We are celebrating still being around after ten years. It’s our birthday! Send us a monthly present here.
Here are a selection of some of the best writing from the last ten years of Bella. It’s not ‘The Best’ or the most ‘popular’, it’s a selection aiming to show some of the diversity of our content. It’s deliberately not in date sequence and is by no means ‘definitive’, we’ll do some other ‘best ofs’ in coming weeks as we celebrate Bella at 10. Some are short and very specific, some are long and sweeping, some are deeply personal memoirs, others are angry polemic, some are sad and poignant, others inspiring and challenging. Some are regular contributors – others wrote only once for us.
We visit Slovenia and Shetland, Iran and Auchenshuggle.
Several pieces stand-out. Peter Arnott’s Dinner with No Voters hit a nerve and went viral and makes truly tragic re-reading. Joan McAlpine’s analysis of gender and political engagement is really insightful – as is Laura Cameron-Lewis’s epic We Need to Talk about Leadership. There are obvious recurring themes that gets to the guts of what Bella is getting at. An Open Letter to the actor, James McAvoy, concerning the Highland Clearances by Kevin Williamson, as well as May Miles Thomas’s Hail the Epic Fail (both about film) and Alan Bissett’s Who Carries the Carriers? and Harry Giles Provocations for a Cultural Strategy are all about who creates culture in Scotland. Who is it by and who is it for?
Others reflect direct campaigns – Ceris Aston on the rape clause, Ewan Morrison on Occupy.
There’s darkness and light out there. Enjoy, share, re-read, disagree…
I Shall Vote No by A.R. Frith (2014)
Go Lassies Go by Joan McAlpine (2010)
Dinner with No Voters by Peter Arnott (2014)
The Shetland Card by George Rosie (2013)
Undocumented People Undocumented Stories by Rebecca Nada-Rajah (2011)
Vasili Arkhipov and the Last Tram to Auchenshuggle by Paul Tritschler (2016)
Scottish Independence and British Unity by Irvine Welsh (2013)
The Writing on the Wall by Neil Cooper (2017)
Changing Scotland’s State of Mind by David Greig (2015)
Unbeing, Estrangement and the Politics of Fear by AL Kennedy (2016)
Who Carries the Carriers? by Alan Bissett (2013)
Hail the Epic Fail by May Miles Thomas (2017)
An Open Letter to the actor, James McAvoy, concerning the Highland Clearances by Kevin Williamson (2011)
Large Scale Solidarity by Iain MacKinnon (2013)
Scotland Deformed by Kirsten Sterling (2010)
Time Up for Trident an the Union by Brian Quail (2009)
Provocations for a Culture Strategy by Harry Giles (2017)
The BBC: Blokes’ Broadcasting Corporation by Kirsty Strickland (2016)
Finding Scottish Art by Murdo Macdonald (2013)
Jim Kelman on James Connolly (2016)
GalGael 20 Years on by Gehan McLeod (2017)
We Need to talk about Leadership by Laura Cameron Lewis (2014)
The Bones of a Nation by Magnus Jamieson (2017)
The Pink Fire of Barcelona by Jen Stout (2016)
I’m Done with Being the Token by Shola Da Rocha (2017 )
Trump: the 1990s are Over by Alistair Davidson (2016)
Let the People Lead by Jean Urquhart (2013)
Are young women about to sink the Western Isles? by Lesley Riddoch (2007)
Scrap the Clause by Ceris Aston
From the Province of the Cat #36 – The Readiness Is All by George Gunn (2015)
Occupying a Non-Place by Ewan Morrison (2012)
Abandon Ship by Vonny Moyes (2014), from Closer #2
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