Gdansk shipyard

The European Solidarity Centre is an amazing cultural addition to Gdansk. As a resource for the city and beyond, it presents the Solidarity trade union movement which was ignited in Gdańsk, leading to the end of communist government. The museum also enables a global network to spread the timeless and positive ideals that Solidarity stands for – democracy, open society, dialogue, values. The building sits adjacent to The Monument for Fallen Shipyard Workers, remembering 42 workers who were killed protesting against economic conditions in the 70’s. Campaigning for protection from inappropriate development, my work with a network of partners in Glasgow’s once industrial and shipbuilding heartland of Govan sought to position the rich heritage and culture of the area, as drivers in the area’s renewal. Initially commissioned by Urban Realm magazine to document and write about development proposals in the area, it quickly became an area of great interest to me, and with many other collaborators a large amount of energy drove forward ideas and proposals for regeneration of the area, responding to its social, strategic and industrial story. This led to participation in an exchange between Govan and Gdansk (funded by The Royal Society of Edinburgh) to share and disseminate ideas for cultural heritage protection. I gave talks and presented to seminars at Glasgow’s Riverside Museum and in Gdansk. Both sites are being developed and have been influenced by this research and activity.

Memorial to the Fallen Shipyard Workers