The community arts movement in Scotland, 1962-1990

  • Lucy Brown

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis traces the underexplored history of the community arts movement as it developed in urban Scotland between 1962, the year the organisation that became the Craigmillar Festival Society was founded, and 1990, the year Glasgow celebrated its year as European City of Culture. It draws primarily on 24 oral history interviews conducted with practitioners working in Scotland during this period.;Bringing these oral testimonies into dialogue with visual and documentary sources, it offers a unique perspective on the social, cultural and political beliefs, objectives and intentions - as well as the concrete achievements - of community artists. This methodology also yields new insights into the relationship between surviving or recorded murals, photographs, playbooks, films and videos, and the processes by which they were made.;Setting the movement within its historical context, this thesis makes a contribution to the growing literature on Scottish culture and counterculture, demonstrating that community arts arose out of a particular convergence of community action, popular culture, welfare state paternalism, and a countercultural emphasis on freedom and self-expression. This thesis also positions community art within the broader fields of community action and community development.;It argues a history of the movement contributes to our understanding of the ways in which urban policy was negotiated, implemented and contested at the grassroots during this period. In particular, it situates community arts and community arts practitioners in relation to the growth of social inclusion policies. As such it contributes to the historiography on community action, urban protest and urban governance.
Date of Award11 Jun 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorPhilip Cooke (Supervisor) & Arthur McIvor (Supervisor)

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