Qatar 2022: Sportswashing Success?

Qatar 2022: Sportswashing Success?

As the dust settles on Qatar’s World Cup, it is worth returning to consider some of the questions that were raised in the run-up to the tournament. Amid a public conversation about sportswashing – the use of sport to distract attention from human rights violations – many Western media organisations focussed on the issues associated with hosting the event to an unprecedented degree. Under the weight of negative press coverage, you could be forgiven for thinking that if Qatar wanted to draw attention away from their human rights record, they would be better off not hosting the World Cup. (more…)

What Lies Beyond Objectives and Definitions in Arts and Mental Health?

What Lies Beyond Objectives and Definitions in Arts and Mental Health?

The arts and health sector is being mapped out by potential funders using a tight definition. Creative Scotland sees this activity as being led by professional artists, with explicit artistic and health/wellbeing objectives, and designed to improve health and wellbeing. What activities could be missed by this definition? In particular what arts, culture, health and wellbeing outputs emerge when none of these terms are targeted or defined. (more…)

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Soft Power or Soft Disempowerment?

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: Soft Power or Soft Disempowerment?

In the past 3 and half years, I have been investigating the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as a soft power tool. I have taken a holistic approach in the context of understanding my case study, this holistic research approach arose because I have never travelled to Japan and I have never experienced the Japanese culture in reality. My views on Japan and its culture stem from an external Influence of playing Japanese-related video games and watching TV series. However, I have planned to travel to Japan for data collection and to experience, in reality, the  Japanese culture and way of life. It turned out that the negative factors of globalisation had a different plan for my research, with the spread of Covid-19 and the subsequent pandemic. The emergence of Covid-19 meant that I could not travel to Japan, I could not attend the Olympic Games and collect data for my research. (more…)

(Il)liberal Nation Projection Through Sport, Culture, Entertainment, and International Broadcasting

(Il)liberal Nation Projection Through Sport, Culture, Entertainment, and International Broadcasting

CCSE Director Professor Gayle McPherson and Centre members Solomon Ilevbare and I travelled to Manchester on the afternoon of Wednesday 19th October. After checking in to our hotel and getting settled, we headed out for a bite to eat in Chinatown, sampling some authentic cuisine in the form of a ‘Hot Pot’- safe to say some can handle spice more than others! After a lovely dinner, we retired to the hotel, well-fed and prepared for an early start. (more…)

The Perfect Storm

The Perfect Storm

In the last week I’ve heard the term ‘the perfect storm’ on repeat, from multiple sources, in relation to the perceived threats to Scottish arts organisations’ future existence. This weather-related metaphor was used in the press release relating to the closure of the Centre for Moving Image – the parent company for the much-loved Edinburgh Filmhouse and the respected Edinburgh International Film Festival – which went into administration. The Chief Executive of the national arts funding body also used the term last week when giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament Culture Committee in relation to the threat of funding cuts. ‘Creative Scotland has warned MSP that a ‘fragile’ recovery from the pandemic has been ‘more than overtaken’ by a combination of rising costs, falling income and the impact of Brexit.’ (The Scotsman, 6 October 2022). Scotland’s National Galleries also found themselves caught in the storm last week that they say will lead to partial closures in the coming months. Pauline McLean also used the term to describe the general arts sector in Scotland on BBC’s flagship cultural programme Front Row (Front Row, 11th Oct, 2022).  (more…)

An Exciting and Growing Community Hub; Paisley Men’s Shed

An Exciting and Growing Community Hub; Paisley Men’s Shed

The hashtag #Shedders is one that is gaining recognition nationally. It denotes the steadily rising Men’s Shed community, a community focussed on supporting men’s mental health and wellbeing.

Men’s Sheds are now being recognised all over the UK and Scotland, with organisations such as the Men’s Sheds Association providing support and guidance in the establishment of local men sheds that are community-driven and member-led entities (Men’s Sheds Association 2022). (more…)

ApArt – A Community Based Therapeutic Arts Intervention

ApArt – A Community Based Therapeutic Arts Intervention

Recently, Paisley’s marvellous STAR Project completed a 9-month long, seasons inspired, arts based therapeutic intervention; ApArt. Funded by Inspiring Scotland Creative Communities Fund, the project supported community members to address feelings of anxiety relating to the COVID 19 lockdown alongside issues around loss of connection and uneasiness regarding re-entry into the social world. With guidance from artist Rachel Mimiec, community members were able to discover, reignite and give full reign to their creativity, a process which had a range of benefits both individually and collectively…

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The Making of Paisley: Communities, Heritage Learning and Regeneration

The Making of Paisley: Communities, Heritage Learning and Regeneration

The Paisley Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Scheme 2 (Paisley TH.CARS2) is a £4.5M regeneration programme led by Renfrewshire Council, with match funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) and Historic Environment Scotland (HES). Running since 2016, and due to conclude in 2023, the focus for investment is Paisley’s Town Centre Conservation Area, with the west end of the High Street, New Street and the area around Shuttle Street having particular priority. Paisley TH.CARS2 follows on from a previous regeneration project – Paisley THI/CARS – which focused investment around Causeyside Street. (more…)

Creativity in Regeneration: From a Textile Hub to a Hub of Culture and Creativity.

Creativity in Regeneration: From a Textile Hub to a Hub of Culture and Creativity.

With its Future Paisley programme, Paisley has demonstrated a drive to improve the town’s public spaces through the medium of regeneration, whereby participation and community input has become a key tool of success. The projects created by Future Paisley intersect past, present, and future, by bringing attention to the town’s history through creative events that can revitalise the town and cooperation with the local community to imagine a future of Paisley that deals with this decade’s challenges head on (think; the pandemic and climate crisis). (more…)

The First Summary since the Last Summary: Life on the CCSE Blog

The First Summary since the Last Summary: Life on the CCSE Blog

Another wee while has flown by since the last slightly random summary of CCSE blog activity; we have tentatively emerged from COVID restriction, endured unusual summer heat and enjoyed another season of outdoor sports. To accommodate a winter World Cup, football has made an early start. And, the CCSE blog has continued to tick over, providing a space for record and reflection of cultural, sporting and event related activity ongoing at the locally and nationally. (more…)