CeritaHow do we tell our stories? Anne-Marie Morgan UniSA AFMLTA Conference: Darwin 9 July 2011
Abstract • Powerful means of exploring language use is considering how stories are told, and using storytelling in language learning classrooms • ‘traditionally’ and contemporarily • through recognised ‘literature’ • through other art forms (e.g. performance, visual arts) • through more everyday or alternative communication means/texts • diaries and letters • email, text messages, facebook and twitter • in other ways...
Overview • This presentation • opens a discussion on the place/value of storytelling in language learning and ways of approaching story use • Considering • ways of telling stories in Indonesian • meanings and understandings about Indonesia and Indonesians learners in Australian schools might take from stories • ‘traditional’ to contemporary story telling forms • modern communication modes • work of artists: poet and playwright Rendra; poet Nganthi Fitri Wani • Invitation to teachers • to consider storytelling in their language classrooms • to engage with a range of ‘authentic’ texts and language use • to encourage learners to tell their own stories in meaningful ways • to consider how Australian stories might be understood by young Indonesians
Abstract/Overview • Underpinning ideas • approached from intercultural orientation to teaching and learning • linking language, culture and learning • focus on meaning-making for individuals • constantly working across and between learners’ available languages and cultural reference systems • encouraging an interactive, reflexive, decentred stance • learners engage with others’ ideas and interpret them through their own experiences • some exemplification from Dari Kami ke Kita textbook series • Chapter 7, Book 2: Cerita • aimed at (around) Year 10 level learners with 3-4 years language learning experience • adaptable to learners at other year levels, in other contexts
Telling stories • Why do we tell stories? • to share understandings, history and experiences, as major means of communication • to educate, illustrate, preserve cultures, instil moral values • to give pleasure to audiences (and tellers) • to make sense of and reflect or challenge our world/world views • to engage critically with the world (and with language) • integral to all cultures and peoples (as far as we know...) • other reasons... • How do we tell stories? • in ways that are unique to one’s culture, using language in ways that are meaningful to other users of the language/located in the same culture/cultural reference frame • range of modes: oral, with/without gestures, as paintings or other artefacts, in writing- print books, electronic media, etc • most (all?) forms use language
Telling stories • What do stories mean to us? • stories are interpreted through our own ‘lens/lenses’ of experience • cultural and language (s) background • age, gender • rural/urban, other locational contexts (climate, population density...) • spiritual/religious beliefs and background • literacy skills • influence of family and friends • education • access to media • texts with which we have engaged throughout our lives • ... • provide us with a critical awareness/interpretation tool • awareness of variability of interpretation and diverse interests crucial to pedagogical decisions
Storytelling in Indonesia • Rich heritage of storytelling • across and between the many cultural groups • records of storytelling for 1000s of years • oral and written forms • in private and public spheres, secular and religious contexts, at all strata of society • folk tales, poetry, dance and drama, puppet plays, novels, short stories, drawings and paintings, court documents, etc to recent forms of e-storytelling, television, film, music clips • vast quantity and range of stories and experiences to ‘mine’ for language learning purposes
Storytelling in Indonesia • ‘Traditional’ storytelling • ‘Traditional performance is what people everywhere do every day. It is not something that belongs in the past, but is the lived experience of what people do now’ (Peter Sellars, Theatre Director) • What point is being made here about divides of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’, ‘old’ and ‘new’, etc? • Does ‘traditional’ imply that it is no longer active, or that is has a long history of performance? Who is given the right to create ‘traditional’ stories? At what point do ‘new’ stories become ‘traditional’? • Consider how you address these points with learners, and continue to problematise ‘tradition’
Storytelling in Indonesia • ‘Traditional’ storytelling • Wayang forms • purwa, kulit, orang, klitik, topeng, golek, dll • Significant and enduring repertoire of stories • Mahabharata, Ramayana • regional stories/folk tales • historical stories (e.g. wayang merdeka, wayang Jepang) • Role of gamelan in all wayang forms • is music a form of storytelling? • Live performances, TV shows, DVDs, comic and picture books- enduring, re-imagined traditions... • But what is ‘keren’ for young people?
