Mayfest boss wi
in the face of continuing criticism of the way Glasgow’s Mayfest was run this year, its director has been publicly backed by a senior member of the arts festival ’5 board.
As members of the city‘s arts community condemned Mayfest as stagnant, badly organised and under- publicised. director Paul Bassett has been endorsed by Mayfest vice-chair Mary Picken. Responding to criticisms raised at a public meeting in Glasgow‘s Tramway this week Picken says: '1 have full conﬁdence in Paul Bassett and his team.‘
Defending Bassett‘s handling of the festival, Picken stresses Bassett took up his post as director only eight months before Mayfest I995. ‘We have to remember Paul had a very short time to programme the festival and get a team
NVA’s Angus Farquhar: ‘Mayfest has lost its buzz’ together.‘ she says. ‘The festival that people saw this year is not necessarily
the same as they will see next year.’ NVA director Angus Farquhar has
spite demands for change
been one of the most outspoken members ofGlasgow‘s arts community. ‘Mayfest has lost its buzz.‘ he says. Farquhar is the force behind the Stormy Waters multi-media event ﬁrst scheduled for Mayfest which has now been pushed back to mid-July. Speaking at the Tramway debate. he said he believes Mayfest should be abandoned and replaced by a more focused series of festivals: ‘We should be big enough to stop things when they are not working.‘ says Farquhar. ‘I believe a new series of festivals should be born in Glasgow.‘
Neil Murray of 7:84 says the theatre company has had a good Mayfest. but acknowledges the festival‘s low proﬁle was a problem. ‘If you are a tourist coming into Glasgow. you have no idea there‘s a festival happening.‘ he says.
The Tramway discussion. which was organised by The Herald. highlighted the discontent felt by many in the city’s arts community. lts impact was. however. diluted by the absence of Bassett or any of his Mayfest team. ‘We were not consulted until after all the decisions about the debate were made.‘ says Bassett. ‘l‘m not saying we were snubbing it — we didn‘t have the chance to snub it.‘
But Bassett did admit there had been problems with this year‘s Mayfest: ‘Organisationally. we didn‘t get there this year. There were problems and we will put those right . . . i still think we did pretty well.‘ He stressed Mayfest met its ﬁnancial targets for this year‘s festival though ﬁnal figures on box ofﬁce takings are still not available. (Kathleen Morgan)
Researchers show rise in youth angst
The idea that Kurt Cobain’s suicide and the mysterious disappearance of Manic Street Preachers’ depressive guitarist Richie James represented the extremes of a wider disaffection
among today’s youth is borne out by a recently published academic study.
Edinburgh University criminology expert Professor David Smith is the co-author of Psychosocial llisorders in Young People which analyses statistics on youth crime, suicide, depression and drug abuse in Europe and America since the war. ‘There has been a huge increase in the disorders that affect large numbers of young people so there are reasons to be very concerned,’ says Smith.
Although the study concentrated on measurable statistics on psychosocial disorders like suicide - there’s been a sharp increase particularly among young men since the 50s - Smith believes it is reasonable to suggest that these indicate a wider unhappiness in young people. ‘It tells you something about youth in general when the incidence of these disorders has gone up,’ he says.
The objective of the survey was to analyse the trends in these disorders rather than identify causes. However the report rules out any direct causal link with unemployment and social deprivation. The immediate post-war years were regarded as a ‘golden age’ oi economic growth but psychosocial disorders continued to rise, while in the high unemployment 1930s there was no associated rise in crime or suicide rates.
However research did show that young people have become more isolated from adult life in the post-war years as a separate youth culture has developed. ‘It’s quite plausible to suggest that is a cause but there have also been changes in the family,’ says Smith. ‘Ouality of parenting is strongly connected with the way children turn
Following the Zero Tolerance poster and television campaigns and the Jordache trial on Brookside, Women’s Aid and other organisations dealing with domestic violence are already struggling to keep up with demand. This week, cinema-goers will see a
= new Zero Tolerance advert backed by
Edinburgh District Council which is likely to increase demand further. ‘Cinema targets a young and
. reasonany affluent audience,’ says
women’s unit development officer Susan llart. ‘A lot of people out to see
E films will be just forming their ideas
and forming relationships.’
