The ZIPANG Mesopotamian storytellers June Peters, Fran Hazelton and Badia Obaid tell and teach others to tell stories from ancient Iraq through the art of oral storytelling. June and Fran tell and teach in English. Badia tells and teaches in Arabic
Who was Enheduanna?
The Enheduanna Society is a registered heritage education charity (registration number 1097515) founded in 2002 to popularise the literature of Ancient Iraq (Mesopotamia) through the art of oral storytelling. The woman it takes its name from lived in Mesopotamia in about 2300 BCE, and was the world’s first named poet.
Enheduanna’s surviving work, originally written in Sumerian, consists of three poems to the goddess Inanna and forty temple hymns. Click here for more information about Enheduanna: her life, her world, her poetry.
ZIPANG Mesopotamian storytelling
The ZIPANG Mesopotamian storytellers began performing in 1997 when June Peters and Fran Hazelton told the Gilgamesh Epic at the Kufa Gallery in London, based on a new translation by Andrew George.
Since then there have been ZIPANG performances in private parties, storytelling clubs, Oxford, Cambridge and London universities, the October Gallery, the Hayward Gallery, the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, the Story Museum, the Poetry Café in Covent Garden, the Reel Iraq Festival in Shoreditch, the Battersea Barge on the River Thames, and at a forest storytelling festival in Morocco.
ZIPANG storytellers make a unique contribution to the transmission of knowledge about ancient Iraq. They pass on by word of mouth the stories of Mesopotamian myths and poetry to those who want to know them.