We create dynamic and immersive storytelling experiences based on traditional African stories using new and emerging technologies, such as Virtual Reality and Virtual Humans, to celebrate and share oral traditions of storytelling. In addition to retelling these stories, we are building a Library of culturally relevant digital assets to contribute to the preservation and sharing of both tangible and intangible heritage.
We, humans, are what writers have called “the storytelling animal”. Stories permeate every aspect of our lives, from the entertainment of narrative fiction through the business of commercials and tourism to the more subtle of law and science. Even a simple piece of clothing, such as the East African leso, can tell a story through the words and images printed upon it. We at LESO Stories believe that as technology expands and improves, it becomes an ever more effective way to tell all manner of stories.
From the immersion of Virtual Reality to the excitement of games or endless possibilities of digital animation, we strive to tell stories new and old in the best, most modern ways possible. Established in 2020, LESO Stories LLP (“LESO Stories”) is a Limited Liability Partnership registered under the registration of limited liability partnership act, 2011 of the Laws of Kenya (Registration number LLP-D81ZPE).
Sigana Tales of Lawino
The problem: Works of African orature, owing to their innately participatory nature, cannot be properly documented via films or books. This limitation arises from the fact that narrative in legacy media, and in general written cultures, is typified by a linear progression of plot. Oral storytelling, on the other hand, tends to be more iterative. It combines song, chant, banter, mimicry and more, merged with costume, dance, and gesture. These are brought to life through social interactions with an audience in a multimedia extravaganza.
The solution: In a rapidly changing world, emerging technologies such as VR and Virtual Humans, can help us preserve the traditions of oral storytelling as well as the timeless tales told across many different communities. These new methods of retelling old tales provide us an opportunity to share, celebrate, and experience this intimate relationship between a storyteller and their audience.
Melisa A. Allela
Project Lead, Creative Content Developer (Concept Art /Character Design/Animation), Programmer
Brandon J. Young
Cultural Researcher, Creative Content Developer (3D Modelling, Sound Editing) and Script writing
Timothy A. Akello
Script writer, Communication and Outreach