A unique ‘travelling’ exhibition exploring 10 personal experiences of Holyrood will be launched in Oban on Friday 22 May as part of a series of events marking 10 years of the Scottish Parliament.
Holyrood’s ‘Moving Stories’ exhibition started its journey around Scotland in Glasgow in April, and combines photography and audio-visual material of 10 men and women who have interacted with the Scottish Parliament since its establishment in 1999.
The launch, which will be held at the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry terminal in Oban between 6.30-8.30pm, will be attended by Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP and Philip Preston, managing director of CalMac Ferries Ltd, with music from the Homecoming Gaelic Choir.
Two of the 10 people featured in the exhibition will also be present at the launch – Walter Baxter from Aberdeen, who organised a petition objecting to the merging of specialist care units for people suffering a brain haemorrhage, and Gemma Mackintosh from Inverness, who campaigns for improved support for those living in Scotland with a visual impairment.
Speaking before the launch, Presiding Officer Alex Fergusson MSP said: “The ‘Moving Stories’ travelling exhibition is an integral part of the programme of engagement-focussed activities that the Scottish Parliament is undertaking to mark its tenth anniversary.
"The collective experiences of those featured in ‘Moving Stories’ illustrate the many different ways in which people have engaged with the Parliament and its Members. Individually, their stories help us to see what the Parliament means to different people, and what motivates people to interact with us.
"During 2009, the exhibition will travel the length and breadth of Scotland giving people the opportunity to see the many ways in which they can become involved with their Parliament.”
The 10 people featured in the exhibition are:
Rebecca Brown, Central Scotland, carried out a work placement at her local MSP constituency office.
“The realisation that politics is everything. You don’t really have an option…you really should be involved, it’s going to affect you anyway.”
Amal Azzudin, Glasgow, campaigned against practice of dawn raids on failed asylum seekers.
“What the campaign has achieved more than anything is raising awareness…that was all we could do.”
John Muir, West of Scotland, submitted a petition on tackling knife crime.
“I think that the public in Greenock and surrounding areas did recognise that the situation that Damian found himself in could have been their son or their daughter…something’s got to change.”
John Macleod, Lothian, lodged two petitions on Gaelic matters and is heavily involved in Gaelic and Gaelic cultural matters in Edinburgh.
“What was behind the campaign was the need for special status for the language to enable sustainable developments for the future.”
Bob Reid, South of Scotland, submitted a petition to establish off-road motorbike facilities.
“I am a great believer that there is a key to every young person, no matter what their problems are… give them a new challenge, something they can relate to, something they can belong to.”
Tina McGeever, Highlands and Islands, submitted an e-petition on ability to access cancer drugs on NHS.
“We decided that we were going to start a campaign, although the word campaign didn’t really come into it at the time. Michael wote a letter and I fired it off to everyone on my email and asked them to send it to their MSPs, so that was the start.”
Rev Iain MacDonald, Highlands and Islands, led Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament.
“People here are thoroughly engaged with community, with social justice issues. A real community is defined by how it looks after it’s most needy.”
Gemma Mackintosh, North East Scotland, campaigns for improved support for those living in Scotland with a visual impairment.
“I am one of the examples of many people with additional needs who has been failed by the education system. I want to change the system and how they deal with children with visual impairments.”
Walter Baxter, North East Scotland, organised a petition objecting to the merging of specialist care for people suffering a brain haemorrhage.
“Having a brain injury is a very difficult scenario to go through, not only for yourself, but for the people who are looking after you. There is very little aftercare for people with brain injuries.”
Claire Ewing, Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament representing Dunfermline West.
“Politics is everywhere and everything but young people don’t see that… if you want it then you’ll fight for it…you need to believe in yourself and believe in what you’re doing.”
The photography in the exhibition is by the Scottish Parliament’s official photographers Adam Elder and Andy Cowan and the interviews were carried out by freelance oral historian Catherine O’Byrne. The exhibition will be remaining in Oban until Wednesday 17 June, before continuing on its journey through various locations throughout Scotland.
The "Moving Stories exhibition will also visit:
- Orkney Library and Archive; Monday 6 July – Thursday 23 July
- Macphail Centre, Ullapool; Thursday 30 July– Friday 14 August
- Carnegie Birthplace Museum, Dunfermline; Friday 21 August – Sunday 6 September
- Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum; Friday 11 September – Sunday 4 October
- New Lanark Museum Trust; Saturday 10 October – Tuesday 27 October
- Scottish Mining Museum, Newtongrange; Tuesday 3 November – Sunday 22 November