_ Who belongs to Glasgow?
What gives Glasgow and the people who live in the city their identity? That’s the underlying question behind a series of discussions taking place under the banner ‘A Different Glasgow‘ which has been organised to coincide with Mayfest. Cultural commentators and artists including James Kelman, Janice Galloway, Pat Kane and Ruth Wishart have been brought together for this one-day event which organiser Gerry Hassan hopes will be a forum for radical debate. ‘Mayfest has been getting less political and we hope this will provide an avenue to bring the cultural and the political together.‘ he explains.
Two sessions, Clydeside Sisters and Man or Myth, look at how gender identities are changing in Glasgow and whether there is any truth in stereotypes such as the Hard Man. ‘These images of Glasgow from things like No Mean City have elements oftruth but you ﬁnd hard men in Salford and London too,‘ says Colin Kirkwood, a writer and counsellor who is chairing the Man or Myth discussion. ‘There‘s nothing speciﬁcally Glasgow about these. But I think in a way that’s not entirely clear to me, there‘s something about a country which is not self-goveming that is tied up with masculinity and
affects the way men feel about themselves.’
Kirkwood points to writers such as Kelman and Tom Leonard who have helped change the stereotypical views of Glasgow men. ‘The thing about these writers is that they‘re trying to write from within ordinary people and not from an external view.‘
Another session, Queer City. considers how well—established the gay community is in Glasgow and whether homophobia is still rife. Writer Bob Cant, who will chair the discussion, believes that because Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland it the easiest place for lesbians and gay men to ﬁnd their own identity. ‘There was a time when you had to choose between a Scottish identity or a gay identity, but
Bab C llesbitt: man or myth that‘s changing,‘ says Cant. ‘However, in wider politics there's a difﬁculty in getting homophobia acknowledged as a reality. it can be violence but it can be in other ways such as just not being heard. which is why things like Glasgay! and this seminar are important.‘
()ther sessions include: Fitba Crazy. Fitba Mad. a look at the cultural importance of football; The New Glaswegians, a discussion about racism and ethnic identity; and A Healthy City, which asks why Glasgow isn't one. (Eddie Gibb)
A Different! Glasgow is on .S'alarday [4 May at [he Rams/torn Drama Centre from 9am. 'Iir‘kels (or! £8 (£5). For more tie/ails (all ()4/ 552 0/04.
I Sociologically speaking Two debates on culture have been organised by the British Sociological Association in conjunction with Mayfest. Culture and Recession on Saturday 7 May on the Renfrew Ferry considers whether the arts have been a useful tool in economic regeneration, with speakers including Scottish Arts Council director Seona Reid. Culture and identity on Saturday 15 May at the CCA looks at the role the arts play in shaping our sense of ourselves. Both debates start at 2pm. Call 041 339 8855 for details.
I Mayfest cancellation Ki-Yi M‘Bock, the music and dance perfomers from Africa‘s Ivory Coast have pulled out of Mayfest‘s world theatre programme after ‘technical difﬁculties‘. The show in the Beck‘s Tent was cancelled after poor attendance at the ﬁrst performance. The following shows are sold out: Jools Holland and his Big Band, Walter Trout, lris DeMent and Jo Brand, with advance box ofﬁce sales reaching record levels.
I Award for Thom Olbdln One of The Lisr’s team of regular writers has been commended in the Bank of Scotland‘s annual Press Awards. A panel ofjudges looking for the Arts/Entertainment Writer of the Year chose Thom on the basis ofa selection of his work, including his interview with Nick Park about the Oscar-winning animated ﬁlm, The Wrong Trousers, and his eye- witness report on one of the Rezerection raves. The Baxter/Mitchell trophy for the best writer in the category was awarded to Ajay Close of Scotland on Sunday.
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Tristan and lsolde: Scottish Opera’s current production
Children tend not to be big opera lovers, but Scottish Opera is hoping to change that with a theme park-ster promotion aimed at families. Starting with its autumn production oi Madame Butterfly, families will be able to buy a discount ticket for two kids and two adults. Assuming the regular season ticket holders don’t complain about sweetie wrappers on the seats, this is expected to be the start of a three- year promotion backed by sponsorship from accountants KPMC Peat Marwick. Scottish Opera is now planning a new, child-friendly production which is to be included in its 1995/96 season.
The family ticket, which has also
been adopted by English llational Opera, Welsh National Opera and Opera llorth, offers a subsidy which is intended to help the companies broaden their audiences at a time when concern is growing about the size of the subsidy the art-form absorbs.
‘We want to increase the family support of opera because at the moment few families consider it as a possible outing,’ says a Scottish Opera spokeswoman. It remains to be seen whether children will consider a trip to the Theatre Royal an acceptable alternative to a day at Alton Towers. (Eddie Gibb)
I Forth Bridge Cross Christian Aid has organised a sponsored crossing of the Forth Bridge on Saturday 7 May 2—6pm, to raise funds for Development Projects in South Africa. Participants are asked to run, jog, hop or otherwise get from one side ofthe bridge to the other as many times as possible in the four hours. As this is supposed to be a fun event, those wearing fancy dress will be particularly welcome. Call 0506 842646 for more details.
I Rock ’n’ Roll The Edinburgh Lesbian Line is holding another of its fundraising events at the Cafe Royal. l7 West Register Street on Friday 13 May. This women only Rock ‘n' roll night starts at 9pm and will ﬁnish at 2am. Tickets, available on the door, cost £3 (£l .50). The Edinburgh Lesbian Line operates on Mondays and Thursdays on 031 353 l550.
I Reel Women Filmhouse education ofﬁcer Shiona Wood has organised a six-week series of seminars examining the continuity and change in the cinema representation of women. Each seminar will be preceded by a ﬁlm screening which will form the basis for the discussion. Screenings will be held every Thursday evening at the Filrnhouse, Lothian Road and include The Lady From Shanghai, Faster l’assyr'al.’ Kill.’ Kill.’ and The Hunger. The first screening takes place on Thursday 19 May at 6pm. The course fee is £20 (£l5 concessions) and includes all screenings, lectures and documentation. All enquiries to Shiona Wood on 031 228 6382.
I Americas World Region Conference Amnesty international is organising a day of talks and events to highlight human rights abuses and disappearances of Latin American activists and their families. The conference will be held at Wilkie House, Edinburgh (entrance opposite the Green Tree on the Cowgate) on Saturday 7 May, 10am—4pm. The talks will continue all day, and include contributions from the Centre for Latin American Studies in Glasgow including: Colour and the Present Crisis in Brazil; Mexico — Prospects for the Elections; and Costa Rica: An Example. There will also be various bookstalls, craft stalls and Amnesty lntemational material available. Entrance is £5 (£2.50 concessions) and there is no need to book. but bring your own lunch. Call 031 650 8] l5 for further details.
I Glasgow Cycling Campaign The organisation which promotes the ultimate in clean transport for Glasgow is holding a public meeting on Thursday 12 May at 7.30pm at 53 Cochrane Street, Glasgow. Cycle parking is available outside and the meeting will be organising next month's events for National Cycling Week (Sunday l2—Sunday 19 June). Call Neil McDonald on 041 337 287i for further details.
I If you have news of any events or courses which you want publicised in this column, please forward them to ‘Action’ at The list, 14 High Street, Edinburgh Elli "E and include a day- time phone number.
The List 6—l9 May I994 5