Tropical tales   

Tropical Tales
(Care and Cure)

Tropical Tales is a cross arts project, the idea is to collect of stories from LSTM (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) and work with a creative team of established artists (painters, poets, musicians, dance and spoken word performers) to produce resource materials; some of this material will be used by local school children and selected material will be published as story cards and innovative digital media, this will initially be available via the Well Travelled Clinic (part of LSTM) and local NHS waiting rooms.

The project is funded mainly by Liverpool City Council and NHS Primary Care Trust to support the Liverpool’s 2010 Year of Health and Wellbeing. (See more)

LSTM employs staff from across Merseyside at the same time as hosting researchers and training students from around the world. Each year they bring with them traditional legends, old wives tales, and anecdotes of experiences related to tropical medicine and health in communities around the world.

Chaturangan will use this wealth of stories to create artistic materials. This project offers the opportunity for the LSTM community to become involved in a locally based artistic project that will encourage the sharing of experience from around the world, through music, dance, storytelling, poetry.

The project starts on 20th May with an evening of storytelling by Debjani Chatterjee on the theme of health and wellbeing and tropical connections at LSTM. There will be six break out groups each led by an artist or a scientist where, in a less formal atmosphere, the smaller group will exchange their stories. Each group leader will use their artistic or scientific perception to choose stories which will have an appeal to the wider population and will represent diverse tastes.

LSTM staff and students will work with local artists, and children from a local school to share their experiences and re-tell stories which, through the story cards and talking pen, will be shared with people from different communities across the city in Neighbourhood Health Centres, waiting rooms, and the Well travelled Clinic. We also envisage that the final resource would be used as an educational tool in creative and wellbeing sessions in a range of education and health services.

In developing the final story cards, the artistic team will work collaboratively in consultation with LSTM and publishers Mantra Lingua to record the work produced and develop the story cards.

The intention is that this project, initially imagined during a meeting between Bisakha Sarker and Dr Rod Dillon from LSTM “will encourage a new approach to the involvement of LSTM in the cultural activity of Liverpool and the involvement of artists with our staff and students. The project demonstrates the support of LSTM for Liverpool 2010 year of Health and Well Being” (Dr R Dillon, LSTM).

The children of Matthew Arnold Primary School will be offered the opportunity to learn about the world, different cultures, health, nature, dance, music, storytelling and more, in creative inclusive sessions that the school has stated they believe will

- Broaden their horizons (through visits to the university and study about places beyond most pupils’ frames of reference)
- Improve literacy skills (speaking and listening as well as writing)
- Help us to develop the use and understanding of technology “

The final resource resulting from this project will be a visual & audio resource with simple stories and public health messages both in English and in other world languages as appropriate (or as defined by participants). This resource will therefore be accessible to a broad range of communities, including people with visual impairment, people with limited English or literacy, older people, children and more.

This is essentially a pilot project which we hope to develop further collaborations between artists and scientists.

The production team at LSTM is Dr Rod Dillon, Davina Moor and Sarah Lewis-Newton.

The artistic team is Jagjit Chuhan, Dave Ward, Chris Davies, Eimear Kavanagh.

The project at Matthew Arnold School is lead by Mr Alistair Harwood.

There are more details of the event on the LSTM website here.

Drawings on this page by Eimear Kavanagh.

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Page last updated 17-Jan-2012 - Comments on the website welcome by Eric Foxley at the Dunkirk Arts Centre
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