This page features the supporting material of Tamas Oszvald storyteller’s Arts Tasmania Individual Grant Application, titled:
A Learning to be Human – a community co-creation through oral storytelling
Tamas is a skilled traditional Hungarian storyteller. His Roaming Trees Storytelling platform has seen him grab audiences on the international stages of Europe and Australasia, re-telling folk tales, myths and legends in his uniquely engaging way. He says he tells stories so that he can nurture his audience as a community, but even better, can create with them something transient that also has the power to make a long term imprint. His end goal is not to just tell a great story, but to learn with his listeners about what it means to be human. Classical storytelling is an intimate situation for everybody. People gather and sit in a semicircle then the sound of the flute creates that mental space where the “sleeping” story comes to life and floats into our mind and heart. Tamas uses stories from his own Hungarian tradition, but also from other cultures from all over the world on the most respectful and sensitive way.
Header image: Roaming Trees
A few storytelling examples:
Hopefully some of these videos can bring back the sense of the live act.
Davey and the Devil – With this performance Tamas won the Storytelling Cup of the 2021 Huon Valley Midwinter Festival. (film and photos: Linda Abraham)
After the festival Tamas was interviewed by Jane Longhurst from ABC Hobart.
The Salt – Exam performance of Tamas’ artistic research project (The Guy who tells Stories) through Oslo Metropolitan University:
The Flying Apple Tree – how the first apple tree came to the Huon Valley
The first collaboration between Tovaresh and Roaming Trees Storytelling and the first recorded Tasmanian folk tale. We tried to find the biggest, old looking apple tree of the Huon Valley. I got this story for re-telling from Martin Maudsley (Dorset, England).
The whole filming idea came from a seed… We brought some organic apples from the Huon Valley and when eating one, we recognised that one of the seeds was sprouting, so we planted it in a pot. And now we have a nice-looking sapling… What a magical thing… so I wanted to give back something for that gift of nature and to the Huon Valley…
Doja, the Gypsy Fairy – a tale that explains why the gypsies are all around the world
This story has its own story in my repertoire and show the multifaceted and complex dynamic of oral tradition. Actually, it is not a folktale but a story that Magda Szecsi wrote. She is a Hungarian Roma artist and writer, she has written several books for children and is a prolific illustrator. The story was written in a folktale style and drew on the author’s own tradition and experience with collecting original folk tales. When I met this tale, I thought I found a folk story and I was not aware of its origin but I just loved it so much it began to live its own life inside my imagination. When I discovered its origin I made the decision not telling it, but…
One day, when I was part of a small festival and my performance was already done, and we were all waiting for the last act, the fire-acrobats, sitting on the warm sand of the ocean at Tarona Beach… Maybe it was the magical fire in the dark, or the breeze from the sea…, but the story just came up and floated through the small crowd, squeezing out tears from those eyes that reflected the ocean and the fire… So my version of this tale was born and I only tell it on special occasions with the author’s permission.
I recorded this version as my application to the Sydney International Storytelling Festival and was accepted, although the event was postponed to 2022…
Stone Soup – a tale about sharing
This telling did happen as part of an Asset Based Community Development workshop. Each participant was welcomed to bring some gift to the circle, so I gave them a story… In my version, it’s not the trickster character of the soldier that dominates the story but the power of sharing and collaboration.
Winter Solstice streaming on social media – English version
On 20 and 21 June we had our first friends and community gatherings, telling only one story The Tale of the Sun, a Saami folktale. It is a deep legendary narrative, full with magic. I told this story to three primary school classes too, and they loved it!
From organizations and individuals that I successfully collaborated with as a storyteller.
“Tamas and I have crossed paths when I worked as a Social Worker for the Connected Beginnings project in the Brighton Area, and during that time I learnt that he was a skilled storyteller and used this as a way of engaging vulnerable members of the community and used the mechanism of storytelling to help people make meaning and sense of their own lives and circumstances. I have been lucky enough to witness him wrap a magical cloak around a room, create a fire in the center of it and draw everyone in, only to be quickly transported out when the story ended.
As a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal woman, the art of storytelling as a way of passing on knowledge and connecting people through time and place is never more important than in times of struggle and trauma such as the one we are facing now, which is why to me personally, the projects Tamas is running are very exciting.”
Community Development Project Officer – Australian Red Cross – Tasmania
“Tamas has visited our school on numerous occasions to inspire us through his expert sharing of knowledge via the art of storytelling. On every occasion, the students and staff involved were left elated and moved by Tamas and his tales. His storytelling techniques have brought joy and contemplation and have enriched our lives.”
Teachers at Mount Stuart Primary School: Kirsten Toselli, Analie Marmion, Kas Klap and Heidi Wiebke
“We were amazed by the quality of Tamas’ performance at that event and certainly noticed his wide and deep knowledge of the Hungarian folklore and traditions. His way of telling stories is very unique and very natural therefore his performance was a truly memorable cultural experience and social engagement for our younger and older Club members as well.”
Manager of the Auckland Hungarian Club
“Tamas was a key contributor to the 2019 Hobart Writers Festival Children’s Activities over two days. His story-telling thrilled children and adults alike.”
TasWriters Board of Managemen
“Tamas’ has a remarkable ability to connect with people of all ages through performance and storytelling. Weaving traditional stories with new content, Tamas’ adapts themes and narrative to the social setting of the performance, often with the audience participating, directing the final outcome.”
Sarah Proud – Project Manager
24 CG Museum of Old and New Art