Our Community Voices

I was extremely fortunate to have been one of the three interns for the Myth and voice Initiative this year, an experience which has taught me so much and allowed me to meet a wide variety of people from different walks of life. I was not sure what to expect when I first began the role, I assumed that I would be involved in some of the workshops, but now that I have both observed and led sessions with different groups of people, I am very proud and honoured to have been involved with the programme to such an extent. From the beginning of the experience, I was very excited as the initiative offered me a new set of skills with which to interact with myth. The creation of a community of storytellers provided a space in which ancient stories became a safe environment to explore complex thoughts and emotions. This was unlike any other experience in classics I had had before.

My first outing was a visit with Efi to a west London refugee centre in February, where I acted as an observer. This workshop was with a group of displaced people, and we focused on the myth of Demeter and Persephone, using poems from Rita Dove’s collection, Mother Love. What struck me initially was how unexpected their perspectives of what was happening in the texts were to me. I learned about this myth fairly early in my education, so I have always ‘known’ what is happening in retellings. These participants were far away from where they grew up, living in hotels, not doing what they always thought they would be doing. Their perspectives, free from the need to remain ‘true’ to the myth, highlighted for me the capacity of such distant stories to unlock people’s ability to speak in ways true to their emotions and lives. I found myself a number of times wanting to step in and ‘correct’ their assumptions, before I realised that I have no right to alter their interpretations of the myth. The most touching part of this workshop (and all the other workshops, too) was the final activity, which was fifteen minutes of freewriting. The group was provided with a few short prompts, and then they (along with those leading the workshop) were able to write however they wanted before being given the opportunity to share their work.

For example, one individual chose the prompt ‘Grief and Community’ and wrote about her husband and son who were still in the Ukraine while she was living in the UK. Her piece was an extremely moving and honest account of the brutalities of the war happening in her country, her awareness of her family there, and the lack of understanding and empathy people in the UK seem to show for the war. She particularly focused on the idea of shelter, which can mean different things depending on whether you’re living in Ukraine or the UK. In Ukraine it could mean some type of shelter from bombs and attacks, but here the UK could be shelter from this distant war, or something more meaningless, like a bus shelter.

This myth appeared especially relevant for these individuals, which was made clear through their writing at the end, and it was a real honour to be with them as they explored these retellings. The occasion was a great example of how something so ancient and so ‘other’ can act as an impactful prompt for the expression of emotions and perspectives of the here and now. It was great to witness what powerful meanings these myths acquired when approached by people who don’t have a prior relevant education, and especially by people enduring real hardship in their lives.

A couple of months later, in April, I designed and led a workshop to a creative writing class at Regent’s University, which was made up of students from a range of disciplines. Again, the focus was on the myth of Demeter and Persephone, and we looked at two poems from two contemporary authors. As I was leading this workshop, rather than observing it, it was a very different experience for me. I was not able to sit back and take in the experience as much as I had done previously, as I had to focus on getting through the tasks I had planned. However, the group very quickly eased my nerves as they were very engaged and friendly.

There was a real sense of connection between this group of individuals and these stories of mother/daughter relationships, grief, and complex emotions. Participants seemed to find it easy to relate to the figure of Persephone, especially in Nikita Gill’s poem, more so than any connection with Demeter as a mother-figure. The participants were all young women, so this made sense, as opposed to the individuals at the refugee centre, some of which were parents, or didn’t identify as women. This made for an interesting contrast to our previous workshop. Once again, the freewriting made for a fascinating experience. Almost all the participants discussed their own relationships with their mothers, and as a few of them were international students, they were already physically quite far from their families, which made it even more impactful for them to discuss that relationship here. In resonance with the poem I had chosen from Nikita Gill’s collection Great Goddesses: Life Lessons from Myths and Monsters for us to explore, there was a lot of sadness and frustration towards these mother-figures in the free writing, especially when the writings dealt with idealised mothers and the difficulty of realising that one’s mother is a flawed human, just like the rest of us.

Just like with the refugee centre, I was in awe of the vulnerability and bravery shown by the participants to show their inner thoughts to myself and Efi, as two strangers joining their space for the first time, and I think that really is the power of these kinds of stories. They resonate so deeply within us, and I think that we all have this fantastic ability to communicate inner thoughts and feelings through stories such as the myth of Demeter and Persephone. The group seemed to enjoy the workshop, and I thoroughly appreciated the opportunity to lead it.

