Ruby Hembrom – researching the history and tradition of storytelling
Ruby Hembrom will be in Switzerland from 1 – 28 July 2018 on a Research Residency.
In Ruby’s words, as an Adivasi cultural documentarian, publisher and archivist, from an oral culture, she is interested in learning how orality was maintained or how it has changed forms in Switzerland now. During her residency she hopes to address the following
a. What was the practice and meaning of ‘telling a story’ in Switzerland—The history and tradition of it.
b. Is orality still a form of creative expression?
c. A contextualization of social and historical functions of it: A comparative study of this of this phenomena with Adivasi/Tribal orality.
About Ruby Hembrom
Ruby Hembrom, Founder & Director of Adivaani (meaning voice of adivasis), is an archiving and publishing outfit of adivasis and is working to bring adivasi tales back into public discourse. Ruby gave up her job with IBM to do something to give back to the adivasi community she belongs to.
After attending a publishing course, she came up with the idea for archiving tribal tales. She started collecting and collating folklore of the Santhals that have been orally passed down generations and which are in danger of being lost. She came up with two books – We Came From Geese and Earth Rests On A Tortoise – mythical stories about the origin of Santhals. Now, there are organizations in tribal areas that are taking Hembrom’s help in developing an English language skill programme for tribal children. Her books are being used as a resource for such programmes. In 2013, she has instituted Adivasi Pickle, a prize for indigenous ideology, thought and knowledge. She calls on adivasis to share unpublished stories of their lives, struggles and triumphs, which are then published.