Illustration & Cultural Heritage

Cultural Heritage

We came together as a group of 10 illustrators – all of us with an interest in cultural heritage, but all also involved with different projects and concerns. Through discussion and analysis of our work and that of other practitioners we distilled four different functions that illustration practice can take on in relation to cultural heritage: to document – illustration can visually capture and preserve aspects of a culture; to narrate – illustration can contribute to the passing-on of stories; to persuade – illustration can persuade people to change their minds about an area of their traditions; to ornament – illustration can decorate and enhance cultural artefacts. Read on for thoughts and examples on each of these four functions below.

To Document

Storytelling in cultural heritage can be a force for social change

Shunzi Mao

Traditional stories or legends are an important part of cultural heritage, and storytelling can be a force for social change. A large part of a story is the recording or adaptation of real events, people reproduce history or convey certain values by telling stories. Using the power of stories can better educate and influence people.

In 2001, Jeremy Deller staged a recreation of the Battle of Orgreave, between the striking miners and the police in 1984. 200 of the miners that had been there that day as the police chased miners through the villages, took part in this recreation of this iconic moment in history which stood out as being more of a battle than a labour dispute with its acts of violence.

This re-enactment revealed how memory and written history can be inaccurate, and also of our power to rewrite it. The aim of this project is to bring understanding of the struggles that most oppressed people go through before they are able to gain freedom and their rights through looking at the interplay of illustration and cultural heritage. Jeremy Deller’s recreation shows the public and families of the miners themselves, the events of that day and cultural heritage allows us to do that, to look back and learn from the past.

Therefore, to a certain extent, storytelling not only allows us to understand history, but, as society develops, it also allows us to re-examine some values in cultural heritage and discover new meanings and the impact they might have on us.

Screenshot 2021-06-05 at 12.25.17.png (Jeremy Deller – Battle of Orgreave, 2001)

Screenshot 2021-06-05 at 12.25.25.png (Jeremy DellerBattle of Orgreave, 2001)


Illustration as a method to reveal gender hierarchy

Yang Wang

Both men and women faculty perceived this hierarchy, but women saw it as more consequential (Conrad,2010)

Berger (1972) talks about the fact that women live in a society where they are observed by men. He cites a series of paintings and photographs of women with men as observers. From the mythological perspective to the advertisements that can be found everywhere in today's urban life, we can see that gender hierarchy has been present from the cultural heritage from ancient times to the present day.

IMG_0968.jpg (JohnBerger- Ways of seeing,1972) IMG_0969.jpg (JohnBerger- Ways of seeing,1972)


Berger, J.(1972). Ways of seeing. London: BBC and Penguin, pp.64-68.

Illustration as a means of highlighting status in society

Qian Yin

y1.png (Édouard Manet- A Bar at the Folies-Bergère,1882)

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère is a painting by Édouard Manet, considered to be his last major work. It was painted in 1882 and exhibited at the Paris Salon of that year. It depicts a scene in the Folies Bergère nightclub in Paris. The artist gives us the scene of the nightclub through the perspective of a mirror. In the history of art, a mirror is a symbol of vanitas and a vanitas painting is symbolic of the transcience of life.

The barmaid has a look that some would argue could be weariness or even a kind of sadness but there is a power relationship between the woman and the male artist. In the painting there are the wealthy patrons while the barmaid has in front of her oranges which historian L.Ligo claims identifies the woman as a prostitute going back as far as the times of King Charles the second where girls who sold oranges were sex workers.

In terms of cultural heritage, this painting clearly shows people of different classes and what is also interesting is that nearly all of Manet’s paintings illustrated an orange, therefore showing us the lives of different people in society at the time and how rife prostitution was. This form of documentation of life is a significant role of a painting, both in terms of social class relations and cultural heritage, which enables the social culture of the 18th century to be clearly presented and preserved.


How Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergere is Constructed, Critical Enquiry, Vol. 25, No. 1, Autumn 1998, pp. 136-168.

To Narrate

Cultural Heritage and Storytelling

Ye Deng

Cultural heritage often brings to mind artifacts (paintings, drawings, prints, mosaics, sculptures). However, storytelling through art is nothing new. Humans have long used pictures to communicate their greatest tales. Although many people think that the art of storytelling is something difficult and complex, reserved only for certain skilled members of society. The opposite is true. For instance, a lot of information from this Chinese bronze mirror is shown to anyone looking at it.


