Congress

THE POWER OF STORIES

Stories have been with us across cultures, locations, and time. We tell and listen to stories all the time. Story is learning, rejoicing, healing, and recollecting. Story is motivating, inspiring, and hurting. Story enriches individual development and helps in making sense of our world. The impressions and messages contained in a story can last a lifetime. Our stories are what make us who we are, as an individual and as a society in general.

Through this theme, we will explore what makes a powerful story, why and how we tell them. We will also explore the common stories that we tell and that appear in [children’s] literature across countries, cultures and educational systems. How can we compare and share our stories? What can we learn from each other’s stories and, how can stories help us understand each other’s role, identity, approaches and challenges?

Stories and storytelling continue to be crucial to our individual, communal and cultural identity. With all the problems and challenges we are facing, there is a greater need to present strong narratives that are both authentic and rigorous. This theme celebrates the power of [youthful] imagination to help counter the tension and confusion of the contemporary world, and to make books come alive for our young generation. This theme also shows how important story is to our lives, how stories create community and a sense of belonging, how our narratives colour our interpretation of the world and our place in it; it explores the ways that story has power in our lives.