For my final workshop as a Myth and Voice Intern, I led a session to a small group of Drama students at Royal Holloway, where the Myth and Voice programme is based. I altered this session slightly to align more with the broad drama and performing interests of the particular participants, so I featured a scriptwriting exercise along with the same tasks I had been using for the other groups. This session ran similarly to the previous one. The students were very engaged in the poems and produced some of the most detailed and longest pieces of work of all the workshops. The participants did not focus as much on the relationship between Demeter and Persephone as the previous group had, but when it came to the freewriting there was an intense focus on the relationship between families, and parent and child. There was an overarching fascination with nature across the pieces which were shared, which resonated fantastically with the original myth. Again, I appreciated the vulnerability of the students to share pieces of work which used the cover and inspiration from the mythical story to discuss relationships of personal interest to them, whatever these may be. They produced some fantastic pieces of work which I found very impactful. This freewriting activity has really made me realise the benefit of just writing with no format or aim in mind, and how cathartic it can be to release thoughts and feelings that you didn’t realise you have bottled up.

My most prominent feeling towards this whole experience is one of gratitude. I am very grateful to have been able to work with a wide variety of individuals from all different backgrounds and experiences, and to witness this variety of contemporary and creative responses to the myth, which juxtaposes with the research I have been doing on ‘professional’ artistic retellings. Each workshop has inspired and educated me in different ways, and further developed my knowledge and appreciation of the benefits of community storytelling. There was quite a difference between being an observer and leading the workshops, as the role of the observer allowed me to act as a participant myself, and this experience benefitted my own workshops as I could easily place myself in my participants’ shoes and consider what would be most enjoyable and impactful for them. In the short term these workshops will benefit my master’s thesis, but for the long term I believe they have transformed my understanding of the impact of these mythical stories in the communities around us. Each participant I have worked with during this internship provided me with a unique perspective on the myth of Demeter and Persephone, while also generously sharing a glimpse of how their own life experiences influenced their voice, and that will inspire me for a long time. I can only hope that everyone enjoyed these sessions as much as I did, and that they continue to see ancient myth as a vehicle for storytelling that they can be proudly call their own!

Jojo Hills, Masters by Research in Classical Reception and Myth and Voice student intern

‘We’d like to express our gratitude for the initial workshop which was both educational and engaging. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and felt inspired to be more open minded when looking at a story. We were inspired by [the] creative task in [the] workshop and decided to embed such ideas into our own version.

Every person added something to the session which led to a fantastic end result which we are all proud of. This was the first time we studied a myth in such depth and were surprised by the deeper meaning we uncovered. We had such a great result that we wanted to replicate it with the Year 8s.

This was a new experience for us: organising a workshop. Who knew such effort went into it!? Confidence is key! We recognise that the beginning could have run smoother; [and discussed] what could’ve been better with the key words [we gave out]. We were somewhat apprehensive about presenting to another year group, particularly without too much staff support. However, we really enjoyed the experience as some of the tasks went surprisingly well: Especially the post it notes’

Theo, Tilly, Juul, Georgia, Walijah, Michael, Matthew, Sophie, Gabriel, Ruby, Rose, Sophie, Zain, Leo, Catriona, Alexander (Year 10)

The Winston Churchill School, Woking

Our students recently explored the poignant tale of Erysichthon, unravelling the themes of greed and hubris that weave through its narrative. But what lessons can we glean from this age-old story?🏛️ 

With help from Dr Efi Spentzou and Myth and Voice from Royal Holloway, our mythologists undertook a series of workshops to decipher its relevance to our modern-day challenges. This concluded by crafting a proposal that not only breathes life into this ancient tale but also offers proposals for our school community which was presented to our senior leadership team. What was their visionary plan? An exciting initiative to optimise the use of green spaces within our school grounds—a proposal worthy of Demeter’s approval!🏫 

At Waldegrave, we value every opportunity to empower our students to think critically and embrace innovation. We would like to thank Dr Efi and our dedicated students for their unwavering commitment to shaping a brighter, greener future🌱 

#MythologyInnovation #GreenSpaces #StudentInitiative 

Joshua Parker, Social Sciences Teacher and Partnerships Co-ordinator, Waldegrave School, Twickenham

West London Welcome is a local refugee support centre and community located in West London. On Wednesday afternoons, Anna Perera and I host a group for members of the community with advanced English who want to expand their engagement with words. We read poems, stories, extracts of novels, talk about them and use them for prompts to write.

