Storytellers descend on Edinburgh as 12 day festival gets underway

Twelve days of storytelling have got underway today, with the Scottish International Storytelling Festival in Edinburgh.

This event is a celebration of live storytelling, oral traditions and cultural diversity, bringing together storytellers and musicians from Scotland and around the world. 

This year the festival is celebrating 70 years of Edinburgh as the Festival City through a global gathering. This series of events, including talks, tours and storytelling, will showcase how the traditional art of storytelling is  more vital than ever in connecting people worldwide across cultures, places and generations.

Hosted by the storytellers of Scotland, artists from across the globe are gathering to guide visitors through the labyrinths of change and weave new narratives for a re-imagined earth.

Running until October 31, there will also be a three day storytelling conference around the themes of the Earth Charter. These are critical times for our planet and the SISF invites everyone to connect through their differences, acknowledging where we are and where we want to go, together.

The best of Scotland’s storytelling talent is merging with invited guests from overseas, offering a plethora of dreamscapes and myths celebrating oral traditions and cultural diversity.

Great stories well told have the ability to evoke indelible images in the mind of the listener, offering visitors and locals a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the extraordinary tales, music and characters that bring both our contemporary and traditional culture to life.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival is now underway in Edinburgh

Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Europe, Culture and External Affairs officially launched the 28th Scottish International Storytelling Festival earlier this month, from the Outlook Tower of Camera Obscura.

She was joined by Storytelling Festival director Donald Smith and chair of the Scottish Storytelling Forum, Ruth Kirkpatrick.

Donald said: ‘This year’s Storytelling Festival is a global first for Scotland. We are making Edinburgh the world’s storytelling capital. Storytelling connects across borders of culture, race, class, religion and politics.

‘This year’s festival shows what a connected kind of place Scotland has always been and highlights Edinburgh’s international reputation of welcome and hospitality.’

During the past decade, SISF has hosted storytellers from across the continent, but this year instead of focusing on one geographical area, guest artists are coming from across the globe to be together in one place and at one time.

Guests are flying in from Thailand, Australia, India, New Zealand, Sub-Saharan Africa, Singapore, Korea, Pakistan, South America, Eastern and Western Europe, China, Japan and Ireland to showcase the magic of storytelling. A total of 55 Scottish storytellers and artists will also take part.

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