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TEDxWarsaw - Michał Malinowski

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(Ralph Talmont:) Mister Michał Malinowski. (music) (Michał Malinowski:) I would like to share with you the story. The love story with the story. It began in the deep forest in Papua New Guinea, where I was in 1997. I was invited to a village for the feast from the (?) and then, the whole village gathered aroung the fire. And then... Two old men started to tell a story. They spoke about the sea, and the people... And suddenly, the bell rung: Ding! and the people replied: Dong! Ding, bong, Bing, (audience:) bong. (MM:) Bing, (audience:) bong. (repeats) Ahh... And they started to sing, they danced. The whole village participated in the creating of the story. Old man that was telling the story, and suddenly, they stopped in a seaside, and the whole village shared the wind. They created the wind. They created a different universe. It was an amazing experience. And then, there in Papua New Guinea, I realized I had discovered two ideas. The first one was a very simple one. But it was the idea that the culture is something alive. Yes, it's something alive. And by visiting the museums, I discovered that the museums are just a depository of objects, still objects enclosed in glass cases. Nothing alive. Everything's still, and sometimes stinky. So i realized that to present the culture, it's not the right way. How the visitor, who discovers the ethnographical museum full of objects, full of masks, of musical instruments without sound, without stories, what this visitor can have in his mind? What type of experience can he have? I visited many museums. There were masks, masks from Burkina Faso close to the mask from Nigeria, or close to the mask from Congo. One mask was a funeral one, another one was a wedding mask. And another one was a ceremony mask. But the visitor just could discover that this mask is an art object. an art object. Just could percieve it from the aesthetic perspective. But there were no explanations, what is the meaning of the mask, what is the meaning of the stories, the society the mask came from, shares. So... I decided to create my own museum, based on the idea of new technology. Because with new technology, you can bring the sound, you can bring the movement into the museum. You can create an amazing experience for the visitor, and display the culture from a completely opposite site than just showing the still object. I started the Storyteller Museum, a museum full of wisdom from all over the world. Wisdom, transmited throughout the stories. And I returned to Poland, I built a house, and in the house, 300m², I devoted to the museum. And I started inviting people from all over the world to share their stories. I invited, and I'm inviting storytellers from Africa, from Asia, from Papua New Guinea, from North America, to share their stories. And I'm trying to make this story-telling revival movement in Poland. I'm trying to create the collection of stories from all over the world, using new technology. There are so many brilliant people here who are aware, how we can use technology in a creative way. In a way that we can create an experience for the visitor, completely different from this still experience of the present museums. Another idea I got around the fire in Papua New Guiinea, was the story itself. The amazing power of the story. Story, which can create peace. The story which can transmit wisdom. The story which can creat collaboration inbetween people. Ding, bong. Bing, (audience:) bong. (MM:) That's amazing. When the people are gathering together, and they are dreaming together. Yes, for the true collaboration we need this tightness. Yea, we have to be bound by the common dream. And when we are telling a story, we are dreaming together. The story has no bones, but the story can destroy a lot of bones. Why are there so many people so afraid of stories? Or the people who are creating fake stories to make fear in our hearts? Yes. but we are looking for good stories. The voices of our ancestors. As Amadou Hampate Ba, a master from Mali, a wise person from Africa, said: "An old man who dies is like the library which burns." That my call is, yes, we have to protect and preserve old stories and all of our wisdom from all over the world. Because this is rich, this is rich. and we have to protect this richness to the next generations. So I hope we can share the love for the story together. (music) (applause) (RT:) This was meant to happen at the beginning of this talk, but these fire regulations I mentioned... (laughter) they got somewhat concerned, but apparently it's ok. Thank you. (MM:) So I would like to add, if there's light, I just want to say one african proverb which says: "Even a small candle can enlight a huge, huge light." So I think that we can bring this and share this wisdom with others. And there's one amazing thing with the story that we can share the wisdom without losing anything. Yes? The more you give, the more you receive, and this is the same with the story. The more you share the story, the more stories you recieve back. This is a beginning of the gift society. (RT:) Master Jokambel whom, I'm sure, you know very well, wherever he is now, used to say that stories are about the most important thing that we can bring into a room full of people, into a conversation. I think, possibly, these days, stories are more important than ever for all sorts of reasons. How are you finding the connections between ancient stories and modern stories in the context of what youre doing with your museum? (MM:) So, I found that these ancient stories are valid. I am organizing different workshops, storytelling workshops, I'm working with kids. And I give these traditional motives of stories, and I say: "OK, let's create stories, but put them in the modern context." And there are amazing stories appearing. There is no king, but there is a ruler. And sometimes, the stories are very political ones. Sometimes the stories are really telling the truth about our every-day life. But they are really good in our modern context. (RT:) Thank you. (applause) (MM:) Thank you.

Video Details

Duration: 10 minutes and 23 seconds
Country: Poland
Language: English
Genre: None
Producer: TEDxWarsaw
Director: TEDxWarsaw
Views: 201
Posted by: tedxwarsaw on Mar 16, 2010

Michał Malinowski is a storyteller and folklorist. Following a visit to Papua New Guinea Michał was bitten by the storyteller’s bug and has since gone on to co-author the book “Polish Folktales and Folklore” and to become a chief contributor to the revival of a storytelling movement in Poland.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events. These events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

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