Blog from Pat Kane

Blog from Pat Kane

How about encouraging and training those in communities like Onthank to do their own mediating of their life-conditions – giving them the power of recording, editing and dissemination, letting them evolve their own norms of quality, topic and relevance?

We’re happy to benchmark ourselves against small European nations – and we could do worse than to copy Finland’s extensive and historic commitment to media-production literacy throughout their population. There is a latent community of artists and activists in Scotland – New Media Scotland and the CCA in Glasgow are the main hubs – who would be only too willing to fan out into Scotland’s hard-bitten areas and set up media labs, bringing what the Scottish conceptual artist Simon Yuill calls "distributive practice" to the people. (A great benchmark for this is actually the Knowle West Media Centre in Bristol, well worth the investigation. And our own Lesley Riddoch has been something of a pioneer of community media).


Some of the broadcast hours of an SDN – and not just the dead hours of the early morning either – should be devoted to nurturing, curating and re-presenting the experiences of struggling communities in Scotland, building up their powers of mass self-communication. Will this media be raw, unfinished, static, gauche, partisan, pawky, hedonistic, sentimental, nostalgic, angry, obsessive, trainspottery, specialist? All of the preceding, and better, and worse.


But is this rough emergence worth clearing some space for, at the heart of Scotland’s evolving media representation of itself – and at precisely this moment where "self-determination" and "independence" (at all levels, and in all ways) are the buzzwords of the Scottish Spring? I would argue, yes. Let there be a "democratic interact" – or as Salmond once put it in a speech in 2007, an "architecture of participation" that reaches to every corner of the country.