A Depot of Living Things explores overheard stories and loaded silences...

A Depot of Living Things, a storytelling project which brings together both traditional and digital storytelling, came to a close on March 12 with a storytelling event and a book launch called eeeeeee! a title also adopted for the book. During the event, which was held at Savio College, Dingli, a digital and audio story was also presented.

In the course of this event, Glen Calleja and Louise Ghirlando weaved a session with references to autobiographical stories of new life and death, traditional stories such as a reinterpretation of the Old Testament David-Goliath-Jonathan relationship, and other stories from literary sources such as Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis.

This project was coordinated by Glen Calleja who in the past was active both in the disciplines of contemporary theatre and literature.

For Mr Calleja, this was a venture which brought together skills from both disciplines and beyond.

A Depot of Living Things treated narratives as organic tales told, heard or silently harvested by people in a number of diverse contexts, from that gossipy half-sentence heard on the bus stop, a reassuring wink of the no-longer-pretty air hostess, loaded silences of a teenage mind, all the fleeting images of the internet, and the mental landscape with its moods and colours.

The event and book eeeeeee! explored the ever-changing interaction between these elements.

Over the last 15 months, Mr Calleja has been documenting in writing and audio recordings all sorts of situations, harvesting over 200 hours of audio material. This is the “Depot” the project sought to create. But what stories come out of this depot? He has catalogued and sifted through the audio material identifying instances which could be relevant to and used in a bigger narrative. These instances were then edited to create one unique narrative with a prevailing timbre of audio reportage, bringing together social and private moments from the project’s lifetime.

A Depot of Living Things was supported by the Malta Arts Fund.

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