The Last Rag & Bone Man
View the trailer, here.
The premieré work of Pidgin Perfect discussed theme of the 'Collective Urban Identity', and explored the effects of the loss of sentiment and living heritage in the East End of Glasgow.
In our research we realised that as part of the gentrification of this part of Glasgow there developed a conflict between ‘territory’ and ‘place’, 'community' and the 'gentrified domain', 'authentic characters' and 'commodified idealised images'. It was at this point that we came
across the personality of Davie Welsh, an old man who used to be a trader at the now closed Paddy’s Market.
It transpired that he was and is perhaps the last living 'rag and bone man' of Glasgow. The term stems from a very old tradition; he travelled the city with his horse and cart exchanging goods for rags, his life's profession providing him a unique perspective of the city’s varying
territories and their gradual disappearance.
To capture this remarkable character, his story and loss of a way of life we filmed several interviews with Davie Welsh which is now forming a documentary entitled 'The Last Rag and Bone Man.' The documentary however, is much more than a simple interview; it is set
during Christmas time during a period of great financial austerity and so we contrast Davie's description of the past with images of the super commodified present and the desperate frenzy of the festive period.
The documentary, around 30 minutes long, also features a fantastic original score by Drew Divers of 'Horse Shoes', a band from Ohio now based in Brooklyn.