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Voices from the New West



Listen to the voices we hardly hear


Some voices we hear all the time. In talkshows and during the news, in newspapers and on social media, they express what they think or feel. But there are also voices we hardly hear, or even not at all. For example, those of women and men who came to The Netherlands years ago and found a home in Amsterdam Nieuw-West.

How do they experience the corona crisis? They often live far away from a their families; in a country where the news is not always easy to follow; in an environment where not everyone wants to hear their story.

We give these people a voice.

Storytelling Centre strongly believes in the power of storytelling. We believe that there should be room for everyone’s story in a balanced, culturally diverse society. In a ever-changing society, we see it as a necessity to provide a stage for all those stories and to connect people by doing that. That is our drive.




This room is curated by:
Arjen Barel (Storytelling Centre)

Arjen Barel (1973) is producer and director, mainly in the field of storytelling performances, and spends a large part of his professional life listening to stories and training people in the art of storytelling. Until 2017 he was responsible the program for the International Storytelling Festival Amsterdam, which he founded in 2008, and other festivals and he regularly coaches storytellers, both amateur and professionals.

Arjen teaches Storytelling and Presentation at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. He also delivers training for professionals in how to use storytelling in youth work and community work in several places in the world. Last years he trained people from Hungary, France, Morocco, Palestine, Israel, Germany, Spain, Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, Greece and The UK.

Arjen Barel studied Drama Studies and Cultural Studies at the University of Amsterdam. In addition to his work within Bureau Barel he teaches at various courses and put together the book Theatre & Marketing, Tension & Thrill (2004) in collaboration with Esther Lagendijk. In 2020 he published a new book about Applied Storytelling, called Storytelling en de Wereld (Storytelling and the World, how sharing stories can contribute to personal growth and social impact). Currently the book is translated to English and Turkish.


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