Darren McGarvey aka Loki


I was excited to be going to see this man yesterday, and hopeful of him being my “A Portrait a Day” , my project on Instagram. I had heard lots of really positive things about him even before his book “Poverty Safari” became the massive hit is has now become. I had watched some You Tube videos (My number one source for all my research) of his, he has been pretty prolific of late, and really loved his way of thinking, and he does a lot of thinking! This particular talk was taking place at the prestigious Strathallan School

“Strathallan School is situated in 153 acres of picturesque, rural Perthshire and is within easy reach of Edinburgh and Glasgow with their international airports. Our safe, green setting and our stunning campus provide the perfect environment for an all-round, progressive education that is focused on bringing out the best in every pupil.”

I arrived and parked up in the massive grounds and asked a group of 3 young students where the theatre was. They were lovely and said they would take me, as we chatted I learnt that the one girls parents were working in Saudi Arabia, so you get the set up.

Darren commanded the room of mainly 6th form pupils very quickly, building up a rapport, a skill he sees as one of the most important factors in getting people from different communities to talk to each other , and that in turn is how some of the anger the poor and disenfranchised feel towards the wealthy,  and the apathy and contempt the better off feel towards the poor, can be somewhat dissipated.

I love how he covers all aspects of inequality calling himself out for his mistakes and shortcomings while asking us, his audience to do the same of ourselves.

Diplomatic and wise, sometimes controversial , (always for a reason, I feel)  I really enjoyed the talk and Q and A , he has a lovely way with him, sometimes answering in different ways, showing how the same things can look different depending on your point of view, and when he laughs he really laughs, his face opening up in a wide grin.


As with all the pics in this series , I do it real quick. At each event I get my camera and flash out as the event is about to end, and as discreetly as possible get it ready, then I assess how much time I have to get the shot.

Last night had to be real quick, Darren was on his way out so I had to jump in and ask before he left, he was lovely and said  “sure where do you want it?” Red/ black  curtain behind where he stood, thought get him in middle to try and show that dichotomy he sometimes has when addressing issues. Corny? Maybe, but I am trying to think more about backgrounds if I can.

And if it wasn’t for this project and the self imposed rules I would never have had the courage to ask him in the first place!

One love all