By Joseph Kayira
In a bid to preserve Malawi’s intangible cultural heritage, the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO (MNCU), has embarked on an outreach story telling tour of 13 districts which kicks off on October 30.
According to press release by MNCU, the tour will involve the screening of folktales, folksongs and digitized historical footage in communities, providing them with access to stories that have been passed down through generations.
Storytelling session at the National Library in Lilongwe (Photo Credit: MNCU)
“The Outreach Storytelling Tour will be conducted in 13 districts across Malawi from 30th October, 2023. The event will feature screening of footage of folktales that were filmed in the 13 districts as well as digitized historical footage that provides a glimpse into Malawi’s past. Attendees will also have the opportunity to access to a mobile library, stocked with approximately 5,000 books,” MNCU says in a press release dated October 27, 2023.
Documenting a folktale (Photo Credit: MNCU)
MNCU says this is part of the ‘Safeguarding Malawian Folktales and Folksongs through Documentation’ and ‘Transmission, Re-Housing and Digitization of 16mm film at the National Records and Archives Services of Malawi’ projects which are being implemented in collaboration with Rei Foundation Limited of New Zealand.
The ‘Safeguarding Malawian Folktales and Folksongs through Documentation’ was launched in 2012 and is being implemented by the National Library Service (NLS) for folktales and Music Crossroads Malawi for folksongs.
Inside the mobile Library stocked with around 5,000 books (Photo Credit: MNCU)
“As one way of implementing the Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage which Malawi adopted in 2010, the project aims to digitally record and document folktales and folksongs to celebrate and safeguard Malawian culture.
“This project seeks to promote the value and significance of oral storytelling and to foster a deeper understanding of cultural roots. As part of the project activities, NLS also conducts storytelling sessions every Saturday from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the National Library in City Centre, Lilongwe,” reads in part the press release from MNCU.
The mobile library (Photo Credit: MNCU)
It also adds that the ‘Transmission, Re-Housing and Digitization of 16mm film at the National Records and Archives Services of Malawi’ was launched in 2017 and aims to preserve the heritage of Malawi that is contained in the reel-to-reel film collection dating from the 1950s and onwards.
“Through this project, over 200 historical films have been successfully digitised. This project is being implemented by National Records and Archive Services in collaboration with Rei Foundation Limited,” the press release says.