In the mirror we see four groups of figures which tells us the story of a definitive moment in history during the period 770-470 BC, with the epic war between two states, Wu and Yue in South East China. Wu Zixu, a heroic general of the Wu State, is the figure on the left and he appears to be grieving deeply. He is shown holding a blade as he commits suicide, the reason why is depicted in the mirror’s other parts.

As well as stories obtained from tangible archaeological relics, oral storytelling, an intangible form of cultural heritage is an important part of the storytelling world. Oral storytelling has spread globally over many generations and is a much loved way to connect to each other through our mutual experiences of life. Stories are shared through performance art or spontaneously with tales around a fire within small groups. Stories not only entertain but they educate, reinforcing our cultural values and showing us morals in life. Examples of story telling can be seen in many cultures from the seder at Passover for the Jewish community to the sharing of ancient folk tales in Ireland.


Cultural heritage passed down to us from our ancestors must be preserved for the benefit of all. We value the stories because they are not only entertaining, but they also teach the next generation about behaviour, values, and traditions. In an era of globalisation, cultural heritage helps us to remember our cultural diversity and the stories that happened thousands of years ago, and our understanding of this develops mutual respect and renewed dialogue amongst different cultures.


Oral Storytelling in cultural heritage

Shen Ao

Oral storytelling can come in many ways through chanting, songs, rhymes and epic poems. The stories told may not always be true or carry historical weight but what is important is the link to the myths and legends of our ancestors and to proverbs and fables that they bring.

There is a strong tradition of story telling in sub-Sahara Africa as in many parts of Africa, villagers would gather around a fire and listen to the village storyteller who would entertain while sharing stories that would teach life lessons as well. It has long been a part of western Africa that storytellers would act as counsel to the king and by sharing stories, history is shared as well. In Ireland the seanchaí were the traditional storytellers travelling through villages bringing tales of Irish myths and legends. As well as sharing stories of ancient times, local news would be shared too.

Another example is Native American tribes. Their stories were intended to preserve the tribe’s history and educate the young. One reason why people are therefore drawn to these stories may be that it helps us to feel in control. That is, it helps us to find order in things that have happened to us and make sense of the events that occur in such a random world. Stories can give us an insight into how others think and feel. In other words, they allow us to empathise with the people around us. Stories also allow us to share information in a memorable way, which might have helped our ancestors survive. By telling a story rather than merely reciting the facts, we remember the details more clearly.

Screenshot 2021-06-04 at 16.17.14.png (Eastern- Storyteller)


Hierarchy in gin lane and beer street

Yang Wang

Hierarchy does not only exist in terms of gender, but also between different classes. William Hogarth’s Gin lane and Beer street is an excellent example of how differences in social classes are illustrated by cultural heritage.

The painting is a portrait of the poor and upper class in 18th century England ,but the object of the creator's condemnation does not seem to be correct. The artist's subtext in creating these two paintings is simply that beer drinkers will live freely in heaven, while people who drink gin will go to hell. Although artists are generally regarded as people who are ahead of their time, the truth is that the creation of a painting is often limited by the artist's own perception and the context of the time.

maxresdefault.jpg (William Hogarth- Gin lane and beer street, 1751)

The artist himself being of the upper class in society illustrates a satire on the self indulgence of the poor, but behind it is a reflection of the ruling class's extreme spurning of the poor.This is an indication of the darkness and injustice of society with the differences of feast and famine between the two images with illustrations of almost skeletal men in contrast to the pleasure portrayed in the second image. The work of a painter is often influenced by the limitations of history, as is evident here where it is not any drink or vessels that create hell on earth, but the greed of the ruling class and the exploitation of society.


To Persuade

Storytelling- How illustration challenges/changes cultural heritage

Shunzi Mao

Cultural heritage actually comes with a certain “memory”, “Memory” is people's recollection of past events. It is an archival memory constructed through discourse that relies heavily on media institutions and dissemination. In the process of recording "memory", storytelling with illustrations is a very common method. It is undeniable that storytelling is susceptible to the subjective factors of the narrator in the process of dissemination. It more reflects the creator’s position. At the same time, it also involves how we think about identity and how identity politics arise.

