Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Resettlement of Tristan da Cunha (1963-2013)

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Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Resettlement of Tristan da Cunha (1963-2013) Friday 1st November 2013 Venue: Wellington Suite, Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow In 1961 the island’s volcano erupted and the entire community were forced to leave Tristan for safety with no prospect of certain return. The plight of the Tristan islanders was a global media event. Their story was one that intrigued and invited comment in terms of our ideas of island living, remoteness and sustainability in the changing times of the early 1960s. These ideas continue to inform how we think and represent island communities today, here in Scotland, and beyond. The Tristanians were offered immediate refuge in Scotland, with Shetland playing a pivotal role, but they were actually ‘settled’ in England where they worked and lived for some two years. In 1963 the islanders eventually returned to Tristan to rebuild their lives on this most remote of islands. Today the community continues to thrive. This UWS research and knowledge exchange event offers a series of talks and archive film and media screenings which each commemorate this remarkable story from the despair of 1961 evacuation to the elation of 1963 resettlement. It also provides an occasion to focus on the present, the successful rebuilding of a sustainable Tristan da Cunha and to invite reflections on 50 years of change on islands here in Scotland, in Tristan, and elsewhere. Our theme for the day is that of the images, the issues, and the reality of small island community life. Our examples are largely drawn from Tristan da Cunha but also from the island communities of Scotland, including the Hebrides and Shetland. A range of speakers including academics, educationalists, film-makers and island community enthusiasts will share experiences and information together with the audience. 09:30 09:40 Welcome and Introductions Scottish Centre for Island Studies 09:40 10:00 Opening Comments: Mr Chris Bates, Tristan da Cunha Government UK Representative 10:15 11:00 Tristan da Cunha ‘The Volcano Years 1961-63’: Media Archive and Representation in a Scottish Context Dr Kathryn A Burnett, SCIS UWS Chair: Professor Neil Blain, University of Stirling 11:00 11:15 Refreshment Break (15 mins) 11:15 12:00 Tristan da Cunha: Marginalisation, Community and Islandness – the Shetland and Canna dimensions Mr Ray Burnett, SCIS UWS; Chair: Professor Mike Danson, Heriot Watt University 12:00 13:00 Screening: The Forgotten Island (1998) (Dir: Uwe Kersken) 48 mins BBC ”Under the Sun”, followed by a short Q & A 13:00 14:00 Break (60 mins) 14:00 14:30 Illustrated Talk: “Rockhopper Choppers” Mr Bob Carse, Advisor to Tristan da Cunha Heritage Committee Chair: Mr Chris Bates 14:30 15:15 Screening: The 1991 Jim Kerr videos: a Q & A session on Tristan community life Mr Jim Kerr, Former Education Officer Tristan da Cunha Chair: Mr Ray Burnett 15:15 15:30 Refreshment Break (15 mins) 15:30 16:00 Illustrated Talk: Island Links – A Royal Society Expedition Link with Barra. Mr Alasdair MacEachen, Islands Book Trust Chair: Dr Kathryn A Burnett 16:00 16:30 Screening: ‘Impressions of Tristan by David Mackenzie’ Mr David Mackenzie (Director), Chair: Mr Tony Grace 17:00 17:30 Final Discussion, Close and Thanks
Period1 Nov 2013
Event typeConference
LocationGlasgow, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • islands
  • remote
  • Atlantic
  • media archives
  • media representation
  • island film
  • island narratives
  • islandness
  • Scotland
  • community
  • cultural heritage
  • diaspora
  • migration
  • home
  • settlement
  • overseas policy
  • commonwealth