Storytelling is a powerful tool for creating emotional connection with the target audience and achieving desired goals. The story used in storytelling can be true or fiction, but what is important is that it contains elements that will attract audience’s attention and enable them to connect with the protagonist and the topic. Storytelling is also used in resolving collective trauma which is defined as a traumatic event pertaining to the entire society, such as wars, natural disasters, political repression, pandemic and similar. Such events can leave deep psychological wounds to people and society as a whole.
When using storytelling in resolving collective trauma, people are urging other people to share their stories about a traumatic experience and thus process their emotions and sentiments. This method is used in the therapy work with traumas, but also in various other forms of work with people who survived traumatic experience. Through the dedication of story, people can express their pain, suffering, but also hope and recovery. This creates a common sense of connection and empathy, which can help build a community that will support those who suffered trauma. In that regard, storytelling can be a powerful tool to build a community and process of traumatic experiences in collective exchange.
Within the framework of the EU-CARES project, partners have been researching best practices of using storytelling techniques for collective trauma healing and reconciliation. Here is a compilation of such practices from Belgium, Italy, Serbia, Poland, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.