The University of Aberdeen is to join forces with the Scottish parliament’s Festival of Politics for the first time to mark the 10th anniversary of the institution’s pioneering Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies.
The successful Festival, now in its fifth year, attracts almost 3,000 visitors and has proven an invaluable tool in encouraging people to engage with the Scottish Parliament – so much so that the initiative is now being adopted by other Parliaments around the world.
A special debate on Devolution and the Arts will be chaired by the University's Glucksman Professor of Irish and Scottish Studies, Cairns Craig, at the event on August 20.
The panel will also include theacclaimed artist/photographer Calum Colvin, Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of National Theatre of Scotland, and Pauline MacLean, Arts Correspondent, BBC Scotland, and award-winning Scottish poet and novelist John Burnside
It is the first time the University of Aberdeen has been involved with the Festival and the discussion will form part of celebrations to mark the 10th anniversary of the Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies,
The Institute was established in 1999 to promote a better understanding of the history, languages and literatures of the communities of Ireland and Scotland, and of the importance of cultural values to the rapidly changing political environments in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Professor Craig said: "We will be discussing the impact of devolution on creativity and the arts in Scotland.
"We will be exploring what the changes in politics have done for the creative opportunities of Scottish artists and how Scottish artists have contributed to defining the terms of political debate in Scotland.
"The Festival of Politics is a celebration of democratic involvement in the political process and the arts are an important vehicle for encouraging democratic debate. A University like Aberdeen sees the understanding, promotion and development of the arts as a key part of its contribution to civic life in Scotland, and, through the work of the Research Institute, to civic life in Ireland as well."
The 2009 Festival of Politics will present a diverse programme of events bringing together politics, media and the arts through performance, discussion and debate
This year it holds special significance as it coincides with the anniversaries of two events which have shaped modern Scotland - the 250th year since the birth of the national Bard, Robert Burns and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Scottish Parliament.