How illustration changes cultural heritage is that it persuades people, and establishes or discredits a certain kind of ideology. This kind of ideology will have a potential impact on people, making people accept and endorse these kind of stories that enable them to gain a sense of identity and spread stories to the next generation. In this process, various values, thoughts of culture and political stances existing in cultural heritage will change.

For instance, based on the novella of the same name by Joseph Conrad, the graphic novel "Heart of Darkness" (adapted by David Zane Mairowitz and illustrated by Catherine Anyango) is about a person in the 19th century and a journey they take on the Congo River during the late Belgian colonial period. The illustrator Anyango used pencils and scraps from erasers to depict the dark scary scenes. This graphic novel presents some things that the original novel does not with images coming from many angles and from perspectives that are distorted. The jungle and waterways have the feel of being surrounded by torture chambers and sewers underground.These visual works make us reflect on the terrifying cruelty and moral distortion of colonialism. The adapted illustration has a new widespread influence, and the visual effects and narrative form of the pictures give the viewers a new perception of the original works.


m4.png (Catherine Anyango- Heart of Darkness, 2010)


How the illustrations communicate in the cultural heritage

Wenbo Zhao

In contemporary times, illustration has allowed storytellers to truly express their emotions and ideas. When photography was invented, artists no longer had to create realistic scenes. In its place, new artistic techniques were used to create more stylised works. Because of the intimacy inherent in illustration, it has become more widely interacted with and communicated with the public. This is why illustrations are more important than ever in contemporary time.

According to Martin Jay, visual images "are not only omnipresent in Western culture but in fact have been central to its intellectual progress" (Hammerness, 2009,1035).

On the other hand, societies have been using illustrations for communication since the days of Egyptian hieroglyphics. The cultural heritage of a people is preserved through art. Art plays an important role through the various artworks that represent a cultural value (Aondover Gabriel, Kenechi and Charles, 2016). Just as some American illustrated posters, illustrated packaging, and illustrated magazine covers from the 19th to the early 20th centuries complete the evolution of American women's fashion culture at the time, such cultural records set the reference base for future fashion trends. Illustration is thus defined as a series of human activities undertaken to express emotion or satisfy aesthetics, while culture is the commonality of people's lifestyles, making art and culture inseparable. In a sense, illustration becomes one of the mediums of cultural expression. This also leads us to rethink the new communication that illustration brings to cultural heritage, creating a new dynamic.

Screenshot 2021-06-04 at 15.40.46.png (American clothing style in the 1910s, the mainstream form of women's fashion-Dindga McCannon,Dancers 4, 2020)

In the 60s and 70s we didn’t have many women warriors (that we were aware of) so I created my own. Her headpiece is made from recycled mini flag poles. The shape was inspired by my thoughts on the statue of liberty; she represents freedom for so many but what about us (African Americans)?” — Dindga McCannon.

It is worth noting that Dindga McCanno’s mixed media work goes deeper. Displayed beneath the stark brushstrokes of her paintings is her interest in the black art and culture movement as well as feminism. This interest evokes her love of African-themed culture and symbolic art, and highlights the contemporary black pride in her own culture. Women are the focus of her work and the particular cultural symbols have an unexpected resonance with the public. As she says, "It offers light to those who have been lost. My work is a tribute to the women who have opened their doors to me. Our battles are with the outside world and to make our position as black woman artists viable”.

In addition to this, in religion they have always used illustrations to represent their symbolism. Followers were urged to practise their faith with painstaking care. Medieval monks, scholars and scribes used highly illustrative images to promote faith and worship, not only to identify the gods, but also to guide social classes and behaviour, through superb and advanced graphic techniques. Indeed, it is widely believed that some responsive viewers were in need of stimulating images to stimulate and satisfy the need for knowledge (Male, 2017).

In order to satisfy such a demand, artists may radically innovate incorrectly or even leapfrog the culture represented in the illustrations, which, while momentarily eye-catching, may not last. On the other hand, under the combined pressure of social cohesion and responsibility, attitudes and creativity in the face of illustration will change dramatically. Artists will also have to adopt stricter moral values than previously thought possible. Images will also be created with clear definitions to indicate the moral dimension in culture.


