Back in May of last year (article here) there was a researcher from Scotland interviewing people here in Barga who had a connection with Scotland.
As you can hear in the short interview below, Lori Isabella McColl, an artist who is preparing for a postgraduate MA in Creative Media practice degree at the University of West of Scotland (site here) had come to Barga for the first time after hearing about the long term connections between the city and Scotland.
She had been finding out that the more she asked, the more she found that there are more and more reasons why Barga has been called in the past, the most Scottish city in Italy.
All that research came to a head when she opened an exhibition here in Barga at the Stanze della Memoria in Barga Vecchia called “Ship to Ship, Ship to Shore”. The exhibition opened on the 4th of July and will remain open until the 12th July 2015.
It then travels back across Europe to the Paisley Arts centre Cafe in Scotland where it will be on show from the 17th of July until the 3rd of August
SHIP TO SHIP, SHIP TO SHORE is a collection of photographs on the connection of the ScotsItalians including themes of identity, judgement and family loyalty.
The migration between Barga and the West of Scotland is an old and well documented generational movement, which helped shape both the small Tuscan village and Scottish culture.
With few prospects available at home, this mass migration to greener pastures was briefly halted during the war, complicating the relationship between those born in the Garfagnana region and their adopted home in Scotland. In times of peace this resilient community re-established its place in prominent Scottish culture integrating themselves into all walks of life.
Featured in this collection are excerpts from interviews with residents of Barga and with those who have a family connection or history with what locals call ‘The Most Scottish Town in Italy’. Due to the perceptions of identity present throughout, the quotations shown have been kept anonymous, as this reoccurring theme is universally applicable to the ScotsItalian community.
The aim of this project was to capture the themes present in these interviews and reflect them through photographs taken in and around Barga.
Married with the soundtrack of nature, the accompanying audio ambience encaptures the atmosphere of this unique Tuscan village, sampling both local musicians and rural country life.
Her site can be seen here
painter and photographer – started barganews.com, the first on line news site in Tuscany, Italy back in 1996