Arts & Culture

2007 - 2021

Bella interviews Loki

An interview with Darren McGarvey, hip hop artist, journalist and author of Poverty Safari (Luath) at the Edinburgh Festival 2018. We talked about the poverty industry, political polarisation, the corrosive impact of shame, self-responsibility, addiction, communication in age of social media, self-development, and Scottish independence.

“I found my way back to my politics”.


Poverty Safari Live Interview from Bella Caledonia on Vimeo.


Poverty Safari Live is at the Edinburgh Fringe at the Edinburgh New Town Theatre, tickets available here.


Comments (3)

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  1. JimmyTheBrave says:

    Thanks Mike for the great interview. One of the point that Darren makes that stands out to me is about shame. His willingness to talk so openly about his experience is heart warming and courageous. I think if you look at the psychology of people in the west, and particularly dominated Celtic people, shame and shaming is rooted in our culture. The antidote to shame is courage, which is why I was so very heartbrown when Scotland the Brave voted to continue in a union of domination. Anyway, I really recommend that anyone interested in the topic of shame and courage have a look at Brené Brown’s TEDx talk titled,
    The power of vulnerability:

    1. Wul says:

      Too right.

      In (former BBC) Journalist Fergal Keane’s book “All of These People” he talks about his own alcohol addiction and describes alcoholism as the “addiction of shame”.
      Growing up in the east end of Glasgow, shame was the main tool of childhood discipline in my family (with physical violence and parental anger lurking in the wings if the anti was upped).

      We use shame far too much in Scotland. We use it against each other if someone looks to be getting “too big for his boots”. How many of our best people have fled the country to get away from it?

      And I meant to say how courageous Darren McGarvey is. His book is very good too.

  2. Wul says:

    Darren McGarvey is a rare thing.

    Someone who has strong passions and beliefs and is still willing to listen to others, question himself and to revise his world view and self awareness in light of new information and experience. I wish there were more like him in the public sphere. He is clearly a very intelligent man and a phenomenal learner.

    I’ve loved hearing him describe what he is seeing, learning and thinking. His ongoing curiosity is so welcome in today’s world of fixed, silo, defensive thinking in what currently passes for “political discussion”.

    It is so rare, unfortunately, to hear from someone from Darren’s social background. It makes me angry to realise this because there are tens of thousands of us still living some of the bad bits of Mr McGarvey’s life. And worse.

    I once worked with young people from similar backgrounds and much of what McGarvey says about the “poverty industry” rings very true with me ( and hurts sometimes).

    Great to hear that he is allowing himself to enjoy his current success and to perhaps be able to relax into a bit more security for his young family. You definitely deserve it Darren. Not because it “was a pure shame” how your earlier life started out, but because you are making a huge and much needed contribution to our culture and our society and you work really hard. Whatever success you are having, you have truly earned it. Enjoy your self.

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