Going beyond recovery from the pandemic. In reviewing a recent book on Scotland post-Covid-19, we urge an ambitious, granular debate on the ways to transform our country and make it greener, fairer and more democratic for all.
Is modernism obsolete?
In the final piece of his series the author makes a stand for classicism – and sustainable buildings in green cities
A plague on old age
‘By far the most important risk factor for getting hospitalised, being admitted to an ICU, and dying from the disease is old age, particularly being over 80. Not many housing scheme residents get that far…’
‘This is not the model of capitalism envisaged by Adam Smith, that beautiful smooth-running machine with its assumptions of benign reciprocity between an industrialist and a workforce. It is, rather, an unfettered Hobbesian monster, not unlike the rampant and exploitative mercantilism which Smith (a proto-social psychologist, as well as economic theorist) sought to discredit.’ First of three in a series on Edinburgh’s architecture…
The shadow in the corner: Margaret Fay Shaw
Folklorist and photographer Margaret Fay Shaw captured disappearing ways of island life. Her shadow appears in many of her photographs. Was this a deliberate self-portrait or an accident? asks the Canna House archivist
Germany’s miles better…
‘Germany, even if one goes as far back as Bismarck and 1871, is a relatively young country and, in its latest iteration, highly attractive to a lot of Europe’s youth. It does offer, then, a model for any nascent Scottish republic: open, tolerant, European, nationalist in a civic, secular sense. But, as its friends, including Kampfner, acknowledge, it faces significant challenges now and in future.’
The road to Tobha Mòr 2
“An informed view today tells us that Scotland’s Islands are not ‘peripheral’, and are less ‘remote’ than places deep inland; and these places which may be perceived as perfectly accessible from modern conurbations then serve to reinforce the core/periphery model.” Part 2 of UHI’s Prof Cheape’s challenging revisit of Gaelic culture/history
Monumental follies 2
In Part 2 of his historical analysis of Scotland’s relationship with slavery, David Black highlights a typical ambivalence: progressive views sitting alongside naked exploitation.
Monumental follies 1
‘…our statue problems in Scotland are surely puny; our current outrage a mite self-indulgent and synthetic, though the emblematic validity of our public monuments should indeed be critically scrutinised from time to time.’ Pt 1 of an exploration of our ambivalent representations of history.
Scotland’s largest Pictish settlement
We discovered (Tao O’Noth) had once contained 800 dwelling platforms – housing as many as 4,000 people – and if they all date to the same period this would stand as almost urban-scale settlement, which archaeologists previously did not believe existed in Scotland until the 12th century.