Initiated by artist Ailie Rutherford during a residency with Govanhill Baths Community Trust in 2015 and now collectively run, The People’s Bank of Govanhill has grown from series of currency experiments, ad-hoc exchanges, on-the-street discussions and workshops mapping intersecting local economies into a long term collaborative project. We continue to explore ways of putting feminist economics into practice at a local level, pushing for a radically different economic model and alternatives to capitalism.
The appropriation and re-interpretation of feminist economists JK Gibson-Graham’s “Economy as an Iceberg” diagram (from their book Take Back the Economy) has provided a useful metaphor in discussing existing local economies and the diverse economic practices supporting our everyday lives that often go unacknowledged.
The Economy As An Iceberg in Tina’s Chippy photographed by Bob Moyler
Mapping the Iceberg workshop series with Ailie Rutherford photographed by Bob Moyler
Our Swap Market exchange space opened in September 2018 transforming a former pawn shop into a space for swapping and sharing resources without the need for money. Swap Market ran until October 2020 as a skills and knowledge exchange, facilitating the exchange of goods, traditions and cultures. With over 2,000 members the project combined art and activism to instigate collective thinking on what a better economic model would look like, grown from the ground up. We held events, film screenings, talks, art installations and workshops on community commoning, action on climate change, degrowth and intersectional feminism in practice alongside games afternoons and mending sessions.
Since losing our physical space on Victoria Road Glasgow we have been delivering online events and interventions in public spaces. For more information on Swap Market visit swapmarket.info
Feminist Economies window drawing at Swap Market by Rae-Yen Song photographed by Najma Abukar
The People’s Bank of Govanhill is now looking at how we might incorporate digital technologies into this project. If we are inevitably moving towards a cashless society where machines and technology have an increased impact on our lives, we want to know how can we do this in a way that empowers people, enables us to share resources across networks, and meet our needs rather than allowing technology to further disempower people and exasperates inequality. Visit our blog pages for more info
Artists and activists who have collaborated with The People’s Bank of Govanhill and Swap Market include: Ailie Rutherford, Inga Zaiceva, Calina Toqir, Monster Chetwynd, Rabiya Choudhry, Ellie Harrison, Zara Kitson, Rae-Yen Song, Sibell Barrowclough, Usma Ashraf, Rahela Cirpaci, Altron Hamilton, Alaya Ang, Najma Abukar, Carmen Sawers, Brian Morgan, Nadine Gorency, Katherine MacKinnon, Caroline Darke, Shreya Agarwal, Bettina Nissen, Libby Odai, Chrissie Ardill, Vishwanath Pasumarthi, Foxy, Dania Thomas, Raman Mundair, Elaine Gallagher, Layla-Roxanne Hill, AB Silvera, Sapna Agarwal, Deniz Uster, Magpie, Rumpus Room, Nat Walpole and Bob Moyler
The People’s Bank of Govanhill is run by Feminist Exchange Network CIC. Our current board members are:
Ailie Rutherford (Artistic Director) Caroline Darke (Co-Director) Carmen Sawers (Treasurer) Eliska Bujokova (Secretary)
For for more information, to join our board of directors or become an associate member email us at firstname.lastname@example.org