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"To Hear and Be Heard: Tales to Link Us All", Conference 2016

Keynote Address: Jean-Pierre Makosso

Keynote Address: Jean-Pierre Makosso

Born in Pointe-Noire, Congo Brazzaville, Jean-Pierre Makosso was taught by his mother MA M’KAYI and is from a family-based and traditional background.  His mother is a griot, a traditional storyteller, and she trained him to follow in her footsteps.  Later, enrolled in an occidental school system, his desire was to become the griot for those who do not have one. Later still, he joined a theatre training school set up by France in Pointe-Noire.  He became not only his village’s traditional griot, but also a playwright, actor, and director.

He has toured with Company Punta-Négra (Congo), Théâtre du Corps (France), and Théâtre Amiel (Switzerland). Since his arrival in Canada he has danced and drummed and told his stories throughout BC and all over Canada. He is a member of the Vancouver Society of Storytelling, a bilingual storyteller (English-French) who performs and gives workshops in schools, universities, and festivals.

As writer and poet he has written 
  • La voix du Conteur (French short stories)
  • Le cri du triangle (French prose and poetry)
  • Human Works (English poetry)
  • Il était une fois...ce jour-là (French novel), published by Éditions Dédicaces in Montréal.
  • Le monde est un champ de proverbes - French poetry
  • Zoé, the dancer, a trilingual (Vili-french-English) children's book, published by Éditions l'harmattan in France
Now a citizen of Canada, with roots in another country and a depth of artistic experience, we believe he is well-suited to address the theme of this year’s conference; the way in which storytelling can make bridges between any two people or ideologies or communities that might seem to be in opposition but need to get along together – hearing another’s stories and having one’s stories heard.

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