Storytelling in Indonesia • ‘Modern’ storytelling • novels, poetry, short stories, magazines, newspapers, etc • advertising • television, DVDs and film • ‘youth culture’ text types • cartoons, comics, magazines (old media) • song lyrics, texting, blogs (lots of these) • Facebook (huge in Indonesia, as elsewhere) • interactive websites and games (200 million 5-19 year olds with internet access worldwide; mostly on latest generation HPs) • YouTube, Play Station • new forms... • recent studies show most youth communication outside formal education, peer based (Carrington 2010) • implications for ‘new’ language in these new storytelling contexts, and for considering what is of interest to young people
Indonesian youth ready for social media JAKARTA: Social media use is set for very fast growth among a new generation of patriotic yet pluralistic Indonesian teens, TNS studies have indicated.According to the research firm, young Indonesians are not yet heavy users of social networks, despite the fact that Indonesia is the world's second-largest Facebook market and third-largest Twitter market in terms of reach.Although 87% of Indonesia's online population have visited social media websites, just 14% use them on a daily basis - against a global average of 46%.This relatively low engagement is partly due to a lack of access to quick fixed-line web connections. Instead, many Indonesian users have to access the sites via the "cluttered" operating systems of older smartphones.But TNS suggested that this will change as new low-cost Android-powered smartphones reach the market. Data sourced from TNS; additional content by Warc staff, 21 June 2011, viewed 29 June 2011, http://www.warc.com/LatestNews/News/Indonesian_youth_ready_for_social_media.news?ID=28441
Youth poetry: Wani Fitri Nganthi Wani (Wani) • Young Indonesian poet, from Solo, popular with youth audiences (live/Internet readings) • Currently a university student in Yogyakarta • Author of Selepas bapakku hilang (After my father disappeared) • Began writing poetry at the age of 8 • Deeply traumatised by disappearance of her father, a poet and activist • Poems deal with issues of social injustice, poverty, prejudice and violence, and personal feelings as a young Indonesian • Record of a school aged girl's thoughts and experiences of growing up in a contemporary urban Indonesia • Issues she addresses resonate with many students in Australia
Wani in performance http://ladangkata.com/2009/06/17/inspirasi-perih-fitri-nganthi-wani/
mbak.. salam kenal..saya datang dari blog tetangga..:) awalnya, saya tertarik dengan judul postingnya..dan tentu dengan Wiji Thukulnya.. dan nama Patjar Merah, eh.. Fajar Merah maksudnya..:) hm, jadi pingin baca puisi2nya Wani.. trims.. salam, hesra´s last blog post..Untuk *CMJ Hai, Hesra…salam kenal balik duh..duh..jauh-jauh dari tetangga, cuma disuguhin sepetak ladang di sini. Soal Wiji Thukul, bagi saya yang menarik nilai perlawananannya dan Wani mewarisi bibit itu dalam ranahnya sendiri. Seperti yang saya tulis di atas, Wani menggunakan bahasa yang liat namun sederhana. Mudah-mudahan dalam waktu dekat dah dapat bukunya yaaaaaaa… hesra | Jun 17, 2009 | Reply http://ladangkata.com/2009/06/17/inspirasi-perih-fitri-nganthi-wani/
Wani’s poetry • See handout • See associated tasks • Comments and suggestions?
Rendra Who is he? • Born 1935, Solo, Central Java • Died 2009, Depok, West Java • Background: Catholic aristocratic family • Educated • Universitas Gajah Mada (Yogyakarta) • American Academy of Dramatic Arts (New York) • New York University (New York) • Father of 11 children • Husband of three wives (at one stage simultaneously) • Key intellectual, artist, philosopher, political-social activist of 20th century Indonesia
Rendra Why is he famous? • Saw himself primarily as a poet • Remembered as daring, passionate and flamboyant humanitarian and political activist • Challenged political and social status quo in Sukarno, Suharto and post-New Order eras (i.e. all of Indonesia’s national history) • Wrote and performed (often controversial) poetry, drama that attracted enormous popular following and critical acclaim
Rendra • ‘Father’ of modern Indonesian drama • experimental, residential theatre company- Bengkel Teater (Theatre Workshop) • explored intercultural forms and crossed conventional boundaries • attracted a mass audience to modern drama • influenced international theatre trends • High public profile • charismatic performer of poetry, theatre, public speaking (Burung Merak) • highly publicised conversion to Islam • imprisoned as ‘dissident’ for ‘anti-government sentiment’ • mixed with influential intelligentsia, attracted media attention • successfully bridged Indonesian/Western cultural hybrid, fiercely patriotic • No longer ‘modern’, but consider relevance to contemporary youth in Indonesia
Rendra As poet • Perhaps best known in this role • Javanese tradition of performance poetry: Rendra a master; still a form that has appeal in contemporary Indonesia (cf. Wani) • Wrote poetry from early school years: prize winning, published by end of high school • Early poetry: Javanese Catholic influence: exalting the wonders of God’s world • Courtship poetry: highly romantic • Disillusionment poetry: chilling • Protest poetry: emboldening • Islamic poetry: humbling
Episode Kami duduk berdua di bangku halaman rumahnya. Pohon jambu di halaman itu berbuah dengan lebatnya Dan kami senang memandangnya. Angin yang lewat memainkan daun yang berguguran. Tiba-tiba ia bertanya: ‘Mengapa sebuah kancing bajumu lepas terbuka?’ Aku hanya tertawa. Lalu ia sematkan dengan mesra sebuah peniti menutup bajuku. Sementara itu aku bersihkan Guguran bunga jambu Yang mengotori rambutnya. We were sitting On a bench on front of her house There was a tree Heavy with fruit And we watched it, happy. The passing wind played With the falling leaves. Then she asked, suddenly: ‘Why is your shirt button Open?’ I only laughed. So she gently pinned it Shut. And I Pulled off The fallen petals littered In her hair.
