Friday, December 28, 2012

Multi- sensory storytelling

“Passionate people wanted to produce something new”

I went today to the recently opened Historium in Bruges. A wonderfully creative way to access history, that has some challenges for Christian communication and shows the enormous potential of storytelling.

It began with a question, what was it like in the Middle Ages?

The question was answered by multisensory storytelling. They took a red robe, a green parrot and the girl model from a van Eyk painting, Madonna with Canon, to create a narrative, told in audio and through video screens cunning placed around a set, spread over 7 rooms). Each set involved senses, simulating fog, snow, local produce. Animation was used, both to ensure historical accuracy, in the backdrops, costumes, hats, jewellery, but also to enhance the storytelling. The 7 sets/rooms allowed a focus on a wide range of life, customs to guilds, public baths to harbour, created from miniatures and art of the time. The goal is an emotional insight. In other words, not just information. But neither just entertainment. But a use of senses to help people make a connection, and thus to bring the past into the present.

After the experience comes the information, a room full of displays to browse. Imagine if church history or Biblical studies were taught in this way!

It is important to note also the place of collaboration – film makers, musicians, historians, business people all working in partnership.

I’m hoping (numbers willing) to teach a course in 2013 (starting April) on the place, potential and possibility of senses in mission and ministry, working with a local artist and local storyteller. What I saw today may well become a contemporary case study.

For a video of the making –

Historium: The Making Of from Historium Brugge on Vimeo.

Posted by steve at 07:38 AM

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