'Sleeping Starfish is a work of environmental advocacy and a love song to an island and its waters and its people. A couple of weeks ago Deirdre steered me to a talk by the writer Taiye Selasi on identity and belonging. ‘How can I come from a country?’ she asked. ‘How can a human being come from a concept?’

Fair Isle is not a concept, it’s a place. A place of elemental forces and ragged boundaries, unprotected from fog, wind and storm, but equally uninsulated from the actual rhythms and processes of this world. You can love the concept of a nation, but you can only know a nation through its real places and people – through embodied relationship, through a sense of place, through intimacy with its patterns. ‘My experience’, said Taiye Selasi, ‘is where I’m from.’

Fair Isle’s patterns are changing – there are new arrivals in its waters, new absences from its stacs and skies. But there is always a thread on Fair Isle that knits sea to land and land to mind and body in tradition, in memory and in practice. Resilience – that most coveted attribute in our times – means adaptive capacity; maintaining identity despite change. It’s a learned skill, and it lies in relationship. These makers and maintainers share their experience of island resilience, so that, tonight, we can all be from Fair Isle.;

Ruth Little 2015 

Listen in to BBC Culture Show ( 38 mins in )