Seeing Stories

Recovering Landscape Narrative in Urban and Rural Europe

storytellers Portugal

July 24th - 26th, Alfama, Lisboa and Pereiro de Palhacana, Alenquer

The 4th edition of this feast of stories and storytellers has as its theme the relations between human beings and the environment. The stories that will be shared over this gathering have been collected both in rural and urban communities around several European countries, as part of the EU project "Seeing Stories – Recovering Landscape Narrative in Urban and Rural Europe".

The festival starts with a story circle featuring storytellers from Scotland, Germany, Italy and Portugal at Museu do Fado, in Lisbon, followed by a narrative tour through Alfama neighbourhood, continuing along the paths and wineries of Pereiro de Palhacana's village, in Alenquer, and ending right there with a traditional dancing ball.

Organization: MEMORIAMEDIA e-Museu do Património Cultural Imaterial

Incorporated in the Festivals Network "Seeing Stories – Recovering Landscape Narrative in Urban and Rural Europe": Aachen (DE), Edinburgh (SC), Firenze (IT), Lisbon (PT).

Contemfesta 2014


July 24

Contemfesta 2014 starts at Museu do Fado, in Lisbon, with the seminar "Digital Archives of Oral Tradition Literature", which sets out research projects related to our intangible cultural heritage that use new media as a way to ensure global public access, contributing to an opening of the academic research to the community as a whole.

On the afternoon, the European project leaders of "Seeing Stories – Recovering Landscape Narrative in Urban and Rural Europe" will present the work and ideas they're developing with this topic in an open conference. With this collaborative project, the four partners are looking for new ways to ensure new audiences and new sustainability systems for the artistic creation, being associated with research and reflection with regard to the role of the narrative performer in the European societies. "Seeing Stories" responds to an urge of transforming ancestral European memories into new narratives, new dialogues and new challenges, contributing to the renewal of the artistic processes and the forms of fruition of the performing arts.

On the evening, in a multilingual session (holding English as lingua franca), storytellers from four countries offer a "Story Circle", bringing us folksongs from Edinburgh, balladry from Firenze, legends from Aachen, Fado and cordel literature from Portugal. The common goal of the partners is to train the capability of storytellers to voice contents produced from local traditions at an international level.

Alfama, Lisboa

July 25

The festival continues in Alfama, presenting a narrated walking-tour devised from oral and written narratives, which lift the veil of a mythical Lisbon, a city that is a meeting point of communities and traditions, where different imaginaries combine together and interfere with each other, producing new practices and cultural traditions. It's about conveying performative moments related to the place they're journeying in, and intertwined with the rural/urban fabric in which they've been developed, having them to interact with the audience and occasional trespassers.

Pereiro de Palhacana, Alenquer

July 26

The day starts with walking tours through Pereiro de Palhacana's village, in Alenquer, sharing local tales and legends while exploring crossroads, windmills and other landscape marks that have stored throughout the centuries memories of witches, werewolves and enchanted donkeys. Tales and legends that are retold also in distant landscapes, and in different languages, brought to us by the winds of the worlds.

Whetted the appetite, the tour will be followed by a countryside picnic with traditional foods and drinks.

The afternoon will start with a visit to four wineries. Storytellers will be waiting to welcome us, from tale to tale, winery to winery, guiding us as the evening expands.

Once the night falls, it's time for dancing, time to learn some community dancing steps and enjoy traditional European music.

This is the CONTEMFESTA 2014 we have prepared for you, as a springboard to imagination, emotional journey, shared and meaningful experience. A feast of word and story.




Seeing Stories is ending as a project. But through the project we have met many individuals and organisations who want to share good practice and creative skills. So we are forming an international network called Stories in Place. The network is open to all those who through their work, art or volunteering wish to strengthen the connections between people and place through storytelling. Our aim is to further strengthen international friendship and collaboration.

If you would like to be part of Stories in Place please contact Donald Smith, Project Manager of Seeing Stories, and Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, on