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Image of The Fish That Never Swam (Book) by Kirsty MacKay

The Fish That Never Swam (Book)

By Kirsty MacKay



In Glasgow people’s lives are cut short: male life expectancy in Possil is 66, in Penilee three young people took their own lives within the space of one week in June 2020, suicide in Glasgow is 30% higher than English cities, male life expectancy is 7 years short of the UK average and women’s is 4 years less. This is not isolated to areas of deprivation – Glaswegians across all social classes experience a 15% reduction in life expectancy.

The causes of Glasgow’s excess mortality lie in government policy - not with the individual and their lifestyle choices. Local, regional and central government policies created an environment where: segregation, alienation, mass unemployment, the generational trauma that followed, poverty and deprivation constitute a public health issue. During the 1970s and 80’s Glasgow was in a ‘managed decline’. Unbeknown at the time, the city was starved of funding from Westminster.

Kirsty Mackay spent 4 years traveling across the city researching, interviewing and photographing. This work links Mackay’s own experience growing up in the city, the loss of her father and three of her male friends, the diverse experiences of the people she photographed together with the latest research from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health. Connecting the latest academic research with the lived experience to present an in-depth study into the health inequalities and life expectancy gap in her home city.

24.5 x 32cm, 288 pages

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