‘Mountain Aglow’ is the component of the ‘Disaster Passed’ project that focusses on the recent eruption of the Soufrière Hills Volcano on Montserrat.
Since the eruption began in 1995, hundreds of scientific studies have been published on the activity at Soufrière Hills and its impacts. But these numbers are dwarfed by the remarkable creative outpouring amongst Montserrations on island and all over the world, which matches the vigour of the volcano and the enthusiasm of the scientists to understand more.
The impact of the volcano on the lives of Montserratians is powerfully reflected in these memories, stories, poems and songs that have been written, told and shared over the last 25 years. We are a team of scientists, literary analysts, historians, artists and social scientists who have benefited from this new knowledge. With ‘Mountain Aglow’, our goal is to document and celebrate the creative responses to the eruption, to keep the collective memory of Montserrat before, during and after the eruption alive and accessible to everyone.
To create ‘Mountain Aglow’, we consulted with the community on Montserrat and in the UK to find out what they wanted to commemorate, and how to best use it to help others understand how it feels to experience an eruption. With the help of countless people and organisations of Montserrat, we have collected pictures, written documents, eyewitness accounts, poetry, songs and videos that capture the wealth of memory associated with the eruption. Guided by feedback from the Montserration community, we used these materials to create physical exhibitions, one on Montserrat and a smaller one in the UK, designed to be shared and moved around.
‘Mountain Aglow’ celebrates the wit, warmth and wisdom the eruption and earlier experiences of disaster have generated, and commemorates the hardships they brought. This website is the digital version of the project. It mirrors the structure of the physical exhibits, but it already features more content, for everyone to experience. We hope to continue and grow the story further here, so we warmly invite people to continue to share their thoughts and knowledge with us through this website.