Over the last few months we’ve been working with Tayside-based storyteller Lindsey Gibb on creating a new StoryBank called ROOTED.
Lindsey has researched, curated and then told thirteen stories on film, each of which illuminate how past communities from all cultures across the world understood their interdependence with trees and passed on that knowledge and the values that went with it, through stories, myths and legends.
Storyteller Lindsey Gibb, photo Clare Cooper
Part of our 2021 ‘Museum of Rapid Transition‘ programme, which is focusing on the Ecomuseum’s landscapes, ROOTED is one of a number of strands of work we are doing this year which aim to remind us of the central role that trees, forests and woodlands have played in the life of our species.
For millennia, they’ve provided us with shelter, food, medicine and meaning until our modern human behaviours cleared them, collapsed their biodiversity and disconnected us from the knowledge that our ancestors had of their diverse uses in relation to our health and wellbeing and in the socio-cultural role that they played in developing ‘bigger than self’ values, life skills and that all important understanding of our complete interdependence with the natural world.
The German-Swiss poet and novelist Herman Hesse wrote: “Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.”
As the enormity of the climate and biodiversity crises come sharply into view, we believe that engaging with and reconnecting to old stories such as those in the ROOTED collection, has hugely under utilised potential to help people build more regenerative and resilient lifestyles and mobilise climate action. Not only are they are a knowledge & learning resource which can help contextualise what is happening and build adaptive capacity, they are a participative force which can bring people together, challenge the status quo and create spaces both physically and in our minds to imagine that anything is possible.
We’re using these stories in a multitude of settings and we hope you will too. You can listen to each of them below: