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Creativity, Community and Change

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What role can the arts play in action for social and environmental change?

About this Event

Speaker Alastair McIntosh - The Artist as Activist in Rekindling Community Spirit

What role can the artist, in the widest sense of that term, play in action for social, environmental and even spiritual change? The shamanic, prophetic or bardic function in traditional societies entails a capacity to see into the sickness of a community, and to point to paths that lead towards regeneration. Alastair will share from his own work, and open out discussion of the ways in which we might cultivate that facility in ourselves and others, to revitalise that bardic function in the Scotland of today.


Alastair McIntosh - (Scotland) has been described by BBC TV as “one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners.” A pioneer of modern land reform in Scotland, he helped bring the Isle of Eigg into community ownership. On the Isle of Harris he negotiated withdrawal of the world’s biggest cement company (Lafarge) from a devastating “superquarry” plan. He then served, unpaid to avoid conflicts of interest, on the company’s Sustainability Stakeholders Panel for 10 years to help further corporate social and environmental responsibility.  

Alastair guest lectures on nonviolence at military staff colleges including,for over two decades, on some of the UK Defence Academy's most senior courses. His books include Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power (Aurum), Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service (Green Books), Poacher’s Pilgrimage: an Island Journey (Birlinn 2016, Cascade USA 2018) and Riders on the Storm (Birlinn 2020) which was long-listed for the Wainwright Prize in Global Conservation 2021. A Quaker with an interfaith outlook, focusing much of his work around spirituality, he lives in Glasgow with his wife, Véréne Nicolas. There he is a founding trustee of the GalGael Trust which works with poverty, community and human potential, and an honorary professor in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

Photo credit: Vérène Nicolas, Alastair McIntosh in the Outer Hebrides, 2015. 


We have an access budget please get in touch if you need support to attend this event: aW5mbyB8IGZlbHNjb3RsYW5kICEgb3Jn




The Creative Degrowth Network Scotland are a group of creative professionals that arrange online and in person events. The group is interested in the role of the arts in communicating positive degrowth narratives and how important the arts are for communities to thrive. For this event we want to explore what this could look like for the Forth Valley region and across Scotland.

FEL is the Climate Action Hub for Central Scotland. Our long history of working within our communities gives us a solid foundation for enabling invigorating climate work that will benefit us individually and collectively. Our people are at the heart of what we do.

Ticket Information Ticket Price
General Admission Free

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