Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Scotland's History Festival

A new ten day long history festival is being planned in Edinburgh from November 17th-27th by music festival organiser Ian Harrower and stand-up comedian Susan Morrison. To be called Scotland's History Festival, the new venture is aimed at bringing together academics, local history groups, students and tourists, and it is hoped it will attract 30,000 attendees in its inaugural year. Amongst its offerings will be a 'genealogy roadshow' and a series of debates on Scotland's national identity and emigration.

It sounds a great idea, but it will need to avoid the cliches of the Gathering and the plastic Scotland mentality of tartans, kilts and "who can find a link to William Wallace" - and rather focus on family history, social history, the history of industry, empire, union (good and bad), internal repression, inventiveness, multi-culture and more also, everything that actually made this country and its people what they are today. The biggest opportunity for Scottish history now is for people to work out their own family's role and contribution in the national story (indeed, national stories), rather than another plastic "Robert the Bruce and all that" showcase - rather ironically, that's just so yesterday's news! :)

For more on the development visit



Scottish MIs said...

Chris will there be stalls at this show?

Chris Paton said...

No idea Helen. No sign of a website yet. The budget for the whole ten day event is apparently just £10,000, which seems challenging to say the least! I think it is still fairly embryonic, but I'll provide any updates if I get them.


Nicola Osborne said...

Chris, Helen, I met Susan Morrison at the Engaging Scotland event last week and I think she and Ian Harrower are still happy to hear from possible contributors.

- Nicola