Stories are in us. They are our companions through life from the day we are born. They are as old as humanity and one of the most used inventions.
In the latest project Run by NGO Legends we collected local legends, myths, stories and gossip, connected them to natural and cultural heritage and went for a special walk. A walk on the edge of reality.
NGO Legends is a small organisation that focuses on educational activities and development of new products. In our annual ‘School of heritage interpretation’ we focus on methodology of different tools of heritage interpretation. This year we decided to focus on storytelling, not just as a form, but also how we can use storytelling in thematic guided tours.
First, we looked at what could be possible to achieve in two days in our local community. We were very ambitious. But we exceeded even our own expectations with the final result.
We collected local folk tales and asked around some local connoisseurs. We also asked our local library whether there was any more material from what we had already gathered. We found enough material, but were a bit disappointed that stories do not live outside the books anymore.
We also needed some more practical knowledge about storytelling. So, on the first day, one of our members and a member of a storytelling group, Teja Peperko, led a short workshop, where we gained some practical tips on how to construct a story and how to tell it in a way that leaves a mark on visitors.
On the second day, eight participants chose a story and went around the town to search for the best place to connect their story to. As a group we decided how the individual stories would follow on from each other and what heritage connects the stories to the landscape. Afterwards, each participant worked individually on their story and also decided through which character in the story to represent it. Participants had quite free hands and also a lot of imagination. We then together chose requisites, costumes and makeup for each storyteller.
The aim in the end was to connect the stories into a guided tour. In the evening, when it started to get a bit dark and mysterious, we invited a focus group to be our first guests and evaluators.
It is quite a challenge going into a one and a half day workshop with the aim to present a final product to the public. But we did it. A bit more than an hour-long walk with eight stories and eight storytellers, which were happy with work well done. Our visitors gave us very positive feedback on the tour being something different, not static and full of stories that even the locals didn’t know before.
Janja Sivec is IE’s Country Coordinator Slovenia and works for NGO Legends – a small Slovene organisation that focuses on education and trying new things in the field of heritage and interpretation. You can reach them at: [email protected]
To cite this article:
Sivec, Janja(2019) ‘Looking for the partners: To walk with Legends’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 4-2019, 18.
Available online: www.interpret-europe.net/fileadmin/Documents/publications/Newsletters/ie-newsletter_2019-4_winter.pdf