Kirsty Gunn has warned of the dangers of “Scottification” in public support for the arts in Scotland. But the issue is far from new. We look back at the House with Green Shutters and George Orwell on ‘Englishness’ to probe further.
The monumental ordinariness of Aberdeen makes it a city that is faceless or even anonymous. But its buildings should make us pause, look again and think of urban living.
More and more churches in Scotland are being turned into casinos and boozers. It’s not just the effect of the decline in religious affiliation in our secular society. It reflects too the primacy of the private over the public and of commodity over value.
David Cameron’s ham-fisted plans to help mainly Muslim women learn English have rightly been condemned for stigmatising people – not least as government funding for teaching English as a second language has been cut. Here the United States rather than Europe may have a better, more liberal process of integration.
Is urban regeneration a new art form now that Assemble have won the Turner Prize? How far can art housed in ‘white cube-style’ galleries a la Whistler change people’s lives? We examine these and related issues in the run-up to the new V&A in Dundee.
Intentional communities, aka eco-villages, are, off course, well-intentioned. But even they tend to be undermined by human selfishness. The fight against climate change – subject of a global conference in Paris later this month – needs more than just collective action.
The Scottish Government is planning legislation to enshrine a “national islands plan” to empower island communities. But (some) Shetlanders say this doesn’t go far enough and prefer to go it alone – even quit the EU too. Ironies abound.