Colin Mackenzie was a Scotsman who became the first Surveyor General of India. He joined the East India Company as an engineer but took an unusual career path when he became a noted cartographer, collector and archivist. Much of his collection is now held by the British Museum. The poet Nalini Paul travelled to Lewis and Kolkata with 'New Passages', a project which looks at links between India and Lewis via the Mackenzie collection, a selection of which was recently on loan to the Isle of Lewis. Her poems and photographs respond to Mackenzie's life as presented through works of art and sculpture, maps, drawings and sketches.
New Passages was a special project commemorating the 70th anniversary of Indian independence and partition, and of Edinburgh becoming a Festival City, which took the form of a series of international writer exchanges featuring Nalini Paul, Abir Mukherjee, Sampurna Chattarji and Sandip Roy. It was produced by the Edinburgh International Book Festival in partnership with An Lanntair, Stornoway, and Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, and was supported by the British Council and players of People’s Postcode Lottery. For more information visit ontheroad.edbookfest.co.uk.