Narrative Training Update
About a year and a half ago, PSYDEH began the design of a storytelling program that spoke to the demands of our indigenous women partners in the field. We had continuously heard from women that stories and narrative traditions were a crucial part of their heritage and their daily lives, but also that they felt their stories were misrepresented and misunderstood by Mexicans as well as foreigners. PSYDEH knows that powerful storytelling is perhaps the most crucial component of strong leadership, important for personal and community growth. With our narrative training program, we aim to provide women with the training they need to be powerful storytellers both in their communities and when representing themselves and their communities to the broader world.
Our narrative training activities began with a 2-day workshop at PSYDEH’s offices in Tulancingo in May, where we dove into the importance of storytelling and started working on individual narratives and values. It continued with site-based work with our women partners in Acaxochitlán and San Bartolo, where we focused on each Consejo’s organizational history and the story they wanted to share with the world. Fieldwork continued through August 2019.
PSYDEH has seen the leadership development owned by each woman as they progress on this journey. Women have reflected on what brought them to take on leadership positions and to work with PSYDEH, the challenges they have faced along the way, and the benefits they have gained. Women have shared that the process has been one of “opening up, feeling free, and lighter”, and of “understanding my identity, the forces that drive my life forward.”
Now we are excited to see our fieldwork come to fruition. To date, we have produced organizational poems and histories, clarified values and mission and vision statements, and obtained video clips for three of the municipal organizations as well as the regional organization which now has a name, Siempre Viva. On an individual level, 17 women have developed personal poems and histories, and have directed the development of their individual portraits, taken by our field photographer, Diogo Heber.
We look forward to sharing the final written histories and poems of the women at year’s end.