by orsola casagrande | 29th December 2015 9:47 am
The Scottish blog Bella Caledonia (www.bellacaledonia.org.uk/) reports that Pròiseact nan Ealain / The National Gaelic Arts Agency has announced they are winding up due to the withdrawal of funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
PnE has played a crucial role in the first wave of Gaelic language revival from the late 80s, something that was urgently needed and they were responsible for ground-breaking cross art form projects and, latterly, a programme of community and professional drama. They lit, as Bella Caledonia points out, a series of artistic fires in the early years and against the odds drove through important international projects with a keen strategic eye. Ultimately though, they were failed by a national infrastructure that hasn’t been able to elevate Gaelic Arts to an equal footing within the debate around language acquisition and survival.
In Scotland, Gaelic education, governmental bodies and development agencies face their own crossroads with significant challenges due to unfold in the next 12 months. And this is further exacerbated by a hilarious and reactionary media, hell bent on talking about Gaelic road-sign fiascos and proportionality of local authority Gaelic budgets.
So 2015 closes without much to be remembered about, while 2016 opens with many challenges ahead for Scotland. Bella Caledonia puts the finger of the wound when it points out that poets, singers, visual artists, dancers, writers, dramatists and musician so far at least have not unite in defense not just of PnE but of culture in Gaelic itself. The blog’s editor points out that “David Crystal, the world leader in minority languages, would argue that a language’s death cannot be halted unless artists take the language seriously”. And adds that “Art works at less obvious and deeper levels, brining issues to life in the imagination and subconscious. It serves as an effective antidote to ineffective politicians and is a catalyst for attitudinal change. It might be too big a leap, but the demise of PnE and its’
history might give us an understanding of where we now need to go to revitalise the Gaelic Arts sector”.
PnE have published Leabhar Mòr na Gàidhlig for over 10 years.
A very interesting and articulated analysis dedicated to the more complex issue of Gaelic arts future can be read here.
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