Thursday, October 29, 2009

Storybird: Create your Digital Stories

Thanks to the Free Technology for Teachers blog, I have discovered a great collaborative storytelling website called Storybird.

Storybird allows anyone to create picture book stories using existing templates. You can chose from a very wide variety of art works. This is of course a perfect tool to work with children but even for adults. I very much enjoyed writing my little story, Home (see below), and I intend to write some more. Mainly to exercise myself, as I'm seriously considering working with an illustrator/artist when I will have a clearer idea of what I'd like to write for this kind of medium. However, I am not ready yet for such an adventure so I will start with these "storybirds," because that will be one way of learning, but also sharing. So I would urge you to try it out, alone or with your kid, and if you don't have children -like me- get the one living inside of you. Enjoy!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Stranger Festival in Amsterdam

Some 50 young people and 25 teachers from the schools I am working with on the INDIE project are now here in Amsterdam and actively participating to the Stranger Festival organised by the European Cultural Foundation. I've been working on this partnership for months and I am really happy to see how productive, dynamic and hard working our young people are.
If you are interested in video have a look at the Stranger Festival website and don't miss the Stranger Award Show Live broadcast tomorrow at 20:30.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Elif Shafak's Journey Between Languages bis

Remember I had written about Elif Shafak's autobiographical novel Siyah Süt some time ago on this blog (see post An Ode to Women). The novel has now been translated into French at the Phebus Publishing House, the editor Daniel Arsand talks about Lait Noir on a Fnac Live video on You Tube. I wonder if it will be translated into English as well.

For the non French speakers among you, Shafak's novel Ask (which I didn't enjoy reading but was a huge success in Turkey) will be out in English under the title The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi). The most interesting about this latest novel is the journey Shafak is doing between languages (see my previous post about her love of languages). Ask and The Forty Rules of Love show yet another crazy journey for the writer. Shafak has first written the novel in English, then it has been translated into Turkish by a translator. Shafak then took the translation and rewrote the novel. When the Turkish version was ready, she went back to the English version and rewrote it with a new spirit. She explains in an interview to Today's Zaman that she has "built two parallel books in the same span of time" She adds: "It is a bit insane, I have to admit. It is a crazy amount of work. I do this because language is my passion." And this is why, despite the fact that I don't always enjoy all her writings, I think Elif Shafak is an amazingly productive writer who can cross a lot of boundaries using languages.