Storytelling as we understand it always involves spending hours in direct contact with the artwork, object or site chosen by the storyteller, looking at it, describing it, under our guidance. Whether storytellers are staying in front of an artwork, sitting inside a church or immersed in a landscape, time is the key for the perceived “sacredness” and “extraordinary” nature of that object or place to start dissolving.
Heritage is never used as a “pretext” or Rorschach inkblot: stories always arise from its intense scrutiny, and personal resonances are triggered by this thorough work of observation and description; only then will the storyteller be able to start interweaving factual information and historical content with a personal tale.
In this phase, our role is to guide storytellers, to provide them with further storytelling tools, and then to listen, to look for connections, references, images which may help them find the “heart” of their story. Because stories belong to storytellers, and our work is in the service of this experience.
On the other hand, we play a more active role once the story is finalised, trying to bring to the surface the expressive abilities of each individual, encouraging him/her to experiment with different styles and registers, looking for a balance between form and content.