A Story Growing from Traces

Hyab Yohannes and Pinar Aksu

We first visited the Scottish Crannog Centre (the Centre hereafter) two years ago, and since then, our connection to it has never diminished. It is important to note that both of us have migrant backgrounds. However, when in the Centre, our origins or backgrounds become irrelevant. We are simply humans deeply inspired by a profound sense of belonging that the Centre has left on us. In this brief blog, we would like to share our reflections on the opening of the Centre at a new location. We admit that we have yet to fully grasp the timeless story stretching back thousands of years. However, we feel completely moved by it, as if the story itself knows us.

On the opening day, we were amongst the many invited guests who celebrated the ceremony. We departed from Glasgow early in the morning, embarking on our journeys with friends and colleagues. On this unusually sunny morning, we were greeted by the whispering songs of birds, the graceful sway of trees, and the gentle passing of clouds as we made our way to the Centre. We sang along with the birds, with the help of smart devices and apps. We truly felt connected to the eco-social world of trees, birds, insects, humans, and the spirits who have been with us on this journey.

Upon arrival, we were moved by the transformation of the Centre from a state of ashes and ruins to a little village in a new location. We found that the Centre had relocated from one side of Loch Tay to the other. The Centre is well-known for its ‘museum’, which we will refer to as the ‘ancestral home’ in this blog. The ancestral home bears evidence of both past and present residents of the Crannog, telling a timeless story that echoes from beneath the Loch and beyond. On Easter Day, the Centre was reborn from its ruins, and soon its Crannogs will also rise from the ashes. The Centre proudly declared itself open, radically open.

During the day, we asked people to give us three words about their experience at the Centre. Obviously, we could not reflect on every word generously offered to us, so we chose three words that resonated with us: imaginative, home, and traces.