Stories by Firelight, a Gathering by Stranger Collective

In a corner somewhere in Cornwall there will be a gathering of people – some who know each other, some who don’t, all sharing stories around a fire. To set off the evening, a few speakers have been chosen to take a plinth (or a bench, a cushion or a camp chair) and tell us their most interesting stories, about their life, their work, a journey or a project. You might hear a tale of survival against the odds, of travels deep into far away jungles or an ancient Indian parable that helped someone find their life’s path. Welcome to Firelight.

As well as sharing stories, we tuck into bottles of beer and a mouthwatering feast provided by our hosts as we talk late into the night accompanied by the pop-crackle backing soundtrack of burning wood. Driving and walking home, we smile, our hair smelling of woodsmoke and our mouths tasting of caramelized marshmallow, contemplating our favourite stories of the evening.

Already convinced? Stay tuned to Stranger Collective News for details of the next Firelight event. Or join the League of Strangers community by signing up to Stranger Collective’s newsletter to get inspiration straight into your inbox.

Where did the inspiration for Firelight come from?

Claire Howdle, co-founder at Stranger Collective explains…

We first came up with the idea of Firelight on a long boring trip home to Cornwall. I was reading a book by Carmine Gallo (founder of TED) and he explained that anthropologists have tracked storytelling back to the moment man discovered fire, extending our waking hours past sunset, because humans could gather around the fire and talk of things other than how to survive.

We thought it would be great to embrace that link between the art of storytelling and the flicker of flames by inviting people in the Stranger community to tell the stories of their lives for us all to be inspired by. This isn’t about Powerpoints or career plans or successes, this is about the real stories, revelations and moments that have shaped the experiences of some pretty amazing people, that we can all learn from and connect with.

Stranger Collective is well known for its creative written content, could these stories have worked on paper in the same way?

“We actually work with words in all their guises, from written content to podcasts to scripts for performance and storyboards for installation. We love the power of words and what they can do and storytelling is a key part of that. There’s nothing that beats that special kind of silence you hear when someone is talking and the audience is totally hanging on their every word. It’s concentrated, pure connection and it can lead people to incredible new ideas, collaborations and imaginings they never had before.”

What would you like people to get from an evening at Firelight?

“If a handful of people come away from Firelight with a new idea, a new connection or a new sense of community we’d be stoked. Cornwall is such a creative place, League of Strangers is all about joining up those dots and helping people all over the county and beyond really see what inspiring things are happening.”

Images from Firelight at Gweek Boatyard Cafe


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