The high profile Brookside storyline saw Mandy Jordache and her daughter Beth sent to prison after lashing back at years of domestic violence. it is likely to have reached a similar audience to the Zero Tolerance cinema advert, though Scottish Women’s Aid information officer Lesley Irving says the impact is hard to measure. ‘This kind of thing is always a mixed blessing,’ she says. ‘Anything that is sympathetically treated and raises the issue is welcome, but speaking as experts, they got a lot of things wrong.’
Irving felt that after Mandy had
killed her husband it was unnecessary to bring in the abuse of his daughters. ‘While there is quite a strong link between domestic violence and child abuse, it was maybe over-egging the pudding a bit,’ says lrving.
The new Zero Tolerance advert uses positive images of women, with a hard-hitting voiceover pressing home the message that male violence is about power. This represents a shift in emphasis, according to Hart. ‘The first part of the campaign was making male violence socially unacceptable as well
tolerance of viont hos
Beth and Mandy in the dock: Women’s Aid says the Brookside storyline resulted in a noticeable
increase in refuge enquiries
as criminal,’ she says. ‘This is about tackling the “why” of male violence.’
Since the Zero Tolerance campaign began, increasing numbers of women and children have been coming to Women’s Aid refuges for help. The Clydebank and numbarton group has seen one of the steepest rises. ‘Zero Tolerance and the Scottish Office campaign raised awareness and got folk talking about it,’ says a spokeswoman for the group. ‘Brookside is probably adding to that. (Stephen Naysmith)
Scottish ﬁlm industry bosses expressed frustration at the Govemment‘s announcement last week of measures to plough National Lottery money into the ‘British‘ ﬁlm industry — almost everything in a new policy document relates to English-based production.
However there was optimism that Scotland‘s different, and entirely separate arrangements for funding. which are already in place. will give ﬁlm a bigger proportion of lottery arts cash.
Eddie Dick. head of the Scottish Film Production Fund. said the announcement was the ‘usual
out.’ (Eddie Gibb)
metropolitan-based. inward looking
Scottish ﬁlm overlooked in new Government lottery plan
response to Scotland‘. While Scottish Film Council director Maxine Baker. who recently met National Heritage secretary Stephen Dorrell in Cannes. was more diplomatic. describing the confusion of British with English as a ‘minor irritant‘.
But Baker is conﬁdent that Scottish ﬁlm will beneﬁt from an expected announcement of tax breaks for ﬁlm production in November‘s budget. ‘lt‘s all speculation but I think the way the report is written and the enthusiastic support for the ﬁlm industry in general is hopeful.‘ she says.
Dorrell‘s announcement of an £80 million fund for ﬁlm production over
ﬁve years will go through the Arts Council of England. in Scotland. ﬁlm projects are already being considered as part of the Scottish Arts Council‘s deliberations over how to spend the arts‘ share of lottery money. Dick. who is SAC‘s main adviser on ﬁlm, said substantial backing fora Scottish production — possibly in six ﬁgures — could be announced this summer. ‘The framework is there.‘ he says. ‘We think it will be good for the industry and there will be cultural beneﬁts.‘
Unlike in England. Scottish ﬁlm has no guaranteed slice ofthe overall lottery pic but Baker believes that forcing individual productions to compete directly with other arts projects will beneﬁt ﬁlm. ‘There‘s a very good chance that we will get more money spent on ﬁlm in Scotland than England.’ she says. ‘lt‘s up to the ﬁlm community to come up with strong ideas.‘ (Eddie Gibb)
4 The List l6-29 Jun 1995