“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

Charles Dickens’s famous opening to A Tale of Two Cities remind us that we walk in both light and darkness every day. The book made the events of revolutionary France come to life for readers in Victorian London, and for over a century and a half since it’s continued to resonate all over the world. Dickens is among our greatest storytellers, and while he never shied away from tackling the social and economic challenges of his times, he never lost sight of his mission to entertain and bring people together.

We can all learn from his example. Are the stories we share serving our communities? With our neighbours hemmed in by physical and emotional isolation, are we engaging and informing them?

You’re the Voice, the storytelling initiative by Swansea creative leader Carl Gough, was scheduled to launch at the Elysium Gallery next Tuesday. For obvious reasons it won’t now be going ahead as a public gathering. But it will be going ahead online. At a time when we need to remind each other of the good we can accomplish together, You’re the Voice will give us that opportunity.

This Friday, March 20th, is World Storytelling Day. To mark the occasion Carl Gough plans to host an online storytelling event on Friday evening. Take this opportunity to reach out and communicate. You may be surprised how many people are feeling the way you’re feeling right now. To be a part of this family friendly event, just click here and register your interest. And for further updates on these online events, follow You’re the Voice on Twitter and Facebook.

If you’re not ready to speak in public, why not answer this call from 4theRegion? Tell us about the acts of kindness impacting positively on your community. Tell us about the local heroes quietly making sure their neighbours are connected and supported. Tell us what you want to tell us.

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When we tell stories we control the narrative flow. We can jump forward and backwards in time. We can honour our past and create a vision of our future. The first step towards the future we want is to picture it. Let’s picture something positive, not just as individuals but as communities.

These may not be the best of times, but they don’t have to be the worst of times either. All we can say for sure is that these are our times, and by coming together, sharing our skills and resources and, yes, sharing our stories, we can make the best of today and start shaping tomorrow. 

We’re not alone.

We haven’t been silenced.

We’re the voice.

Please share with your network!