National Storytelling and O Baro Dive Awards
The winners and the highly commended entrants of both competitions run as part of GRTHM 2009 came to Leeds to receive prizes at an Awards Ceremony in The Banqueting Suite of the Civic Hall on Tuesday 17th November. There were presentations, readings and an opportunity to meet Ferdinand Koci, Jess Smith, Scottish Traveller, author, singer and storyteller and Taffy Thomas MBE who is the nation’s first Laureate for Storytelling from January 2010.
See photographs of the event
Photographs were taken on the day by Patricia Knight the National Co-ordinator for Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, and Leanne Clark a BA Photography student in Leeds.
As part of the GRTHM 2009 celebrations, children from 3 to 16 years old across Britain were invited to create a story inspired by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities, which could be written, recorded and drawn. As for last year's National Poster competition this contest attracted great interest. The competition had more than 800 entries.
The main judges - professional Traveller storyteller Richard O'Neill and authors Karen Taylor and Eleanor Thom - chose winners, second and third places in five age groups from a shortlist after initial judging had taken place. Many highly commended efforts were recognised. Claire Lockwood who organised the competition would like to extend thanks to the initial judges: Kathleen Guthrie - Hull TES, Rosalind Paul – Luton TES and Maureen Barrow - Sunderland TES.
A separate international competition run by Leeds Gypsy Roma Traveller Achievement Service entitled “O Baro Dive”, meaning “The Big Day” or “Celebration” in Romani, invited children from across the world to describe in no more than 100 words a poster montage of GRT images by Roma artist Ferdinand Koci, representing the culture, music and some of the important events in the community’s year. Entries were received from across Britain and Europe.
Jess Smith commented on the competition: ”Gypsy Traveller Roma people are dedicated to a strong sense of family values and the continuing importance of community spirit. All entrants portrayed this along with varying colourful descriptions of horses, wagons (vardos) singing, music, storytelling and the sense of belonging to a world wide family of lovely people. Overall this was a joy to judge!”
See photos of the day
Read the Stories
The winning and highly commended entries in the National Storytelling Competition have been made into a colourful 48-page paperback book. You can buy copies of the book for just £5.00 from the National Association of Teachers of Travellers and Other Professionals (NATT+). Read some of the stories and find out how to obtain copies on the NATT+ website