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Rural Nations Scotland CIC are partners on the The Reclaim the Future Nomadic Carnivals Project which is part funded by Creative Europe. 


The Hebridean element of the project begins in June 2018 with local community carnival workshop programmes leading up to a new Carnival and arts festival in August in Tarbert, Isle of Harris.

Visiting international performers from Sweden, Portugal and France will showcase at the event with music, theatre and storytelling performances in outdoor and unusual performance spaces



Harris Arts Festival and Carnival
1st - 4th August 2018

Theme: Reclaim the Future and our Natural Environment

Over the last few months our community carnival has been growing as the Harris community come forward with events and activities which they want to present.  Here are some of the 2018 confirmed events so far.

1. Conference on International Community Arts and Carnivals - Talla Na Mara, Wed 1st August 10.30-4pm.

2. Harris Carnival Parade 3rd August, Tarbert village at 1pm.

3. Psalmboat (community outdoor psalm singing event with Pròiseact Bàta nan Salm participants)  Friday 3rd August, The Bays Centre at 7.30pm

4. Archive film screenings collection of Harris 1910 to 1990's - daily 2-4 August Tarbert (venue tbc)

5. Artists Rooms: professional island artists & craftmakers exhibit and sell their work in small spaces throughout Tarbert 2-4th August 2018. (open to all island based artists- anyone wishing to participate contact: [email protected])

6. Reclaim the Future Exhibition - photography of over 600 Reclaim the Future Carnival event participants in Sweden, Latvia, Portugal, France and Harris and their hopes for the future. (central Tarbert venue 2-4th August)

7. Trans/mission - artists from Visões Úteis, (Porto based theatre company) present this music / theatre piece which explores with humour the tension between thinking and acting, and our apparent inability to pass from diagnosis to concrete change in society. New music from João Martins.   English language performance, 2-4th August  venue tbc

8. A Midsummer Nights Dream one man show by David Walker (Gaelic language event 2-4th August, venue tbc)

9. Community performers Buffone and Storytellers. During the Festival days you will find street performers and musicians, local and international performers in and around Tarbert, in shops, cafes, pubs and site specific spaces. (2-4 August, the Festival programme will include full details on the small events programme).


Volunteers needed 2-4 August 2018

If you would like to get involved in supporting the Festival events, take part as a street performer, or make costumes or creatures at the carnival making workshops, or volunteer as an event steward please contact:

Annalie Sinfield (Harris) : [email protected]   t:01859 530496

or Muriel Ann Macleod (Stornoway): [email protected]  t: 01851 700475



Over 27 international visitors will be attending the Harris Arts Festival and Carnival including performers from Sweden, France, Latvia and Portugal.

The Festival and Carnival event is being developed with the local Harris community, Harris Arts and Heritage and Rural Nations artists.

Please visit this page regularly as all the events times and information on the performers and events will be added here as they get confirmed.

Also, Look out for the full programme launch on the 19th of July 2018




Reclaim The Future - Nomadic Carnival  Project


Turning our backs on death and welcoming life; let’s enter the carnival. Painting masks. painted eyes, put the fear aside and turn reality upside down for a while.

You are waking up, but today you are not putting on your regular suit, your new golden shoes are made for walking. You will be someone else: a man, a woman, a little child, an old folk, a blooming fox; magical, charming or monstrous. Gathering in the central square, the town breathes a different air, all your friends are there: long term, long lasting, acquaintances and neighbours you have never met before. You go together to the shore of an offbeat reality, music is bouncing around, confetti dancing on the wind, the sun is not the only one to shine anymore, colours are painting a different landscape in the streets of everyday life. The parade flies off the handle, all the preparation work has now its own life. This is happening. This is a part of reality fulfilled by magic and imagination. Sometimes the parade stops and voices rise up telling stories from the streets, from other lands, other dreams towards a shared moment.

This moment has been long prepared for. The artists who have planned the dramaturgy have been working together through workshops and talks. The costumes, the masks, the props and the puppets have been built in workshops welcoming local people. The pieces presented are rehearsed by artists from different countries who did not know each other before, these artists have also designed performances together with local people, and present them during the carnival days.



Carnivals are the celebration of diversity as well as a space where you can escape reality for a while and build your own narrative. This is creative carthasis and metamorphosis in a simple context.
Everyone can be in.


Carnival brings people to come together
Carnival is a common ground for blended seeds to grow
Carnival is the space for voicing your dreams
Carnival brings the past to the present
Carnival is a door to a shared future


Download Festival Poster


Project Description

Our partnership joins the forces of cultural initiatives in the outskirts of Europe, gathered together by our common interest to connect art to civil society and local communities.

The carnival concept unifies Riga in Latvia, Riddarhyttan in Sweden,  Tarbert in Outer Hebrides, Scotland UK, Dunkerque in France, Rome in Italy and Porto and Evora in Portugal all opened to merging into this heritage diverse cultural impulse.

Six carnivals will happen from January of 2017 to September of 2018 put together by partner theatre companies and local communities. International cooperation on production, technical and artistic horizons will be undertaken together with research programs and the making of a web documentary.

The carnival will last for two days in each country which all artistic outcomes (the parade, the international invited shows and the local shows) all presented to the audience along with conferences and talks programmed by the researchers teams. The web documentary team is also present during the carnivals in each country.

The final event in Brussels is an emanation from the six events. An artistic committee composed of the six heads of national committees will design the content of the final event, helped in its realisation by the six project managers and the 6 job shadowers who went through the process.

The project partners :-

  • Teatermaskinen, Riddarhyttan,  Sweden (Lead Partner)

  • Dirty Deal Teatro - Riga, Latvia

  • Visoes Uteis, Porto, Portugal

  • Compagnie des mers du Nord, Dunkerque, France

  • Rural Nations Scotland CIC, Stornoway, Scotland






The Hebrides International Film Festival 2019 is LIVE!!

From the 12th through the 14th of September in venues throughout the Outer Hebrides.

See our brochure for more information.

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