The Glasgow Effect
The Glasgow Effect
A Tale of Class, Capitalism and Carbon Footprint
Back cover text:
How would your career, social life, family ties, carbon footprint and mental health be affected if you could not leave the city where you live?
Artist Ellie Harrison sparked a fast-and-furious debate about class, capitalism, art, education and much more, when news of her year-long project The Glasgow Effect went viral at the start of 2016.
Read a sample of The Glasgow Effect
Named after the term used to describe Glasgow’s mysteriously poor public health and funded to the tune of £15,000 by Creative Scotland, this controversial ‘durational performance’ centred on a simple proposition – that the artist would refuse to travel beyond Glasgow’s city limits, or use any vehicles except her bike, for a whole calendar year.
Includes 26 black and white illustrations.
It’s horrendously crass to parachute someone in on a poverty safari while local authorities are cutting finance to things like music tuition for Scotland’s poorest kids. I don’t know the artist personally but I think we’d all benefit more from an insight into what goes on in the minds of some of Scotland’s middle class. Darren McGarvey, Daily Record, January 2016
I’d already lived in Glasgow over seven years when the ‘chips hit the fan’ in January 2016. It was frustrating how the media took everything out of context. The Glasgow Effect was an epic undertaking resulting from years of research – a project which has shaped my thinking, action and life course ever since. This book is that hidden story. Ellie Harrison, March 2019
I can’t say that this book has been an easy undertaking, but it was a necessary one. I have emerged stronger and with more conviction than ever that in order to address the ‘climate emergency’ we must urgently reduce the amount we travel and the amount of energy we consume. Not least because a happy, healthy and sustainable life can and should result from committing and contributing to the community where you live. Ellie Harrison, The Glasgow Effect, July 2019
Reviews & Media Coverage
Watch Ellie’s TED talk on sustainability versus growth
Ellie Harrison’s project – her ‘extreme lifestyle experiment’ – is an anticipation of what’s to come. We will all have to relax our standards on what we regard as a legitimate or respectable ‘job’, as the new pieces of our socio-economic future settle... Harrison’s mix of occupational skills, community activism, education and self-expression – and her enthusiastic interest in how all these elements fit together – is going to be more and more the mainstream experience of ‘work’ in our societies. We should learn from her, and from the new wave of socially-engaged artists like her. Pat Kane, The National, January 2016
Brava to Ellie Harrison for continued integrity and conviction, as she uses her education, skills and (self-acknowledged) privileged position as an artist to challenge the failing economic status quo and ruffle the feathers of our corrupt, complacent establishment in Glasgow and beyond. Zara Kitson, Head of Community Engagement for Princes Trust Scotland, Facebook, January 2017
Ellie Harrison: Glasgow artist on a poverty safari? She better not forget the pith helmet. The Independent // Paid to Live Like Common People. The Daily Mail // Outraged over a £15,000 Glasgow art project? Look at the bigger picture. The Guardian // I’m a posh punchbag, says artist in Glasgow row. The Times // read all of this coverage from the original 2016 Glasgow Effect project and many more articles like them on Ellie’s website.
Extract from ‘Neoliberalism’ by Loki
Part 1: A Brief History of Neoliberalism
Chapter 1: Thatcher’s Children
Straight outta Compton
What the fuck is neoliberalism?
Social mobility isnae what they say
Waste not, want not
Chapter 2: Creative Decade
Things can only get better
The knowledge economy
A golden age
Technologies of the self
Community vs career
Chapter 3: Welcome to Scotland
Bring back British Rail
Hedonism vs asceticism
Chapter 4: Socialist Dystopia
You are what you eat
System change, not climate change
Asceticism and the spirit of capitalism
Compromise and complicity are the new original sins
The leaky bucket
Worst inequalities in Western Europe
Settlers and colonists
First as tragedy, then as farce
Part 2: The Glasgow Effect
Chapter 5: When the Chips Hit the Fan
Calm before the storm
I like Glasgow and Glasgow likes me
Small is Beautiful
Could there be a worse insult?
Chapter 6: Creative Destruction
But is it art?
Money can’t buy you love
Every human being is an artist
I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!
Where art and politics become one
Chapter 7: Lived Reality
Low-carbon lifestyle of the future
Citizen’s Basic Income
Biographic solutions to systemic contradictions
History, politics and vulnerability
The elephant in the room
Reflection and action
We need to stop ‘researching’ and start fighting!
Practising what we preach, preaching what we practise
Thrift radiates happiness
Chapter 8: Aftershock
The end is the beginning
Part 3: The Sustainable City of the Future
Chapter 9: Think Global
Back to the future
Prosperity without growth
Chapter 10: Act Local
City as a site for social change
Non-material pathways out of poverty
Chapter 11: Universal Luxurious Services
Those things we all need to live happily and well
Localism and protectionism
Chapter 12: Travelling Without Moving
Paradox of repopulation
Education for life, not for work
Rekindling our radical past
Love-hate relationship with the city