The London 2012 Olympics are using storytelling to connect people and cultures during the Cultural Olympiad of the 2012 Games. Stories of the World is a project that involves nearly sixty museums and libraries across the UK, with young people invited to brand, curate, and market the ideas.
Simply put, “People of the present become storytellers of the past,” states Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate and Chair of the Museums Libraries and Archives Council.
Communicating between cultures is a central theme, highlighting people’s journeys from other countries and remembering their traditions. So too are the stories that lie behind personal artefacts. In a similar case to one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, Stories of the World also takes existing museum pieces and interprets them in a new way.
Camilla Morgan, a student at Exeter University, uses her storytelling opportunity to interpret erotic artefacts held at Blithe house. She muses on our modern day interpretation of these objects, and the stories that collectors from the 1920’s and 30’s would have made of them.
Appreciating similarities and differences between peoples is part of the attitude of the Olympic Games. From now until in some cases January 2013, people in the UK can also experience how objects got to English homes, the fusion of British suits and South-East Asian saris, how Roman London is still present today, musical instruments from around the world, and many other exhibits.
For those who can’t make it over, you can still participate and view a virtual exhibition of the tomb treasures of Han China from the Fitzwilliam Museum here.