October 1, 2021

Is Urban Loneliness a Form of Civic Violence?

Victoria McNulty | David Hayman JR | Kevin P Gilday | Calum Baird | Sean McDonald | Alexandra Oliver

Spoken Word FilmExiles, 2021

The phrase ‘Social Isolation’ is on the tip of every tongue, but it is certainly not a new concept. Urban communities all over Scotland have experienced decades of loneliness and isolation from each other and wider civic life. This entry examines how urban loneliness robs communities of their connections and individuals of their identities. Through stark footage of Covidian Glasgow, three short films employ narrative imagery detailing how memories are erased and connections to the past fade. This destruction of personal connection is an act of violence that means power travels upwards in Scotland’s cities, to be employed with devastating effects for ordinary people. The entry contrasts the human with the spiritual, memories with the actual and aims to illustrate that loneliness is often be misidentified as vague discontent or disconnect when it is, in fact, a natural response to our environment. Moreover, it highlights how we talk of cities in terms of structural mechanics. This contributes to our loneliness. We must remember our cities are organic, made up of their inhabitants past and present , to truly promote wellbeing and connection within our communities.