Civic MacBough Goes To Town


  • Issie MacPhail University of Glasgow


The ‘assets’ over which social movements in the Scottish Highlands and Islands have most famously acted in the past two hundred years are usually summed up in one word: land. In recent years however this conceptualisation has been broadened to include concern over ‘intangible’ assets too. These are things which cannot be bought and sold such as language, poetry, the aesthetics of land and sea, stories, histories, songs and even ‘heritage’ (Braunholtz-Speight et al. 2011)[1]. This intervention provides a brief history of one social movement which emerged a decade ago in the north west mainland of Scotland: The Mackay Country Community Trust Ltd (MCCT). Their events sub-group is called Family MacBough. I begin by describing MCCT’s emergence and purpose, and then develop a vignette of the cultural and economic conditions which these people are confronting. This serves to tell the story of how and why Family MacBough went ‘to town’ to participate in the Civic Geographies session, and what that meant to Mackay Country activists.

[1] It is clear that these other kinds of assets, described by practitioners as ‘intangible assets’, have been the subject of protest and activism in the past several hundred years. A good example is the Gaelic language itself.




How to Cite

MacPhail, I. (2015). Civic MacBough Goes To Town. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 14(2), 401–412. Retrieved from