On Wednesday, February 7, Efi Spentzou visited us to share the myth of Demeter and Persephone. The week before she arrived, we talked about the myth and read two poems by Rita Dove from the point of view of Persephone. Under Efi’s kind guidance, we read two more poems, looking at Demeter.

The myths helped people access their own stories and feelings; in reading Dove’s version of Persephone as a bewildered and curious student in Paris, we were able to talk about how places are not what you expect them to be; how newness pulls and repels us. Poetry also works because it is so open to interpretation. With Efi, we looked at the Demeter poem line by line, reading and discussing, and slowly a picture emerged about grief and community.

Afterwards, Efi gave us four prompts for private, timed writing: A Turning Point in Life; Living in the Underworld, Grief and Community, The Seasons of Loss. There were ten people on that day, who came from a wide range of places – Ukraine, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the DofC and other countries. Everyone wrote with deep concentration.

I still remember how palpable the sense of collective recognition and mutual respect was during these two hours of gentle exploration and storytelling.

Catherine Davidson, writer and volunteer leader of the centre’s Book and Writing Club

‘Having Myth and Voice coming to join us at Femspace, was such an empowering experience for all of us girls. Being able to examine how women were historically displayed and how closely they relate to our current society was a really interesting and eye-opening experience. Since studying English Language, I do find myself wondering about the role of women in literature but that only ever expanded as far as the 18th century. But taking an even further step back and taking a look at women in Greek Mythology goes to show how far-dated the perceptions and portrayals of women truly are. As one of the leaders of Femspace, it was clear to see how much the session benefitted the girls. You could see that there were a lot of girls, who related to Arachne and hearing her story made them feel empowered. We are grateful that Myth and Voice were able to come into our space and shine a light on such a captivating topic that most of many never have thought about. It also gave the girls an opportunity to add their own personal voice to the characters and explore their imagination in ways that suited them – through drawing, writing or even talking. Myth and Voice overall, is such an amazing programme and I am so grateful that they were able to collaborate with us.’ Sahanaa

‘Efi had come to KHS to talk about how women in Greek mythology were represented and their role in Ancient Greek society. She was very welcoming and made all of us girls comfortable, allowing us to open up to her about our feelings and thoughts about the women we were learning about – Arachne and Eurydice. The whole group was engaged in exploring our imaginations and how we perceive Arachne’s/Eurydice’s persona and background story. Efi taught us about these two amazing women in such an interesting manner and helped us explore our opinions and feelings!’ Danisha

‘The session held by Efi was brilliant. It was fun, interactive, informative and really engaging. We got into very interesting topics of discussion and it was really enjoyable to be a part of that. I really think it made some of the other girls more comfortable speaking on certain topics and made them confident in sharing their ideas. This was because Efi was really supportive and encouraged us to be involved but never forced anyone to do anything out of their comfort zone. Efi was really sweet and really made us feel comfortable in our space. I genuinely enjoyed the whole session and didn’t want it to end! It was truly an insightful and inspiring session.’ Divya

‘Femspace’s collaboration with the Myth and Voice program was an amazing experience that allowed us to explore femininity in Greek mythology. It made me feel so heard and comfortable and I believe it also made all the other girls feel included and valued. The activities that we engaged in were especially fun because they gave us all the opportunity to explore the story through our own lens and everything was open to our own interpretation.  Overall, I really enjoyed the session and learning about these powerful women as it was both empowering and influential.’ Deanna

‘I really enjoyed the Greek Mythology session because I felt empowered hearing about Arachne’s story and how it related to my life and the fact that women in all centuries faced the same problems – it made me feel heard.’ – Daksha

‘I enjoyed our session a lot. Efi seemed passionate and enthusiastic about the topic which made it more interesting to me. She also allowed us to apply modern adaptations to the story which further enhanced my interests and intrigue towards the topic.’ – Kelisa

‘Efi was really passionate about the stories and this also helped me channel my passion towards it. Hearing everyone’s interpretations was also really interesting – the fact that a group of us could read the same text but develop such different interpretations is really fascinating. Overall, I had a lot of fun in the session and made me think about things that I haven’t done previously.’ – Kira

‘I thought that the session was really interesting. Being able to read their stories and then develop our own ideas about them and put our own individual twist on them was really fun. Also hearing about the stories of these women was also really empowering especially since a few of us resonated really deeply with them. It also helped me develop my view on women and how they were treated during this time.’ – Daniela

