Y2kids: A Short Film Exploring Youth Culture In Glasgow by RawTape
RawTape is an artist based in Glasgow that I met a couple of times during my visits to the North of England and Scotland. Besides showing me pubs, clubs and pints, he holds a deep appreciation and love for youth culture and UK subcultures. If you’re lucky enough to hang out with him, you will find out about all the lovely and authentic bits that make the UK to such a still vivid place for diverse underground scenes.
Since RawTape keeps things very low key, you actually will have a hard time finding this guy to offer him the next drink. Luckily, he blessed us with his first short film about youth culture in Glasgow. From Brexit to Scotland’s wish for independence, the Glaswegian youth is under pressure and energetic like crazy to find their own ways in this messy reality.
The film explores the activities the cities youth are using to express, entertain and distract themselves in such a time of politically charged environment
Directed, shot and edited by RawTape, the film compiles short clips he has captured in the streets of Glasgow over the past 2 years. The film takes its viewer on a day in the life of a young person in Glasgow, firstly exploring the contentious aspects of their environment they must navigate before documenting the activities and cultures in which they partake to help guide them through adolescence in Scotland's Biggest City.
To find out more about the film and RawTape’s vision and idea I’ve added a small interview below, but make sure to watch the film first:
Y2kids: A Short Film Exploring Youth Culture In Glasgow by RawTape
So I guess the first thing to ask is why make a film about youth culture in Glasgow?
Obviously like most young people youth culture within our own cities is something we're all somewhat involved and interested in but what spurred me to try and document how young people were entertaining and expressing themselves in Glasgow stemmed mostly from the research I did for my dissertation as a history student. I managed to convince my adviser to allow me to write my dissertation on the Acid house movement and its relation/subversion of the Thatcher government under which it flourished. Researching, reading and watching so many sources about youth culture in the late 80s early 90s and its relation to the politics of the era made me want to try and document some of the youth culture that surrounded me in Glasgow and having already been involved in filming a couple pseudo-skate videos myself it wasn’t much of a jump to start filming the other things young people we're doing to entertain and express themselves in Glasgow.
You mention the relation between politics and youth culture and you can be seen to explore some of the political issues present in Scotland, how do you think these relate to Youth culture in Glasgow?
The purpose of the intro was to portray some of the polarising political issues young people in Glasgow have to traverse as part of their environment. I think the relation between those issues represented in the film and youth culture in Glasgow isn’t really a relation but a rejection as young people find ways to rebel against their parent culture/government and escape them, allowing them to forget about the impending doom of Brexit e.t.c and just focus on enjoying being young. This is something I attempted to portray in the film with juxtaposition of the 3 flags (Union Jack, Saltire and EU), which represent the most contentious issues in Scottish politics, and the same flags covered with the Acid House Smile to illustrate how youth culture is able to surpass the many polarising ideologies present in Glasgow and bring people together regardless of football team, or political inclination; you leave them at the door and it’s just about having fun.
So why shoot did you choose to shoot on MiniDV?
There’s a few reasons really. Firstly it wasn’t really a choice; I had always shot 35mm on the streets but since poundland stopped selling film and I had ran out of Art school students I could convince to develop my film I decided to find a cheaper way of making images. I already had a hi8 so began to use that, filming the streets instead, but it was a pain to lug around so I downsized to a MiniDV that was easy to always have on me and take into clubs, raves and festivals. It cost me £30 with 12 tapes that I could just reuse so I didn’t have to spend another penny and could do everything myself, filming, converting and editing the footage at home so it was the most DIY way I found to make what I wanted to create. Obviously there’s a real aversion to lofi tape footage at the moment and I think that’s good because it means anyone can pick up a cheap camera and make a video without having to spend loads of money on a 4K camera or developing super8 film. I think the aversion to it is pretty valid because the medium is specific to our generation, as the first people with access to consumer camcorders we’re the only ones that will have ever grown up making and watching videos on tape because the technology has now been surpassed. In that sense we're the only people in history or the future that will have a genuine connection and understanding with videotape, almost our very own way of viewing the world.
Skate videos have and still rely heavily on camcorders and video tape, were they an inspiration for the video?
I’d say skate videos were one of my main influences, yes, but ones that portrayed the environment in which they where being filmed. Memory Screen was really important in that sense as it went beyond just capturing tricks to documenting an era a lot of people could relate to. Along with this I always loved the hijinx in videos like Baker 3, RDS and ‘sex,hood,skate and videotape’ (to name a few) I just always thought it gave you the opportunity to learn a bit more about who the people were and that definitely influenced some of the things I tried to capture when I was out filming, and in the skate sections of the video as I tried to portray a bit more about them than just the tricks they could do. But to be honest I was influenced by all the taped videos I had grown up watching as a kid, Grime videos like Risky Roadz and Practice Hours influenced me to to just go out and capture people around me who were performing and making music while ones made were I grew up like ‘CCC- Preston City’ and ‘M16 - Round here’ influenced me in what I filmed as they seemed to subvert the purpose of what camcorders were invented for, capturing the parts of society people would usually try to hide as can also be seen in graff vids like system tumours. They made me want to catch a glimpse of all the stuff people would usually avoid or sweep under the rug and document it.