This Young Roots project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the
British Institute for the Study of Iraq runs from May 2015 to October 2016. It provides registered project participants with a variety of opportunities to
hear, interpret, explore, renew and pass on to others the 3000 year old
Visits to the British
Museum introduce young people to the
material heritage of the Gilgamesh epic.
They see the clay tablets on which it is
written in cuneiform script, handle
ancient miniature heads of one of its
main characters, and meet curators.
Young people can actively engage with the cultural heritage of the Gilgamesh
epic in Heritage Activity Sessions at the Iraqi Cultural Centre in London. The
heritage activities include story-listening, story-telling, learning to write
cuneiform signs, and creating pictures, poems, animations and videos of the
people, places and episodes in the Gilgamesh epic.
The heritage output created by the young people will be displayed at two
exhibitions. The first of these will be a traditional art exhibition at the Iraqi
Cultural Centre in London. The second will be the online exhibition of a
narrative website on which a 21st century version of the Gilgamesh epic is
created from contributions by young people. This will remain online for at least
ZIPANG vision inspires the
ZIPANG mission. ‘ZIPANG’ is
the Sumerian word for ‘breath’.
is undertaken by the Enheduanna Society, an education charity
founded in 2002. To fulfil this mission, the Enheduanna Society—
storytellers booked for public and private
events organised by others
publishes retold stories from ancient Iraq
• passes on Mesopotamian stories and storytelling skills to a new generation of
promotes and organises
ZIPANG storytelling activities for all ages and abilities
• brings together Iraqi and non-Iraqi scholars, storytellers,
musicians and enthusiasts to develop their shared appreciation
of Mesopotamian literature, and spread
this appreciation to as many people as possible.
storytellers depend for their
performance material on the work
of academic translators and