The issue of the life of rural and urban places, especially for rural areas, small towns and cities is an issue that affects the lives of many young people, their families and communities. People leave places. Some come back, some do not. Throughout though, people retain a strong sense of place, which informs their decisions wherever they are. New people come to places, with different ideas of place, and new opportunities can form. What motivates people to be in a place, to come to a place, to participate in its life?
The Urbanism programme recently collaborated with a travelling arts programme called ‘Fernweh’, a German word meaning a desire to travel to places. The programme, curated by Deveron Arts, matched international arts and culture curators with practitioners in the Highlands and northern Scotland landscapes, around a series of conversations, in different places, about the role of socially engaged art and the making of places for people. The Inverness event, hosted by IOTA, looked at the rural/urban tensions in places, the reasons people leave, the conditions for people to come back.
Photograph of Ullapool, Courtesy of the Steve Tiesdell Collection.