When Rivers Speak: A Storytelling Tapestry of a Regions Waterways

By Talking Wings

A tapestry of stories, pieces of a puzzle that fit together, memories that are woven to form the land we call home. We are all made of stories. They shape our sense of self, the cultures we inhabit, and the environments we navigate, nurture and exploit. For centuries (some would say millennia) storytelling has also been a weapon of the rich and powerful. The colonizing and self-destructive narrative capitalism currently spins is all-consuming. The oligarchs and their accomplices want us to believe that they hold a monopoly on storytelling.

It is true that the stories we tell are often trapped in hyper technological and spectacular cages. From social media sinkholes to media prisons, storytelling has become synonymous with selling and consuming. But there are other stories, stories of resistance, stories of growth and flowering futures, tapestries of hope that are being woven by rebellious weavers and dreamers. It is thus time we reclaim the stories we tell about ourselves and the land/ water that keep us breathing.

That is why we, at Talking Wings, have woven a new tapestry for waterways that bring life to the valley we call home. We have woven a constellation of stories, sharing the voices of the rivers of the St. Lawrence (Kanniatarowanneneh) River Valley, Haudenosaunee Territory. To honor the human and non-human communities that depend on these vital waterways, we created an animated storytelling platform. This interactive website houses watercolor-animations and poems told from the perspective of the rivers and their non-human guardians.

To see the full piece just visit this website.

Each image brings you down another rabbit hole of human and non-human memory. We offer these illustrations and words to you. They are a small storytelling seed that you can use to plant a new future. By collaborating, we can all create a hive, a living web, of enriching narratives. While we all play a small role in this struggle, each of our actions is essential. That is why all of us must, like the bees who pollinate the world's flowers, share stories of a blossoming new world with others.

This is how we can pollinate the world to come: Tell the stories of the land that hosts you, tell the stories of the future we want to see, and which is just around the corner.

To collaborate and weave together our efforts, you are more then invited to contact us in talkingwings@riseup.net