Thursday 2 August 2007

Art and Sectarianism

I attended the launch of an exhibition on sectarianism at the Gallery of Modern Art this evening. As most people will know, I don't originally come from Glasgow, and I don't support either Rangers or Celtic. I'm not much into religion either. So why the interest in the exhibition?

A part of the exhibition (on the first floor balcony if you have time to pop in) is a series of photographs taken by boys from the South Camlachie Youth Project, as part of Sense Over Sectarianism. That particular area is in my ward, and sits in the shadow of Celtic Park. I've learnt a lot about the rivalry and tribalism in the East End of Glasgow in the past few months, but I get the impression I'm only starting to scratch the surface. The SCYP and SOS are working to break down some of the barriers between people in Glasgow, and seem to be making some progress.

The youth worker who was supervising the boys told me how they've been working with Rangers and Celtic, and trying to challenge the attitudes of young people in the area. For example, they've taken the boys to tour Celtic Park and Ibrox sit in the home end of both teams during games. This seems to have been hard for some of them at first, but a bit less so over time. It would be hard to roll out to every group of kids in Glasgow, but I think more education programmes like this would be a positive step - different perceptions, breaking down barriers, changing the way people see the world - it can only help.

1 comment:

scallopboy said...

Maybe the greatest way the state could help break down sectarian barriers is to put a stop to the archaic system of separate schools controlled by religion. Whilst the study of religions has its place in school as it is a part of life, the education system should be secular.