From Lahore to Lewis and Harris

Scotland and Pakistan trading stories…

One of our most exciting Booked! activities of the year took us from Edinburgh to the Hebrides, via Pakistan.

Originally organised by Highlight Arts, poets from Pakistan and Scotland came together to create new poetry, stories and music in both Glasgow and Lahore. Building on this initial exchange, the Edinburgh International Book Festival invited illustrators and storytellers from both countries to the Lahore Literary Festival in February of this year.

Their tour and creative exchange continued in a series of special events in which storytellers Shazea Quraishi and Ian Stephen and illustrators Mehreen Fatima and Kate Leiper were joined by musicians Sara Kasmi and Sarah Hayes to present the results of their collaboration. After an event in Charlotte Square Gardens, the group travelled to the islands of Lewis and Harris, engaging islanders with words, stories and songs from shores both near and far.

This tour was supported by the British Council and An Lanntair, and was part of An Lanntair’s Purvai season, engaging researchers, volunteers and local people with the rich historical connections between Scotland’s Hebrides and India.

All images and videos in this post are courtesy of Highlight Arts.

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