|pic from Vice|
Gentrification is a rubbish term for what has been happening. Ever since artists of all sorts colonised downtown Manhattan in the 70s and kicked off a process of improvement there's been an accompanying complaint that something inauthentic is going on. The appearance of start-ups and young people wanting to live somewhere affordable and hip should be a cause for celebration.
Finnieston's emergence owes something to the extraordinary number of Turner Prize winners and nominees who are Glaswegian, graduates of the art school, resident in the city or some combination of the three. They in turn are part of a lineage that can be traced to the art school kids of 1991 who were graduating into the city the year after it became European City of Culture. This remarkable event was the effect of a process that arguably began when Alasdair Gray published Lanark, a novel about a city without art. That novel came out just as Postcard Records were championing the Sound of Young Scotland and Aztec Camera, Orange Juice, Josef K, the Jesus and Mary Chain all began bothering the charts, inventing bedsit pop and other new strains of indie until years later morphing into dance as the Primals Screamadelica beat the Mary Chain to win the first Mercury Prize.
The gentry had nothing to do with all of this so called gentrification. It's never the gentry who take the first move into the run down area, its artists and its the young and skint. It's not gentrification, it's more like Artification and its better that for Finnieston or Berlin or Shoreditch than stagnating forever, unloved and undeveloped. Artists create growth.
Also published in Medium