The relationship between illustration and traditional culture

Antong Dong

All the achievements of civilisation created by human social practice activities yesterday are traditional culture for today; the achievements of civilisation created by human social practice activities today are also traditional culture for tomorrow. Therefore, we cannot mention traditional culture and associate it with backwardness, what has been preserved and can have a great impact on today and tomorrow is indeed the essence of human culture. The Yangshao culture of China, which is 7000-5000 years old today, has colourful painted pottery designs with a variety of realistic animal forms such as fish, bird and frog prints. These motifs have a universal design that transcends time and place and will never lag behind. Ancient Egyptian culture, on the other hand, is over 5,000 years old, and we can still find inspiration for our work in ancient Egyptian wall paintings today.


( Silver and gold bronze mirror with a dragon and bird motif, Western Han Dynasty 202 B.C. - 8 A.D.)

That is why Mr. Huang Yongyu, the famous Chinese painter, said, "The Yangshao painted pottery of 6,000 years ago left us so many masterful works of modelling art, the pottery jar, what man would dare to boldly say that he could surpass it and make progress over it!" So he added: "The law of science is the law of progress; art is becoming more and more prosperous and richer; art need not speak of progress." (Masters Talking about Art- Huang Yongyu on Art)


( Geometric Yangshao pottery basin, 4800-3900 B.C.)

Modern design, which is subject to the constraints of both modern art and modern technology, cannot be separated from the profound influence of traditional culture, no matter how it develops. In other words, traditional culture, which is national, regional, social and historical in nature, not only influences the modern art movement all the time, but also directly influences the modern design movement.

In Europe, we can see that European culture, which has been in place for thousands of years, has had an impact on modern design no less than on modern art, with its iconic references being the Crystal Palace in London, the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the famous Champs-Elysées. The word "Champs-Elysées", meaning "paradise", is derived from the ancient Aegean civilisation, to which the Cretans, who contributed to the creation of the Crete culture, saw their lives as a chance to be happy. The cemetery where they were buried, or the ritual of their death, was called the "Champs-Elysées". The Parisians have adopted it as the name of their city, a direct reference to their traditional culture.

In fact, in the development of the art of illustration, mankind has never abandoned traditional culture.


Illustration helps to link traditional culture and contemporary culture

Chuxian Luo

IIn ancient ages, mankind has left behind many different cultures. After a long time, the traditional culture has been passed down from generation to generation and has become precious heritage. However, due to the passage of time, human life is constantly changing, part of traditional culture is too complicated for modern people to understand, and fewer and fewer people are willing to learn about traditional culture. On the other hand, with changes in lifestyles, some traditional cultures no longer appeal or apply to modern life. Therefore, some traditional cultures are gradually facing derailment from modern life.

Illustrations have played an important role in connecting traditional culture with contemporary culture. Ancient illustrations play a role in recording traditional culture. In the contemporary era when some traditional cultures have disappeared, the illustrations that record the past make the traditional culture traceable. Zhi Garden is a private garden established in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is an outstanding representative of ancient private gardens and embodies the artistic essence of the prosperity of the Ming Dynasty. The history of Zhi Garden is longer than that of Yuanmingyuan. It was not destroyed by war, but like many famous gardens in ancient times, it was obliterated in the long river of history and forgotten. Fortunately, the " Zhi Garden Atlas"depicting the garden has been handed down to the world.

l1.png (Hong Zhang- Zhi Garden Atlas, 1751)

There are 20 pieces of " Zhi Garden Atlas", which were later hidden in three places. In 1996, the famous American art historian James Cahill jointly collected the picture in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Oriental Art Museum in Berlin, and held a complete exhibition of "Zhi Garden", which caused a sensation in the world. James Cahill has always asserted that the " Zhi Garden Atlas" depicts a real garden, and if you study it in depth, you can completely rebuild Zhi Garden based on the atlas. However, because art historians were deeply influenced by Chinese painting's advocacy of freehand brushwork, James Cahill was unable to determine the owner and location of Zhi Garden, so he could not persuade people to believe in the existence of Zhi Garden.

