Migrant Voice is an organisation that aims at having migrant voices heard. Making sure stories of migration told by migrants themselves are heard. I am a member of Migrant Voice which organised a photography exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Arts in Glasgow this summer. Images and words of migrants in Scotland.
A happy memory. Sitting with my dear friend John Lorne Campbell in his library on the Isle of Canna and listening to his wax cylinder recordings of Gaelic song and stories. He told me how many of these only survived far from Scotland, in Nova Scotia, New Foundland and other distant lands. He also told me they were of great value for they speak of people’s relationship to land, to work, to leisure. They speak of men lost at sea, of death and love. They were filled with wisdom. At 5 I didn’t know what wisdom meant, now I am older and I know what it is meant to mean although I am no wiser myself. The song is older than the singer, that is how she learns of the pain of her future broken heart. That was my first experience of Scotland, of archives, of what migration meant and what we carry with us. I only recently I realised how much this experience has informed my life so far and will continue to inform it, I suspect.
I come from a fishing town in the Basque Country. After a 4-generation friendship with Scotland, and the island of Canna, I settled in Glasgow. I work with languages, art and song to build bridges across communities. My children are Basqwegian. Where are you from is not a straight forward question