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EAB News 2017-05-19 to 22: British and Scottish Esperanto Conference

The British and Scottish Esperanto Conference 2017 in Edinburgh

The Esperanto Associations of Britain and Scotland joined forces to host this year's Esperanto Conference at The Melting Pot in Edinburgh, which attracted Esperantists from across the British Isles and further afield. Here are pictures of just some of the talks and events which took place.

The opening evening's buffet, optional buffet lunches, and a regular supply of tea and coffee meant that there were plenty of opportunities for casual meetings and conversations - in Esperanto. After all, part of the point to attending an Esperanto conference is for the opportunity to hear, use and exercise the language! (But beginners were, of course, welcome, and allowed to speak English where necessary!). Viv O'Dunne ran the bookstall, offering a wide range of new and second-hand Esperanto publications.

Tim Owen chaired a light-hearted quiz during the opening evening. Andrew Weir gave talks on how we differ from the animals, and on language battles in Norway. Betty Chatterjee gave a talk discussing the Danish concept of Hugge. Hilary Chapman introduces the premiere of a new video-film with Esperanto dialogue La Mirindaĵoj de Clarence Bicknell.

David and Jean Bisset organised an excursion to the nearby Mansfield Traquair Centre, to see religious murals by Phoebe Anna Traquair, and to learn about their history and restoration. We also saw the technical preparations for the Scottish Leaders' debate, due to take place at that venue the following evening.

Stela Besenyei and Baptiste Dathenay introduced the newly re-published Pasporta Servo (book and website) which introduces Esperanto travellers to local hosts around the world. Jack Warren gave an illustrated talk showing some prescient visions of the future from the early 1900's, and also announced a new publication of poems by Margaret Williams En Senmova Centro, translated into Esperanto by Jack himself. Hugh Reid announced the digitisation and republication of La Granda Kaldrono by John Francis as an e-book.

Viktoro Sole gave talks on gestures for (reinforcing) teaching of Esperanto, and on why he doesn't like the currently-used tune of La Espero. This is the closest thing that Esperanto has to a national anthem - it was a brave step to propose an alternative new tune which he had composed, but following his analysis of the weaknesses in the currently used march by Félicien Menu de Ménil, Viktor's new version did actually receive a warm reception. In parallel to the main programme of events, Jorge Camacho led three poetry workshops.

There was so much discussion during a bumpy Annual General Meeting for the Esperanto Association of Britain that it took much longer than timetabled, so the AGM of the Scottish Esperanto Association (due to follow) had to be rescheduled.

On the Monday after the conference, several participants took the opportunity to visit Abbotsford, the gothic fantasy home of Sir Walter Scott.

- Vilĉjo Walker

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