Scottish Travellers set up camp at the University of Aberdeen…for a second year!

20 May 2019
Tobar an Keir

Tobar an Keir, a landmark event for Scottish Travellers, is to be held at the University of Aberdeen this weekend 25th/26th May

Tobar an Keir is back! The landmark event for Scottish Travellers, is to be held at the University of Aberdeen again this weekend 25th/26th May. Scottish Traveller activist and campaigner Davie Donaldson, in collaboration with Dr Tom McKean and The Elphinstone Institute, will once again set up a traditional Traveller camp on the University Quad, consisting of a bow tent and trailer as part of a programme of events entitled ‘Tobar an Keir’ (At home and on the road). The programme provides an opportunity for Travellers to showcase their culture and allow the settled community to see Travellers from a different perspective.

What's on at Tobar an Keir

The whole programme of events emanates out of the central Traveller camp, with the key message showing the past and present of Scottish Travellers ‘shifting’, when families go on the road. A bow tent, to show the past, built from bowed hazel and canvas, with a trailer to represent a contemporary camp. The programmed events provide a fun day out for all the family, whilst showcasing the unique culture of what is considered one of Scotland’s oldest indigenous peoples – the Scottish Travellers!

Shannon and her photo showcase © Tobar an Keir
Shannon and her photo showcase © Tobar an Keir

Davie Donaldson said that this year was going to be bigger and better than before.

“We have worked with partners to bring together what is a completely unique event; there is nothing else like it!” he said. “I would encourage Travellers to come along, take your bairns – show them a bow camp and use this as an oppurtunity to see our people highlighted in a positive way. But, I would also encourage country-folk (non-Travellers) to come! Have a cup of tea with us – let’s break racism and mistrust by learning about each other.

I hope that this event will build on the strength of last year, teach folk more about Travellers, and most importantly promote positive conversations and dialogue between settled people and Travellers.”

Tobar an Kier: 25th and 26th May, The Elphinstone Institute, MacRobert Building, University of Aberdeen

TT News