Island Voices Unleashed
Today, April 20th, Gordon Wells moved on from his Projects Officer role with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. This means that he will be withdrawing from his active co-ordinating function with the Guthan nan Eilean project and website. This does NOT mean that the project comes to an end. Rather, it means that the project moves even further along the route, mapped out for it some time ago, towards being a grassroots “bottom up” affair to which any and all community members are welcome to contribute their own materials.
Over the past few years it has been very encouraging to see many individuals trying out their hand with the “new media”, creating blogs, making their own audio and video recordings and so on. There have also been some interesting collaborations, with local groups like Stòras Uibhist and Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath tackling bigger projects with some help from Island Voices where and when it was needed. Now that it has started, this kind of work will surely continue in one form or another, even without the active engagement of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s Projects Officer.
Although Gordon will no longer have the time for actively assisting with the creation of new materials, the intention is to keep the website “open for business” for other community members who have produced something they would like to share. If you feel you have a contribution to make and want to find out how, just phone or text 07879 644984, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
One thing the project has always tried to do is to build a stronger connection between the ordinarily bilingual people of these island communities and those with a professional interest in language teaching and/or research. Over the years we’ve been pleased to place occasional contributions from academics such as Professor Richard Johnstone, Professor Rob Dunbar, Dr Emily McEwan-Fujita, and others, alongside those of local community members. And we have maintained a dedicated page for research and reports, with summaries for Am Pàipear readers where possible. Gordon is now moving on to work with Soillse, the inter-university Gaelic research project, but will keep a keen interest in the Guthan nan Eilean website. Perhaps we can look forward to the research interest continuing to complement and support the ongoing creative outputs of “ordinary” Island Voices!