Why Scotland is so special to our Makar

In the film, Jackie Kay, Scotlands Makar, discusses her role as Scotlands national poet in Kelvingrove Park.
In the film, Jackie Kay, Scotlands Makar, discusses her role as Scotlands national poet in Kelvingrove Park.

A unique collaboration between VisitScotland and the country’s national poet is being showcased in a new online film.

‘Scotland’s Makar: Jackie Kay’ is the latest in a series of videos to highlight how different people from across the nation embody the ‘Spirit of Scotland’ or #ScotSpirit.

In the film, Jackie Kay, who was made Scotland’s Makar last March, reads her poem ‘Scotland, my Jo’. Specially commissioned by the national tourism organisation, the poem describes Jackie’s relationship with Scotland and what makes it so special to her.

Speaking in Kelvingrove Park, Jackie also discusses her role as Scotland’s national poet and highlights the importance of the literary art to the country and its heritage.

As well as the historic Glasgow park, viewers can also enjoy footage of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Kelpies and many other Scottish exploits.

Born in Edinburgh to a Scottish mother and a Nigerian father, Jackie was adopted by a white couple at birth and was brought up in Glasgow.

Her search for cultural identity has inspired much of her work and made her an ideal candidate to examine the unique identity of Scotland itself.

The film joins other ‘Spirit of Scotland’ cinematic short documentaries including videos about a Scottish golfer, train driver and windsurfer.

The Spirit of Scotland campaign was launched in February 2016 and is built on extensive research which shows that people think Scotland has a unique spirit.

Jackie said: “I’m delighted to have been part of this film. It is stunning and gives a real sense of what a range of gifts Scotland as a country has to offer.

“I wanted to write a poem that was a love letter to my country.”

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive for VisitScotland, said: “Our latest film demonstrates the unique qualities which make Scotland a place like nowhere else in the world.

“Jackie’s beautiful words, accompanied by footage of some of the country’s best offerings, gives you a real sense of Scotland and its spirit,” he added.