People from the Brazilian rainforest blessed a Caledonian rainforest in Argyll, call COP26 a big theatre of lies, say that rich people and governments are only interested in money, creating a false green economy: “There is no green economy without indigenous people”. (An Là, BBC ALBA, 7/11/21)
The Atrato River in Colombia is flooding villages and fields more and more often caused by climate change. A court afforded the river a legal persona – the third this has happened world-wide. It’s voice is expressed by residents – Guardians of the River Atrato. But there is also violence and intimidation of community leaders.
The Colombian President, Ivan Duque, promised at COP26 that 30% of the country’s territory would be protected by 2022. But community leaders say this needs to come with funding and economic opportunities for locals to work. As seen on An Là, BBC ALBA, 6/11/21.
Marking the European Day of Languages the Alliance Française, Instituto Cervantes and Società Dante Alighieri in Manchester organised an online talk with myself and Richard Simcott. We shared experiences and tips for language learning and discussed the challenges and advantages of polyglotism.
My analysis of the election of the German Bundestag live from Berlin on “Good Morning Scotland” on 27/9/21 in English
Live from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on “An Là” on BBC ALBA, 27/9/21, in Gaelic
Includes an interview with the candidate for the Danish and Frisian minority for parliament, Stefan Seidler, where he explains that the Frisian language and culture have no continued funding, but rely on project funding, which he hopes to change. For the first time in 60 years his party, the SSW is represented in the German parliament, the Bundestag. (“An Là” on BBC ALBA, 24/9/21) in Gaelic.
Classified by Unesco as severely endangered and spoken only by around 10,000 people you would think a “model” democracy like Germany would pull out all the stops to support Northern Frisian. But Welsh and Scottish Gaelic enjoy much more government help. I hope this little video adds awareness at least (sorry for the wind noise at the start).
The state of the Frasch (Northern Frisian) language: Since recording this video on the island of Oomrem/ Amrum I have found out that you can do an A-level/ Higher in Frisian only in one (1) high school situated on Feer/ Föhr.
Der 61-jährige Sohn der Queen wird vor einem Zivilgericht von Virginia Giuffre wegen sexuellen Mißbrauchs auf Entschädigung verklagt (10/8/21) in German
Some hospitality businesses in rural areas of Scotland like Oban are having to shut for one or two days a week because they can’t get enough staff. They blame Brexit in the first instance as there are fewer European workers available. BBC Reporting Scotland (15/7/21)
Schon Theodor Fontane fühlte sich in Oban an der schottischen Westküste von einer alten Waschfrau überfordert. Es ist wohl die komischste Szene seines Buches “Jenseit des Tweed”. Aber ich lebe jetzt seit 18 Jahren hier und habe die Schotten immer als äußerst gastfreundlich und großzügig kennengelernt. In der Tat hat ihre Liebenswürdigkeit entscheidend dazu beigetragen, daß ich letztendlich nach Schottland ausgewandert bin. Was ist also dran, an dem Klischee? SWR 2 Matinée (11.7.21)
Canada’s Supreme Court recently granted the Sinixt hunting rights in their traditional territory. Some celebrated this as a reversal of the declaration of extinction of the Sinixt people by Canada in the 1950ies. But others say it’s not, as they still don’t have land rights. As seen on “An Là” on BBC ALBA on 1/6/21 (Sinixt territory footage by Ali Kazimi).