Thank You Scotland

East-London Street, Edinburgh

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This Autumn me and my dear partner Anna Uschanov got possibility to work in Artist Residency in Edinburgh. We were the last artists in Art Promotion Centre Finland’s residency in East-London Street. Two months we spent in the middle of active Scottish storytelling scene. Scotland and strong traditions, England and buzzing storytelling club-scene with growing performance storytelling style. As a Finnish artist I look from my own point of view and I link my art somewhere between.

Thanks for Scottish Storytelling Centre and SISF2016 -festival. Great moments, good conversations and a lot of inspiration. For me the highlight of the festival week was one of the first Open Hearth events at Netherbow Theatre, In my mind I can still hear echoes of those stories told by Amina Blackwood, Michael Kerins and Beatriz Quintana Valle.

Thanks for Janis Mackay & Beverley Bryant for possibility to share ideas and to see your work as storytellers and mentors with apprenticeship storytellers. With the system of apprenticeship and mentors, new Scottish storytellers are linked on a long tradition and the stream of generations. I think that the strength of the tradition in Scotland is quite uniq in storytelling scene in Europa. Scottish scene has still old tradition bearers in whom family the role of a storyteller has been passed on for generations. I am privileged that I got opportunity to spent some days with Seannachie Seoras MacPherson. Thanks Douglas Mackay for the invitation to perform in the Inverness Storytelling festival. And thanks for Seoras for all those stories and seeds of inspiration you shared with us!

I feel that in the heart of Scottish storytelling is sharing, participation, tradition. It was interesting to see some differencies between the scenes in England and Scotland. Many thanks for Litfest for the invitation to perform in Lancaster and thanks for Dominic Kelly for stimulating conversations over a whisky bottle.

Storytelling today, it’s fascinating. I see that in different places, groups and venues storytelling is used in different ways and from different basis and for many kind of audiences and target groups. It’s not just tradition bearing, it’s not a museal art form. In many places one can find storytellers and artist who do experiments and develop the art of storytelling to new fields, both as performance and community art.

As I see the history and tradition I can see my self and my art from a different point of view. I hope that I will do what I do, without binding it to the borders that say that this is storytelling and this is not. I hope that I’m brave enough to cross the unseen borders and I hope I’m able to challenge my self as an artist and storyteller. Anyway behind all the different styles and ways to you use storytelling I see that there’s common bottomline – storytelling speaks from people to people and in the end it’s all about the connection.

Let the rehearsals go on

– and let’s continue the conversation!

Big thanks for Art Promotion Centre Finland!

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