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Alenka Spacal: Story-telling by the illustrations – for the big and the little ones

07 March 2015 Kindly invited to the "Story-telling by the illustrations – for the big and the little ones" event with Alenka Spacal on Saturday, 7th March 2015 at Alkatraz Gallery, ACC Metelkova. The event is a part of the artists "Illustrations to the tale What’s Your Name?" exhibition and 16th International Feminist & Queer Red Dawns Festival.

Alenka Spacal is going to tell her tale What’s Your Name? live for the first time, in front of her illustrations, at the Alkatraz Gallery, at her solo exhibition organized within the 16th International Feminist and Queer Festival Red Dawns.

The main character in the contemporary animal tale is a little snail that has no name yet, as it has just been born into the world; and it is, in conversations with different animals, looking for a name, while getting to know the animals and their names. In this way, it discovers various methods of naming. »Some of us are named after fruits or colours, others after saints, grandmas and famous artists«, says Hazelnut Borer, a bug. The snail is asking the animals he meets to give ideas for its name, but is not entirely satisfied with their suggestions. It does not feel like a girl snail or a boy snail, nor is it really keen on either girls’ or boys’ names. In the end, the animals help the snail choose a name most befitting a hermaphrodite that he is. Besides the motif of naming, we recognize a significant importance of gender topic, for names are usually given to children only after their sex has been clearly established.

The tale What’s Your Name? will first come alive in public, told live and through its exhibited illustrations. Children will be able to learn not only about several different ways of naming and various names, but will also get acquainted with the names of the animal characters in the story, and hence with the alphabet. A tale of the current times, What’s Your Name?, representing an alphabet of its own kind is, together with the illustrations, suitable for children in their pre-reading period, or for those who are just beginning to learn to read, as it is getting them acquainted with early literacy. The author wishes to address not only the youngest, but also somewhat older children, as well as all who still let the door into fairy tale worlds open to imagination.

About the author:

Alenka Spacal (1975) is a writer, an illustrator, and a story-teller. She graduated and received her MA in philosophy and her Ph.D. in sociology at the Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana. As an artist, she first presented herself with Self-Portraits, oil-paintings on kitchen towels in the period between 2003 and 2005. They were exhibited at feminist, women’s, lesbian and queer events, amongst them also in the Alkatraz Gallery at the Red Dawns 6, in 2005. She is also active as a theoretician, covering issues like gender in expert articles for adults and tales for children. Her first authorial tale Rainbow Masquerade (Založba ŠKUC, Lambda) was published in 2013. The illustrations from this picture book were displayed at various exhibitions of illustration art at home and abroad. The author was telling the story of Rainbow Masquerade at events held for children. See more at: http://www.mavricna-maskarada.si/.

Story-telling:

At the Primary School I Murska Sobota (5 class) within the 19th Meeting of Young Slovene Youth Writers The Eye of the Word, 10th October 2014.

At Slovene Book Days in Maribor, 16th April 2014, at Grajski trg.

At ŠKUC’s Duddlings, 14th December 2013, at the ŠKUC Gallery.

At the Primary School Tišina (4 and 5 class), within the 18th Meeting of Young Slovene Youth Writers The Eye of the Word, 27th September 2013.

At the 20th Anniversary of ACC Metelkova City, 10th September 2013, in the Tiffany Club garden (ŠKUC – Cultural centre Q).

At the Ruše Summer Stage Festival 2013, 31st August 2013 (The Pohorje Tale for Children, at the pavilion in a park in the centre of Ruše).

At Radio Maribor, in the Words on the Merry-go-round programme(the programme author: Simona Kopinšek), 6th August 2013. Voice recording (Zvočni posnetek)

At the Living Literature, 20th literary-music festival, within the accompanying programme A Revived Book (O'živela knjiga), in front of the ŠKUC gallery, 15th June 2013.



Alenka Spacal, "What's Your Name?", detail, 2014, watercolours and white tempera Alenka Spacal during story-telling of "Rainbow Masquerade (Mavrična maškarada)" (photo: Archive of Slovene Book Days in Maribor festival (festival Slovenski dnevi knjige v Mariboru) – MKC Maribor Alenka Spacal during story-telling of "Rainbow Masquerade (Mavrična maškarada)" (photo: Archive of Slovene Book Days in Maribor festival (festival Slovenski dnevi knjige v Mariboru) – MKC Maribor Alenka Spacal during story-telling of "Rainbow Masquerade (Mavrična maškarada)" (photo: Archive of Slovene Book Days in Maribor festival (festival Slovenski dnevi knjige v Mariboru) – MKC Maribor