Why narrativium matters

It was Terry Pratchett who coined the term ‘narrativium’ as the element upon which we humans run.

HonoraryWizardsIt was New Optimist Jack Cohen who describes us humans as pan narrans, the storytelling rather than homo sapiens. (And Jack and mathematician Ian Stewart joined forces with Terry Pratchett to write the Science of Discworld series, and thereby became Hon Wizards of the Unseen University.)

The facts and stats of food security have little easy appeal for many people. Yet, as Terry so memorably illustrates, all humans like a good story. That’s why we set up the Narrativium Project, initially as a means to engage young people with our scenarios work.

Along with mac birmingham, we’ll be commissioning three young people to create ‘performances from the future’, their response to a set of scenarios on possible food futures for Birmingham in 2050, based on our work carried out by regional scientists and policy decision-makers.

As a starter for their thinking, Ellie and Keith Richards have written four possible stories set about 2050, each about a single character in five generations of a fictional Birmingham family; these stories can be found here.

They’ll be working with the guidance of producer Graeme Rose, and their final performances will be in front of a public audience at the mac later in the year.


One response to “Why narrativium matters”

  1. […] are indeed more pan narrans than homo sapiens; we human apes respond to stories, beliefs, feelings . . . hence the […]

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