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The history of our project
During the autumn of 2011, Swedish Television broadcasted the Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s, lecture entitled "The Danger of a Single Story", talking about the danger that arises when people hear only a single story about a country, a culture, a group or an individual. She stated how important it is for us to have more than one story about each other in order to avoid prejudice, segregation and racism. These thoughts inspired the staff of the Department of Culture and Leisure of Simrishamn, Sweden, to develop a practical method of working actively for integration, understanding, healthy curiosity and respect between people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures.
Together with students and other members of the community of Simrishamn, we developed a new card game, More Than One Story. The first edition was printed in 2012 in English and Swedish. Since then over 40,000 card games in twenty different languages have been printed.
We spent over six months developing the More Than One Story card game together with secondary school students and adult volunteers. As we worked together, we tested many possible cards and began to notice which ones produced the desired effect, to help people let go of prejudices and come closer to each other. We avoided cards which focused upon opinions or superficial questions. Instead we found that cards which dealt with feelings and memories or dreams were the most effective.
While developing the game, we played More Than One Story with students, teachers and counselors at schools, with youth visiting homes for the elderly, with staff and visitors at the local youth center and library, as well as with mixed groups of all ages at our local cultural center. These pilot groups provided us with useful input. Their spontaneous reactions and reflections convinced us that our game achieves its purpose of building bridges between people. Players developed a greater appreciation of their classmates/workmates, seeing them in a different light. The atmosphere of openness and sharing which was created by playing More Than One Story touched many and encouraged us to invite others to join our project.
Since then the project has continued to grow and spread. The More Than One Story project has received Swedish and European Public Service awards during 2013. It was awarded with the Intercultural Innovation Award 2014 by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group. In 2015 More Than One Story was chosen as the winner of the Council of Europe’s Democracy Innovation Award by the participants of the World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.