Mimesis in crisis is a project that was supported by the Federation for European storytelling and the municipality of Oslo. The project consisted of digitizing audio narratives for the medium Podcast, as well as a survey for anonymous listeners. The idea was based, among other things, on “paper performance” and “performance lecture”, a genre that dates back to the 1960s with roots in performing and conceptual art. This was a Podcast series that combined oral storytelling with academia. Each episode had a theme to initiate a dialogical reflection in the listener. The material combined own memories, traditional stories, theories by Bakhtin, Ricoeur, Merlaeu-Ponty, Gumbrecht and others who in their own way address social relationships, embodied knowledge, presence and so on. In addition, there were documentary pieces such as where I speak from a graveyard, at the fairytale bridge in Oslo and several other places.

The soundscapes were recordings that the listener would recognize as “homely sounds” like peeling potatoes, walking, rain and so on. These sounds were given a “multifunction” where they also served as emotional memories and abstract soundscapes.

The recordings were initially made in the bathroom at home, but as Oslo “opened” I moved over to an office. The material was edited and processed through computer and then distributed to the outside world.

Ten episodes have now been posted and what remains is to analyze the findings, as well as to write an academic article. Each audio narrative was made in two linguistic versions – Norwegian and English.

The ten episodes consisted of the following (click on the title that brings you the sound story):

Not about my tears – In the audio narrative, a personal story about my son’s death is mixed with the story of King Rere and childlessness from Norse poetry.

Am I not human enough – This deals with abuse – it is a story about the Danish king Helge’s encounter with an elf from the Norse saga and a personal experience from childhood.

Sometimes I remember Mrs. J – Here Volsetåtten from flatey book was told, and a personal story about a teacher from upper secondary school.

Beginnings of first time – In this audio narrative I tell parts of both Greek and Norse creation of the world – the focus is to arrive at the concepts kairos and Kronos.

No one knows Ebba – here it is told about what happens to stories that are not told, combined with some material from saga tradition.

She is under the ground – This episode is about landscapes and how memories are created in a landscape, I am telling folk legends and aa personal story.

Isolation– the series is now focused on the isolated woman, here it is told about Gunnlod from Norse mythology who is locked inside a mountain and an autobiographical tale of something discovered in an apartment

Isolation 2 – In this audio story, the Norwegian variant of the so-called “selkie – narrative”is told by – where a woman is robbed and must live a life that is not hers.

Isolation 3 – In the story, a Sami story is told about a woman who turns into a bear.

Last Episode – This audio narrative focused on death, where a man dies and returns to comfort his grieving wife, the story is taken from Norse poetry. Moreover, how death is an element of our lives.

The audio stories were distributed through Soundcloud, ITunes (Fortellerkunstner), as well as social media and newsletters. Furthermore, they were posted on the Podcast platform Acast. The project was contextualized through posts here on the blog.

The target group for the project was adults.

In the project, British Paula Crutchlow was used as a consultant and dialogue partner. One episode also featured the guidance of director Aslak Moe from Oslo Storytelling Festival.

Questionnaires for the audio files are here, and will be closed on 15 October.

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