Storytelling Town

SKELLEFTEÅ. The Storytelling Festival in Skellefteå is here again. From Monday April 3rd and a week onwards local, regional, national and international storytellers will perform at various locations in the Skellefteå area in the northern part of county Västerbotten. This annual event also include music, seminars, competitions and workshops.

– This year´s festival is our ninth arrangement, says festival press communicator Jonas Lundqvist who has been involved since the beginning a decade ago.

It all started as a cooperation between the Skellefteå Museum, Västerbotten´s Theatre and the Cultural Administration of the Municipality.

– We had a discussion about how to cooperate more, and from this perspective the idea of a storytelling festival came to be with the regional Västerbottens Museum also joining in, says Lundqvist.

Internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and musician Frida Hyvönen who hails from neighbouring Robertsfors, is perhaps the most renowned person to perform at the 2017 fest. Her lyrics are often good stories which probably will go down well at an event like this.

– Yes, that´s why she is here. A good storyteller and she´s well-known through the way she communicates.Among the international guest at the festival is Australian writer and illustrator Shaun Tan who has published more than 20 books. One of them, The Lost Thing, was screened and the film won an Oscar at Hollywood for best animated short movie. Shaun Tan has also been awarded with the ALMA literary prize (to the memory of Astrid Lindgren).

Naturally there´ll be a lot of theatre plays at the festival, among them Giron sámi teáhter (Sami Theatre from Kiruna) who will perform the act Sierre Laakan (”Different”).

Anita Salomonsson. Photo AnnaKarin Drugge

Stage directors Stina Oscarsson and Bobo Lundén will also be present in Skellefteå, as will the Västerbotten writer Anita Salomonsson who has promised to read extracts from her new book Ängeln i posthuset (”The Angel in the Post Office”).

Västerbotten and not least Skellefteå is generally regarded as a stronghold of storytelling and this special mode of expression will be presented in many different forms; tall tales, storytelling theatre, storytelling cafés and literary storytelling etc.

Everybody involved are keen to retain the strong storytelling tradition in the region, and further develop the art form in the area, according to Jonas Lundqvist and his festival team.

The ambition is also to underline the importance of storytelling, both on stage and as a method in a handful of other fields of life such as integration, spreading of cultural inheritance and teaching.

The festival is chiefly financed by Skellefteå Municipality and Region Västerbotten (the regional administration). There are also other local actors involved, for instance educational associations, societies, schools, folk high schools, churches, bookshops, libraries and cafés.
A minor part of the programme is staged outside the city in the smaller communities of Boliden, Kåge, Byske and Skelleftehamn.


Cover:  3Troubadours – Markus Luukkonen (Finland), Torgrim Mellum Stene (Norway) and Tom Van Outryve  (Belgium) are visitin Skellefteå with their performance Mobile Dreams.

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