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16 September 2021

In conversation with Jacquie Aitken of Timespan (Helmsdale) in Digital Heritiage: Clearances to Colonialism






Click on image to watch


North East Scotland Colonial Connections Conference, August 2021


My talk on the Cruikshanks of Gorton, St Vincent and the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous people is 33 minutes into the recording.





30 October 2020

Watch live: my 25-minute presentation on the Highlands and Slavery

Black History Comversations hosted by Learning Links International and Belong Nottingham

I made a rather silly mistake in this presentation in trying to compare the creation of the coastal plantations of Guyana with the Caledonian Canal. The creation of the plantations involved moving 100m tons of earth; the Caledonian Canal 300,000 tonnes. Adjusting for tons and tonnes, this makes the equivalent of about 300 Caledonain Canals! Not six as I said.



19 September 2020

Recorded Zoom webinar for Moray Doors Open day recorded and available here.




March 2019

Listen here to a 28-minute radio documentary revealing Scotland's legacy of slavery and sex on the plantations of Guyana. Reported by Daniyal Harris-Vajda, Produced by Chris Diamond for BBC Good Morning Scotland, developed by Arlen Harris.



Ullapool Book Festival 2017: The Highlands and Slavery

Listen to David in conversation with Louise Welsh.

'Essential listening for those in the Highlands . . . and Scotland in general.'









David Robinson reviewing the Ullapool Book Festival (Scotsman, 9 May 2017):

I’ll end, though, with an event featuring a historian – and a history – who and which are far less well known. Before going in to David Alston’s talk about the involvement of Scots in the slave trade, I had thought that it was all so long ago that the question of reparations no longer arises. Quietly, dispassionately, and concentrating on Highlanders’ involvement in the slave plantations in Guyana, Alston picked apart that certainty. Tracing the reparations paid to compensate slave owners in 1834 – proportionately a bigger sum even than the 2008 banks’ bail out – he showed how Scots at all levels benefited from slavery, but how we still collectively ignore this, perhaps even more so than in England, “because it doesn’t fit with the narrative of our own victimhood”.

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