Description - A Different Country by Michael Russell
When the ?migr? German Werner Kissling died in a nursing home in Dumfries in 1988, few realized that he left behind him one of the most extensive photographic records of the Hebrides ever made. Werner Kissling came to Britain in 1931 in a diplomatic capacity, only to leave the service in order to pursue studies in ethnology, which he maintained for the rest of his life. He first visited the Western Isles in the early 1930s to make the first ever moving picture to use spoken Gaelic. This film, "A Poem of Remote Lives", was filmed on Eriskay, and aroused considerable interest at the time, though afterwards lay forgotten in the archives of the School of Scottish Studies until the late 1970s. Kissling returned to Eriskay and South Uist almost every year until the war, taking hundreds of photographs, particularly of people involved in traditional crafts, making his work a valuable human record of a way of life now forever vanished. This collection includes over 100 of Kissling's Hebridean photographs.
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Author Biography - Michael Russell
Michael Russell is a TV producer and director, now working as an MSP for the Scottish National Party in Edinburgh's Holyrood parliament. Before taking up his seat as MSP he was Chief Executive of the party. He devised and edited the award-winning Glasgow - The Book, which celebrated Glasgow as the European City of Culture in 1990 and Edinburgh - A Celebration, published for the 1992 European Summit. Michael Russell was founder and first director of the Celtic Film and Television Festival, and among other programmes produced a documentary on Werner Kissling, which was transmitted by the BBC in 1996.