Interview: Pink Peacock – די ראָזעווע פּאַווע

Pink Peacock is a queer, Yiddish, anarchist café and infoshop located in Govanhill, Southside. It runs as a pay-what-you-can space, serving a range of vegan food and non-alcoholic drinks (there are suggested prices on the menu, but it is up to you if and what you pay.) Pink Peacock operates as a community interest company (CIC), meaning they are not-for-profit and staffed by volunteers. As well as functioning as a café, it is an “arts and social space” and they regularly host community groups and queer and Jewish artists. A link to their events calendar can be found here:

I visited the café recently and spoke to Joe Isaac (she/her) a member of Pink Peacock’s team.

Q. What motivated you to adopt a ‘pay what you can’ approach?

A. The need for low cost/free food in Glasgow motivated this approach; on a wider scale many of us have our own experiences of food insecurity so naturally this was a motivation. There are also many barriers around access to free food, not everyone feels comfortable in places like food banks or does not want to take something solely for free. Our system means there is anonymity within payment because you order your food and then you can pay or not. We know that some people don’t pay so it is working.  I would urge any business or space to transfer to a pay-what-you-can approach because it creates a much more accessible space.

Q. Can you tell me about the intersectionality between a Yiddish and queer space? Why is it so important to have a space like this?

A. We identified what the community needs, there is a large queer community in Govanhill so naturally having a queer space made sense.  There are many other brilliant queer spaces in Glasgow, but we noticed a gap in the queer nightlife scene of sober spaces, especially ones open in the evening/late. Being Yiddish is a big part of our identity and many Jewish spaces that already exist have barriers to queerness.

Q. What does a CIC (community interest company) mean to you and what is it like working within one?

A. A CIC is the closest legal term we can use to fit what we are as an anarchist space. Community interest companies act as a midground between a charity and a company. We’re non-profit and run entirely by volunteers, but it is possible to be a for-profit CIC and have paid workers. Being a CIC means that all the company’s assets are owned by the community (instead of individual owners or shareholders), and that if we closed, all our assets would be transferred to another CIC. Additionally, we’re non-hierarchical and every worker is a collective member with decision-making power, but this isn’t how most CICs operate.

Q. How does the working environment differ to that of a capitalist, profit-focused enterprise?

A. Our work is divided into what everyone can do. There is a huge level of trust within the collective, so each member chooses how they work. People have a misconception that if you are self-organised nothing gets done and this is not the case! One significant difference that we have found is it is easy to over-extend yourself as you care so deeply about the space and community, so it is important to have boundaries. The well-being of the collective should always be prioritised.

A point of frustration we’ve had as a space is that some people assume we’re in confrontation with other local businesses because of the way we operate. But on the contrary, we work in collaboration with local businesses, grassroots organisations, and our neighbours to help the whole community.

[Sophie Taylor-Davies – she/her]


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