Presenting an Authentic Reflection of the Past Through Storytelling and Living History in 1940s Events.

Authors: Whitfield, J. and Leonard, Z.

Journal: Events Management

Publisher: Cognizant Communication Corporation

DOI: 10.3727/152599523X16957834460259


Live events that replicate the 1940s era celebrate the heritage of a defining moment in history. This research presents the results of a study examining authenticity, storytelling and living history in the context of 1940s events in the UK. The research demonstrates how storytelling and living history intensifies the authentic nature of the event, depicting a true reflection of the past and facilitating a collective memory of the era. Through online semi-structured interviews with event organisers and attendees of 1940s events, the findings confirm that organisers feel a sense of cultural duty to tell an accurate story to the best of their abilities. This is supported through living history as presented by re-enactment groups. They provide elements of the three concepts of authenticity, objectivism, constructivism and existentialism. Reenactors provide historically accurate detail and speak with authority, generating what is perceived to be an authentic level of engagement.

Source: Manual