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Fri 22 Mar 2024
Sun 24 Mar 2024

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM (UTC+5.5)

IKS Meta-Retreat: Oral Storytelling Traditions – The Road Ahead



Bilvam Foundation Retreat
Tiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu 606601 India


INDICA is pleased to launch a Meta-Retreat on “Oral Storytelling Traditions – The Road Ahead” from 22nd to 24th March 2024. This is designed as a coming together of minds engaged with oral storytelling: practitioners, academics and cultural thinkers, who appreciate and contemplate its varied dimensions, diverse forms, altering terrains and other features from the age-old to the contemporary.

IKS Meta-Retreats are immersive intellectual explorations spanning 2-3 days, led by an Acharya in the ambience of a Gurukula and conducted with an attitude of Shraddha. Acharya, is the subject matter expert (SME), seeking to explore a specific topic, discipline, or domain along with a cohort. 9-12 participants who possess shradda and the right experience in the chosen theme form the cohort. This cohort then comes together with an upanishadic attitude of learning through immersion at a location that echoes the ambience of a Gurukula.

As we chart a new course for the Nation based on Dharma, it is important to take stock of our storytelling forms and resinstrument them as we re-narrativize our past and present. We must have our stories of the future and for the future as well.

The Meta-Retreat is designed for practitioners, academics, thinkers of Oral StoryTelling Traditions to come on this platform to exchange thoughts, engage with each other and explore the subject. Through this Meta-Retreat, we seek to raise curiosities together to gain insights by retracing the path taken and review the existing landscape to envision the journey ahead. We seek to cover a wide range of topics such as a review and reimagination of the role and scope of oral storytelling, strengths and limitations of traditional and contemporary practices, and forms and instruments needed for the future.

The 2-Day program broadly has 8 sessions which are organised around the following elements weaving together an immersive and transformative experience.

  • Invocation
  • Cohort Introduction and Concerns around the subject
  • A Stock Taking of the Present
  • A Deep Dive into the Past to understand the Present
  • Problems, Concerns, Conflicts that require Resolution
  • The Emergence and the Opportunities
  • Desired Future
  • How do we get to the Desired Future
  • The Next Steps

The Evenings shall be spent in informal conversations around the subject with a visit to the Arunachala Shiva Temple and Ramana Maharshi Ashram.

The Meta-Retreat would be led by Smt. Deepa Kiran – renowned Storyteller and head of Story Arts Foundation..

As an outcome, we seek to create a Vision Paper to be produced and published in 2024-25 along with another focused Group Project of immediate impact.

INDICA is pleased to invite applications from storytellers, academicians, thinkers and artists to be part of this Meta-Retreat cohort. The cohort will be carefully selected by the SME and INDICA consisting of practitioners, academics, thinkers, and activists. Please send us your bio at namaste@indica.org.in. A 300 word summary mentioning the subject, domain, or discipline you seek to explore along with the names of cohort participants they would like to invite should also be furnished.

Travel, logistics, and accommodation at the Retreat will be hosted and managed by INDICA.


Smt. Deepa Kiran

Founder of Story Arts Foundation. International storyteller, national award-winning Educationalist, TEDx Speaker, Actor, Film-maker and Writer.

Through her work she enjoys connecting with children, educators and parents. She trains reducators on the art of oral storytelling and story-art based learning. In her performances, trainings, and talks, she weaves in multi-cultural, mutli-lingual, and musical elements, to create a rich, inviting, and memorable experience for everyone. She brings a special focus on development of English language, empathy, resilience and critical thinking in multi-cultural, multilingual classrooms benefiting both, learner and teacher. Deepa has reached over 75,000 educators around the globe.