New Social Art School Projects - Tillydrone Book

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Various Book pictures

Free books and hot dogs at the book launch, Tilly Lads' Club, June 2007


TILLYDRONE - a different perspective

Some of the women I met are represented in this book: in nine interviews they speak about their personal lives, their work, and views on regeneration and social issues in the community. An overall theme is the stigmatisation of areas like Tillydrone, which seems to come primarily from the outside, with the press generally focusing on negative stories. The women agree that Tillydrone is not the unsafe place it’s made out to be, on the contrary, there is a strong feeling of community spirit in a place where people know each other. Where people are real.

The book does not look at Tillydrone in terms of problems and solutions; but is rather a discovery through listening to people. The women, ranging from 12 to 61 years of age, represent a diverse community; from a hairdresser to a community learning worker, a young mum, a drug dealer and a Masters student. Despite a general mistrust around the council’s plans for regeneration there is great belief and hope for the future:

“Councillors don’t live here… We need to say, ‘Okay, you’ve promised us this. We want it!’ Ken? It’s different than saying, ‘You’ve promised us this but we’re nae gonna get it.’ No. We want this! We want a better place to live… and we’ll have a community we can be proud of. In the future, when people ask where you stay, you can say TILLYDRONE, best community in Aberdeen!”

Pamela, 27, Mum, Student and Community Rep




Bobbi distributing invitation cards in the neighbourhood, June 07. Thanks Bobbi!


Books for the people!

In June we posted invitation cards to all Tillydrone households, promising free hot dogs, free copies of the book and live music. On Saturday 30th June, the first sunny day in a long time, hundreds of people came to the book launch outside the Lads' Club in Tillydrone. A small but steady crew of girls (all of them represented in the book) and two male friends made sure that everyone had a good time. 300 hot dogs and 500 books were given away. This was one of the greatest days in my life - and I wish to thank everyone with all my heart...

Eva Merz, August 2007



Left: Pamela and Sarina with folk queing for a free copy of the book. Right: Eva, Danielle and Bobbi, who did an amazing job signing books, handing out love heart stickers and baby sitting wee Danielle.


Left: Sarina and Dianne. Right: Owen, Tracy and Phil. Tracy barbecued 300 sausages in three hours!


Left: A family of four generations with books. Right: The scene, people queing for hot dogs.


Left: Phil and Dianne entertaining the crowd.
Right: Local community wardens..


Phil, before and after...

Buy the Book

The residency was supported by
Peacock Visual Arts and Station House Media Unit

funded by Scottish Arts Council and Aberdeen City Council