Adviser on the Edge

careers in island communities: research, theory and practice

Our Islands Our Future Campaign Video

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I rather enjoyed watching this – all in the name of research you understand!

This is the video for the ‘Our Islands, Our Future’ campaign which is a campaign by Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles councils to promote greater independence at a local level for these island groups. In particular the campaign uses the debate about Scottish Independence to propose greater local  autonomy for these island groups, with a focus on gaining greater local power for the natural resources in these areas (mostly energy resources from oil and gas and renewable technologies).

I found the rhetorical positioning of the video particularly interesting, with a focus on how islands are ‘special places’ with a sense of ‘identity’ and ‘pride’. The practical ‘can do’ approach of islanders is implicitly contrasted to elsewhere and there is a repeated theme that greater autonomy for the islands would lead to greater productivity and impact on the local and national economy. As I was listening to this video I got a strong sense of difference and this reminded me of when I used to teach difference and diversity as part of a counselling skills course. What I taught then was that what is important is not that we are not treated ‘all equally’ but that our differences are recognised (and celebrated) – because by recognising differences (rather than ignoring them) we enable equality ‘where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential’ (DoH, 2004). It struck me that on a much larger scale, the concepts of difference and diversity may be fitting concepts to explain the rhetorical positioning of this campaign.

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