Canal Programme
Canal Programme

business as usual: hostile environment is a new body of work by artist Alberta Whittle that explores the colonial history of the Forth and Clyde canal and the role of waterways in the voluntary and involuntary movement of people. Whittle has produced a new film and a series of audio works intended to be listened to as people go along the Forth and Clyde canal, in their own time and at their own pace.

Whittle’s new works are informed by collective thinking, making and discussion with Glasgow-based artists, writers, communities and community leaders, including Councillor Graham Campbell, Francis Dosoo, Maryhill Integration Network’s Joyous Choir, Adebusola Ramsay, Rema Zeka Sherifi and Anastasia Maria Tariq.

The works reflect on waterways as sites of renewal and regeneration – focusing our attention on how the architecture of the city continues to shape and impact communities and our understandings of austerity, poverty, race and class.

The project was originally begun in 2019. While ‘ business as usual’ may now seem impossible, Whittle’s work is a reminder that we are not experiencing a singular crisis but the warp and weft of multiple and enduring crises: racist and imperial immigration policies and violent austerity ‘measures’ are very much still at work.


Commissioned by Glasgow Sculpture Studio’s Learning and Engagement Programme

This project is made possible through partnerships with Carnival Arts, Glasgow International and Maryhill Integration Network.

Supported by EventScotland in celebration of the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Glasgow Connected Arts Network, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Events within this programme will be ticketed. More information and tickets from 19 May.



More about the artists