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In 2011 Roi’s work was awarded the Willson Hinkes Peace award for ‘Healing Words’ - a storytelling as a healing art initiative which explores the use of story as a medium to dissolve borders and conflict between people. This work aims to foster listening and self-development, build friendships and create together new stories of vision, healing, and peace. It seeks to empower individuals to creative, conscious and sacred activism to bring about the change they wish to see in the world.
Since 2007 the Healing Words work has been developing in Israel and Palestine, all Scandinavian countries, Spain and the UK, leading and contributing to the creation of international storytelling for peace festivals, events, and groups, with thousands of participants from various communities taking part and finding a deeply moving and transformational experience.
In 2017 Roi supported the launching of a large pioneering storytelling project in Jerusalem. This collaboration with the Israeli Association of Community Centres and graduates of Roi’s courses led to establishing various storytelling circles aiming to build bridges, dialogue and creative interaction between diverse neighborhoods in and around the city through the sharing of personal life stories.
Healing Words : The Creative Power of the Imagination
Storytelling as a Healing Art: This 20 Days course explores various ways of working with the imagination as a pathway to individual, social, and environmental healing and will inspire us to practice Storytelling as a way to ‘speak into action’; supporting the creative changes we wish to see in the world. This course is led by Roi together with Karmit Even Zur and can be commissioned through contacting us.
‘The words we speak become the house we live in’, writes the Sufi master Hafiz (13th century). Still today magicians all over the world speak the ancient formula ABRA KADABRA which originated in Hebrew as Evra Kaadabera, meaning ‘I shall create as I speak’. Once spoken, words are active powers in the world; they can create, destroy and heal.
Way before anyone imagined the first T.V set, the call for storytellers and bards, prophets and poets was always to Tell-a-Vision, to provide the community, through a live encounter, with images and imaginations that can give direction, entertain, provoke and reconcile. Imagination is a key to the invisible realm from which everything possible can be born. Coupled with clear intention it becomes a spiritual capacity which can be developed to perceive and communicate with creative forces available for us in this realm.
Over the course of three weeks, as we deepen our experience of the healing power of the imagination, we will also explore the question 'what is the nature of healing?' in a shared heart space.
We will practice both in the classroom and outside surrounded by beautiful nature. Through playful and profound storytelling exercises, meditative and artistic explorations, we will cultivate our imagination and open doors to fresh new ways of seeing, learning and finding meaning.
Join us and use the gift of your voice, speaking truly, freely and responsibly to create stories that unite, inspire, encourage and heal.
"For the first time in my life, I felt that people saw me for who I am and not as a Muslim, Christian, Jew or Arab. I felt that people asked where I come from to know about me and not about my right-or-wrong-doings."
'Is it possible that telling stories could bring peace to Israel? Are stories able to expel hatred, violence and aggression, in a country where even international involvement doesn’t help at all? Only dreamers will answer these questions affirmatively. But people need to dream in order to change reality; however little that change may be. I was one of those dreamers who went to the Healing Words Festival in the hills of Galilee in May 2007. There I met Israelis, Arabs, Palestinians from the West Bank and Europeans from several countries. I heard their stories and shared mine with them. And I participated in a workshop where Palestinians and Israelis were willing to play, dance, sing and communicate with each other. It was a heart-warming, inspiring event showing me that sharing stories and playing together can be the beginning of a healing process of peace.’
(Gottfrid van Eck, The Netherlands)
"The Healing Words festival was born from a flickering moment of human exchange and a painful longing for a different reality.
Watching the delightful jumble of accents, languages, and different-coloured faces, I thought perhaps even in this conflict-ridden area, even in our war-torn, blood-soaked Middle East, the inner knowing of a different reality, the deep realization of a peace consciousness already exists within the collective heartbeat of the human beings" (Ellaya Ayal Mor, Israel)
There are opportunities in life that have the potential to touch you to the core and propel you forward in the best possible way. Healing Words was one of these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities
Both individually and together we explored our aches, hopes and dreams. We practiced deep listening and inspired storytelling. We provided space for what needed healing. We looked into what our unique contributions to this world could look like and started to give them shape.
I felt safe, seen and at home. I laughed, cried, sang, danced and met friends that still mean the world to me. It was transformative and nourishing on all levels.
Today, more than two years later, I look back with nothing but gratitude. I feel blessed for all that we learned and shared together as a group, as well as for the symbolic re-birth I was able to gift myself on the last day of our time together, in the form of a healing story. It enabled me to start a new chapter in life and it gave me a deeper understanding of what my contribution to this world can be.
Lien Van Laere, Belgium
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