Darren McGarvey is the Orwell-prize winning writer and activist known to many as rapper Loki. His book ‘Poverty Safari: Understanding The Anger of Britain’s Underclass’, published in 2017, showed the very real impact growing up poor can have on families.
Anthony Adonis, Labour peer and chair of the judging panel said of McGarvey’s Poverty Safari: “George Orwell would have loved this book. It echoes ‘Down and Out in London and Paris’ and ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’.
“It is heart-rending in its life story and its account of family breakdown and poverty. But by the end there is not a scintilla of self-pity and a huge amount of optimism. It made me see the country and its social condition in a new light.”
Now McGarvey has returned to the issues examined in Poverty Safari for a new six-part television series.
In Darren McGarvey’s Scotland, he travels across his homeland to highlight what he sees as the rampant rise of poverty. McGarvey meets people living in poverty, assesses the physical and mental health impacts of their situations, and confronts the problems associated with economic inequality and the futile prospect of social mobility.
Television, unfortunately, had been a large part of the problem
It is hard hitting stuff. But McGarvey is a host who knows these worlds and issues well. We asked McGarvey why this series felt like the next natural step in the wake of his Orwell Prize win, and what he wanted to achieve with his alternative travelogue around Scotland, which begins in Dundee – where he reflects on his own personal history of poverty and addiction.