Stories Lab / Blurring Borders, 2020

Book on the making and exhibition


This project is a creation of my friend Jana Drozdova and me, who causally met and allied to create this safe space for everyone who wants to share their story and contribute to a book on the making which aims for the formulation of a new social narrative, the genesis of a selfless community where our scars become our strength. In an era in which reality is staged, we want to rescue the real stories behind the curtain. The life stories in which one feels defined by race, gender, origin or social class; which although hard, offer the possibility for positive change. The selected stories will be written and illustrated under a different light and then published in the first Stories Lab book. While the book is ready, we are printing some of the stories on textile or posters, basically because we want to.

Blurring Borders

Inspired by the ancient Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with powdered gold or other materials that beautify the piece, we welcomed an interactive creative workshop on storytelling and books production. Jana as illustrator and I as writer, led the workshop where we learnt how to blur the imaginary borders between places, people and our stories in a collective process. The workshop was organized in the context of the Exhibition Project: Art Books & Art Works as part of the INNCONTRO Film Festival, 2020.

As much as it seems we have nothing in common; tales of migration, racism, oppression, bring us to the same places sooner or later. The events of the past times especially, have forced almost all of us to stop and re-think our life concepts. There is not yet a single place in the world where people do not feel – some for the first time – vulnerable. The privileges of many do not matter as much as the common welfare; if one of us is sick, we could all be. Freedom is nowadays very relative. Borders can close in no time for all of us. Suddenly, the only place to go, could be inside of us.

Social structures seem to tremble and all the stories that matter are the real ones. Our wounds are the beauty of our personal narratives; the scars are the golden river putting the pieces together. In the workshop, we erase the imaginary boundaries between us, learning that instead of being alone, we are all one.

Photos: Stories Lab project by Luiz Lima and exhibition documentation Kunstraum Innsbruck archives.

Exhibited in: Art Books & Art Works at Kunstraum Innsbruck, Austria, 2020.

By Jana Drozdova