One of Scotland’s most distinguished broadcast journalists, Allan Little, will discuss The Power of Conversation at a special event in Dumfries.

The evening, at Easterbrook Hall on 22 January, will mark the Dumfries and Galloway launch of a national and international project called A Year of Conversation 2019

A Year of Conversation is the initiative of Dumfries and Galloway-based poet Tom Pow and is being produced by the Dumfries-based Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust (PPMBT).

It aims to break down barriers – such as language, nationality and between generations – in order to get people conversing. 

Little, who is from Galloway, joined the BBC in 1983 and covered many of the most dramatic stories of our era including the fall of the Communism, the Balkans War and the first Gulf War.

The Power of Conversation event, which is also part of the ongoing and highly successful Crichton Conversations programme, will include a talk, a Q&A session and a supper where the conversations will continue.

At a time when mutual understanding appears threatened, when communities are becoming closed off, the project hopes to show that our culture is an open one – or show the role of conversation in helping it to become one.

Pow said: “It’s a great pleasure to have someone of the stature of Allan Little to launch A Year of Conversation 2019 in Dumfries and Galloway. As a war correspondent, Little has seen what can happen when conversation stops, but I’ve also seen him talk with great eloquence about more personal and local conversations in his life.”

A Year of Conversation is supported by a wide range of partners in the wider cultural world. Events will take place all across the country and will explore and celebrate the power of conversation in the past, present and future and in every form, whether it’s face to face or digital.

Pow said: “The world feels more and more fractured. The moment is right to reconnect, with understanding and empathy, with each other – and with people we rarely, if ever, meet in our daily lives. The power of true conversation gives us that chance.”

A Year of Conversation 2019 has five broad themes:

  • Translation as conversation
  • Conversation as a social good
  • Conversation as event (micro and macro)
  • Conversation within and across art forms and across borders
  • Conversation in a digital age. 

– Ends –

Notes for editors

About Allan Little

  • Little was born and raised in Galloway before going to Edinburgh University.  
  • He joined the BBC in 1983 in Glasgow, moving to London in 1985 to train as a reporter. He rapidly joined the Today programme moving into foreign news in 1989.
  • He reported the Gulf War from Baghdad in 1991, then the war in Yugoslavia from 1991-95. 
  • Little served as BBC Moscow correspondent and then the BBC Paris Correspondent. He has reported from more than 80 countries, several wars and revolutions as well as natural disasters. He has covered the European crisis and led BBC coverage of the Scottish Independence referendum.
  • He has won the Reporter of the Year and the Charles Wheeler Award for outstanding contribution to Broadcast Journalism. 
  • Little is presently chair of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Event details

The Power of Conversation

About A Year of Conversation 2019

  • A Year of Conversation 2019 is an exciting project designed to celebrate, to initiate and to explore conversation in Scotland and beyond. 
  • It has been developed in conversation with a wide range of partners within arts and community sectors. A Year of Conversation is a collaborative project designed to celebrate, initiate and to explore conversation through the arts. 
  • Find out more at