Intangible Cultural Heritage

Tree Stories


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Marie Scatena

Independent oral historian and writer, USA

MEMORIAMEDIA Review 6. Art.4. 2021




photo: Marie Scatena / Memória Imaterial edition


In this autobiographical essay memories, excerpts from oral history interviews and from books written by experts describe how trees and green space impact the tellers’ lives. Thematic narrative threads reflect on the ways more than human life communicate with each other and with humans. These stories are about identity and change in the borders of large urban areas where trees not only define borders, they often indicate the health of a community.  Intersubjectivity in oral history describes spaces where memories and sometimes new awareness and growth can occur—and how the co-creation of narratives embodies a sense of ‘we.’ This essay seeks to explore how aspects of oral history practice relate to the sciences, visual art and storytelling. Identity, belonging and the ethic or philosophy of ecological aesthetics are introduced as they relate to the lives of trees.



Keywords: autobiography, narrative, oral history, trees