Research Affiliate

Reneta Palova is a professional in European project management and practitioner in the area of visual arts and storytelling. She holds MA degrees in Linguistics and Human Resources Management. During the last ten year she has designed and coordinated several European projects related to education, languages, art and culture, and integration.

Since 2005 she is involved in research of the cultural and linguistic identity of the urban settings in Europe. She is developer and coordinator of the European Language Label award-winning Signs in the City and Beyond Signs in the City projects, exploring the linguistic landscape and the urban stories in 11 European cities.  During this time she directed and produced a series of short films, documentaries,  a computer game and number of  multimedia and web-based products, created a new media agency “Inthecity studio” (www.inthecitystudio.com), and was involved in the realisation of the project Storytellers’ league. She engages her passion in storytelling to discover diverse real-life experiences and to bring the stories to life so they can reach a wide audience with the original message and spirit of the experience. Her current work covers two projects: “Tell Me a Story” – revealing unknown urban stories to be used in tour guiding, and “35 mm stories” – life video interviews with 35mm film projectionists telling stories about their handcrafted profession that is a history already and about the movie theatres as they knew them.

Tell me a Story is about originality in tour guiding. The project reveals unknown stories about less known European cities – urban legends about characters and heroes, stories about food and drink, sagas on nature and landscape, anecdotes and unusual stories that present a place through the eyes and ears of its inhabitants. The stories are used for the creation of various products, methods and tools: a multilingual storytelling book “Tell Me a Story: A journey through storytelling”, documentary “Stories and languages in tour guiding”, demonstrating the guided tours through Rotterdam and Toro stories; videos, illustrating and telling urban stories; research and academic methodology for teacher and student training in multilingual storytelling and use of linguistics in tour guiding; tool for multilingual learning, using the vehicle of storytelling.

Tell Me a Story enjoys large dissemination and strong interest all over Europe and a second round of the project is under preparation. The main idea of the continuation is to go beyond Europe and make a connection with Montreal as a place of interest, and to record audio and video of personal stories about historically, socially and personally important places in selected cities. The aim of the association is to motivate those involved in the initiative to look at these locations in a new, unusual and unexpected way, through the eyes of emotions and life, and then share their experiences connected with these places. The future steps provide the development of an online platform (digital archive of the “intangible heritage”) containing stories, accounts and experiences linked to presentation of the history, culture and identity of different places, both as a “bank of materials” to be used by tour guides and by anyone who wants to take a walk and hear the relevant city talk to them in a very personalised way, as well as to train a new generation of curators of digital content.