Peace Camp | Cultural Olympiad 2012

23 July – 04 October 2012

Peace Camp, a project initiated as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad celebrating Britain and Northern Ireland’s love poetry and extensive coastline. For the project, devised as a collaboration between theatre director Deborah Warner, actor Fiona Shaw and creative producer Artichoke, ATLAS served as the local partner in the region.

Inspired by the Olympic TrucePeace Camp saw a variety of art installations pop-up at different coastal locations throughout the U.K. namely eight glowing encampments. The tented sites hosted poetry readings, with visitors encouraged to walk amongst the tents to overhead snippets of poems being recited by participants from across the country. In addition to the live installations, the project also saw the creation of a virtual, online Peace Camp. People throughout Britain were invited to share and record their favourite love poems, or to submit their own works in order to create an online anthology that celebrates Britain’s languages, dialects, accents and rich poetic tradition.

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To encourage the voices of young people to be fully present in the project, creative producers Artichoke worked with schools around the U.K. to help them to create their own Peace Camp installation tents. Pupils at Portree High School participated in poetry-writing and art workshops with Sabhal mor Ostaig‘s poet-in-residence, Padraig MacAoidh, and artist Caroline Dear, to create an installation which was displayed around Portree. Responding to theme of ‘place’ the students’ tent incorporated peat-covered poetry panels, love tokens made from trees native to Skye and ropes made from local grasses, rushes and moss entwined with poetry tags.

The tent was part of a showcase of cultural organisations and activities at Portree High School on 23 July 2012 when First Minister Alex Salmond and the Scottish Government held their Summer Cabinet in Skye. The tent then travelled to the Southbank in London on 4 October 2012 where it was displayed alongside tents from other participating schools as part of National Poetry Day celebrations.