Stories are everywhere. They are very dear to us – we grew up listening to them, didn’t we? It shaped our worldview and nourished our imagination. In fact, civilizations are built upon stories and gave rise to many more in the form of epics, fables, myths, legends, and poetry. Some stories are on the tip of our tongue, and some, in our heads. The most important ones are, however, those that touch our hearts. This is what makes storytelling a powerful tool.
A well-constructed story has the power to rope us into its make-believe world. We have all felt an association with the concepts and characters of our most loved stories. We remember them long after we have forgotten the details. On some level, we are shaped by the stories we read, see, and hear about in the society around us.
Imagine if we could use this very power of stories to paint a picture of the society we would like to live in: our view of the ideal society of the future. It could be imaginary and futuristic, but when told in a compelling manner, it is one step closer to becoming a reality.
Social Fiction is the term coined to describe this genre. Much like science fiction, they have the power to captivate the imagination of the curious, and drive them to action. They kindle thoughts and action in entire generations: something which a 5-year-plan, a boardroom vision statement, or a set of development goals defined at a high level can rarely do.
While these stories need not be completely imaginary, they ought to blend elements of real-world problems with solutions that spring from fantasy: this is stuff that pipedreams and grand plans to change the world are made of!
The Department of Stories is a bold attempt to foster such stories into existence. We are calling for stories that are alive, sometimes dormant, inside your heads and hearts, waiting to be told. We urge them to step into the daylight, and take shape in the forms of words, pictures, melody.
Stories are everywhere. They are in the pains of the downtrodden, and they are in the dreams of the young. We invite you to give them form. Spin us a yarn, tell us your story.