The turning point happened in 2010. Xun Cao, an expert on the history of Chinese gardens, discovered the "Essays of Zhi Garden" in the National Library of China. Through careful comparison, it was found that the poem and garden notes in the book corresponded to the " Zhi Garden Atlas". The owner is Wu Liang, the author of the collection. This garden is located in Wu Liang's hometown-Changzhou, Jiangsu. In 2012, James Cahill collaborated with two young scholars Huang Xiao and Liu Shanshan to complete "Immortal Springs—The Ancient Chinese Garden Painting". The book introduced a complete chapter of the Garden of Stopping, which caused a lot of attention in the history of gardens. As a rare Ming dynasty garden that can restore the full picture based on images, Zhi Garden makes up an important page in the history of Chinese gardens. In order to allow more people to intuitively appreciate the style of private gardens in the Ming Dynasty, the China Garden Museum decided to make a model of Zhi Garden in 2015 Initiated by James Cahill, with the joint efforts of Chinese scholars and cultural institutions, not only was the owner and the site of the garden found, the garden was also reproduced for the world in the form of a model, completing the leap from illustration to garden.

l2.png (Sanxi Kan- Model of Zhi Garden, 2017)


The role of illustration in cultural exchange and inheritance

Tianyi Zhao

The reason why traditional culture has influence over the present day is that it is inherited, integrated, updated and improved through cultural exchanges. As a communication medium, illustration elaborates contents of traditional culture to people more simply and intuitively in the process of cultural exchange and inheritance. However, illustration makes it easier for historical culture to be understood and memorised.

Furthermore, more illustrators start to express their perception and thinking of culture and recreate by combining ancient culture with contemporary culture. Drawing is a core component of contemporary Illustration practice and is a method for culture to be inherited and applied by contemporary people Fundamental to Illustration expertise, drawing is regarded an essential skill utilised to record, represent, convey, and portray information ranging from conceptual, imaginary, technical, and representational, depending on the “intent” of the practitioner (Frazier 2003, 48).With the help of illustration, traditional culture is no longer a kind of mysterious knowledge. Instead, it enables traditional culture to be closer to real life and remove the sense of distance.

Slimen El Kamel’s is a typical surrealism painter and most of his works take memory and folklore as prototypes of creation. He narrates his subtle criticism on mass culture and traditional lifestyles through canvas.

Works and painting practices of the artist Slimen El Kamel are greatly influenced by the countryside environment he lived in when he was young. When he was in Sidi Bouzid, he became interested in the long-lived folklore and poetry of his country, which inspired his creations. Slimen holds that the so-called reality relies on the combination of hearing and vision, which is a communication channel for him to better experience life and make creations by combining them with illusory folklore better. Therefore, his works are rich in metaphors.

“His more recent work considers the links between the human body and everyday consumable objects,” Sulger-Buel Gallery says. ” t1.png (Slimen El Kamel, Ritual- Ritual, 2018)

Slimen El Kamel’s transcendent paintings are informed by both memory and folklore. The Tunisian artist uses acrylics, embroidery, and other media to craft these multilayered works, each inviting the viewer to unpack his crowded visions. His painting have been said to question “social constraints and the absurdity of violence.”

It is easy to learn that Slimen is good at comprehensive material painting. Acrylics, embroidery and other media are common materials for him. He also applies these media techniques flexibly. Slimen El Kamel’s spreads the folk culture in his life along with his views on society to the world through his illustrations.

t1.png (Slimen El Kamel, Ritual- Ritual, 2018)

His Illustrations are an important form of cultural inheritance and exchange and an essential visual language to contemporary society. In terms of cultural inheritance, it also contains rich humanistic connotations and helps audiences deeply reflect on information delivered by illustrations based on an appreciation of visual resources and build an accurate cognition and understanding as art is able to reveal corresponding contents and objectives. As a practical art with important social significance, illustration can interpret and perceive culture from the communication perspective, which is an important way to explore the evolution process of local culture and also closely links communication media with historical culture.


To Ornament

The ornament function of illustration in traditional handicrafts

Yue Yu

The combination of illustration and traditional handicrafts is universal and far-reaching. Illustration shows different patterns and practices in traditional handicrafts such as wood carving, leather carving, paper cutting, embroidery, dyeing and weaving…And one of their important functions is as an ornament. Ornamental illustrations can make people happier, make a room look warmer, and make a city more harmonious.

Take embroidery as an example. Embroidery is one of the most popular traditional handicrafts in China, which has a history of at least two or three thousand years. Embroidery has a wide range of applications, from ancient times to the present, whether it is people's clothing, or curtains.

