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Re-enchantment

Written on April 12, 2011

Did you know about the great new ABC site called Re-enchantment? Video’s and audio from the site are being aired on ABC TV and ABC RadioIt is ‘an immersive journey into the hidden meanings of fairy tales’. Warning: It is for adults. It explores the darker themes of popular folk tales and why they have relevance still. It is well worth a visit!

I went and saw the new “Red Riding Hood” film (again- beware it is for adults or teens I feel) and I am still chewing over the version created. The dicussion area would be a great place to engage in debate about this film, the tale and modern and feminist re-imaginings. There are also study notes coming!

Here is a quote from the website:

Fairy tales existed as oral stories for thousands of years before they appeared as literature for children. Fairy tales are set in a distant imaginary past. They do not always have fairies, but usually there is magic: enchantments, transformations, talking animals and people under spells. The term ‘fairy tale’ is taken from the French conte de fées which Charles Perrault popularized in his now famous collection of fairy tales Contes du temps passé (1697). Sometimes they are called ‘wonder tales’ reminding us that they are not simple moral tales for children. Across cultures fairy tales have been retold and changed with each telling. They have been collected and written down, translated and edited in ways that have also altered the stories. However, folklorists have identified many common motifs and story types throughout the world. Fairy tales are cultural snapshots of the lives of men and women, their economic and family circumstances and the conditions of childhood. At the same time fairy tales reflect our Just as the stories are always changing and adapting so are interpretations by writers, social historians, psychologists and cultural commentators. Re-enchantment weaves together psychological, social, historical and cultural interpretations drawing from the many sources listed here. Within the site you will also find FURTHER INFORMATION sections containing quotes and suggestions for further readings and INTERVIEWS that may also direct your research. Re-enchantment also includes the re-interpretation of fairy tales by visual and media artists and popular culture in each story space. The artists can also be sourced in the FEATURED ARTISTS section in the GALLERY. Use the general or psychological bibliographies or writing specific to Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel and Bluebeard stories. Add your own research, commentary or visual re-interpretations using CREATE or DISCUSS. You can read and hear the tales read aloud by Australian actors. This is not the same as storytelling, and I am not so fussed on the way that part has been done, but overall it is a very rich site.

You can watch the 5 min TV segments Friday evenings at 10.25pm, on ABC iView or on the Re-enchantment website:

http://www.abc.net.au/re-enchantment/ The first episode includes an interview with Jack Zipes, a well known U.S. writer on the value of folktales.

Click on the MENU down the bottom to bring it up, then click on the FAIRY TALE THEMES tab on the right.

The ten short videos are there.

In the MENU there is a DISCUSS tab – you can contribute to discussion there.

Visit Re-enchantment…

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