‘Vocal graffiti’ artwork added to Outer Hebrides’ support of Black Lives Matter

  • Published on: 24th June 2020
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An Lanntair has been proud to display banners and posters created by Outer Hebrides’ residents in support of Black Lives Matter.

Joining a movement which has seen people collectively rise up around the world in protest against racial injustice and violence, An Lanntair sincerely thank all who contributed to making our islands’ voice heard.

Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of An Lanntair, said: “We are proud to display these banners in support of Black Lives Matter, created by local people from across the islands.

“Here at An Lanntair we stand in solidarity with all those working to eradicate racism throughout the world. Now it is more important than ever to join together and fight racial injustice, and everyone, including all of us here in the Outer Hebrides, has a crucial role to play.”

Submissions to An Lanntair’s Black Lives Matter display include a Gaelic banner created by Lewis artist and filmmaker Calum Angus Mackay.

Calum Angus’ 2019 feature documentary ‘Mathair a Chiunn-Suidhe’ (The President’s Mother) sparked international interest; and he has previously explored one community’s struggle to open the Outer Hebrides’ first Mosque in documentary ‘Eilannaich Phacastan’ (Pakistan Islanders).

Calum Angus commented: “Stornoway, and the Hebrides, are a long way from the epicentre of Black Lives Matter. Yet, we are at liberty to open our eyes a little wider to ensure empathy and understanding is not lost at this pivotal point in time.”

Currently on display outside An Lanntair, Calum Angus’ Black Lives Matter ‘vocal graffiti’ work – ‘Chaneil sinne cho fìor-gheal’ (We are not that pure white) – raises the assumed notions of purity. It carries ‘a truly poignant and beautiful’ Gaelic phrase ‘Tarraing d’anail’, which literally translates as ‘draw breath’.

“The reality that being the most ‘pure’ or the most extreme is a very precarious place to be,” Calum Angus expanded. “Cultural diversity and an open acceptance of race should not have to be fought so hard for in the 21st century.”

An Lanntair CE Elly Fletcher added: “We at An Lanntair will continue to promote and to celebrate diversity in our work across our programme and activities; and we will strive to do more, to reach out and to inform and develop ourselves and our organisation in all that we do.”