I’ve been working on ‘The Guisers’ Project for a little bit recently. A guiser is a child who at Halloween goes around the neighbours’ doors and in return for ‘a turn’ (a party-piece involving a song, joke, dance, mini-play etc) gets some sweets and fruit usually. Many people don’t realise this still happens in Scotland and think that it is all ‘trick or treat’ which is from the U.S.
Guising predates the American version and this tradition was taken to the U.S. by immigrants from various Celtic origins, and along with other cultural influences became the American ‘trick or treat’.
A guiser is “in disguise” and in this project the children and young teens present themselves in their costumes and share their thoughts on why they chose to dress up as they did.
The minds of children are fascinating as they grow and develop their sense of self and this project allows the children to also have a voice.
The images were all taken at Halloween, just before the participants left to go out guising. More is planned for 2016 so check back for an expanded project soon.
See ‘The Guisers’