I've spent some time writing and researching Britain's most remote island - St Kilda - for the community in Lewis which is planning to build a St Kilda Centre so it was really interesting to spend some time at the Blasket Centre, a few miles west of Dingle in Kerry, Ireland which tells the tale of a remote community who also finally abandoned their island life.
Just like St Kilda, there are very few objects left to tell the story - in a place where people had few material possessions, it's hardly surprising. Unlike St Kilda though, in the years before they left, the islanders were encouraged to write down the stories of their lives and to record the folktales which had been passed down through the generations - so there are rich, descriptive first person accounts of life on the Blasket Islands. St Kilda has a huge and rich written archive too but so few of those accounts were written by the people who lived on the island.
The words of the Blasket Islanders were used frequently and well - with some clever juxtapositions of images and words alongside plenty of set dressing and AV. An extraordinary archive of images also played an important role in conveying the reality of life on the islands.
The story was brought up to date through the lives of the islanders' descendants who still live close by each other in the USA.