Guthan Nan Eilean (Island Voices) is a bilingual project that  aims to collect video slices of life and work in the Hebrides, with a view to encouraging further community-based recording and language learning. It is run by Benbecula resident Gordon Wells.

The project is co-ordinated by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, working with a range of community partners, including Cothrom and Am Pàipear.

The website has a wealth of links (150+) as well as audio and written material on all sorts of topics from Lazy Beds to local residents but if you just want to dive right in, the videos the YouTube channel are very accessible and highly recommended. I’ve spent a fair few hours watching and listening so far.

It’s surprising that there are so few resources / projects of this kind, it really is very valuable for documentation, education and communication of island culture, history and language. I look forward to picking up a video camera (video – how quaint) towards the end of the year as a long mothballed project finally finds some time and energy to get going.

Here’s some of Gordon’s work, film of Benbecula resident Archie Campbell demonstrating and talking in English (Gaelic is also available) about the traditional peatcutting process.