Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities
5. Commonwealth Games mascot, Clyde and the Scottish white paper on independence, Dr. Jonathan Duckett
The nation is an important geographical scale around which people organise their identity and politics. These objects represent the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the Scottish independence referendum, two significant events in the national life of Scotland during the year 2014 that have formed the basis of my PhD research.
Clyde, the friendly green thistle mascot designed by 12 year old Beth Gilmour, is one of many ways in which Scotland chose to represent itself to the world during the sporting event. I investigated how young people understood such national representations and their own sense of identity at this time. In particular, the views of 16 and 17 year olds, who became the first citizens in the UK to vote at this age during the independence referendum. I discovered how their newfound right to vote enabled them to actively re-imagine and re-shape Scotland’s future by mobilising politically as citizens.