Spirit of the Highlands – what is it?

Spirit of the Highlands is an initiative specifically designed to help boost tourism and economic growth throughout the Highland area by promoting its culture and heritage, supported by the Inverness and the Highlands City Region Deal.

One of the project’s aims is to create an ‘Autobiography of the Highlands’, a unique collection of stories held in a digital archive, all told by the people who live, work and visit here. 

This “Spirit:Autobiography / Spiorad: Fèin-eachdraidh” will be an authentic insight into life in the Highlands today, and the heritage that has shaped this unique region, in the words of people from across the Highlands. 

We want to hear stories of communities too, large and small – the local events that shaped it, or how global events have affected it; about its singing sands or Viking graffiti – the things that give it a distinctive fingerprint. All the stories will be available for present and future generations to enjoy in the “Spirit:Autobiography” digital archive. Some of the stories will be used to inspire artists in a series of commissions in the Spirit:360 project, and others will be the foundation of the ‘Spirit of the Highlands in 100 Stories’ exhibition in Inverness Castle when it reopens. 

We’re looking for stories behind the headlines of history, stories about people you might hear at a ceilidh: the uncle who worked on the hydro schemes; the sister that set up the local fèis, the niece that kayaked the Great Glen in record time. 

We live in an extraordinary part of the world, rich in stories that make us laugh, cry or gasp in wonder. Stories that inspire and thrill us, that make us think and imagine, or sing and dance.

Whichever part of the Highlands we live in, these stories and legends reflect who we are and how we lived our lives in the past, how we live them now and how we might live them in the future.

Sharing these stories will encourage people who live here, and visitors, to explore the Highlands and discover more about our extraordinary and unique area. It’s quite a gift to give.  

That’s what the Spirit of the Highlands project, including the transformation of Inverness Castle, aims to do. 

The call for these stories is now live, and people across the world are being invited to share them at www.spiritofthehighlands.com . Find out more through this short video narrated by Julie Fowlis. The closing date for submission of these stories is November 30th 2020. 

You can also follow and share the project through our social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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