Saturday, September 20, 2014

Finding Out a Little About Appalachia

A person can find out many things going to the annual Appalachian Festival, including a little bit of history about Appalachia or what an Appalachian is. Friday of the 9th Annual Appalachian Festival, which was September 19th 2014, the Story Telling session, with Adam Booth as the speaker, was taking place on a rather cloudy day. Booth talked a lot about Appalachian Storytelling, mostly about Orature, which is the oral companion of literature, and usually involves folklore, mysticism, and is very concerned about what people believe in. In discussions about Orature, it was noted that the stories told orally and are usually changed in one of 3 ways over time: either people will forget the original story, add their own details or twists to it, or just insert their personal beliefs into the story, as brought up by his mentioning or Richard Chase: Chase took his grandfather’s old stories that he used to tell him, wrote them down, and printed them with his own ideas implemented into them. Booth also brought up how the population of Appalachia is decreasing in his presentation, and a lot about how people tell false stories about Appalachians, saying “technology is allowing outsiders to tell our stories for us,” pointing out how the Appalachian communities are not recognized by others like it used to be, or how Appalachians are stereotyped. Booth was talking about all of this, because he wanted to promote storytelling like there used to be, seeing as now in modern culture, holidays are no longer being celebrated like they used to, because it is insisted that these stories no longer be told to young children because they’ll just find out the truth when they get older, which one may think spoils the fun of having a childhood, and the idea that “it’s bad when we let other communities tell our stories about us, even worse when they tell them to us, and even worse when we tell ourselves the stories we have been told by others”. He wanted “the knowledge of many people to exist and persist,” as he said, and he talked about “silenced communities,” which are communities who are usually silenced by the media among other things, because no one addresses their issues.  Booth was worried about the existence of Orature slowly depleting in the world, and how the truth is replaced by what’s more convenient to talk about, which he brought up the ugly truth about diet sodas among many other “healthier” things that are said to be good for you. In his discussion about what’s convenient to be told, he brought up a point about how politicians seem to do this kind of thing all the time, bringing up the issue of Fracking: the process drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. Though we’ve been told it creates jobs, it hurts us environmentally, then he raised the question “what will Appalachia do if there is no water or land?” and asked “Is it too late to tell our stories?” [Referring to native Appalachians]. The presentation was very enjoyable, and people were curious about a lot of the points Adam Booth brought up. Thankfully, he was able to answer most of the questions as well as teach us more things about the Appalachian community.

No comments: