Land-of-Legends programme

The Storytelling Network Kronoberg

Legends are most often spread from mouth to mouth in meetings between people. It can occur from generation to generation, through associations, museums, schools and through the digital world which has created new arenas for storytelling with speech and image.

Category: Performances, Narrative, Methodological examples

Geographical location: Kronoberg, Sweden

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.

The Sago District is led by the association Berättarnätet Kronoberg (the storytelling network Kronoberg), and includes the municipalities of Alvesta, Ljungby and Älmhult. The association wants to contribute so that the oral storytelling tradition lives on, by passing on knowledge about folk poetry tales and legends, and by emphasizing people's own stories, among other things. The association also conducts research, education and archiving activities.

Berättarnätet Kronoberg is an accredited NGO to the UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage and the Land-of-Legends programme is selected to The Register of Good Safeguarding Practices.