CARTOONS AND THE COMIC EXPOSURE OF THE EUROPEAN CITY OF CULTURE

in Urban Mindscapes of Europe
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Abstract

Glasgow’s year as European City of Culture in 1990 is widely perceived as an event both marking and precipitating a renaissance in perceptions of the city. As part of a project looking at the long-term legacies of 1990, including the image legacy, this paper uses cartoon depictions of Glasgow’s City of Culture experience as a tool by which to analyse what is now seen across Europe as a landmark cultural regeneration initiative. It argues that the caustic, politically incorrect genre of the cartoon articulates underlying social stereotypes that survive such initiatives and run counter to more mainstream narratives. It describes how the cartoons both enact a comic exposure of Culture City folly and articulate aspects of a city’s self-mythology and urban mindscape.

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