About the Festival

“My Story. Your Story. Together, Our Stories.”

In October, the 1st Korea International Storytelling Festival will open.
From October 19~25, a group of ten renowned storytellers from around the world will be giving a series of performances in Seoul, Chuncheon and Gyeongju and Gyeonggi.

The 1st Korea International Storytelling Festival is a grand event for the sharing of traditional stories from both Korea and from around the world. The theme of the 1st Korea International Storytelling Festival is peace and cooperation.

It is our hope that we can build a bridge between eastern and western storytelling cultures that can transcend languages and generations. It is my sincere hope that we together can share cultural lessons from around the world with the audience so that audience can learn from this shared and unique experience.

Alicia Dongjoo Bang, Director of the 1st Korea International Storytelling Festival

Organization

Execution Commission Name Affiliate
Honorary President of the Festival Jong-kyu Kim President of the National Trust for Cultural Heritage
Festival Director Alicia Dongjoo Bang Korea International Storyteller Association
Executive Committee Jeongjin Lim The President of KBBY
Executive Committee Jeongae Park Professor at Kangwon University
Executive Committee Gumbun Kim The Literary Village of Kim You Jeong
Executive Committee Donghun Shin The Society of Korean Oral Literature
Executive Committee Byeonggil Jin Shila Cutural Center
Executive Committee Hae-kyeung Kang Open Cyber University of Korea
Executive Committee Youngsook Song Seoul Reading Education Research Society
Executive Committee Kyoungae Song Checkgori CEO
Executive Committee Seungmin Kang Director Mon’s Planet
Executive Committee Debbie Joungmin Lee President of Hearting School
Executive Committee Megan Greene KIS Pangyo Campus
Executive Committee Kathlyn Hyojung Cho KIS Seoul Campus
Executive Committee Seonjae Ahn Royal Asiatic Society-Korea Branch
Cooperation Committee Name Affiliate
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Uhyeon Kang Jeju Namyiseom
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Byeonghun Park Dongkuk University
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Wono Choi Gangju Korean Literature
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Gyeongu Min Director Nami Island Korea
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Jaeu Jung Director of Cultural Affairs, Nami Island
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Deoktaek Han Artistic Director of Namsangol Hanok Village, Seoul
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Junho Kwon Kim Yu Jung Literature Village
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Jonggun Kim The Society of Korean Oral Literature Executive
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Tom Coyner Royal Asian Studies Korea Branch
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Makeumjeong Lee Chungcheon City Library
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Chunggeun Kim Korea Reed Pipe Association President
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Ansuk Kim Daegu Storyteller of KISA
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Linda Cho Dalton International School
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Hyeonsuk Park The Society of Korean Oral Literature Doctor
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Hyeongsun Park Geumsung Tourism Director
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Hongmin Tak KT&G Sangsangmadang Chuncheon Stay
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Beomjae Park International Storyteller
Visa charge administrator
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Jongbok Kim Mine Communication
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Pyeongsu Koh Event One
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Jongsuk Lee Suwon Storyteller of KISA
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Huijeon Jang KIRIKI English
Public relations and
cooperation committee
Seunguk Han Storybean Little Library
Name Affiliate Contact
Alicia Dongjoo Bang KISA 031-785-3780
Jiyoung Park Kim Yu jung Literature Village 033-261-4657
Sojin Lee Shila Cultural Center 054-774-1950

Testimonial

Jong kyu Kim
President of the National Trust for Cultural Heritage

Congratulatory Message

Greetings!
I am Jong-gyu Kim, the Chief Director of the National Trust for Cultural Heritage. Our trust searches for precious legacies from our past and preserves them through the voluntary participation of the private sector. We care for these legacies so to save them for future generations.
I heartily congratulate the first Korea International Storytelling Festival.
Storytelling is the participatory act of oral statements with the power to pass human experiences between generations. And there is nobody who was born without a story.
I believe that we must let the world know of these stories instead of only archiving them. I think that a story can be a beautiful bridge transcending time. No one lives for 1,000 years, but there are stories that live for 1,000 years.
An international storyteller is a unique and meaninful position. Such a storyteller can explain the culture and social atmosphere of a society past to the modern reality. Through the Korea International Storytelling Festival, people can encounter both Korean storytelling based on Korean culture and history, and experience stories from all over the world.
I expect that this will pave the way for the Republic of Korea to serve as a hub for story festivals from around the world.
I hope that all will participate in the first Korea International Storytelling Festival and enjoy their time there.

Thank you,

Jong-gyu Kim
Chief Director, the National Trust for Cultural Heritage

Donghun Shin
The Society of Korean Oral Literature

To us, what are stories?
- Waiting for the first international storytelling event in 2018

This year in October, the International Storytelling Festival will finally take its first steps in Korea. It is an event where storytellers from around the world demonstrate their talents, and people listen to the stories and enjoy them. Stories are the main focus in this festival.
Looking at other international storytelling festivals in the US or Canada, I was very envious. In many European towns, it was really good to see stories spread out daily in places like small squares on holidays. Korea can do the same. Our story culture tradition is as rich and vibrant as other countries’.

When we ask what stories are in our lives, we answer that they are like the trees in a field in one’s mind. Life without stories is as desolate as a field with no trees, and life with good stories is beautiful and abundant, like a forest full of trees and fresh grass. Beautiful flowers and appetizing fruit, clear water and birds singing... That life is full of vitality.
Among stories, folk stories are truly precious. Many myths, legends, and folk tales in the world are stories that flow naturally from life, and they are 'real stories' that have been proven throughout history. When you recite and listen to old stories, you will feel and understand the hidden truths of humanity and the world while they freely cross the wide imaginary world.

