The guilt-trip approach to fundraising for developing countries has been ditched by Oxfam. which is about to launch its new ‘big idea‘ aimed at tackling the underlying causes of poverty. One of the likely outcomes of its new ‘act local. think global‘ approach is that the campaigning charity will increasingly become involved in domestic anti-poverty initiatives, according to lain Gray of Oxfam in Scotland.
The harrowing images of starving children in Africa which were heavily used during Live Aid are now regarded as outdated by Oxfam. The charity wants to encourage the public to recognise that the causes of poverty are the same at home and abroad. albeit on a different scale. It is staging a series of regional ‘roadshows‘ to debate the issue in the run up to a major new policy launch in May.
Oxfam is introducing a ten-point charter which identiﬁes basic human rights. including a home. clean water. education and health care. it wants to highlight the fact that the majority of people who die of starvation and
disease in the developing world are not victims of war or natural disaster. but international economic policy. Because people on its own doorstep are deprived of some or all of these rights for similar reasons. Oxfam believes supporting local initiatives is the logical conclusion of this new approach.
‘There are huge numbers of people in Scotland and England who fall below the poverty line.‘ said ()xfam‘s senior
_ .5 ‘2 fit?" "VJ-i": Oxfam: tackling poverty at home and abroad policy advisor Kevin Watkins. ‘What
these people share in common with people in the southern hemisphere is that they are victims ofeconomic policy which puts free-market dogma ﬁrst.
‘People think of poverty in the southem hemisphere as irrelevant to their own country. We‘re trying to draw on their own experience to show that there are similar forces at work at home and abroad.‘
0xfam may fund local projects in global poverty battle
MPs and social reform campaigners will discuss the poverty issue at a Scottish debate on Oxfam‘s basic rights. ‘Think global. act local is increasingly relevant to people tackling social issues.‘ said Damian Killeen. director ofthe Glasgow-based Poverty Alliance. who will speak at the debate. ‘We have people living here who can‘t be certain of a good diet and maintaining their health. who can‘t take a clean water supply for granted.‘
lain Gray said that Oxfam in Scotland is currently negotiating with Scottish anti-poverty groups and is likely to fund some projects this year. ‘()xfam‘s objective is to work against poverty. suffering and oppression wherever it‘s found.‘ he said. ‘The basic rights campaign doesn‘t differentiate between Oxfam in Harare and Oxfam in Edinburgh.‘ (Eddie Gibb)
The basic rights hearing is on Fri 15 Marin Old College. Edinburgh
Uni versity at 2pm. For further details contact Oxfam in Scot/(Ind (m 0/3] 225 9330.
Trainspotting: the Thatcher years
Trainspotting in California
The first American stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s heroin-fuelled novel Trainspotting opened recently in bllssed-out hippy capital San Francisco. Begble declined to wear flowers in his hair.
Staged by the Scottish Cultural and Arts Foundation in the upstairs room of a pub called the Edinburgh Castle, the play has been selling out every night. The city’s ex-pat Scottish community turned out in force, but a handy glossary is provided for punters unfamiliar with Muirhouse vernacular, so ‘schemie’ becomes a ‘resldent of a public housing project’, while ‘awrite ya cunt!’ is ‘a friendly greeting’.
“We’ve kept as much of the language as possible but we did tone down the accent a bit so people can absorb it a little better,’ said Sean 0’Melveny of the cultural foundation.
Only one member of the cast is actually Scottish - Sandie Armstrong. The lead role of Mark Benton is played by a Geordie, while the rest of the cast is Irish. ‘It has to be said that heavy Irish accents rubbing vowels with Leith-lsms sort of added to the comprehension problems,’ said one Scottish audience member.
New gallery plan with designs on Glasgow
While Glasgow gears up for the opening of the new modern art gallery later this month, plans are already afoot to create another gallery in the former Post Office building in George Square. The proposed £40 million development, which needs lottery cash, is to be called the National Gallery of Art and Design, and would open in 2000.
The scheme has been hatched by the National Galleries of Scotland to create a home for rarely displayed Scottish paintings, photographs and applied arts from the last 150 years. Most of the collection is currently housed in Edinburgh’s National Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art and
Portrait Gallery, and "GS. has long argued that it needs more exhibiting space. It hopes the new gallery will allow more of the collection to be on permanent exhibition.
So far no clear acquisitions policy has yet been formulated for contemporary art and design, with N.G.S. anxious to avoid overlap with the council-owned modern art gallery. ‘The whole position of acquisitions is difficult to predict and will be worked out as the gallery develops,’ said project advisor Mungo Campbell. ‘But we want to put our 19th and 20th century collection into context.’
The decision to locate the gallery in Glasgow marks a determined shift by
ll.G.S. away from its traditional Edinburgh base. ‘There’s nowhere in Scotland that potentially will get so many visitors - it’s at the heart of Scotland,’ said Campbell. He refused to speculate on specific works of art that will be exhibited in the gallery, but it is expected to include a Mackintosh tea-room.
A shortlist of seven architectural practices, including Glasgow’s Page and Park and Elder and Canon along with Edinburgh’s Richard Murphy Architects, are currently working on proposals to remodel the George Square site. The winner of the competition will be announced in May. (Susanna Beaumont)
Glasgow and Edinburgh take different view on club drugs
The Scottish ()fﬁce‘s recent guidelines for combating the use of ‘dance‘ drugs in clubs have been met with confusion and controversy. The Scottish ()ffice hopes the guidelines will become a condition of club licences. but they have proved to be wide open to interpretation and misunderstanding. This point is illustrated by the dramatically differing stances taken in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
in Strathclyde. the regional council and Glasgow City Council‘s licensing board have argued strongly against implementing the guidelines. saying they tacitly support a drugs culture. ‘We don‘t want to see Glasgow ending up like Amsterdam.‘ commented licensing board chairman. Councillor James Coleman. He believes that the provision ofchill-out areas — one specific harm reduction policy advocated in the guidelines — condones
drug use and signals ‘an acceptance of the drug culture‘.
Enhance. Glasgow‘s recreational drug information project. is concerned about the implications of the board‘s policy for all clubbers. not just drug users. ‘Dancing is an exhausting business.‘ a spokeswoman said. although she accepts that chill-out areas are not a simple solution to the complex problem of drug abuse in clubs.
ln Lothian. where the regional council has welcomed the guidelines. the problem is one of interpretation. A recent open meeting of the licencing committee drew together all service providers. including police and paramedics. who have worked closely with the organisers of the regular Rezerection raves at lngliston to ensure they are largely trouble free.
The council is keen to ensure that the ‘best practice‘ learned over the years at
Rex is included in its own set of guidelines. However Liz Skelton of Edinburgh‘s harm reduction project Crew 2000 is concerned that the lessons learned at this 5000 capacity. all-night event will be applied uniformly to all Edinburgh clubs. ‘There has to be a degree of ﬂexibility.‘ she said. ‘But at the same time. club owners can‘t pick and choose what part of the guidelines to implement.‘ (Thom Dibdin)
4 The List 8-21 Mar 1996