Talking Statues

Imagine dedicating a statue…

If you could honour someone with a statue or tell the unheard narrative of a monument that exists — who would it be and what story would you tell?  

If you had the opportunity to tell the real story, fill an empty plinth, set the story straight, put the focus on those written out of history – who would be sculpted and why?

Now is your time to imagine who should be on a plinth and tell their story.

Audiences across Scotland are invited to:

  • Research community or family history by using archives, libraries, online portals or conversation.
  • Attend a free online storytelling skills workshop | Wed 20 Oct | 7 – 9pm
  • Join the social media discussion with #TalkingStatues | Tue 26 Oct
  • Tell or listen to the stories at the Talking Statues event | Wed 27 Oct | 7 – 9pm

Book Workshop Tickets

Book Event Tickets


Talking Statues Walking Tours

We’ve partnered with Mercat Tours to deliver Talking Statues storytelling walking tours of Edinburgh.

On this tour you will explore the stories of people from history, immortalised (in bronze), but murky in people’s memories – a fighter, surgeon, scientist, philosopher, an explorer and a politician. The story of the life behind a statue will help you to make up your mind about how ‘worthy’ a person is of its dedication. Do we look up to them and their success stories or do we look up at them and remember their failings, which can teach us as much as their successes?

You’ll visit James Braidwood, hear about Elsie Inglis, James Barry, Joseph Knight amongst many others and we’ll finish at a statue of one of Scotland’s prominent politicians during the 1700s, which was recently the subject of much debate.

Book Tickets Here


It’s over to you now to get researching. If you’re not sure who should be celebrated but would love to unearth a story, check out our resources section below. 

Did you know statues can actually talk?

If you’ve been inspired by this discussion, you may also want to check out David Peter Fox’s Talking Statues project.   Statues across the world are coming to life with QR codes and narratives and who knows, there may even be one in Scotland’s skyline soon…

An afternoon of exploring storytelling and archives

Talking Statues: Uncovering Stories of Inspirational Women in the Archives

To help you find a story to share at our Talking Statues sharing event on 27 Oct, we’ve teamed up with the National Library of Scotland, Glasgow’s Women’s Library and storyteller Jan Bee Brown for an afternoon exploring storytelling and archives.

Want to find how to use archives to unearth stories about inspirational women who deserves a statue? Then this event if for you.

More info and tickets.

Pointers to archives, websites, blogs and articles. We'll be sharing more research tools online in the coming weeks so watch this space.

Your Research Starter Guide

Research Starter Guide

Use our discussion prompt resource in your classroom. Draw your statue, tell your story and share on social media with #talkingstatues

Who would be on your plinth?

Drawing Prompt

Join the challenge and create your own personal heros! #MakingStatues

SISF Instagram Art Challenge: Making Statues

For this year’s SISF 6-day Instagram art challenge we are asking you to pick your personal heroes and to celebrate them with a statue, real or imagined. Let the camera be your chisel, the paint brush be your tool.

Fom 20 – 25 October we will dedicate a different daily art style to inspire your imagination. Everyone is encouraged to join the fun, all levels welcome. We will share some of the amazing artwork on our channel, follow us on Instagram @Scotstoryfest, #SISFArtChallenge #MakingStatues.

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