Photographs by Robert Golden

In the last 10 days of August, young people from across the UK, Italy, Eritrea, Iraq and Syria were joined by a team of artists to explore and recreate the journeys of Giufà, a folklore character who roamed the Mediterranean sharing stories and learning about the outside world. 

Here are some of the stories and adventures of our own artists and participants...

About The Giufà Project

Be careful not to stop people or you will end by stopping stories...

Giufà is the Sicilian name of Nasr Eddin Hodja, a well known wise man and philosopher who lived in Turkey in the 13th century. He became the principal character of many popular and traditional stories in Asia Minor, and thanks to migration, trade and wars, his stories travelled with the flow of people from Asia Minor to the Balkans, Western Europe and beyond, following the migration routes across the Mediterranean Sea and throughout the Middle East.

He has had many names and many adventures, changing shape and character as he mingled with local cultures, taking on the features of the places he passed through and leaving a piece of himself behind wherever he travelled. Whether wise man or fool Giufà uses words to hold up a mirror to those in power, reflecting back the small injustices that tip the balance against those they should serve. Giufà reminds us of our responsibility to one another and with a smile, shows us how to live better together.

We invite you to follow in the footsteps of Giufà with a new song and story for the 21st century. We offer these as inspiration for your own creativity and hope you will continue his journey by spinning further tales of your own. 

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