On 13th February 2021, I attended the Ashlee: Preserving Culture in Writing event, which was part of the 2021 Wolverhampton Literature Festival.
Because of Covid-19, this year’s Wolverhampton Literature Festival was online. And the Preserving Culture in Writing event was hosted through Zoom.
I have been to the Wolverhampton Literature Festival three times, and I was keen to attend at least one of the planned events. So, I looked through what events were available and found the Ashlee: Preserving Culture in Writing talk. This talk interested me because I often wondered how I could share my culture in my writing, so I booked my place (it only cost £5) and waited for the 13th of February.
Ashlee Elizabeth-Lolo presented the talk. Ashlee is a Birmingham based playwright, facilitator, and broadcaster. She started the talk with a challenge: she asked the participants to write one story idea they would like to work on which involves preserving aspects of a culture. She gave us time to work on this before the talk continued.
Ashlee than shared the reason she feels it’s important to preserve your culture before it’s lost, which she did by sharing her grandmother’s story.
She then discussed what culture is and the different ways we can preserve our culture and history, e.g. spoken, written and visual. Ashlee then shared her seven-step process to preserve stories. The steps are as follow:
- Choose your medium
- Characters and story
After showing us how we could preserve our cultural stories, Ashlee talked about how to stay authentic to your culture in stories and why we need our cultural stories. The part that connected with me the most is that you shouldn’t be afraid to add yourself and your experiences in your culture—our experience is valid, even if it’s different to others with a similar cultural background.
To end the talk, Ashlee allowed the audience to ask questions, which she answered clearly and honestly. She even offered to help someone with their research if they continued to struggle with it, which I thought was nice of her.
Overall, I found the talk informative and thought-provoking. It has given me a lot to consider. I’m glad I attended.
Did you attend the 2021 Wolverhampton Literature Festival? If yes, what talks did you attend? Let me know in the comments below.
Stay safe and keep writing and reading, folks!
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