Our society has been ignoring these precious stories for a long time. Since the modern era, with the emphasis on rational thinking and material value, the viewing of old stories as fictional, futile and worthless has spread. There was even a saying, "If you like stories, you will become poor!" The desperate survival experience of the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War era also seemed to have removed stories from people’s minds. Anyway, after spending a long time avoiding stories, we can hardly see people telling and listening to old stories in daily life.

Now is the time to start telling stories again. In addition to all kinds of experiences and stories about the world, we have to publish imaginary stories. As you know, the age of imagination has already begun. The beginning of that imaginative culture is in our everyday lives, and its subjects are stories. Talking about old stories to other people is a bit awkward, but you'll soon find out how fun and precious it is. People are happy when they talk and listen.

If you think that all countries are the same, it’s a mistake. Depending on the country, a lot of storytellers are actively involved in the development of a unique story repertoire. There are also many professional storytellers. In the world's leading storytelling festival, dozens of professional storytellers and huge audiences come together for a few days to immerse themselves in the story world. It is a very comfortable and happy festival story. Listening is really fun!

In this autumn's international storytelling event in Korea, influential storytellers from all over the world will gather together to celebrate special stories. In Seoul and Chuncheon, there will be new stages to tell stories that never existed before. It will be very new and amazing. Listening to storytellers is an opportunity to see who storytellers are and what stories are presented in front of you. By participating in the event, I believe that anyone will open his or her eyes to the true value of speaking and listening.

There are 'talents' in the minds of Koreans and there are many 'joys'. I think all that was revived by the K-pop that shook the world. They are not just songs. I believe that there is a strong 'story gene' in the minds of Koreans, more than in people from other nations. Korea's drama culture, is it not equal to other countries’? I think it is a matter of time before the story gene survives as a storytelling culture. One meaningful occasion is necessary. It would be great if this International Storytelling Festival event would be a powerful occasion. K-STORY love to make our lives rich and happy, is it not worth raising this once?

There is one prerequisite for story culture to survive. It is not enough with only storytellers to tell stories well. It is essential that there are people who open their minds and listen happily. No matter how interesting the story is, if people close their minds and close their ears, how can they be able to do it? The feelings of the people who listen are more important than the person who speaks. One good listener is said to create two story tellers.

Listening. It is not hard nor does it require money, right? It is not just fun itself, but it can allow people to feel and learn a lot. It is a unique opportunity for storytellers from around the world to visit and tell a special story. I hope you will come and be willing to join me. You can make a historical inflection point that changes the flow of culture in Korea. The beginning of K-STORY. Come and become the main character!

Donghun Shin
Chairman of the Korean Association of Korean Literature
June 2018

Gumbun Kim
The Literary Village of Kim You Jeong
ADRIANA ENE
Artistic director of Romania International
Storytelling Festival

Dear Alicia Dongjoo Bang, wonderful storyteller from South Koreea,

What a great path you choose to start a new story, a storytelling festival!
I hope and I wish that the story of the festival will be long and unforgettable, full of great stroytellers from all over the world, full of wisdom and people who really love and understand how important stories are in our lifes. It was such a joy and great honor to have Alicia DongJoo Bang in our International Storytelling Festival „We are stories” here in Bucharest, city capital of Romania.
We celebrated together themes like friendship, courage, love or caring.
Now, it will be your turn to celebrate through your festival all that is good and important in our world.
The Association Gradusart from Bucharest – Romania and our team wish you Good luck and never ending stories in an never ending storytelling festival!
Warm and friendly wishes,

ADRIAN ENE
Artistic director of The International Storytelling Festival “We are Stories”
addriana.ene@gmail.com, 0040722301614

Roger Jenkins
Director of Singapore’s 398.2
Storytelling Festival

Dear Alicia

Congratulations on launching the first international storytelling festival in Korea!
This is an exciting opportunity for Korean tellers to showcase their skills, and for foreigners to discover Korea’s unique culture through the power of traditional stories handed down from parent to child over many generations. I am confident your Festival will introduce many people to the joy of storytelling and inspire them to tell stories at home, in school, at work and in the community.
Singapore’s 398.2 Storytelling Festival wishes you a wonderful first year with many more to come! We look forward to the day when Singapore and Seoul can send exchange tellers to participate in each other’s Festival!
The 2018 launch of the Korean International Storytelling Festival is highly appropriate as this year also sees the birth of the Federation of Asian Storytellers (FEAST). Have a wonderful and wildly successful Festival!

Director of Singapore’s 398.2 Storytelling Festival
Roger Jenkins

Mochamad Ariyo Faridh Zidni
Director of Indonesia International
Storytelling Festival

My Dearest Alicia Dongjoo Bang,
and dear Korean Children and Family.

I would like to give all of you a very big congratulation for the first Korea International Storytelling Festival in 2018. May all the greatness, fun and joyful of stories from Korean and all over the world be with you.
"It starts with a dream...of believing in the power of story and then wanting to share it with a wider audience. Alicia has worked hard to make this happen and I applaud her perseverance, her willingness to learn and share. I wish that many families and communities in Korea benefit from the storytelling festival."
Selamat berbahagia bersama cerita.

Director of Indonesia International Storytelling Festival
Mochamad Ariyo Faridh Zidni