High Hopes

A series of photographs taken in and around
Scotstoun and Knightswood, Glasgow, 2005 onwards

gallery this way
Please click on the above photograph to view the gallery

Introduced by Glasgow resident Martin Coyle

If a picture says a thousand words then this gallery has got plenty to say.... a pictorial version of ‘War & Peace’ comes to mind. No, not just because it’s a big, long story. The pictures in the gallery are, as one chapter notes, ‘Windows on Our Lives’. And, for me, Gareth’s pictures offer a reflection on our - the world’s - constant struggle between war and peace.

In fact, these pictures and the stories they tell are a direct consequence of our connectedness to global affairs. Affairs that, for all the great and the good, cause millions of people, from all parts of the world, to somehow feel the need to flee death, persecution, violence, trafficking, poverty or war, or whatever else you care to add. Is it any wonder that a steady flow of asylum seekers and migrant workers find their way to our door steps? Is it any wonder that this story came to be? Em....let me think......this story would never have happened otherwise.

The pictures tell a story with roots embedded in towns and cities in countries from all over the world. A complex web of cultures, creeds, political and social needs, expectations, fears, desires and realities all converging to test Glasgow’s (and the Nation’s) sense of freedom, fair play and tolerance.

It’s a story that stirred the courage, cooperation and action of thousands....to invoke justice. A pictorial display of people’s compassion for others, their willingness and capacity to support in anyway they can. It’s a story that inspires you to marvel at people’s enduring desire, determination and sense of collective responsibility, to secure justice for fellow humans.

It’s a story of our time. It’s a glaring example of our ever-increasing interconnectedness and interdependence; it is evidence of the impact of global affairs on a city like Glasgow, a nation like Scotland, and a Foreign Office like Westminster. It is evidence of people: coming to terms with and making sense of a complex, chaotic set of affairs; doing something about it (campaigning, debating, negotiating); managing and influencing change. This gallery does indeed have plenty to say about our time, about how we treat each other in today’s world.

Despite being couched in the context of inequalities and injustices, I believe, the story is one that inspires hope and optimism. What do you think? Will these stories change things for the better?

Martin Coyle  -  May 2009