Goodbye Brigadoon : place, production, and identity in global Glasgow
Sanson, Kevin Lee
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Goodbye Brigadoon examines the shifting role media production plays in the economic and cultural strategies of global cities in small market nations, specifically Glasgow, Scotland. In particular, this project focuses on the formation of a digital media village along the banks of the River Clyde to argue the site constitutes a logical component to Glasgow’s ongoing transformation into a cosmopolitan center. Yet, as the regional government’s economic strategies and policy directives work to transform the abandoned waterfront into a center of cultural activity, this project also underscores the contradictory cultural dynamics to emerge from media production’s new role in the post-industrial city. At its core, the media hub reveals a regional government more interested in the technology used to deliver “national” stories than the manner of the stories themselves or the cultural practices responsible for creating them. Indeed, Goodbye Brigadoon is most interested in how media professionals based at the emergent cluster negotiate a sense of cultural identity and creative license against the institutional constraints, policy matters, and commercial logic they also must navigate in their workaday rituals. Ultimately, the conclusions offered in this project argue for a more complicated conception of the global-local location where these professionals work. Glasgow’s digital media village, in other words, is much more than an innocuous site of competitive advantage, urban regeneration, and job growth. It is best understood as a site of intense social struggle and unequal power relations where local mediamakers often find the site’s impetus for multiplatform media production an institutionally enforced false promise at odds with the realities of creative labor in the city.