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October 18, 2011

Art for art’s sake?

Some weeks ago, we reported on the Govan Raid – a symbolic river-crossing by over a hundred local people to reassert long forgotten boundaries. A short film of the Raid can be seen here . Learning about, and connecting with, local traditions is one of the aims of the Govan Folk University. One of GFU’s early projects sees the hosting of an ambitious international conference this weekend. The theme will explore whether art can serve places where poverty is rife

The Govan Folk University  – A Conference.   Kandinsky in Govan.    21st, 22nd, 23rd October

For a full programme click here

 Since 2009 a cluster of local organisations have been meeting together, vexed by the way that mainstream higher education is not fully serving the community in socially hard-pressed areas like Govan. We are driven by a sense that, in addition to what mainstream institutions already offer, there is also need for a much deeper level of community education that touches levels that are not just intellectual, but also psychological and even spiritual. In Govan we daily witness how deep the roots of poverty go, and how little wider society understands their ongoing intergenerational penetration. Some of us have been involved with Scotland’s Poverty Truth Commission and its 2011 report explores such issues. 

The Govan Folk University currently has two projects – the Kandinsky in Govan conference and Govan Together which is concerned with climate change and environmental awareness. We are a loose network made up of Govan Old church, the Pearce Institute, Fablevision, the GalGael Trust and the Centre for Human Ecology. 

Kandinsky in Govan is being held as an activity of the Govan Folk University with the Centre for Human Ecology as the lead organiser and myself, Alastair McIntosh, as the conference curator. I am hosting much of the material on my personal website because that allows changes to be made easily. For details of speakers and workshop presenters please see the programme, which is being constantly updated in the run-up to the event.