Làrach-lìn ùr / New website 2018
Last week was a hugely exciting week for conversations and happenings related to the wider land debate in Scotland, with several events taking place across the country. Perhaps the biggest and exciting news of all was the announcement of the success of the Garbhallt Community Initiative (GACI) buy-out in Sutherland, who purchased the 3000 acre West Helmsdale crofting estate from landowner Sutherland Estates. This was one of areas worst affected by the Highland Clearances.
The citizen response Architecture Fringe festival hosted several events on a land rights theme. Firstly, on Saturday 9 June, High LAND/FEARANN took place in in Abriachan Forest near Inverness. This was a day celebrating 20 years of community ownership of the forest, asking, a generation later, what can we learn from the story of this place? The event invited conversations on creative activism in the context of Highland land debates, exploring the creative connection between radical roots and new routes. Next, in Glasgow on Thursday 14 June, Baillie Baillie architects and Community Land Scotland co-hosted LANDSCAPE & (RE)SETTLEMENT / CRUTH-TÌRE & (ATH)TUINEACHADH in Glasgow, asking if the typology of the Gaelic clachan -which once supported vibrant communities with a rich heritage and culture across much of the mountainous highlands - might be re-interpreted and legitimise future resettlement. The event was featured on BBC Naidheachdan.
Also taking place last week was the Ulidia Finn conference at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye, exploring the relationships between place, landscape and story in Ireland and Scotland through the mythological Ulster and Finn cycles (antecedents and legacy of Macpherson’s Ossian within Gaelic tradition). The following Saturday, on 16 June, there was a gathering at Birks Cinema in Aberfeldy for the Wild Women’s ‘Whose Land is it Anyway?’ day exploring women’s relationship to the land, past, present and future with talks on talks on history, healing, food, medicine, occupations, stravaiging, education, bothies, landscape, literature and ownership. All of this took place in the weeks following the high spirits of Community Land Scotland’s annual conference in Stirling, where it was announced that the first ever Community Land Week will run from 11 – 19 August this year. You can listen to the conference talks and panels here. And of course, on 21 June, the Isle of Ulva will celebrate its historic buy-out!
It is in this exciting context that we have launched this platform to engage creatively with contemporary land debates in the Scottish Highlands. It is a space to share knowledge, resources, blogs, essays, projects and ideas in Gaelic and English.
We hope to inspire artists, designers, writers, photographers, musicians, historians, ecologists, educators and others interested in learning more about creative cultural activism and Highland culture, opening up networks for collaboration across the Highlands and beyond.
What will the Highlands of the future look like?
What is the role of our generation?
What kind of activism is needed for the 21st century? What stories do we need to challenge, what stories do we need to tell? What knowledge, tools, information and skills do we need to participate creatively in the wider land movement, both locally and globally? How do we connect and support each other and work towards the future? How do we light the touch papers for generations to come?
If you would like to know more information or contribute, please contact us.