YEAR OF YOUNG PEOPLE 2018

We had a new look for the Year of Young People. Generous support from the Year of Young People Event Fund gave the programme an added freshness and originality.

The new look started with the chairing and introducing of events, carried out by a group of eight young people, some from Orkney and some from elsewhere in Scotland.

Training for the group was provided by Kristin Linklater, whose teaching of voice production is world-renowned.

Through the help of her and the group, the Festival was given a fresh and lively face.

And we got off to an ideal start with the opening by Year of Young People Ambassadors Lucy Leech and Hope Laing.

THE SULTAN, THE STARS, AND THE LAND’S SLOW DRIFT

We looked eastwards to Uzbekistan and the steppes of Central Asia and the story of a medieval ruler who built an observatory in the city of Samarkand whose influence spread westward. Its meridian line was so accurately positioned that 500 years later it was used to give a measure of continental drift.

To help us tell the story of Ulugh Beg, we were joined by Hayotullo Ismailov, a young cultural representative of Uzbekistan. He brought beautiful photographs of past and present, and made many friends in Orkney. We very much hope he will come back next year.

LIKE THE CORN CUT DOWN BY THE RIVER

One of the highlights was a collaboration between Orkney Children’s Theatre Club and a group of three musicians from Ireland.

They came together to tell the story of the battle of Clontarf in 1014, when a Norse army led by Earl Sigurd of Orkney with his raven banner fought the Irish high king Brian Boru outside the walls of Dublin. Details in ancient accounts were confirmed in the 19th century by a calculation of the tides on the day of the battle.

The Irish singer/composer Lorcán Mac Mathúna, who creates musical works on a historical theme with community participation, brought fiddler Daire Bracken and piper Eamonn Galldubh. Ragnhild Ljosland directed the young people and shared the narrative and readings with Dave Grieve.

UPCYCLING WORKSHOPS

A team of young people from Stromness Community Centre helped us deliver creative workshops to engage people in reusing ordinary materials they encounter regularly.

The upcycling fashion workshops showed ways in which stunning fashion items can be created from cast-away clothing or discarded fabric, to give them a new lease of life by upcycling them into something new and exciting. There was an opportunity to learn techniques like shibori binding skills, 3D shibori on polyester fabric, and tie-dye.