There are times when a country needs troublemakers. This is one.”
Ian Hamilton QC
National Collective was founded by a small group of artists and writers based in Edinburgh in 2011. Since then it has grown significantly across Scotland with over 1,400 members. It is the non-party movement for artists and creatives who support Scottish independence.
Our organisation was founded with the aims of arguing the positive case for Scottish independence and imagining a better Scotland.
We have local groups growing in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Stirling, Inverness and Aberdeen. Yet we hope to reach every Scottish city, town, village and community before September 2014. Our local groups provides National Collective members with the opportunity to meet each other, collaborate and to contribute creatively to the wider Yes campaign.
In April 2013 we rose to notoriety after we stood up to the world’s largest oil trading company, Vitol Group, when they and No campaign donor Ian Taylor threatened to take legal action against us in an attempt to silence us. They backed down.
We support independence because of the opportunity that comes with the ultimate creative act – creating a new nation. And we believe that to get there, we need to inspire and engage the people of Scotland in a way that has never been seen before.
From small beginnings, the National Collective website had over 80,000 visitors in April. It has the potential to inspire a tidal-wave of change, confidence and creativity across Scotland.
With your help our movement will grow.
What Our Members Say
Alan Bissett – Award Winning Author, Performer and Playwright, Glasgow
National Collective is a great place for artists to come together and talk about the benefits (and possibly even some of the drawbacks!) of independence. Scotland is an incredibly creative country, which punches well above its weight in music, literature, theatre, the visual arts and fashion, and I want to be part of the exciting, new country to which these forces will contribute. National Collective is the focal point for that, helping transform Scotland with the power of imagination.”
Lou Hickey – Vintage Pop Singer, Glasgow
National Collective is a wonderful tool to help spread the positive opportunities independence could bring to Scotland. And it offers a great opportunity for creative voices in Scotland to discuss independence without any affiliation to political parties.”
Kirsty Keatch – Musician, Edinburgh
I am excited about how National Collective is encouraging the hopes and aspirations of creative Scots. Sometimes our dreams are impractical, but Scotland’s inventiveness, resourcefulness and creativity is a key to their realisation. I am fed up of negative and destructive attempts to play down Scotland through the media. Showcasing and encouraging Scotland’s contemporary art, music and talent makes a positive and crucial statement, building the confidence that is needed to take that leap of faith from indifference to independence.
Alex Aitchison – Photographer and Illustrator, Aberdeen
Images have always played an important role in shaping our identity, our culture and our perspective on history. Art has an immeasurable power to influence people, to inspire ideas and to motivate change. To be an art student in the run up to the referendum allows me to contribute in my own way towards a more confident Scotland. 2014 will be the year I graduate. What better way to begin my professional career than as part of a growing, progressive creative industry in Scotland.
“National Collective is laying the groundwork for a new cultural landscape to emerge. Encouraging creative potential by bringing together a broad spectrum of artists, National Collective is engaging in Scotland’s constitutional debate in a fresh and positive manner that can only be good for the country.”
What Others Say
The most significant cultural voice to emerge in the referendum debate so far.”
Andrew Whitaker, The Scotsman, 16th July 2013
Pro-independence voices within the Scottish arts have allowed their imaginations far freer reign than any political party would dare allow. Key amongst these voices is National Collective, which has, with fresh eyes, raw talent and unconventional thinking, enlivened and improved the quality of the independence campaign immeasurably.”
Sean Bell, PopMatters, 26th July 2013
A lively mix of political and cultural comment and songs and poems.”
Andrew Eaton-Lewis, Scotland on Sunday, 1 September 2013
National Collective is trying to find a new, positive, Scottish form of expression. Its website is replete with bolshy videos, literature and artwork.”
John McDermott, The Financial Times, 26th July 2013
National Collective have created projects which have really worked and engaged younger audiences. “
Blair Jenkins, Yes Scotland, 11th September 2013
Whatever your thoughts on the independence referendum, the National Collective, slogan “Artists and creatives for Scottish independence”, and its many supporters, is an impressive exercise in momentum-building, advocacy, organisation, and, for some, inspiration. In the cultural/political sphere, one can only see its membership and, perhaps, clout, burgeoning in the coming year.
It has provided a forum for some articulate thoughts about Scotland and its possible future. One wonders, too, whether it represents the foundation of something new in Scotland, and long-needed, a collective, grassroots voice for and from the artistic world not tethered to existing institutions.”
Phil Miller, The Herald, 21 September 2013
The National Collective asked a country’s most creative minds to “imagine a better Scotland” – and now the idea is taking hold.”
Cal Flyn, New Statesman, 26 September 2013
The joyous and plain brilliant group of (mainly) young artists and creatives who have made this campaign fun.”
Robin McAlpine, The Common Weal Project, 30 September 2013