P R E S S R E L E A S E S 2001
July 18, 2002
Folktales from Afghanistan: The Stories of Idries Shah
(North Adams, Mass.) "Teaching stories can be experienced on many levels. A child may simply enjoy hearing them, an adult may analyze them in a more sophisticated way," says Lynn Neary of NPR News. Both parents and children are invited to listen to and experience the simply written and beautifully illustrated stories of the late Afghan author Idries Shah through a multimedia presentation on Saturday, August 10th, at 10:30 A.M. at MASS MoCA. Shah's stories, which have been translated into 12 different languages and have sold over 35 million copies worldwide, are written adaptations of oral narratives from the Middle East and Central Asia. The powerful Sufi stories will come alive on screen, with colorful projected images accompanying narratives. This event is free with admission to the museum, but advance reservations are required.
Shah's multicultural upbringing as the son of an Afghan father and a Scottish mother, engendered his deep interest in different cultures and led to his work as the director of studies at the Institute of Cultural Research. His stories, which transcend any culture, are the product of living, working, and traveling throughout the Middle East, adapting and reworking the stories he was told as a boy and the stories that young boys and girls have been told for a thousand years. These stories deal with a range of issues, from fear and self-confidence to goals and dreams. The narratives are based in the Sufi tradition. In that tradition stories are seen as the best way to convey important morals and messages to children, as well as enhance the learning process. Indeed, critics the world over agree on the benefits of Shah's powerful rewriting of these narratives: "[his] versatile and multilayered tales provoke fresh insight and more flexible thought in children," says Bookbird, a journal of international children's literature.
Kids' events at MASS MoCA are sponsored by Berkshire Bank.
Admission for Folktales from Afghanistan is free with museum admission. Museum admission is $9 for adults, $3 for kids 6-16, and free for children under six. Admission is free for members. Space is limited, so advance reservations are required. Reservations can be made through the MASS MoCA Box Office located off Marshall Street in North Adams from 10 A.M. until 6 P.M. daily or over the phone by calling 413.662. or online at www.massmoca.org.
MASS MoCA, the largest center for contemporary visual and performing arts in the United States, is located on a 13- acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings. MASS MoCA focuses on the work of visual and performing artists charting new territory.
For Immediate Release