January 31, 2021

If Migration Never Happened Again, Would Communities Thrive Or Stagnate? (Do We Benefit Ourselves By Closing Borders?)

Sarah McFadyen | Ruth Barrie, 42 | Eilidh Shaw, 47 | Mary Macmaster, 65 | Tia Files, 32

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Song, Released With Music VideoFresh Blood, 2020

There is always going to be a divide between people who believe a place is better without incomers, and people who see the benefits of new energy in a place.

I have always looked to the local politics of my home island of Hoy, and Orkney in general, when trying to understand world politics. Global human issues are more easily understood in the microcosm of a small community. Hoy has undergone many changes in recent history. It sited the British Navel base in the wars, seeing the population massively swell and then dissipate. Local youngsters leave to find work and study. New people arrive and set up home. How do we embrace change? Where is the tipping point between the old and new? Does it matter? Although this song draws on my experiences of growing up on a small Scottish Island, it is also expressing a profound concern for the island nation of Great Britain in the age of Brexit. The collective conscience of a place is a delicate organism. New ideas rock the boat, traditional ways get questioned or changed, dialects get diluted… …but an island becomes a small place when no one visits.