Barra’s Seafaring History Goes Digital

sea_stories_main2Launched on 16 Nov 2013, Sgeulachdan na Mara / Sea Stories is an innovative interactive map that reveals Barra’s rich local knowledge, language and culture through the voices and experiences of the local community.

Visitors to the map are encouraged to explore the audio, video, images and stories in any order they like and within a couple of clicks they can learn about Barra’s shipwrecks, listen to traditional songs, view images of the island’s dramatic landscape or even hear stories about lifeboat landings during the war.

Developed by artist Stephen Hurrel and social ecologist Ruth Brennan, in association with Voluntary Action Barra & Vatersay (VABV), central to gathering content for the project was local school pupils interviewing local Barra fishermen and older members of the community – a successful collaboration that’s set to continue in years to come.

Housed in Barra’s Heritage Centre, the Sea Stories cultural map is now a permanent feature within the community and will be updated as further ‘sea stories’ are gathered by Castlebay School’s media students in the future. It will also be accessible to the public at local cultural events and to the wider world online via the project website. Sea Stories: Barra is also featured in the current exhibition ‘Sea Change’ at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh organised by Cape Farewell.

Sgeulachdan na Mara / Sea Stories was funded through Creative Scotland’s First in a Lifetime programme and Comunn na Gaidhlig with support from The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland.

This post was originally published by Creative Scotland. You can view the map here.


About Nadine Lee

Originally from New Zealand, Nadine is a documentary researcher now based in the north east of Scotland.

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