pakistani poet Shazea Quraishi and Scottish storyteller Ian Stephen. Enjoy a lively journey in music, song, story, and poetry from the Isle of Lewis to Lahore.

Woman sitting outside looking downSara Kazmi hails from Lahore, Punjab in Pakistan. She is a student of Indian classical music, and has been training as a vocalist for the past seven years in dhrupad and khayal singing. She has also been extensively involved with Punjabi street theatre, an experience that heavily inspired her use of folk forms in her performance. Sara enjoys singing the Punjabi kafi, a popular poetic form that draws on the oral tradition of the region.

Woman in green standing in front of ivy-covered wallSarah Hayes is a flute player and singer from Northumberland. Based in Glasgow since 2005, she leads a busy and varied musical life performing, writing and recording with Admiral Fallow, Rachel Newton Band, Wildings, Alistair Anderson & Northlands, Sara Kazmi, Inge Thomson and more.  Sarah’s debut album Woven – a studio reimagining of her Celtic Connections New Voices commission – has received widespread acclaim since its release in November 2015.

Face of woman looking into cameraShazea Quraishi is a Pakistani-born Canadian poet, playwright and translator based in London.  Her poems have been published in the UK and US in publications including The Financial Times, Poetry Review and Modern Poetry in Translation.  Her collection, The Art of Scratching, was published by Bloodaxe Books in May 2015 and she is developing a play based on her poetry chapbook 'The Courtesans Reply'.  Shazea teaches with English PEN, Translators in Schools and The Poetry School.

Man in back telling stories before sculpture of boat

Ian Stephen is from Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, and still lives there though he travels widely as a sailor as well as a performer, author and tutor. A graduate of Aberdeen University, Ian is a writer and storyteller as well as a volunteer skipper with traditional boat trusts on Lewis. His storytelling is indebted to his connections with the maritime world, developed during a Creative Scotland project to navigate through Scotland’s sea stories. He now passes on Lewis stories, some previously unrecorded and researches and revives Hebridean stories. He is the author of Western Isles Folk Tales, (The History Press, 2015), illustrated by Christine Morrison who also collaborated on his current book, Waypoints - Seascapes and Stories of Scotland's West Coast, (Adlard Coles Nautical/Bloomsbury, 2017). His poetry and fiction is published in many countries. A selected poems, Maritime, is published by Saraband, who also published his novel, A Book of Death and Fish.