Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014
In about two days, Scotland will vote to become independent from the UK. This has been a political movement that’s come up now and again throughout Scottish history, but the movement has never gained the traction it seems have now. The independence spirit is particularly strong in a younger generation of Scots, who see the government in London as out of touch and unconcerned with the future of the country. If this vote passed, it would accomplish what literally hundreds of years of (sometimes bloody, think of William Wallace) struggle couldn’t.
The argument is primarily an economic one, and justifiably so. The electorate in Scotland is largely concerned with jobs, just like in the U.S. However, this article brings up the perspective of what would happen to the Arts should the vote pass. A lot of art is funded by the British government and English foundations, and there’s almost no doubt that a lot of that funding would go away should the ‘Yes’ vote pass. Scotland has an incredibly vibrant art scene – not only in Edinburgh (which many people know about it) but in Glasgow. On the one hand, seperation from the UK would mean the possible collapse of some the infrastructure in place for the creation of theater, visual art, music, and a myriad of other disciplines. But on the other, the Scot’s are fiercely proud of their Scottish identity, and a lot of the Art created there reflects this. Perhaps it would spark a surge in the creation of new work as a reaction to new found independence?
It’s very, very exciting stuff – and a rare opportunity to see history unfold and policy shift right before our eyes.