Glasgow & West Scotland

'Glasgow effect' photographer wins award

girl running Image copyright Kirsty Mackay
Image caption Kirsty Mackay's award will allow her project exploring the 'Glasgow effect' to be facilitated

A photographer has won an award for her project exploring life in Glasgow.

Glasgow-born Kirsty Mackay has been awarded the Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award, which was set up to honour the late photojournalist.

Ms Mackay won the prize for her project exploring the Glasgow effect, a term often used to describe the disparity in health and life expectancy in the city.

The project is titled The Fish that Never Swam, in reference to Glasgow's coat of arms.

Ms Mackay's narrative photography project came in response to 2016 research by NHS Scotland and The Glasgow Centre for Population Health, which addressed the impact housing and overcrowding had on the life expectancy of Glaswegians.

Image copyright Kirsty Mackay
Image caption Glasgow's decline of heavy industry combined with failed housing policies have had an impact on life expectancy, according to a 2016 study (Bridge Street)

Some of her family have already featured in her photos.

The prize will allow Ms Mackay, who now lives in Bristol, to make more visits to Glasgow to complete and develop the project, and undertake a three-week residency.

The Rebecca Vassie Memorial Award was set up in 2016 to help early-career photographers develop their careers.

Image copyright Kirsty Mackay
Image caption The photographer's first book, My Favourite Colour Was Yellow, explored the prevalence of the colour pink for young girls in the UK

Rebecca Vassie was an international photojournalist who moved to Uganda for work. Her photos were published in The Guardian and The Washington Post and she worked on longer projects with Uganda's transgender community and Olympic hopefuls.

She died unexpectedly in 2015 at the age of 30 from complications related to an asthma attack while documenting a refugee community.

Image copyright Kirsty Mackay
Image caption Mackay, a social documentary photographer, focuses her work on social injustice

Rebecca's mother, Janet Vassie, judged this year's award alongside curators Karen McQuaid and Jennifer Thatcher, photographer Ben Bird and BBC News' Matthew Tucker.

As part of the award Ms Mackay has been awarded mentoring and a bursary of £1,250, as well as support to help her publish or exhibit her work.

Image copyright Kirsty Mackay
Image caption Kirsty's photos have a strong emphasis on the people of Glasgow

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