Verhalen van onze voorouders/Gifts from our Ancestors
"I came to a deeper understanding of my own family history."
A unique and inspirational process designed by storytellers Stella Kassimati and Pelin Turgut to empower anyone to find, craft and share their family stories, especially around themes of loss, exile, belonging and making a new home, helping you connect to your roots and place these stories as gifts in to the world.
About the course:
We are all carriers of our family stories - of their strength, resilience and love, as well as the stories that were hidden or silenced out of shame, fear or simply the need to survive. These stories may live on in us like an echo. Giving them a voice is a deeply empowering process. We feel lighter, strengthened, more connected to our roots and a renewed sense of engagement with the world. Join this powerful movement to redeem these lost stories and ground them in our humanity today by recognising the gifts they carry for our own life.
About Stella and Pelin:
Stella Kassimati and Pelin Turgut, a Greek and a Turk, met some years ago and began a tentative
friendship. They had both been raised to see the other as an enemy. Indeed, travel between their two neighbouring countries was forbidden until very recently. As they grew closer, they uncovered stories of loss and exile in both their families that crisscrossed
the Aegean Sea. As professional storytellers, Stella and Pelin began to share these tales and saw how audiences took them to heart. People of all backgrounds began spontaneously sharing their own stories of their forebears. This course grew out of that personal
Date: 2-3 June (Sat/Sun) 10h00-17h00.
NOTE: the start up ceremony that was planned on Friday evening has been changed into the Ancestor Storytelling Cafe, also on Friday (1st June) from 19h00-21h00.
Location: Lunchroom De Overkant, Stationsweg 32, The Hague
“A beautiful course. It helped me to go back in time and go deep, to connect with what is so often overlooked in the distractions and/or everyday rush of life; to develop my sense of who I am. Due to this nature of this course the dynamics, support and care of the group was lovely and inspiring. Thank you Stella and Pelin.” Kekei Harbour
“This was a profoundly moving course, which evoked honesty and tenderness among the participants. I came to a deeper understanding of my own family history. Appreciation also of Stella and Pelin for their sensitive guidance.” Jenny Riva
"Wonderful team support from Stella and Pelin that allowed balance of crafting with room for emotional truth and respect.” Claire Kaplan, project consultant
"This work shifted something profound inside, relating to identity and a celebration of my ancestral family, in spite of some deep sadness within my ancestral story.” Shane Lewis Ibbs, teacher and storyteller
“Stella and Pelin navigated sensitive story with utter kindness and professionalism. They didn’t waste a second and generously gave of themselves to allow the stories to emerge. The work they do is vital at this moment. What they are doing is bringing sorely needed stories into the world. We need more of this.” Glenys Newton, writer and storyteller
Stella Kassimati is an experienced facilitator of workshops. She teaches around the world in both Greek and English, including at The International School of Storytelling and Schumacher College, UK. Stella loves Greek myths and offers workshops on how relevant they are to us today. She has a deep passion for biographical storytelling, with an emphasis on ancestry stories. She has co-developed a successful program called “Gifts from our Ancestors”, enabling adults to craft and publicly perform family tales with the goal of increasing empathy and creating community. She loves teaching the craft of the storyteller because it gives people a voice and empowers them to bring more of themselves into the world.
Pelin Turgut was a writer for publications such as TIME magazine and The Independent
and co-founder of the !F Istanbul International Independent Film Festival before training with The International School of Storytelling in Sussex.
She works with adults of all backgrounds drawing on the healing qualities of fairytale and stories to enable a felt sense of the mythic nature of a life journey. She has a particular interest in the richness of ancestor stories; her own background is Turkish-British and her grandparents came from a vast and varied geography.
She has trained in family constellation work with Svagito Liebermeister for several years and is studying with Daan van Kampenhout, creator of Systemic Ritual. She is a film mentor, storyteller and a facilitator of group workshops that include ritual, stories, meditation and constellation work to allow awareness of the deeper movements of life, and also new possibilities. Pelin leads groups in the UK and Turkey.