Few people have the opportunity to meet as many strangers in a day as hairdressers. For many of us, telling and exchanging stories is all part of having a hair cut. Maybe this explains why hairdressers are all apparently so happy. In anycase, it figures that this regular contact with strangers can give hairdressers a rich and interesting perspective on Glasgow and its future. Furthermore, in the Tescos era, where better to go than the hairdresser to find one of the last authentic voices of the highstreet (82% of hair salons are independently run)?
In the evening of 23rd January 2006, there was a story telling workshop and discussion about Glasgow and its future with the city's hairdressers. The event was attended by hairdressers and an author, who will work with the participants to develop different stories about the lives of people in 2020.
We will be running this group again. Keep an eye out for details on the website. If you cut hair professionally and you're interested in coming along, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the meantime here are some photos and highlights of the discussion on January 23rd.
“We can’t talk about the future of
“It will be so much worse – the drugs, the drink, the rubbish – there’s just more and more addicts every year. It will get worse for everybody in the city.”
“The drugs situation will get worse. You can already get a line of coke in
“We can see that they’re building flats all around the city centre. Sometimes I have to clean human excrement off the doorstep. Maybe if we have more people here it will make it a better place.”
“But I’ve seen footage of the old
“You know, it’s like the
“We’ve lost our community. There is no sense of community anymore. Where is the investment in community places. We don’t invest in community projects anymore”.
“There’s so much money available for community projects. But the perception is that it’s not accessible by people. They don’t know how to get hold of it”.
“But I don’t think that people see the connection between “community” and ‘community arts’. If you asked people who come in here to hair salon what they think of spending money on that stuff, they’d tell you it’s a total waste of money!”
“Building Policies – at the moment the City Council are giving a carte blanche to developers and new buildings. They can put up whatever they want, building all over our public and green spaces. We need to hold on to some of what we’ve got already”.
If there was one thing you could change abotu Glasgow what would it be
“The railway line should be extended to the airport” “We should ban smoking in all public places. We need to turn pubs into communal places – place where you can take children – so they’re not just places for the piss-heads”
“We should ban smoking in all public places. We need to turn pubs into communal places – place where you can take children – so they’re not just places for the piss-heads”
“We should have free transport throughout the city.
“Some people would say that we need to change children’s behaviour, but I think that we need to change the parent’s behaviour who create the children’s bad behaviour”.
“I would tackle the drug problems – I’d suggest more policing, but a lot of them are all corrupt anyway”.
“The Education System. The Education System doesn’t like children. We’re still producing factory fodder – the best children are those who learn how to pass tests, but weighing the pig, doesn’t make the pig any fatter”.
“We have to get out of that mentality, where if it’s Scottish, it’s shit – and the place to start has to be children. Education should build children’s self-esteem.”
“But you should see some of the kids we get in here. You tell them what to do and you just get mouth back. Parents confuse giving love and support to their children with neglecting them. They just say you’re great and they think they’ve done their job – when they haven’t, they make them a nightmare for everybody else”.
The group then produced the following characters living in 2020.
Single, Lives in the harbour development, works as a Virtual Estate Agent, Mixed Race, Blonde and Skinny, Prone to diabetes, Always been single, Independent but looking for love.
Lapsed catholic, is an online virtual wrestler (he wears an all in one virtual-reality body suit to wrestle with paying-punters online). He has two children aged six and nine from two different partners. He is a virtual wrestler, rather than a real one as it enables him to work from home. He’s a good wrestler and is looking forward to competing in the annual virtual wrestling championships. He lives in the deprived
Male. Nurse, Gay, Works as a Sexual Health Worker (going for a sex health check up is like going to the dentist in 2020). He’s in a long term relationship with a male partner. He’s discreet and loyal, and recommended by people in hairdressers and cafes around the city. From Pendle Shields.
Former hair professional. Many hairdressers have moved into intervention therapy by 2020. Jenny is a life coach. She divorced at 36 and now supports herself. She went to school with Hasif and is still best friends with him. She lives in the
Mel C, 40
Named herself after an impressionable childhood with the spice girls when she was born in 1997. Addicted to prescription drugs. Kept in money by her Bossman boyfriend who supports her. Has had so much plastic surgery she is unrecognisable to her friends. Has no children. Pampers herself. She is very selfish. Has facials. Goes to the gym. She’s very jealous of her boyfriend who is always giving her a hard time.
Has very nostalgic parents, keen for the good-old-days. He completes university after doing a one year course at the