Awake not sleeping: Reimagining fairy tales for a new generation


Authors: Alex Chighvinadze; Altyn Kapalova; Amila Hrustić Batovanja; Ana Stjelja; Aslı Karataş; Asli Tohumcu; Bergrún Íris Sævarsdóttir; Bethan James; Daria Apakhonchich; Deirdre Sullivan; Doruntina Vinca; Emrah Güler; Ester Obi Smith; Hatidža Gušić; Ivanka Ferencic; Irina Solomatina; Kalina Maleska; Karina Bezrukova; Katerina Paouri; Khulya Jafarova; Laura Neimeyer; Louise Young; Masha Durkalić; Mégane Ghorbani; Natalia Remish; Nina Horvat; Noémie Pétremand; Rovena Rrozhani; Saida Rashidova; Siobhan Tebbs; Tania Kasian; Zebuniso Rasulzade. Editors: Angela Walsh; Donna Jo Napoli; Kalina Maleska; Nadia Albert.

The UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia presents its new creative writing initiative, "Awake not sleeping: Reimagining fairy tales for a new generation". The powerful collection of fairy tales from across Europe and Central Asia aims to support fresh, creative dialogue to change the way societies think about women and girls’ roles, leadership and rights by rewriting and reimagining popular fairy tales. It includes 28 stories from 23 countries – Albania, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan.

The initiative explores the role of fairy tales in the cultural struggle for gender equality, ending violence against women and intersectional feminism. Over time, many fairy stories that were created by women for women, about characters who challenged the restrictive gender roles, expectations, values and laws of their time were rewritten by story collectors.

This new collection of reimagined fairy tales provides new generations the opportunity to explore new possibilities of seeing gender equality for themselves, their friends, families and communities.

To enrich your explorations of the Awake Not Sleeping Collection and how these stories might impact you, this Reader’s Companion Guide offers two sets of questions. These questions offer a safe way to explore the challenging concept of gender inequality and to generate new ways of thinking and of having curious conversations to bring gender equality closer to reality. The first set of questions can be considered after every story in the collection, while the second set of questions explores the unique themes of each story.

The collection and the companion guide invite you as a reader, an educator, or an important adult in a child’s life to further awaken your curiosity and the curiosity of children and young people about the role of stories in creating gender equality and building equal and respectful relationships.

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Bibliographic information

Geographic coverage: Europe and Central Asia
Resource type(s): Books
UN Women office publishing: Europe and Central Asia
Publication year