Nicola Sturgeon yesterday opened Scotland’s biggest anti-racism festival in the country’s most multi-cultural neighbourhood.
The first minister was in her constituency in Glasgow’s southside to launch the Govanhill International Festival and Carnival.
The annual event, which runs until next Sunday, will include exhibitions, live music and theatre, children’s activities and guided walks, and is being coordinated by Govanhill Baths Community Trust.
Kicking off the festival with a street parade at Queen’s Park, Sturgeon said: “I’m delighted that the carnival is able to take place again in person this year.
“It should be a really uplifting occasion after a tough time for all of us. It is one of the highlights of the year in the area and the people of Govanhill always put on such a vibrant display representing the diversity and community spirit that makes Govanhill the special place that I’m proud to represent.”
Govanhill, which has historically welcomed migrants to Scotland, has residents from more than 40 countries speaking more than 60 languages.
Fatima Uygun, manager of Govanhill Baths Community Trust, which this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the neighbourhood protest that helped save the pool, said: “We’re thrilled to be able to deliver such a fantastic and diverse programme.
“Although it’s been difficult, the last year has highlighted the power and strength of the community. Everyone really rallied together to support one another. There’s never been a better time to celebrate Govanhill.”
The programme for the carnival, which is operating with social distancing, includes the second showing of Simon Murphy’s celebrated Govanhill Street Level photography series, Love Music Hate Racism’s Street Music Festival, and Stand Up To Racism Glasgow’s discussion about the protests that forced the Home Office to abandon a dawn raid on Kenmure Street in May.
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