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St Kilda has been a source of inspiration for artist and sculptor Will Maclean for many years, and a section of his major retrospective is devoted to works inspired by the islands. In 1860 Capt. F.W.L. Thomas, who lived in Edinburgh, sailed to St Kilda to take the first ever photographs of this remote and fascinating island community. The photographs are hauntingly beautiful. The struggle for survival is etched on the faces of these unidentified St Kildans.  Who were they and would we ever know what happened to them? This is the story of the quest to give these St Kildans back their identity and to tell their story.

Annemarie Gibson is an Edinburgh based producer of documentary style films for visitor centres and exhibitions. It was when she worked as an archaeologist on the Western Isles and would sometimes catch a glimpse of St Kilda marooned far out in the Atlantic Ocean that her fascination with St Kilda began.

Distant lives: The Earliest Photographs of St Kilda