This week we are joined by award-winning Scottish writer Alan Bissett, who has spent the week watching and selecting some of his favourite submissions that are eligible for the £750 Best Memory Award. He’ll be returning to judge the category once submissions are closed, so get yours in while you can!
Alan has chosen his top 3 favourite Best Memory submissions so far. Here’s what he thought…
1. ‘St Peter’s Seminary‘
I found this very haunting, the way we moved slowly through the enormous, ruined seminary. The urban ‘deprivation’ is offset by the inventiveness of the graffiti, the abandoned spirituality replaced by the new ‘gods’ of popular culture (Gollum, Hulk). Some of the graffiti was rather spooky too! (‘we are inside our own nothingness’) and the atmospheric music really added a layer. This lingered with me.
2. ‘10 Red Road Court‘
The Red Road flats are/were a monument of working-class Glasgow life, and seeing them empty like this is eerie: the silence, the slow-moving lift to nowhere, the solitary light-bulb, the clock ticking doom. Concise and effective.
3. ’Hecky’s Bell‘
While not exactly interesting visually, the way the participants of this video tried to work out what Hecky’s ’bell’ in the photograph was for was both amusing and informative. The sense of an era lost, but kept alive in the memory, in photographs and in the Gaelic language, was what stood out in this piece. Moving, in its own small way.
Please join us in thanking Alan for taking the time to be our guest editor this week.
Next week, we’ll be tackling the Best Issue-Based submissions with guest editor Lesley Riddoch. Join in with another hashtag chat using #NLissue, a Flip camera competition via Twitter, and lots more great submissions. If you have an issue-based submission under your hat, now is the time to get it in.
Until then, have you submitted to Northern Lights yet? Get involved!