Archive for the ‘helsinki’ Tag

The Fetishisation of Storytelling

I’ve noticed the increasing fetishisation of the terms ‘storytelling’ and ‘stories’ in the last couple of years, especially in commercial media. Everyone’s a storyteller now, even if your ‘story’ is about baked beans. Many indie producers’ websites single out skill in storytelling as their USP. When I see the word “storytelling” now I view it with scepticism and take a moment to assess if what’s being said is meaningful or fashionable hype.

This morning on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the Thought for The Day was about the need to rehabilitate the children of Isis extremists by introducing them to new stories. They have lost their innocence to one perverted story.

On a brighter note, today was a good day for being reminded the rich weave of stories that thread through daily life. My day began chatting to a taxi driver cum news cameraman, half-Korean half-Russian, born in the bit of Russia nearest Alaska; grew up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; studied in St Petersburg; moved to Helsinki sixteen years ago. It ended chatting to a roast chestnut seller from Innsbruck. I’ve spent a total of €12 in a week in Helsinki – on two bags of chestnuts.

Between these bookends I received this text exchange – ‘Osama Loves’ is a multiplatform documentary project I commissioned a few years ago at Channel 4, some months before the Big Bad O, ObL, got terminated.

text exchange about osama loves

Great story…

 

channel 4 osama loves website screenshot detail

detail from ‘Osama Loves’ website

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Simple Pleasures from Helsinki

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Spring sunshine, late afternoon after work. Reading ‘My Promised Land’ in the park above the port. Talking short form video/online video, watching & discussing some of the best. Getting my old dual-time watch fixed at Stockmann. Buying a new work rucksack to take over from Old Faithful which just died (zip failure). Watching the ships go out. Eating salmon tartare. A good hot shower. Bumping into an old colleague totally by chance out at the airport, coming off the same plane (he was heading to China). Trying to protect East Finchley Library (Grade II listed) from vandalism by Barnet Council and/or Capita. Listening to ‘Horses’. Meeting an old, half-Finnish Channel 4 colleague for a coffee. Reading a tatty old copy of Mojo. Teaching. People watching while wandering the streets. The port. The sea and the way out to the open ocean.

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