Media release: Documentary photographers to host project on Colonsay


A COLLECTIVE of Scottish documentary photographers is to host a community-focused photography event – designed to engage, educate and excite.

Show Us Colonsay is a community-focused photography event devised and delivered by Document Scotland in partnership with the Colonsay and Oransay Heritage Trust, which will offer the residents and visitors to the Inner Hebridean island the opportunity to participate in activities designed to engage, educate and excite during the first week of May this year.

The event will include:

* an engagement project inviting participants to tell visual stories about their lives and local environment through a series of photographs;

* an activity in which islanders are guided to create their own self-portrait; and

* a public salon evening at the end of the week where work made by participants will be shown and shared to a live local audience as well as being digitally transmitted online to viewers across Scotland and beyond.

The work will be archived as a public resource on the Document Scotland website, and a recording of the salon evening will be accessible and free to view via Vimeo and YouTube.

Joining Document Scotland’s three photographers (Sophie Gerrard, Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert and Colin McPherson) on Colonsay will be Craig Easton, the 2021 Sony World Photographer of the Year. Each photographer will create their own photo stories about contemporary life on Colonsay during the week-long visit as well as working with participants on their projects.

David Binnie, from the the Colonsay and Oransay Heritage Trust, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Document Scotland to Colonsay. The Trust is helping support this community photography event, the aim of which is to create and share photo stories showing aspects of the community and its environs. The week-long interactive project will end with a showcase open event in the Heritage Centre and we look forward to being involved in this exciting venture.”

Sophie Gerrard (Document Scotland), said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with the island community on Colonsay. This event forms part of Document Scotland’s ongoing work to engage with people across Scotland to help and support learning and development of visual storytelling through photography, as well as offering Document Scotland the opportunity to make new documentary work about our country.”

Show Us Colonsay is a direct follow-up to two very successful projects Document Scotland staged last year:

Show Us Shetland was devised as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For the project, Document Scotland worked remotely with a group of young people in the Shetland Islands, guiding them as they put together series of images about their lives and local environment during lockdown in February 2021.

The following month, Document Scotland collaborated with Highland Migrant and Refugee Action to stage Highlighting the Highlands, which gave groups of Syrian refugees the opportunity to show what life was like for them in the Highlands today. Both projects resulted in web-based events which were attended by the public online.

Both last year’s projects and Show Us Colonsay have been made possible by support from Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

Document Scotland would also like to acknowledge additional financial and logistical support from Street Level Photoworks and the Colonsay & Oransay Heritage Trust, both of whom are collaborative partners in the event.

The full programme with details of how people can get involved with Show Us Colonsay will be announced on our website and via social media on 22nd March, 2022.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by Document Scotland. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

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Contact: Colin McPherson