Contemporary photography meets the oral tradition in a new section of our blog

Above: a wandering bard in Cachoeira, Bahia, Brazil / Photograph by Claudio Maria Lerario

As visual storytellers, an important part of our work is about themes related to endangered identity and intangible cultural heritage. That’s why we’ve just launched a new section of the blog where contemporary photography dialogues with ancient stories of the popular tradition from around the world | view the stories

Storytelling has been a vital part of many ancient cultures for thousands of years and  –  although television and the internet have weakened its presence in some communities  –  the tradition continues.

Folktales still provide communities with wisdom teachings, creation myths, spiritual and social lessons, and entertainment. They are told within families and villages, at celebrations, during social and spiritual rituals, and as an important part of a child’s upbringing.

In communities with no appointed bards, children are schooled in storytelling by an older relative. In the villages, folk tales have for thousands of years been told around a fire at night, with everyone participating.

Their demanding speech, music and memorization training often includes a spiritual dimension, as many people still believe a special power is released by sung or spoken words. We are among them and we like to combine contemporary images with stories that are thousands of years old | view the stories