Beijing Palace Museum is a comprehensive museum located in China. Its collections include but are not limited to the imperial palaces of Ming and Qing Dynasties and their collections. From here we can see a lot of excellent traditional embroidery works. Especially in clothing, in order to keep the patterns on clothing for a long time, people use embroidery. The patterns on the clothes of the Qing Dynasty are complex and diverse, including orchids, gourds, butterflies, peacocks, mountains and rivers, and so on, which are vividly displayed by exquisite embroidery techniques.

It is worth mentioning that the embroidery patterns on the clothes of royal family members and officials are different due to their different ranks. For example, in the choice of the main animals of the patterns, the emperor's clothes are embroidered with dragons and auspicious clouds, which symbolise supreme dignity and omens of good luck. The Queen's clothes are embroidered with phoenixes and peonies, which mean beauty, wealth and magnificence. The prince's clothes are embroidered with boa constrictors, the civilian official's clothes are embroidered with cranes, pheasants and peacocks, and the military official's clothes are embroidered with lions, tigers and bears. This can also show that the pattern can not only play a decorative role, but also intuitively distinguish classes.

Screenshot 2021-06-04 at 14.56.52.png (Imperial robe- Qing Dynasty)

In addition to clothing, in the Qing Dynasty, embroidery was also widely used to make appreciative products with calligraphy and painting as the object of expression. Many embroidery works recorded a variety of stories, including folktales, historical stories, myths and legends. The representative works include ‘The painting of fairy boat ladies’, ‘The painting of Magu Xianshou’, ‘The painting of Qixi’, ‘The painting of ploughing and weaving’, and so on. Poems and calligraphy were embroidered on fans, screens, purses and other objects, which can be seen all over the world. Stories with morals were especially loved by people who would hang their calligraphy and paintings at home, not only for decoration and appreciation, but also as a way to bring them a better life.

Lijuan Feng said: Traditional handicraft is a treasure of national culture, which carries the wisdom and brilliance of human beings. Since the late 20th century, the protection and development of cultural heritage has become an important issue in the cultural development of various countries.

In short, the ornamental role of traditional handicrafts is indispensable. Illustration records and spreads traditional culture through traditional handicrafts, and traditional handicrafts are inherited and carried forward in this process. They are closely combined, promote each other, and jointly promote the progress and development of human civilisation.


Illustration as a way to bring changes in our lives

Qian Yin

“It’s important to me to use art in a manner that incites people to look and then carry something home – even it it’s subliminal – that might make a change in them.”(Joyce.J.Scott,1948)

Renowned as the “Queen of Beadwork,” Joyce J. Scott was Born and raised in Baltimore, she is a descendant of African-Americans, Native Americans, and Scots. As the famous curator Sultan Terrie said that Scott is influenced by a variety of diverse cultures, including Native American and African traditions, Mexican, Czech, and Russian beadwork,She makes jewellery and sculptures using techniques like West African Yoruba beadwork crowns and regalia, this form of creation, as cultural heritage, has to be continued and preserved. Scott’s works address contentious social issues such as gender, race, and class struggle.

Cobalt is a very good example of how exquisite traditional craftsmanship from West Africa was well used in the work, cobalt-blue skin presented different races, special skin tones, different women's nudity struggling on mesh lines, as if to break free from bondage, their posture free and without losing their sense of strength, these elements reflect scott's hardline attitude towards women's rights and the status of black women. As she says, these perspectives are reflected in ornaments, which people take home and influence people's ideologies implicitly in their life, and she gradually changes people's intrinsic thinking about women and race in this way.

Screenshot 2021-06-04 at 16.14.43.png


Ciscle, George (2000). Joyce J. Scott Kickin' It with the Old Masters. Baltimore Museum of Art and Maryland Institute, College of Art. ISBN 0-912298-72-3.

Preservation towards cultural heritage is an important cultural foundation for connecting national emotional ties. It enhances national unity and helps maintain the world’s cultural diversity and creativity, promoting human development. Illustration enables intangible and tangible cultural heritage to be passed on from generation to generation. By telling a story rather than merely reciting the facts, we remember the details more clearly. Regardless of the reasons why, stories have always been an important part of our lives as they are everywhere. We spend much of our lives telling the stories of what we do, where we go and who we spend time with. They document our lives, convey our culture, and entertain and educate the next generation. Looking back through history across a multitude of cultures in all parts of the planet, we have always told stories, and we will probably continue to do so for the rest of our lives.