Waktu (Time) Like a bird with no nest, time Flaps through unmourned days, Fluttering its marvellous, magic wings. Like drops of water, The song, the tears, of a gently breeze, Time shuts its eyes and patters pleasantly on- And like a knowing guide Shows life and death which way to go. Waktu seperti burung tanpa hinggapan melewat hari-hari rubiuh tanpa ratapan sayap-sayap mujizat terbekar dengan cekatan. Waktu seperti butir-butir air dengan nyanyi dan tangis angin silir berpejam mata dan pelesir tanpa akhir. Dan waktu juga seperti pawang tua menunjuk arah cinta dan arah keranda.
Chorus of Machines: Kisah Perjuangan Suka Naga (The Struggle of the Naga Tribe) Boom! Boom! Boom! Jas-jis-jos. Machines moving go gedebook. People moving. Panting. Ketipak. Ketipak. Ketipung. The warehouses overflow. We’ve got nowhere to store our goods. Bum. Bum. Bum. Jas-jis-jos. Gerak mesin bergedebum. Gerak orang hongos-hongos. Ketipak. Ketipak. Ketipung. Gudang penuh jadi luber. Hasil kami tak tertampung.
Chorus of Machines: Kisah Perjuangan Suka Naga (The Struggle of the Naga Tribe) Sah-soh-sah. Ketoprak-gebyar-gebyar. Hasil kami harga murah. Kami butuh pasar lebar. Kerja cepat pasar lebar Barang murah jauh perginya. Untung nambah modal Modal nambah untung. Tambah uang tambah akal Jangan macet, jangan tanggung. Sah-soh-sah. Ketoprak gebyar gebya. We sell our products cheaply. We must have a huge market. Working fast in a big market. Cheap goods can be sent far and wide. Profit increases capital Capital increases profit. More money means more schemes, We can’t be held up, we can’t be interrupted.
Why study Rendra? • Significance of political/socially influential people in shaping modern Indonesia • Who are they? What are they like? What interested them? What mattered to them? • What did they do and why? Who was affected? • History of a life, as well as of Indonesia as nation, and Indonesian as a language • Engaging with lives of real Indonesians and real issues • Complex and varied themes and concepts available for exploration • class, poverty and wealth, power and corruption, daily living, religion and spirituality, postcolonial world, history and change, cultural diversity, etc
Why study Rendra? • Champion of Indonesian (language) as the mouthpiece and cultural signifier of Indonesia • role of Indonesian in representing Indonesian culture(s) • changes in Indonesian • influence of other local languages • Cross and inter cultural connections/comparisons • As a case study of a post-colonialist • For his beautiful, powerful and challenging poetry • For his hilarious and witty plays • For his connections with Australia and Australians • As a storyteller...
Pedagogical possibilities • Use of poetry and plays • Text analysis: imagery, form and structure, themes, issues, poetic devices, etc • Critical literacy: purpose, audience, language choices, impact, etc • Consider language in culture and culture in language • For pleasure or shock value/confrontation • To build vocabulary and idiomatic language use and understanding • To consider complexities of translation • As models for original, creative writing and engaging storytelling • Comparison of storytelling/performance forms and traditions in Indonesia and Australia or elsewhere
Pedagogical possibilities • Life study • Consider Rendra’s life and works as historical metaphor for Indonesia- map history against his works and what he said and did and how he said and did it • As way in to addressing range of themes, concepts • To consider how Indonesians see themselves within Indonesia, and in relation to the rest of the world • To explore Australian-Indonesian connections and comparisons with Australian poets, or the learners’ own lives and experiences • Suggestions?
…penyair dari kehidupan sehari-hari, Orang yang bermula dari kata Kata yang bermula dari Kehidupan, pikir dan rasa I’m a poet of small, ordinary things, I began with words, And words begin With life, and thought and feeling From ‘Surat Cinta’. Translation H. Aveling
Resource suggestions: Rendra • BurungMerak: Poetica ABC http://www.abc.net.au/rn/poetica/stories/2010/2928737.htm • Inside Indonesia special edition (why not subscribe?) • Books of poems in bi-lingual editions • Plays in bi-lingual editions • Websites: • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willibrordus_S._Rendra • http://www.wotcrossculture.com.au • http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/2008/06/re-reading-ws-rendras-perjuangan-suku.html • http://www.facebook.com/pages/WS-Rendra/49487663377?v=photos&so=45
Discussion and questions • How might you use this material/these ideas in your language classroom? • Invitation to teachers • to consider storytelling in their language classrooms • to engage with a range of ‘authentic’ texts and language use • to encourage learners to tell their own stories in meaningful ways • to consider how Australian stories might be understood by young Indonesians • Thoughts and comments?
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