Storytelling is a fundamental part of being human.

As described by Harari in Sapiens, “any large scale human cooperation (…) is rooted in common myths that exist only in people’s collective imagination.”

Similarities in traditional stories around the world might indicate common experiences recorded in stories. Stories and myths might be seen as a way of storing memories. And reliably so, as demonstrated by Aboriginal Australian storytelling recording sea level rise between 7000 and 18000 years and over 300 generations ago.

Lingotell is an innovative, people-centred and forward-looking approach, aiming towards a real change in how stories are managed and valued both as part of our cultural heritage and to fuel the storytelling of the minority or indigenous languages in Europe and thereby also our European shared future. Lingotell is a small-scale cooperation project between Sijti Jarnge (Norway), Fryske Akademy and Mercator European Research Centre (Netherlands), and Pro Progressione (Hungary). We are working together to explore the process of strengthening indigenous and minority languages through the art of retelling, redesigning and redefining stories focusing on South Sámi, Frisian, and Roma languages. The project aims at strengthening these minority languages as well as to safeguard the cultural heritage of these communities. Through the self-selected collection and dissemination of narrative stories from these national minorities and indigenous peoples, summarised and placed in the context of today, we will start a process of understanding how these stories and lessons of the past, often told in endangered European languages, can be utilised to fuel the mythology of these endangered languages in Europe and thereby also our European multilinguistic shared future. But to do so the stories need to be reformulated beyond the confines of our narrative
identities. The stories appear in different forms, such as orally told legends, songs, poems, yoiks, myths, dances, performances and written stories. The main findings and common features, including the key-factors in the art of retelling, redesigning and redefining stories, will be summarised and made available as a digital package, including podcasts, free to download.

The project will contribute to increased mutual understanding among Europeans, not only between the Indigenous Peoples and regional minority groups directly included in the project, but among people in Europe as a part of our European shared future. 

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