Govenhill/GovanHell. ©J. Sutton-Hibbert 2001

(See photographs of Govanhill, Glasgow.)

Driving to work, driving around, driving back, I’d see it all the time, one word, scrawled on a wall- GOVANHELL.

Then I saw it on a bus shelter too- GovanHell. It was time to get the camera out. Time to go explore the mean streets of Govanhill district of Glasgow. Time to see why the residents thought it was hell.

Govanhill is traditionally an area where new immigrants to Glasgow first land. The Irish, then Pakistanis and Bangladeshi, and now Slovakian roma. A right little pot pourri of culture. You walk down streets with shops selling bedraggled vegetables with signs written in strange scripts. Men with unusual fashions hang around the streets. Shops declare their prices for cheap lager on dayglo card signs stuck in windows. Swimming pools get closed and the neighbourhood riots and protests.

I met Davy, or as he was entered in my phone ‘Davy Snake’, due to a picture I shot of him with his pet snake. I photographed protestors, one of whom was beautiful and maybe didn’t realise it. She kindly bought me two rolls and sausage.

Govanhill. Govanhell.

(See photographs of Govanhill, Glasgow.)

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