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Join Storyteller Gauri Raje for some family fun located in the old Smiddy, Strachur.

Step back in time as you enter an 18th-century blacksmith’s smiddy, carefully preserved with forge, bellows and anvil, cobbled floor, tools of the trade and beamed ceiling.

The Strachur Smiddy dates back to at least 1791, and continued as a working Smiddy until 1955. It has since been repaired and restored to its original state and now acts as a working museum with regular weekend demonstrations and a well-stocked craft shop.

About the storyteller

Gauri Raje – was born and grew up in India, arriving in the UK as an adult in 1999. She moved to Scotland in 2017. Her first memories of storytelling are of sitting wrapped up in the sari of her great grand-mother reading stories to her. She remembers her father telling her and her sister stories as children, that were autobiographical or of Marilyn Monroe, Tarzan and the adventures of the British royalty.

She did not grow up with a fascination of traditional Indian stories, instead a deep relish of story-listening that meant intimacy. She began to be fascinated by myths, stories and their power to hold community memories and transform hearts & minds during her doctoral fieldwork among indigenous and displaced communities in western India.

Gauri is a storyteller, educator and workshop facilitator working with adolescents and adults from multilingual, multicultural and disadvantaged backgrounds. She works with different genres: folk tales, fairy tales, epics and myths, mainly from non-European regions, and autobiographical storytelling.

She tells stories in various languages including Urdu, Hindi, English and other Indian languages such as Gujarati and Marathi. She is especially interested in the concepts of witnessing in storytelling, translation, multilingualism and embodied nature of creating stories.

Gauri formally trained in telling stories with the School of Storytelling, Sussex and then with Jan Blake. She incorporates her training in Indian classical music and dance in her storytelling. She believes storytelling to be a community art form and trained in Theatre of the Oppressed and witness based work, which enables those with no performance background to tell their stories.

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