Gordon Wells, Island Voices co-ordinator, is attending the first round of Working Group Meetings of the “New Speakers” network at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh on 6-7 March. The “New Speakers” network is an EU-funded initiative (COST Action IS1306) aimed at fostering collaboration amongst researchers, facilitating the sharing of findings, and identifying key issues in research on multilingualism. The term “new speakers” refers to multilingual individuals and groups who adopt and use a language variety different from their native language. Gordon’s Powerpoint presentation introducing the Island Voices project and associated research interests can be viewed here.
There was a tremendous turnout at Taigh Chearsabhagh for the launch cèilidh of the new project being led by Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, the North Uist Historical Society. The project, An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach, commemorates the outbreak of the First World War.
Local community members gathered to share reminiscences and show each other family artefacts that keep alive the memory of the sacrifices of earlier generations.
Afterwards, members of the project team talked to Gordon Wells in English and Gaelic about how the first cèilidh went, and their hopes for the planned exhibition and other future events.
Tha pròiseact ùr a’ tòiseachadh le Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath. Cùm cluas ri claisneachd!
Originally posted on An fheadhainn tha laighe sàmhach:
So far the project has been overwhelmed with all your offers of reminiscences and artefacts and we are so grateful to you for these. It will take us some time to visit you all and gather such precious, personal and unique information. An important principle of this process is that nothing will be publicly shown without your permission. We will however be attempting to find photographs of as many of the Uist Fallen as we can, which may mean that we begin to post some unidentified forces photographs, in the hope that someone may identify them.
A piece of good fortune
Another numerical milestone was passed on Friday 14th February, when the Guthan nan Eilean YouTube channel, “Island Voices Videos”, clocked up its 100,000th view – and added another eleven by the end of the day, “sharing the love” on Valentine’s Day. (Uncannily, we seem to time these moments to coincide with special days in the calendar year – we went through 50,000 on the night of Hallowe’en just over a year ago.)
The razor-fishing documentaries are still among the most viewed clips, but also trending now are the “Gaelic journey” films that recorded the project’s visit to Ireland around this time last year. And the geographical spread amongst our viewers is quite remarkable. The top five countries remain the same: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Ireland, and Australia. But YouTube analytics also reveal that the channel has now been viewed in a total of 173 different countries around the world. Visitors are always welcome. Ceud Mìle Fàilte oirbh uile!
A modern Gaelic love song, ’S tu mo ghaol, from the Bi Beò (nach maireann) archives forms the musical centrepiece for Island Voices’ Valentine’s Day message. You can hear it above without a transcript, or if you would like to read the words while you listen you can try this new Clilstore unit.
For a local visual celebration of the same sentiment we still find it hard to beat this message in Russian, beautifully crafted out of Grimsay scallop shells at Poll nan Crann in Benbecula. The story behind it is quite touching, and you can read all about it in this Facebook thread.
Meanwhile, and for one day only, An Radio, the new bilingual Uist community station, will be running specially themed playlists all day today. Just follow this link and click on the “An Radio Player”. Wherever you are, and whichever languages you like to use, Island Voices wishes you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!
Find out more about An Radio at this meeting.
Tha pròiseact ùr air tòiseachadh le Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath, a bhios a’ coimhead air ais 100 bliadhna gu 1914, nuair a thòisich an Cogadh Mòr. Tha Taigh Chearsabhagh an sàs ann cuideachd, le taisbeanadh gu bhith ann, a dh’fhosglas air 11/11/2014.
Am measg rudan eile ’s ann a bhios am pròiseact a’ cruinneachadh stòraidhean agus cuimhneachan aig muinntir Uibhist a Tuath. Agus, cuide ri Caraidean Uibhist agus Tagsa, tha Guthan nan Eilean gu math toilichte a bhith a’ toirt taic dhan phròiseict seo.
Tha iad air blog a thòiseachadh mar-thà, far am faighear fiosrachadh a bharrachd mu dheidhinn.
Watch this space!