Glasgow-based symposium maps the variety of routes into the creative industries and explores and celebrates diversity and identity in the Scottish Performing Arts Sector

Glasgow-based symposium maps the variety of routes into the creative industries and explores and celebrates diversity and identity in the Scottish Performing Arts Sector

Published: 13/03/2018

The myriad journeys within the Scottish performing arts sector are the focus of a new symposium in Glasgow this week, which will explore and celebrate diversity and identity.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Scottish Youth Theatre and Glasgow Life have joined forces for Where you Fae? Where we Gaun?, Celebrating and Grappling with Arts and Identity in Scotland which takes place on Thursday, March 15 at Scottish Youth Theatre in the Merchant City. The symposium will map the routes artists have taken into the creative sector and go on to explore the journeys that might be made together in the future.

Jesse Paul, Fair Access Manager at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We have created an exciting opportunity to engage artists and students in a dialogue about the way our identity informs the art we make, and the art we want to make. In education, we have a unique opportunity to encourage students to become leaders for change. In pursuit of equality, engagement with Scotland’s emerging artists is therefore critical in influencing cultural and educational shifts. At this symposium, emerging and established arts practitioners will celebrate and grapple with notions of identity in arts practice. It’s important that we have this conversation the arts sector in Scotland is diverse and yet our journeys bring us all together. We hope that this symposium will help us better understand the extraordinary journeys we are all taking and help inform the way we might move forwards in the future.”

Jenni Mason, Associate Director (Inclusion) at Scottish Youth Theatre, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Glasgow Life for this symposium. Together we will explore, interrogate and celebrate the diversity of arts practice in Scotland. The event also features an eclectic mix of artists and facilitators, representing different art forms, leading and provoking the discussions on the day. We are delighted that in the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People, the event has a particular focus on young people with emerging artists being included in the programme and the delegate list. The symposium is part of a long-term partnership between SYT and RCS and marks the start of a bigger conversation and plan to work together to create better pipelines for a more diverse Scottish arts sector.”

Naomi Shoba, Senior Arts, Music and Diversity Managerat Glasgow Life said: “Diversity of thought helps us to keep our edges sharp by excluding sameness and guarding against perpetuating marginalisation on a systemic and artistic level. Against the back drop of the Black Lives Matter movement and Lubaina Himid winning the Turner Prize, Britain leaving the European Union and the Scottish Government National Cultural Strategy creation proposing the principles of access, equity and excellence, this partnership is providing a forum for intersectional perspectives to be platformed and routes into the creative industries examined.”


Speakers and facilitators include:

  • Ankna Arockiam: Indian mezzo-soprano and research student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she is studying identities of Indians who are Western Classical musicians. She is also the chair of the Student Working Group at the AEC (Association Européenne des Conservatoires).
  • Rose Manson: a DJ, Glasgow University Theatre Studies student and manager of Subcity Radio, an independent, non-profit station based in Glasgow and broadcasting to the world.
  • Tawona Sithole: co-founder of art collective Seeds of Thought and a published poet, playwright and musician. He holds the Glasgow University positions of Artist in Residence (School of Education) and Honorary Research Fellow (Creativity Culture and Faith.)
  • Matthew Arthur Williams: lives and works in Glasgow as a freelance photographer and visual artist. He graduated with a BA Photography from Manchester Metropolitan in 2012.
  • Tony Mills: dancer, choreographer, host and facilitator of live events for theatre and cultural organisations.
  • Raisah Ahmed: screenwriter and director based in Glasgow. She is the co-founder (along with Maryam Hamidi) of BAME Boost a Scotland-based initiative aimed at boosting Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation in film, television and theatre.

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