For many of us living here now, Scotland has not always been our home.
Postcards from our World took as its starting point the treacherous journeys families are talking across the seas to find a place of safety. I read a translation of a poem said to be written by someone on a boat in the Mediterranean before they drowned:
“Thank you dear sea for welcoming us without a visa or passport. Thank you to the fish who will share me without asking about my religion or political beliefs…”
Wordsmith Elspeth Murray created a response to this in her poem which opened the performance sung by the children from Leith Walk Primary School and Music in the Community with a film by Ian Dodds, music by Dee Isaacs, installation by designer Richard Aylwin andsound by Martin Disley and Owen MacAllister.
What we learned through the process of making the performance was that everyone can play their part, everyone has something to offer. In Leith Walk Primary School, 45% of the children are bilingual. A total of 20 home languages exist within the school, and 25 different languages are spoken among 260 children. Postcards aimed to work closely with the school’s vision to create cultural richness out of diversity, and to nurture children’s abilities through creativity and achievement. We asked the children and relatives and friends of relatives and long-lost friends to write postcards to us and received bock postcards from all over the world telling stories of daily life. We acknowledge the wonder of other cultures, and people to contribute to our collective heritage, the human repertoire of ideas, and beliefs. Culture alone allows us to reach, as Abraham Lincoln said, for the ‘better angels of our nature’. With mɑny thanks to all those involved, the children, students, staff, artists and families.