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Fairytales in the paper theatre

Fairy Tales in the Paper Theatre

Once upon a time, there were storytellers and grandmothers to tell fairy tales, and then there were books, TV, portable record players… Fairy tales are still here, with a new shape; they appear on the screen of a tablet and of a smartphone, or even scrolling in the kamishibai, the ancient Japanese paper theatre.

The memory of the past and the confidence in the future generations feed on our present: telling, hearing, reading and seeing stories all ancient and all new is one of the best pleasures for young and old people.

Telling a story to a child, as the psychoanalyst B. Bettelheim wrote, is like spreading seeds that one day will be able to germinate, helping the child to tackle impossible tasks – we may bump into it in our life as well as in fairy tales.

Fairitaly ONLUS builds cross-media fairy tales finding again and reworking the fascinating illustrations of the great illustrators of the 19° century Golden Age. Their aesthetic value is not an end in itself; we cultivate their beauty together with the treasure of texts chosen from old versions, often forgotten.

The psychoanalytic competence puts in value the expressive richness of traditional fairy tales, recovering narratives functions and symbols that fosters children to express their inner world. Fairy tales mainly deal with ambivalent and conflictual relationships that children keep in themselves, considering them too dangerous.

In a little wooden theatre, a story made just by a set of images waits for narrators who give it voice. We transferred the kamishibai, ancient Japanese paper theatre, in a digital format, locating it in our tabtales. We retold a complete version of the same tale by an e-book, while by another little e-book we tell the journey of the tale through many centuries and distant countries. The story of a story always speaks of relations between many cultures and it is a priceless therapy for racism.

Our main work in these tabtales was to realize a short animation, reworking beautiful ancient illustrations, completed by an original soundtrack. We retold our fairy-tales to bring to a new life old forgotten versions and pictures. Let us hope that the wonder of old texts and pictures might live again with the digital device and the paper theatre, to renew their everlasting charm.