Meet the Speaker – Darren McGarvey

Darren McGarvey, otherwise known as Loki, is a Scottish rapper, social commentator and author of Orwell prize winning Poverty Safari. We are thrilled to have Darren joining us as a speaker at our Annual Conference in November, where he will give insight into his own experience of poverty and social housing.

What do you think the future holds for the housing sector when Brexit goes ahead?:
Like every other sector, a sudden shock to the economy will place significant social and cultural strain on some of our most challenged communities. While it is certainly true that many of those communities were already not fairing too well within the EU, it’s also true that significant resources were pooled from across the continent to regenerate them.

I am concerned that the UK government will use Brexit as justification for more austerity. The great irony is that those who voted to leave the EU will be hit hardest by aftermath.*

Do you think Poverty Safari helps shine a light on the issues faced by lower income families when it comes to housing?
I certainly intended it to. The book attempts to lay out the broader context, where life for many in challenged communities is concerned. It begins with an emotional and psychological analysis which attempts to illustrate how many attitudes, lifestyles and circumstances are shaped by the stressful and hostile environments in which they were born. This aspect is often overlooked.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?:
There is no ‘outside of work’ for me just now. I’m usually working, travelling to work, preparing for work or recovering from it. If I do get some free time I almost always spend it with my family, though given how young my children are, this could not be characterised as ‘relaxing’. I can always sleep when I’m dead.

*editor’s note: read Georgina Shackell Green’s thoughts on Brexit here.

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