Land-of-Legends programme, for promoting and revitalizing the art of storytelling in Kronoberg Region


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© Sagobygden/Björn Gullander

The Land-of-Legends programme is aimed at promoting and revitalizing the art of storytelling in the Kronoberg region of southern Sweden. In Sweden, as elsewhere, factors such as industrialization, urbanization and television and social media have led to the disappearance of traditional venues for storytelling and modes of transmission, with practices of telling stories to exchange experiences and convey knowledge and values dying out. In the late 1980s, a number of librarians and teachers in the Kronoberg region organized a festival involving practitioners, enthusiasts and experts from various parts of Sweden to discuss this situation and devise possible solutions. Shortly after, in November 1990 the Storytelling Network of Kronoberg was created (known as ‘the Association’) to raise awareness about the endangered viability of storytelling and develop measures for its revitalization. The Association initiated the Land-of-Legends programme, which organizes a range of activities including a storytelling festival, camps for teenagers, activities in schools and academia, courses for future teachers and remedial activities. Over time, international contacts have been developed and several aspects of the programme have served as a model for activities elsewhere. The programme links storytelling to other forms of living heritage, helping to revitalize and promote it as a living art.