Ljungby International Storytelling Festival 2013

Ljungby Museum The area around the small town of Ljungby in southern Sweden is where, in the early 19th century, HyltÚn-Cavallius (1818-1889) collected the Swedish folk tales and legends he published in 1850 as Svenska folksagor och äventyr (Swedish Folk-tales and Adventures).
Many were contributed by a local pauper, Mickel i Långhult (1778-1860).

The town now has the Museum of Legends. The work of the museum storytellers has expanded into schools, universities and old-people's homes; an impressive achievement.

Ljungby Museum Local librarian and storyteller, Per Gustavsson (pictured right), started the festival in 1990. Out of that initiative the museum grew.

My trip to the 2013 festival began with a guided tour by the museum's current director, and great storyteller, Meg Nömgård (pictured left).

Map Many of the local legends are shown on this map. The museum has created a geocaching opportunity to visit these sites and hear the stories.

TUUP and the giant The museum has wonderful, hands-on wood carvings which illustrate the legends and folk tales.
Here UK storyteller TUUP is next to one of the giants who threw rocks at the local churches.

The Pisspot Here a carving of the comic tale of the Magic Pisspot.

Lindworm More than hands-on, this is a lindworm which the adventurous can actually crawl into.

Museum garden, capyright: Emilia Johansson The local newspaper, Smålänningen, interviewed me in the museum's garden, and kindly provided this photo.

Outdoor audience A few impressions of the first full day of the festival.

Mid-morning in one of the town's parks and an appreciative audience enjoy the sunshine.

Kiriaki Christoforidis First there were stories from Greek-Swedish storyteller Kiriaki Christoforidis.

Kiriaki Christoforidis Later the jesters Bastardus SaNs ...

Kiriaki Christoforidis ... and the listeners loved it.

Monica Caldaras and her husband At the previous evening's grand opening concert, gipsy storyteller Monica Caldaras was awarded the festival's prestigious annual prize in recognition of her work in preserving and furthering her cultural traditions.
Here she and her husband (violinist in the Gipsy Brothers band) are pictured in front of their caravan. Once their home, this is now part of the Romska Kulturcentret in Malmo.

Monica's grandsons And on the other side of the caravan, Monica's three grandsons.

Eskilsgården In the afternoon there were performances in the historic market sqaure of old Ljungby, some in Eskilsgården, the house outside which voice of the later world-famous soprano, Kristina Nilsson, was discovered in the mid-19th century.

TUUP First TUUP told to a full and very appreciative audience.
Then I told some tales.

Young storytellers During the festival 19 young Swedish storytellers worked with professionals on their own telling skills. Here some of them were waiting for the evening concert to begin.

Kvartetten DEO The evening performance featured many artists, including the delightfully witty a cappella quartet DEO ...

Maritha Nielsen ... Maritha Nielsen telling in Norwegian ...

Henrik Bergkvist ... Swedish impro poet Henrik Bergkvist ...

TUUP ... and the evening was closed by TUUP.

Watch a telling of the Leopard-Eating Dog, recorded at the festival's Storytelling Breakfast.

Read a longer report of the festival, to be published in Facts & Fiction and published here with permission.