The Book of Yerdagh and My Da Too. (Parts 1 & 2).
Originally an illustrated lecture at the Gothenburg Irish Festival in 1998©
Web Links: Yerdagh Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48-9b6sl1Io
Web Links: Yerdagh Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLtXFDs-iqk
Just cut and paste these links into your web browser if they don’t activate. Thanks.
Away back in 1997 I caught the plane to Gothenburg to go to the Gothenburg
Irish Festival. It was run by the brother of a friend of mine, Jonathan McCullough. He had become aware of my work, interests and ongoing search for my own place within the landscape and varied culture that is Ireland and Britain. My own place as an “Islander”.
Like me Jonathan was seen as a Planter, in fact when he was applying for funding from the Arts Council he was asked by an individual, “Why are you doing this? You’re a Planter”. Now, quite possibly this was meant as a joke, (in some senses in bad taste), however Jonathan got the funding over a number of years and so the Gothenburg Irish Festival grew in strength with artists like T.P. Flanagan, Kila, Cooney and Begley, Anuna, Ursula Burns and a host more acts.
Jonathan’s love was to play the bodhrán and Irish music, with his Swedish friends for Irish culture and music was immensely popular in Sweden. Also he received a lot of help and support from the Lutheran Church especially with regard to organisation, a network of helpers and venues. For me then, this thinking was totally out of the box and ahead of its time for which all these friends should be admired.
Now why was I heading to Gothenburg that year? I was there to exhibit my first illustrated book “THE GIANT’S CAUSEWAY” in the Central Library. I had published it in July 1996 and working on the project, for me, was like opening an old locked door to my Celtic consciousness and sending me on an Irish Studies degree course over the next ten to twenty years from which I have benefited.
In 1997 I stood in for a man, I think his name was Ian Storey, to perform my first gig/worshop, reading a selection of Seamus Heaney poems, singing and adding a bit of craic. It was in Silvi’s Palestinian restaurant in Iron Square. All very last minute, with only an afternoon to prepare for this, my baptism of fire.
The next year 1998, I returned with two rolled flip charts and a prepared talk on my Irish/British identity called “The Book of Yerdagh and My Da Too”. I was to later make it available as a wee illustrated booklet in 1998.
These two short films are each a very condensed version of the talk. The images mainly ask you questions and you can always pause the film to reflect on anything you like, disagree with, or wish to look at for longer.
Some of the images might make you smile.