The National Library of Scotland has been looking back at the 1980s in a retrospective. We have created the 'Back to the future: 1979-1989' website to support this work.
A decade of considerable change and transition, the 1980s also saw significant development with regard to Gaelic language in Scotland with the rise of community activism and increased demand for an infrastructure to support the language and culture of the Gael.
We would like to look again at this period by means of 'format-flipping' some of our Gaelic language and Gaelic culture publications and film archive footage from the 1980s. We recently used this approach by inviting people to creatively re-sit old exam papers — the results are on our Scottish school exams website.
Five creative categories
There are five opportunities to bring 'the Gaelic 1980s' to life in this call for creative responses:
- Visual art
- Creative writing
A fund of up to £1,250 is available to support one creative response in each of the five categories.
In return for the grant, we would like a piece of writing, film, high-resolution images, recording, or similar which documents the completed work and which can be displayed on our website and in our publications.
Works should be exhibited or performed in a location which connects to the piece of finished work or the original prompt. Written and spoken / vocal works must be primarily in the Gaelic language, with an English translation supplied.
How to apply
To apply for this creative call, please respond with a description of how you will respond to the particular prompt that you are interested in, how your work will bring 'the Gaelic 1980s' to new audiences, and how the funding will enable your work.
Applications should be in English and should feature a short CV. They will be judged on:
- Creative interpretation of the brief
- How well the work will tell the story of Gaelic language and culture in the 80s
- How useful the piece will be in engendering useful conversations about Gaelic language and culture today
- The method of public display or performance.
Write a song and produce a performance and a recording of it based on paragraph 74.02 of the 1982 report 'Language, Community and Development: The Gaelic situation': song prompt PDF (2.1 MB; 3 pages).
Visual art prompt
Produce a piece of art, or installation, based on Appendix 3 of the 1985 document 'Towards a National Policy for Gaelic': visual art prompt PDF (2.3 MB; 6 pages). Exhibit the artwork in a public space. It should reflect or reflect on the conversations that were taking place in the 1980s about the future of the Gaelic language.
Create a craftwork (piece or pieces of fashion, jewellery, glassware, woodwork, metalwork ceramic or other material) that references the sheep ear tagging shapes, as shown in the craft prompt PDF (1.2 MB; 3 pages). Relate the designs and materials used to the 1980s.
Creative writing prompt
Write a short story, poem(s), or other piece of creative writing of no more than 3,000 words, based on the film 'Iona — Dove Across the Water'. The piece of creative writing can relate to the entire film, parts of the film, or a single aspect, scene, or character in it. The piece does not have to relate to Iona, but it must relate to Gaelic culture in the 1980s, and should also work with the theme of isles and islands.
Work with a primary school to devise a school playground game based on the 1987 report 'School, Gaelic and the community: paper to local authority councillors = An sgoil, a' Ghaidhlig 's a' choimhearsnachd: paipear gu Comhairlichean nan Ughdarras Ionadail' published by An Comunn Gàidhealach.
The game should be playable by four or more people, either indoors or outdoors, and should only involve basic equipment of the kind that would have been available to children in 1987. It may involve no equipment. Make a recording of the game being played.
Deadlines for submissions
Please submit your proposal to Graeme Hawley by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 24 February 2020. Decisions will be made by Friday 6 March 2020.
Recordings, finished written works, and other evidence of completion must be completed by Friday 29 May 2020.
The funding for these artistic responses has been generously provided by Creative Scotland.