‘Our session with Efi was really interesting since we were able to zoom into certain parts of women’s history and rewrite what had happened based on our own opinions and interpretations of the story. It felt different looking into the world the way we did during the session, just zooming out of the bigger picture and looking at small parts of it. Also, the fact that we were able to express ourselves in any way we please (for me personally, through drawing) was very rejuvenating and relaxing. There was no pressure to join in which made my environment feel safe.’ – Maryam

‘I really enjoyed the past two sessions with Efi and her exciting presence. I found the Greek stories of Eurydice and Arachne quite compelling and was delighted in how Efi brought her own knowledge and experiences to help us create our own unique ideas of the characters and their lives. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity!’ – Aayushi

‘I found the session very informative. Adapting the stories to make them more modernised was interesting as we could reflect on how women in today’s society want to empower and lift each other up, whereas that was not the case in the Arachne story. The session definitely helped me to improve my creativity skills and to get other’s perspectives on matters I hadn’t thought of before.’ – Eleni

‘In November 2023, seven Year Twelve students studying the Iliad for AS Classical Civilisation took part in a Myth and Voice project in collaboration with Dr Efi Spentzou from Royal Holloway’s Classics Department.

The project began when Dr Efi Spentzou visited our Year Twelve Classical Civilisation students and our Classics Centre to run an immersive and creative workshop exploring the experiences of Trojan women in the aftermath of the Trojan War.

The students have been studying Homer’s Iliad for several weeks, and the workshop started by asking the group to imagine the sensory landscape for groups of women after the city had been destroyed by the Greeks. They were asked to imagine the smells, sights, and sounds of the Trojan beach. Students imagined the smell of the flames mixing with the salty waves, birds, people wailing and crying, lost children, and perhaps even a sense of quiet after the conclusion of so much fighting.

They were then given the challenge of choosing a particular character, and narrating her particular story of loss, suffering and fear. The students worked in groups and crafted their characters from scratch. One group imagined a captive who had been taken from her home, and the only thing she had managed to bring with her was a shell, which connected her to her place of origin. Another group created a character who came from a family of fig orchard farmers. They included a beautiful drawing of a fig tree and an original poem imagined to have been written by the Trojan woman. Another group imagined a character called “Proposa”, who was an illegitimate daughter of Priam’s, and therefore was not able to be connected publicly to the more formal templates of grief that society framed (and frames).

The artwork, poems, and stories produced showed very creative and sensitive engagement with the process of imagining a character from a marginalised group, and exploring what sort of experiences they might have had, experiences which are not foregrounded so much in the Iliad.

It was a fascinating and very thought-provoking project, and we are very grateful to Efi and to the wider Myth and Voice initiative for enabling our students to take part.’

Dr Lorna Robinson, Director of the Rumble Community Museum based at Cheney school, East Oxford.

‘This workshop was incredibly interesting to observe and from the students’ point of view, to participate in. The children were encouraged to build relationships with each other within a range of interactive activities and develop collaborative skills by actively listening and trusting each other with their voice. The participants were fully engaged with all activities and as a school, there is huge potential for valuable follow up. One student commented that “this is the best group work we have ever done!” ’ 

Amy Covic, PSHE and Winston Extra Lead, Winston Churchill school, Woking

‘I came into the workshop with an open mind, and thankfully so did the students. It was a privilege to hear the different interpretations and modernisations the year seven students brought to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Not only were there moments of humour and fun, but times of genuine connection with the work of others. Because the students were given a free, safe space in which there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer or idea that is better than another, when the students were asked to write prompts for each other, it was brilliant to see that the groups honoured the ideas they were given and took them onboard even when they did not necessarily agree with them; the resulting good work was a testament to their willingness to become a community.

Their ideas also gave me cause to reflect on my own thoughts and inspired me to see things in a way I had not previously considered. It is an opportunity that I wish I was offered when I was a student in secondary school.’

Tom, First Year PhD Candidate, Classics, Royal Holloway University of London

‘It was a really unique experience participating in the workshop, genuinely so interesting to see how activities to try and involve younger students in classics gradually emerged. It was especially nice bouncing ideas off group members and having such a collaborative feeling to the session, I wondered if it would be daunting given that I’d never been to a workshop before, but I felt just as involved as other people.

We focused on making the stories of Trojan women as accessible as possible by discussing all the potential ways the topic could be introduced and laid out, as well as how extensively we would go into the facts or background of their stories to help contextualise the scenarios that the women of Troy found themselves in. Sensitivity to the topic was key, and it really showed in the workshop how much thought goes into designing activities for the participants.

