Before describing our working methodology in more detail, it is necessary to make some preliminary remarks.
The first one concerns the emphasis we place on storytelling as an everyday – rather than performative – action. Narration is naturally connected with the need and desire to communicate/share feelings, thoughts, insights and aspirations, and taps into expressive and emotional skills, rather than oratory techniques.
It has always been a fundamental component in human relations, throughout the ages and at all latitudes.
In other words, the language of storytelling is universal.
This is why we think it is so important to use it in museums, libraries and archives, in “memory sites” or while immersed in a cultural landscape… Because it speaks to everyone, and – unlike the traditional language of a guided tour – has the potential to trigger those resonances with personal lives and experiences which can spring from the encounter with a work of art, an object or any other form of heritage, if only we give ourselves the time to look at it (and connect with it) deeply.
Storytelling builds a bridge between History and stories.
Another important remark on how we work concerns the relationship between expertise and autobiography. When a museum (or any other heritage institution) is eager to encourage new voices and narratives, rather than entrenching itself in a self-referential attitude, this does not imply relinquishing expert knowledge: on the contrary, the evocative power of our storytelling projects rests on a close collaboration with curators and specialists, whose expertise is vital to make sure that personal stories draw their strength from an intense “conversation” with the chosen artwork, object, or site. In fact, the historical/scientific accuracy of the narrative trails we develop with our partner institutions is not intended as a means to retain content control, but as the only way to genuinely trigger a resonance between the storyteller and a given heritage – a resonance which cannot be attained by merely using the latter as a “pretext”, or as a “Rorschach inkblot”.
The innovative character of our work lies in the close intersection between the two dimensions (History and stories), which do not only “coexist”, running like parallel lines never colliding, but interweave, nurture and enrich each other.