May 23, 2018

Where are all the working-class artists?

Where are all the working-class artists?

Kate Chambers

Working-class creativity (or lack of) is having a bit of a ‘moment’. This year, there have been reports and studies and opinion pieces on the lack of less privileged voices in the UK’s creative arts. There has also been a lot of heated discussion about tackling the problem. It’s always about ‘barriers to entry’, with talk about more opportunities. But in Scotland, there is another issue: the Scottish cringe. It’s all well and good having more opportunities, but how do you move into the arts when you risk leaving your community behind? As a young person from a working-class background in Scotland, sometimes expressing yourself creatively risks humiliation within your own community. When your own identity and culture is described as inherently ‘cringey’, what chance do you have?