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Alan Stivell : The Inner Keltia Interview Part Three

Alan Stivell : The Inner Keltia Interview (dated Nov '83)  If you wish to purchase more of Kaledon books and works please feel free to visit the official website of Keltia Publications.

J. - Do you think it's a case of the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence etc.? That people always prefer something that's more exotic than what's at home? They fail to realise the worth in their own Culture?

A. - Yes, but also we were educated to feel ashamed of our own Culture, and to imitate another, this conditioning is at work in France. Even back to the Roman times, the French were ashamed to be Gauls, and they always tried to claim to be, andimitate, the Romans; and this inferiority complex has been behind French history. Of course the French have been very much against the Bretons , because the Bretons have been reminding them that they were a Keltic people.

J. - A probletn we face in Scotland is that a lot of our early history is written from a Classical viewpoint and some people feel we need to re-write a true account of history from our Keltic viewpoint. Do you think that is important, or do you think that's too much in the past?

A. - I think it is important for us to recover everything from the past, everything we may have lost. I think most everyday Scots or Bretons are still more influenced by Homer and other Classical authors than by the Tuatha De Danann for example. I think people nowadays who want to be more free within the Keltic Nations have to re-educate themselves as to all the things that have been imposed on them in all the different fields.

J. - Do you feel that if you try to put over that Keltic viewpoint of your own history and especially if you do it in connection with Spirituality and Religion? That there is a definite filter system in T.V. , press and radio? Does that obtain in Brittany as well?

A. - It is not only any kind of alternative view, it is any kind of Breton Culture which is rejected because of French Control. Although we have a little more freedom these days , I was banned for about two years on all major T.V. or radio channels in Brittany after songs on the 'Dublin' album which were more political.

J. - So do you think things are getting worse in Brittany or do you think they are improving slowly?

A. - Improving slowly, but we are afraid that now we have a very tenuous hold. Five years ago we came very close to succeeding, in setting people on fire, in giving something very strong to this Breton Culture with all the young people learning the language etc. But now in ten years the situation has changed, for although we have a little more freedom, our Breton language has gone down, it is now only a language of second status, as Gaelic in Scotland or Eire.

J. - What about using the médium of fijjns positively to promote our Keltic Art and Imagination?

A. - We have an opportunity to go forward now if instead of the superficial mix of S.F. , Romance and Keltic themes on certain films, we could create films employing real Keltic spirituality, if they could portray a lot deeper beliefs. To find someone to make such a film, to create such a film is one of my dreams. For example, on my new album just released in Brittany (Terre des Vivants), it features a theme from Keltic Mythology on the 2nd side, the music of which I would like to be the basis for a film. I'm sure that it would be a very strong film, because the descriptions we find of the Keltic Otherworlds are more fantastic than anything we find in films at present.

Even'Excalibur'only took the usual images of the Middle Ages, but if we were to take the images straight from the Mythology of Tir na Nog for example, it would be a very powerful image for everybody, not just Keltic People, but for everybody in the Western World and even for some people in the Eastern World. I think these symbolical ways of description are important, because I think I myself have gone into this way of experiencing the Keltic Universe. Not by being 'educated' in it, but by feeling my way into it personally, I have constructed a parallel World as compared to how the ancient Kelts described it.
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