My favourite part of the workshop was getting to see the inner machinations of how putting something like this together really works. I found it so interesting to learn about the viewpoints of other people and how that can affect designing a learning experience. ‘

Linnie, 2nd year, Classical Studies, Royal Holloway University of London

Twelve Year 10 students participated in a university style seminar, hosted by Dr Efi Spentzou from Royal Holloway University, exploring Ovid’s tale of Orpheus & Eurydice. Students were challenged to consider how we listen to the voiceless, using empathy and questioning to explore characters’ varied perspectives in a deep manner, expected at University level. Students were encouraged to have ideas for the sake of having ideas, to challenge and develop each others’ thinking without the constraints of a success criteria or piece of work for completion, which enabled really thoughtful and perceptive observations about the myth.

A few weeks later, the Year 10 students hosted the same workshop, with the support of Dr. Efi, with a big cohort of Year 8 students. They planned, prepared and delivered a university style seminar with 70 younger students, again encouraging them to consider and develop ideas for the sake of it, and both I and Dr. Efi were really impressed with the leadership and resilience of the Year 10 students and the engagement and critical thinking of the Year 8 students.

Here is what some of our students had to say about the event:

‘I have better ideas when the only thing I’m trying to do is have ideas’

Zach, Year 8

‘You will never know what the story actually is, so you have to let your imagination take over.’

Jessica, Year 8

‘I was surprisingly impressed with how many students were willing to participate, I had thought that some may be uninterested but within the two groups I worked with all of the students engaged well. It made me appreciate how hard teachers have to try when planning lessons!’

Sofia, Year 10

‘Honestly, I’m going to agree with Sofia on this , it was hard! I could never fathom planning 5 lessons a day it was exhausting. And the reason it was is because we put our all into it! Every single one of us. It took our every last drop of our energy but it was definitely worth it. Genuinely it was so refreshing. Just having these children look up to you is so empowering. It was an amazing experience leading them and developing their creativity. And it was great fun! Genuinely it was one of the best classes I have ever had in this school. Like ever. Pat on the back to Mr Fisher and Dr Efi for giving us this opportunity and, I have to say, I wouldn’t have thought Latin would make me so close to this class.’

Seven, Year 10

We’re really grateful to Dr Efi for her time and expertise, and for sharing this opportunity with our students. 

Dan Fisher, Winston Churchil School

It has been a great privilege and immense inspiration to collaborate with Efi on the Myth and Voice Initiative and to bring it to our Classics Centre and students!

Efi got in touch some months ago with her brilliant Myth and Voice Initiative, and it aligned very well with an idea I was developing to create an informal Classics Cafe after school at the Classics Centre, where students could drop in, do some craft related to classics, and relax over hot chocolate. The Myth and Voice initiative felt like a perfect way to blend the cafe atmosphere with exploration of a story, with its important and powerful aims of connecting people through stories, and so we embarked on an exciting partnership across three weekly sessions. I am so glad that we did!

We chose three different myths – Eurydice, Arachne and Narcissus. The students were not expected to know anything about the myth from beforehand which made it a really open, inclusive experience for all. Efi prepared some simple, clear text retelling each story, and I put each one on a cafe-style placemat so that students could see the story when they arrived at the cafe. Efi also created some very thoughtful starters and questions to get the students thinking about the themes and characters in the stories, and I put these onto blackboards in the centre of the tables.

A hugely creative Year Nine team of three storytellers prepared a five minute dramatic retelling of the story for each week, using props and humorous updates of the stories! These were very popular with the cafe attendees.

The cafe opened at 3pm at the end of school, and students trickled in, sat at tables, ordered drinks and snacks, and were able to chat with each other, read the placemats and get started on a related craft activity.

At about 3.15pm, the Year Nines performed their story, and then Efi introduced some things to think about in each story – what the characters might be thinking and feeling, what themes the story raises, and finally, how the story might be reimagined!

Some incredible retellings, interpretations and imaginings emerged, showing how much the students engaged with the stories. I have rarely seen students so unselfconsciously engaged with a story and how to adapt and retell it. Efi’s open-ended and gently steering questions, and her warm, relaxed and welcoming personality, enabled everyone to feel safe, comfortable and fully engaged at all times.

The sessions produced creative outputs that were so natural, spontaneous, thoughtful and textured, and students left feeling on a high with what they had produced, reflected on, and performed.

These sessions were quite incredible, and I am so grateful to Efi for bringing them to our classics cafe!

Lorna Robinson, Director of the Rumble Community Museum, based at Cheney School, East Oxford.

