I was explaining what I was doing over here in Scotland to some storytellers and storylisteners over tea at the Netherbow Theatre Cafe during the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, when someone asked me what I was going to do with my research. I’m sorry to say that the question stumped me. I hadn’t really thought about what would come out of my research other than two years in bonny Scotland and a foundation for an academic research program. Neither of these answers seemed appropriate to the non-academic context of the festival.
I mumbled something about producing a report on the uses of storytelling in environmental interpretation, but my heart wasn’t in it. The conversation moved on to other topics, but the question stuck with me.
I believe that the stories we tell about who we are, about the places we dwell in and about what it is to live a good life are crucial to our future on planet Earth. The stories that dominate our world today tell us that we are nothing more than consumers and that this planet is nothing more than a bucket of resources. It is becoming increasingly obvious that these stories have no future. If we are to move towards sustainable futures, then we need alternative stories.
It’s been a month since I was asked that question and I still lack an adequate answer. Ultimately, I want my research to contribute to the re-storying of ourselves and our societies that is so desperately needed. I’m just not quite sure how to do this. In the meantime, I’ve set up this website so that I can share information about the people and projects I encounter that are contributing to the re-storying of our selves and the Earth.