Confluence – Bringing cultures closer together through art


Blog post by Laura Hudson Mackay

View all of this project's blog posts 

If you have been following this blog you will know that Confluence is a grassroots collaborative initiative, which began in Scotland and Morocco in February 2017, bringing together storytellers and photographers from both countries. The initiative looked to bridge cultures and highlight links initially within Arabian and Celtic storytelling traditions.

Since then, Confluence is rapidly becoming a movement, which is inspiring people in many different cultures to jump aboard the Confluence boat.

Since our last blog post we have celebrated the first Confluence birthday, met with the British Ambassador’s team in Morocco with a view to working together to continue strengthening the bilateral relationship between the UK and Morocco. We have begun receiving artwork and stories from storytellers and photographers in Italy, France, Latin America, the Nordic Countries, Saudi Arabia and Syria…and we have designed a beautiful book!

Confluence: Celtic and Arabian Visions and Stories, is a 192-page, hard-back book, finished in high quality cloth. Working with Dumfries and Galloway based art director and designer, Samuel Sparrow, we have designed and compiled the book, which contains page after page of photographic art and magical stories, from Selkies in Scotland to modern day Moroccan fairytales, every one inspired by a Confluence theme. Some of the stories are as old as time and have been lovingly re-told by Celtic storyteller, Anne Errington and Moroccan storyteller, Mehdi El Ghaly, others have been newly written by young storytellers from Scotland, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.

The book also includes beautiful illustrations by Upland member and Spring Fling artist, Clare Melinsky.

The foreword has been kindly written by British author, journalist and documentary filmmaker, Tahir Shah, author of many book including The Caliph’s House and In Arabian Nights and son of Sufi teacher and writer Idries Shah.

Richard Hamilton, BBC Africa Correspondent and author The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco, has brilliantly written the introduction to the book and to the Seven Themes of Confluence.

The lovingly compiled book has been designed and is ready to be printed. A Kickstarter crowd funding campaign goes live on Tuesday 13 March to fund the design and printing of the book and we would love your support. There are a number of rewards for you to choose from, including artwork from the book and an EARLY BIRD offer of a ~SIGNED~ copy if you back our campaign quickly.

If the crowd funding campaign is successful, the book will be launched at The Craigard Gallery, in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, during Spring Fling, on the 25th May 2018 (Laura Hudson Mackay, Studio 8).

Here is a link to find out more.

If you are a storyteller or a photographer and would like to be involved in the Confluence initiative, to have the opportunity to have your stories or artwork published, or if you would like to become an apprentice storyteller or photographer. Please email Laura at [email protected]

We look forward to welcoming you on board the Confluence boat!

Laura Hudson Mackay – Confluence Founder