Stories by the campfire: Ayzoh!’s innovative web experience

The new Ayzoh! website is now live. In redesigning it, we opted for a structure rarely seen on non-profit websites. It’s a horizontal layout (on desktop) conceived as a path, step by step, to discover the people and communities with whom we have the pleasure of working.

At each step, you can pause to view or read a story. It will be somewhat like sitting around the campfire described by Ryszard Kapuściński in his extraordinary work “The World of Herodotus”. A fire around which travelers gather at day’s end: a point of reference to draw energy and light, a refuge where tales of adventures are recounted, the place where new group narratives are born.


In the world of Herodotus…

«…the sole (or nearly sole) repository of memory is Man. If you want to know what has been remembered, you must consult Man. If this Man lives far away, we must embark on a journey, reach them, and once found, sit down to listen to what they have to tell us. Listen attentively, remember, and perhaps write down. This is how a reportage is born.

Herodotus, therefore, travels the world, meets other men and women, listens to what they have to say. They reveal who they are. They tell their story. But how do they know who they are? What is their origin? They learned it from others, primarily from their ancestors.

Just as these ancestors passed down their knowledge, they pass it on to others. Wisdom takes the form of stories. We sit around the fire and tell stories. Later, these tales will be called myths and legends, but when you tell or listen to them, you believe they are pure truth, the most absolute reality.

People listen. The fire burns. Someone adds more wood. The light and warmth of the fire enliven thought and stimulate imagination. This flow of stories is almost inconceivable without a fire, a lamp, or a candle illuminating the house. The fire’s light attracts and unites the group and releases positive energies. Flame and community. Flame and history. Flame and memory.

Heraclitus, older than Herodotus, considered fire as the primordial substance, the beginning of all matter: like fire, says Heraclitus, everything is in perpetual motion, and everything extinguishes to ignite again. Everything flows, but as it flows, it transforms.

The same happens with memory. Some images fade, replaced by others, with the difference that the new ones are no longer the same as before. Just as “one cannot step into the same river twice,” it is impossible for a new image to be identical to the previous one.»

Ryszard Kapuściński


We hope you enjoy the new design. Of course, constructive criticism, suggestions, and comments are welcome. You can reach us at info@ayzoh.org. Thank you for being here.