“Having worked with Mairi on several projects over recent years I cannot recommend her highly enough. She has that rare double gift of always being full of ideas, but also knowing how to convert them to reality and make them happen. Her knowledge of Scotland's history, culture and heritage is immense, as is her understanding of the nation's place in the world and its cultural potential. Her vision, commitment and energy are second to none. Talk to Mairi. You won't be sorry.”
Professor Gary West, University of Edinburgh
“Mairi is such a great speaker and communicator and is clearly very passionate about her work.”
“Beautifully put together and delivered, with humour, scholarly but very human - quite unusual in many ways!” Audience feedback, Scottish International Storytelling Festival
If you are interested in working with me or would like to discuss ideas for collaborations, projects or events, please do get in touch.
Research & Writing
I have contributed to academic book collections, literary journals and online/print magazines including Reforesting Scotland, Bella Caledonia and was featured on The Alternative UK (see writing).
I have been invited to deliver public talks and lectures, including the Alan Bruford Memorial Lecture at the Scottish International Storytelling Festival (2016) and the Annual Tony McManus Geopoetic Lecture (2018). I have also been a panel guest at various events, including the Community Land Scotland conference (2018), Celtic Connections (2017) and the National Library for Scotland (2015) (see portfolio).
Workshops & Learning
I have experience of leading workshops and working in collaboration to deliver workshops on different topics. Examples include the Community Land Scotland conference (2018), SIEF International Summer School (2018), Planning Aid Scotland conference (2016) and the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s seasonal programme (see CV).
Chairing & Hosting
I have been invited to host and chair panel events across Scotland, such as the Folk Film Gathering, the Radical Book Fair and Changin Scotland in Ullapool. My chairing is relaxed, responsive and well-informed (see CV).
As an independent creative producer, I have organised many events, projects, conferences and gatherings in academic, cultural, educational and activist contexts, including Culture: What Next? (2015) at the Scottish Storytelling Centre and the national Architecture Fringe (2017 & 2018). My events combine exciting, hopeful and radical ideas with communal and convivial cultural experience (see portfolio).
I have experience of community facilitation in creative, cultural and activist contexts and have hosted organisational development days. I am confident using the World Café methodology, Open Space Technology (OST) and Appreciative Inquiry as well as creative techniques for community engagement.
Fieldwork & Community Engagement
I work with Local Voices CIC, an organisation that offers services in ethnological fieldwork, workshops, consultancy and training. We work with a range of different social groups in communities across the country to collectively explore, document and promote aspects of local language, dialect, song, story, music and memory with a focus on revitalising those elements of local heritage and culture in a globalised age. www.localvoices.co.uk
I have worked with a number of organisations and institutions as well as with a growing interdisciplinary network of artists, educators and practitioners, including:
Local Voices CIC (director)
The Shieling Project (director)
The University of Edinburgh
School of Scottish Studies Archives
Newbattle Abbey College
Intercultural Research Centre (IRC), Heriot-Watt University
Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland (TRACS)
Traditional Music Forum (TMF)
Scottish Storytelling Forum (SSF)
Traditional Dance Forum of Scotland (TDFS)
Community Land Scotland
Planning Aid Scotland (PAS)
The Saltire Society
Elphinstone Instititute, University of Aberdeen
Scottish Centre for Geopoetics
Folk Film Gathering
A Kind Of Seeing
Learn to Love Digital
Northscape (Highland) Ltd
Fèisean nan Gàidheal (TASGADH)
Hands Up For Trad
Edinburgh Youth Gaitherin’
Scottish Green Party
The Ceilidh Place