In this episode I talk to Svend-Erik Engh, a Danish storyteller, about plans to bring a Folkehøjskole (‘folk high school’) to Scotland. In our conversation, Svend-Erik shares the origins of Folkehøjskole in Denmark, the role of mythology in learning and the impact this form of education has on students and society. There is some master storytelling here as well, as Svend-Erik shares with us the myth of Odin hanging from Yggdrasil, the sacred world tree.
While Svend-Erik and his team plan to offer an in-person, residential Folkehøjskole sometime in the future, they will be offering a ‘taster’ Folkehøjskole, with a focus on storytelling, online for three weeks beginning in July 2021. This programme is open to anyone, anywhere.
The Earth Stories Collection, which it has been my honour to work on, has just released a new video featuring Executive Directory, Grian Cutanda, talking about the impetus and theory behind using traditional stories to bring about worldview change. This video summarises nicely the first part of The Earth Stories Collection, Volume 0, weaving together climate change science, ecological philosophy, education theory, systems theory and storytelling. The film featured at the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival Conference at the end of March.
Okay, full disclosure, I meant to record this episode first as the introduction to the entire podcast, but then the opportunity to record a conversation with Sian Cornelius came up, and this one had to wait. I do regular storytelling training workshops with academics, scientists and students to help them communicate their research more effectively. Often, I begin these workshops by sharing the tale of ‘Truth and Story’. It’s based on the traditional Jewish tale of the same name. However, this version I learned from the Argentinian-Canadian storyteller, Marta Singh. In an oral tradition, stories continue to travel, continue to shift and change and find new roots and new audiences.