The battle of humanity vs nature on South Uist

Documenting the fragility of life on South Uist in the 1950s, modernist photographer Paul Strand spent three months on the island.

Here, he took the time to research the juxtaposition between landscape and man, documenting how islanders have embraced and thrived off the rugged imperfection of their environment.

Tir A’mhurain – ‘the land of bent grass’ in Gaelic – showcases some of Strand’s iconic black and white images from the Outer Hebrides, capturing the character of its people with honest, haunting transparency.

Images of weathered faces contrast with those of fresh-faced children, reflecting a powerful sense of community on the islands.

Accompanied by insightful commentary from journalist Basil Davidson, the photos come alive with backstories of families and their ancestors, and of how locals have retained crofting and fishing traditions in an unforgiving environment.

An ode to a dying way of life.

Tir A’Mhurain: The Outer Hebrides of Scotland, by Paul Strand, published by Birlinn Ltd, £25.

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