Storytelling: For preserving and passing on traditions,
for challenging and breaking traditions,
and for the creation of new traditions.
strengthen social norms that support healthy masculinities and gender
equality, and to help eliminate gender-based violence, homophobia and
other oppressions that are intertwined with masculinities,
through men´s public story-sharing events, documentary films
and other mass media.
The Men's Story Project (MSP) is a replicable storytelling and community dialogue project that brings exploration of social ideas about masculinity into public forums. The MSP highlights men's stories that are less often heard; breaks silences on issues including sexism, racism, heterosexism, ableism and violence – and ways in which these are often intertwined with masculinities; celebrates men’s beauty and humanity; and stimulates active dialogue on what contemporary masculinities can be all about. The ultimate goal of the MSP is to help expand the presence of genuine self-expression, health and justice in communities. The MSP started in San Francisco in 2008, and we have resources available to help groups create new MSP initiatives around the world.
In each live MSP presentation, diverse men share personal stories with an audience, on subjects including sexuality; gender identity; friendship; family relationships; responding to and healing from violence; HIV/AIDS; and personal transformations – all with a framing focus on exploration of masculinities. Presentations are multi-medium (e.g., spoken word, monologues, prose, music, dance), followed by audience-presenter discussion. MSP presenters have included celebrities, other opinion leaders, artists, and men who had never previously been on a stage.
MSP productions can be regularly-occurring (e.g., yearly campus productions, touring groups), accompanied with community engagement/advocacy campaigns, and incorporated into broader education programs. MSP Collectives can form around this work, and documentary films and related educational tools can be created on the basis of the live productions. MSP productions have been overwhelmingly positively received, and our hope/vision is that groups far and wide will get involved in creating MSP initiatives and join the growing MSP network. We’re here to help you do this!