September – October 2011
In 17th century, and in the Northeast of Scotland, there was the widespread belief that one part of every agricultural field should be left untilled. This was based on a myth that if that land were tilled by the farmer, the devil (or the fairies) would come back and take part of the crop, or eventually the precious cattle. This was known as the Goodman’s Croft.
If one walks around Aberdeenshire, 300 years later, one can still notice parts of agricultural fields that remain untouched, some possibly being the legitimate descendents of the Goodman’s Croft. The superstition associated to this practice might have disappeared, but the metaphorical question can still remain. What are the things that nowadays remain untouched in small rural communities?
Politics, social agendas and individual voices are one such area. Many of the critical decisions that impact upon rural communities have been deferred to the urban centres and institutions, while issues such as the decline of skill, poverty, climate change and anti-social behaviour remain untouched at a local level.
Goodman’s Croft: Radio Lumsden was conceived as a method to dig up, lay bare and celebrate any untilled voices of the Aberdeenshire community. Through the construction of a unique mobile radio station, artist Rocca Gutteridge and radio consultant Craig Priestley explored how community radio can offer an important media voice for an otherwise disempowered conversation.