A unique collaboration between VisitScotland and the country’s national poet is showcased in a new online film.
‘Scotland’s Makar: Jackie Kay’ is the latest in a series of videos to highlight how different people from across the nation embody the ‘Spirit of Scotland’ or #ScotSpirit.
In the film, Jackie Kay, who was made Scotland’s Makar last March, reads her poem ‘Scotland, my Jo’. Specially commissioned by the national tourism organisation, the poem describes Jackie’s relationship with Scotland and what makes it so special to her. Verses end with the anaphoric line “Scotland, you take my breath away”.
Speaking in Kelvingrove Park, Jackie also discusses her role as Scotland’s national poet and highlights the importance of the literary art to the country and its heritage. As well as the historic Glasgow park, viewers can also enjoy footage of the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Kelpies among many other Scottish exploits.
Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, Jackie was adopted by a white couple at birth and was brought up in Glasgow. Her search for cultural identity has inspired much of her work and made her an ideal candidate to examine the unique identity of Scotland itself.
The film joins other ‘Spirit of Scotland’ cinematic short documentaries including videos about a Scottish golfer, train driver and windsurfer.
Jackie said: “I’m delighted to have been part of this film. It is stunning and gives a real sense of what a range of gifts Scotland as a country has to offer. I wanted to write a poem that was a love letter to my country, capturing some of its qualities, and also some flaws. It was important for me too to write a poem that would leave enough room for the images, and that could be understood on a first listen.
“We have much to be proud of in Scotland today – our openess, our inclusiveness, how we stretch out our arms as a country to the world. It seems to me this small film captures not only Scotland’s breath-taking beauty, but its wit and charm and love of self-deprecation too.”