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Saturday 4 July 

Welcome gathering and Introduction to Geopoetics by Norman Bissell, director of the Scottish Centre for Geopoetics.  His talk set out the need for radical cultural renewal, for a deep-going sense of world, and for its creative expression in a wide variety of different forms. Here is an outline of it:

What is Geopoetics?

“Geopoetics is concerned, fundamentally, with a relationship to the earth and with the opening of a world.”

Kenneth White, Geopoetics: place, culture, world.
 Some of the key elements of geopoetics
1     It is deeply critical of Western thinking and practice and its separation of mind and body and of human beings from the rest of the natural world.
2     The universe is a potentially integral whole, and separate domains of knowledge can be unified by a poetics which places the planet Earth at the centre of experience.
3     It is influenced by those who have attempted to leave ‘the motorway of Western civilisation’ to find a new approach to thinking and living e.g. ‘intellectual nomads’ or ‘outgoers’ like Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Rimbaud, Henry Thoreau and Patrick Geddes.
4     It seeks a new or renewed sense of world, experienced both intellectually through knowledge and study, and sensitively using all our senses.
5     It seeks to express that sensitive and intelligent contact with the world by means of a poetics i.e. a language drawn from a way of being which attempts to express reality in different ways e.g. oral expression, writing, the visual arts, music, the natural sciences, combinations of art forms and of the arts and sciences.
6     It involves developing a network in the International Institute of Geopoetics and its various Centres with a common concern about the planet and a shared project to develop an understanding of geopoetics and apply it in different fields of research and creative work.
The Atlantic Islands Festival and Geopoetics Summer School aims to:
i)             develop an understanding of geopoetics in relation to:
·         the past and future of the Atlantic Islands
·         writing and poetry
·         the visual arts
·         geology
·         plant and bird life
·         Celtic Artwork
·         the boat trip to Eileach an Naoimh.
ii)  develop your own creative expression of the Atlantic Islands and of the Isle of Luing in particular:
·         in poems and prose
·         storytelling
·         photographs and film
·         drawing and slate sculpture
·         Gaelic song and drama
·         Music , poetry and storytelling performance
·         Tai Chi
·         putting your work on our websites
·         a Showcase session of this work
·         a Showcase of your ideas for a Geotrail and Slate Sculpture Gardens round Cullipool.
Scottish Government Culture Minister Michael Russell:
“Meaning and truth are at the heart of this Festival.”
For Argyll online newspaper:
“aspirational and inspirational.”
We intend to live up to these.


Celtic Time (For Norrie)

Excuse me, have you seen Norrie?
The poet,
Organiser of this festival?......No.

Do you know where Norman is?
Has anyone seen Norrie?

Oh – he’s here….we can begin.
Only 10minutes late….
It slipped our mind
That Norrie is attuned to CELTIC TIME!

Mandy L Plimley

Nàdair Film Argyll’s Atlantic Islands and Discussion
This beautiful film about the people, landscapes and community projects of Lismore, Islay, Tiree, Coll, Luing and more was shown to an appreciative audience and afterwards there was an opportunity to ask its director Andy Crabb from Kerrera about it and his experiences of making it.

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