Around 30 Students in Y8-Y11 took part in a free workshop run by the Myth and Voice project from the Classics Department at Royal Holloway University of London. Dr Efi Spentzou delivered a workshop designed to help students gain confidence in their use of voice. Our students thrived during this workshop and Dr Spentzou was amazed at their work and contributions.  

The workshop was based on selected characters and story lines from Ovid’s Metamorphose and focused on the myth of Eurydice and Orpheus, as a story of muted self-expression and the strains behind young love.  

We are incredibly grateful to Dr Spentzou for taking the time to deliver this workshop to our students. We enjoyed that students from Y8-Y11 were invited to take part, especially as outreach work is normally exclusively for Y12-13s. This meant that even our youngest students were able to hear from an expert, take part in the workshop, and discuss their ideas with an academic.

We can’t wait to be able to host more events like this! 

Jess Angell, Head of History, Cambourne Village College

The Myth & Voice workshops facilitated by Royal Holloway Classics Department have been excellent opportunities for our students to challenge questions of perspective and reception in literature, in contextualising and recontextualising situations, and developing self and community awareness. Students examine stories of Greek mythology and question the presentation and impact of character and scenario to expose deeper or alternative meanings.

This also provided an opportunity for our Year 10 students to lead their own session, adapting what they had done to facilitate a workshop with Year 8 students. Their confidence, not only with handling a text, but also with framing someone else’s thinking has supported their ability to access texts across the curriculum on top of the personal development it has fostered.

The beauty of these sessions is that students don’t need any prior knowledge of Classics to access them and to make the same personal and academic progress. Most importantly, students have engaged really well and enjoyed the experiences of doing something different, reading exciting stories and relishing the opportunity to impact the learning of their younger peers.

Dan Fisher, English and Classics, Winston Churchill school, Woking.

First of all, I really appreciated the focus on identity/voice and the way we use them to express who we are. The discussions about challenging authority highlighted some of the most important issues of modern society and while it raises awareness of the absurdity of contemporary power hierarchies, I felt hopeful that this workshop will show the students the importance of using their voice and stand up for themselves.

Secondly, I loved the potential of the premise. We were able to look at Arachne’s narrative in the modern context from so many angles and I believe every one of us gained yet another perspective on the issues presented.

All in all, I enjoyed the space for critical thinking the session provided us with. 

Lisa, 2nd year, Hispanic Studies and Classics, Royal Holloway University of London

While we did have a significant proportion of the Telling Tales cohort sign up to take part in the Myth and Voice Initiative this year, I enjoyed the intimate aspect of attending alongside just Cameron and the two lecturers. The discussion was alike a conversation, and there was significant back and forth from all parties involved. Considering the deliberately practical alignment of my course, especially in my third year, it was refreshing to engage in a deliciously cognitive discourse about the myth of Pentheus, Dionysus and the Maenads. I’m surprised at how much I have grown to love Greek Tragedy throughout my time at university, and being able to share my deep dives on how it emerges in a contemporary context was very exciting. The discussion was handled excellently by Efi and David throughout, and ideas were constantly being brought to the fore. I would recommend the initiative to anyone who is invested in the modern applications of Greek Tragedy, especially in an experimental context.

Jake, 3rd year, Drama and Theatre at Royal Holloway

In the workshop itself, not mentioning political movements that find parallels in the Arachne myth, Black Lives Matter for example, left a more open and creativity-promoting atmosphere for the participants of the workshop. Nevertheless, I think it would be extremely powerful to also encourage people to think about these more emotionally heavy movements as they have the potential to change the way we live in society fundamentally for the better.

More generally, I loved hearing all the different ideas and sentiments about the modern parallels that the Arachne Myth offers! Especially how everyone interacted so politely and kindly. They showed compassion and reflection upon each other’s opinions, which I thought was really wholesome. The project is an amazing opportunity for the public to tickle the brain and think about their own, as well as other voices.

Thank you for giving us the chance to shape this workshop and simultaneously grow with this project.

Lisa, 4th year, Hispanic Studies and Classics, Royal Holloway University of London

I found last Saturdays’ open workshop on Phaethon so inspirational and so moving – I really found myself thinking in so many new ways. It showed me what a great initiative Myth and Voice is – and I would so love to continue to collaborate on ways to bring it to new audiences. I thought we had a really great group of people from the community there, who were all happy to share their thoughts. It went brilliantly!

Dr. Lorna Robinson, Iris community Classics centre at Cheney school

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