The Art of Citizenship: Bus Party 2014

18 Apr ‘15

9.30AM - 4.00PM

Venue: Iris Murdoch Centre, University of Stirling

The arts can be a catalyst for civic conversation on the sort of society we want. That was the idea behind the Bus Party, a group of writers, musicians, and visual artists who went on a “Listening Lugs Tour” of Scotland in the run up to the Referendum in 2014. They were led by writer Neal Ascherson and included James Robertson, Karine Polwart, Mairi Campbell, Billy Kay and David Greig.

Local communities welcomed the Bus Party into their community centres, art galleries, bookshops, high school, churches and public libraries from Stromness to Stirling. Performances by the artists on the bus opened up a safe space for conversation on the kind of Scotland local people wanted. Their local visions of Scotland were captured on a scroll and a film of the journey, made by visual artists Andy Sim and Carolyn Scott.

This Scottish Political Archive conference at the University of Stirling is an opportunity to see the film and meet some of the artists on the bus, including Neal Ascherson and James Robertson. In conversation with the conference audience and political commentators like Tom Nairn, Peter Geoghegan and Peter Lynch, the Bus Party artists will reflect on their tour and the continuing role of the arts in fostering active citizenship and participatory democracy in Scotland now.

For further details and to book a place at this free event please visit the online shop

The Scottish Political Archive (SPA) is based within History and Politics at the University of Stirling.  SPA aims to collect and make accessible archival material from Scottish politicians and political organisations.  For further information please visit our website

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