Spirit of the Highlands

by | Oct 8, 2020 | News and reports

Here’s an interesting mail from Amy Atkinson at Highlife Highland highlighting a project to gather brief autobiographical stories reflecting the ‘Spirit of the Highlands’ This is in connection with the project to re-purpose Inverness Castle so that it reflects Highland culture and heritage.

‘Spirit’ is used in a very general sense to mean the ‘essence’ of the Highlands, but here is an opportunity to ensure that there are stories in the collection which represent the role of faith in the Highland tradition. – overwhelmingly, the Christian faith. Here’s an opportunity to share a ‘Spirit’ story which reflects the richness of what us best in the Highland Christian tradition.

Here’s Amy’s mail

Spirit:Autobiography – Call for Stories

The Spirit of the Highlands – an initiative specifically designed to help boost tourism and economic growth throughout the Highland area by promoting its culture and heritage, supported by the Inverness and the Highlands City Region Deal.

One of the project’s aims is to create an ‘Autobiography of the Highlands’, a unique collection of stories held in a digital archive, all told by the people who live, work and visit here. This “Spirit:Autobiography” will be an authentic insight into life in the Highlands today, and the heritage that has shaped this unique region, in the words of people from across the Highlands.

We’re looking for stories behind the headlines of history, stories about people you might hear at a ceilidh: the uncle who worked on the hydro schemes; the sister that set up the local fèis, the niece that kayaked the Great Glen in record time.

And we want to hear stories of communities too, large and small – the local events that shaped it, or how global events have affected it; about its singing sands or Viking graffiti – the things that give it a distinctive fingerprint.

All the stories will be available for present and future generations to enjoy in the “Spirit:Autobiography” digital archive. Some of the stories will be used to inspire artists in a series of commissions in the Spirit:360 project, and others will be the foundation of the ‘Spirit of the Highlands in 100 Stories’ exhibition in Inverness Castle when it reopens.

The call for these stories is now live, and people across the world are being invited to share them at www.spiritofthehighlands.com. Find out more through this short video narrated by Julie Fowlis.

The closing date for submission of these stories is November 30th 2020. You can also follow and share the project through our social media channels, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

We’d love you to personally contribute if you can, and we’re asking for your help with this call for stories by sharing this information with your networks and communities, personal and professional. Even sharing the hyperlinks would really help us to start this exciting Spirit of the Highlands conversation across all our communities.

Thanks for your support in building the “Spirit:Autobiography” – we’re excited about the stories we’ll receive from you and your networks. If you have any ideas you feel could help us do better, or questions about the project, then contact us on info@spiritofthehighlands.com.

With thanks to the Inverness and the Highlands City Region Deal and The Highland Council for
their support of the Inverness Castle redevelopment and to Creative Scotland for the Spirit:360 project.

We’ll leave you with this thought:

We live in an extraordinary part of the world, rich in stories that make us laugh, cry or gasp in wonder. Stories that inspire and thrill us, that make us think and imagine, or sing and dance. Whichever part of the Highlands we live in, these stories and legends reflect who we are and how we lived our lives in the past, how we live them now and how we might live them in the future.

Sharing these stories will encourage people who live here, and visitors, to explore the Highlands and discover more about our extraordinary and unique area. It’s quite a gift to give.