“Orkney shares a strong history of storytelling with the project regions as demonstrated by local folklore, music, art and an annual Storytelling Festival.” Elsa Cox, RGU, Orkney
A two-year ‘StoryTagging’ project, an international project funded in part by the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Programme of the European Union, will see the development of an innovative digital platform.
The project worth €1million brings together Scotland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Russia with story tellers and other creatives working with academic institutions.
The StoryTagging Project builds on the Orkney-based Trails to Tales pilot project which saw the creation of the Orkney Folklore Trail App.
The Orkney Folklore Trail App was developed in collaboration with local storytellers, musicians and illustrators. It shares stories as part of a trail encouraging visitors to engage with the landscape and to explore less popular places. This is intended to ease the numbers which would normally only visit Orkney’s World Heritage site, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney, when the nation is not in lockdown.
The StoryTagging Project will also be supporting the creation of new products or works that celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Northern Communities.
Managed by Robert Gordons University (RFGU) Orkney, StoryTagging combines the expertise from RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business, Computing Science and Digital Media and Gray’s School of Art together with the University of the Highlands and Islands and international partners from Northern Ireland, Finland, Sweden and Russia.
Elsa Cox, RGU’s Orkney Development Manager, said:
“Orkney shares a strong history of storytelling with the project regions as demonstrated by local folklore, music, art and an annual Storytelling Festival.
“The StoryTagging project is exciting as it brings the opportunity to enhance market reach by imbuing creative products with those stories. Such stories bring large numbers of visitors to the islands annually, keen to experience the landscape and local culture for themselves.
“Creative SME’s in the North of Scotland face similar economic challenges to those based across the project area due to location, distance to market and even lack of internet connection.
“With the potential to make it easier to do business sustainably in remote regions, the StoryTagging project has a great deal to offer locally.”
One of the central activities will involve developing an integrated digital platform to host stories, trails, movies and information about locations and events in a wide range of multimedia formats.
It will collect up to 30 stories in each partner country which celebrate language, dialect and culture, economic heritage, traditions, history, folklore, landscape and archaeology.
Project partners will collaborate with SMEs in each country to bring stories to life through new products or works, which will then be mapped via the platform.
Professor Paul Hagan, Vice Principal for Research at RGU, adds:
“Universities play a key role in supporting the creative industries, particularly now when the current economic environment poses a great threat to their survival. We are pleased to be collaborating with our international partners to ensure that the rich cultural and natural heritage of the region is captured through our technological expertise and innovation.
“This project once again highlights RGU’s commitment to interdisciplinary research and capitalises on our strengths to find effective solutions to some of the challenges experienced by communities in the Highlands and Islands.”