Posted By Sandra Alland

Tomorrow night is the last instalment of Cachín Cachán Cachunga! for a while... Zorras will be presenting a new film and two new poetry-music performance entities. Also featuring the fabulous Miss Leggy Pee, K Anderson, Evan Greer and Lily. More info here. We're sad we might be saying good-bye to our beloved Cachín, but the times they are a-changin'... please join us for the party!

In other news, I wanted to say some nice things about Nick-E Melville and rodney relax's Throat Cuts Not Bonus Cuts at the Roxy on 7 October. These two poets are among Edinburgh's most interesting (and consequently, most ignored). They both gave fab readings, as did guest Jim Ferguson (one of Glasgow's best and most ignored poets). Performances by Wounded Knee (who creates amazing layered sound pieces) and Shellsuit Massacre (the high-energy poetry-music-video duo of Melville and relax) were also stellar. The night was lacking in women (it was just us Zorras) but overall was one of the best poetry-based events I've been to in ages.... down to the posters on the walls by amazing (and less-ignored) Scottish poet Tom Leonard, and other visual contributions from the newly-formed and intriguing Zoo Station. It was inspiring to see so many artists who are engaged politically and *also* making fascinating and challenging art.

Coming soon... Things I Can't Stand About Most Poetry Readings and Journals, or How Not To Treat Artists.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Our little queer and trans multimedia event, Cachín Cachán Cachunga!, is featured in the current issue of Scotland's The List. Check it out here.


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Tomorrow night is the 10th Cachín Cachán Cachunga! at The Street. The wonderful Andra Simons is in from London, don't miss him -- he's a rare treat. And his stellar new book is here with him. The Joshua Tales is available tomorrow night, and also from Tree House Press.  Cachín will also feature a new story from Hamish MacDonald and other yumminess. Dance the night away with DJ Supernowoczesna, too!

xo Now I'm going back to have fun with Andra, bye!

 


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

I want you to order these fantastic new zines published by Nine and www.jinxremoving.org You will not be sorry.

The first is Sex Industry Apologist. This zine contains Nine's bang-on critiques of media representations of sex work, and of the crap attitudes of mainstream feminists and other sex work abolitionists. The zine is also chock-full of Nine's brilliant reflections on her experiences working at a project for sex workers -- ranging from racism in sex work to the necessity for a sense of humour in a world full of assholes. Nine has a sweet knack for making her argument in a convincing way, without leaning to extremism or forgetting to allow for people's distinct situations in life. Plus she's damn funny.

The second zine is The Collected Scathings of Ioana Poprowka. Poprowka is a pseudonymic queer trans woman who wrote for Scotland's The Skinny for two years. Her "scathings" (which are remarkably lacking in the bitterness one might expect from that word) cover such topics as trans representation in the media and pop culture, passing, the separation of trans identity from sexuality, and the right to change your gender on official documents. I was especially pleased to see Poprowka's excellent critique of Edinburgh Festival's Ladyboys of Bangkok and the "cloying stench of the freakish" in the way the show is presented to the public... that show's marketing has always left me feeling a bit sick. Poprowka writes about difficult (and sometimes enraging) topics with balance and an admirable thoughtfulness. She also switches between personal essays and media critiques with ease and skill.

Nine will be reading from Poprowka's work at the next  Cachín Cachán Cachunga, 16 February at The Street in Edinburgh.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Cachin Cachan Cachunga was fantastic, as per usual (despite some technical difficulties at The Street, as per usual!). Highlights were the second-ever reading by zinester Nine (which was both funny and moving), an intensely powerful film by Kristiane Taylor, bellydance by Lily, and assisted film curation by the fantastic Screen Bandita. Thanks to everyone for coming out. We're taking a break until December or January to deal with the harsh realities of life... we'll let you know when we're back.

In more depressing news, I watched an episode of Panorama that focused on racism in the UK. It was devastating. Two Asian reporters went undercover for eight weeks in South Mead, an estate in Bristol (similar to many housing estates in the UK). They were harassed every single time they left their home. With hidden cameras, the reporters managed to record the horrific attacks. The man was punched and told to walk on the road so a car would kill him. Children and teens threw bottles and cans of Coke at the woman, and threw rocks and balloons full of water at the back of her head from close range. Men mooned her and threatened her. An 11-year-old told her he had a gun and to hand over her purse, said he would cut her throat next time he saw her, then threatened her with a brick. Both reporters were called "Taliban" and "smelly Paki", and told "Go away, Iraq is that way". It was constant and horrifying, and nearly drove the reporters (who were both born in the UK and had never experienced such treatment) to nervous breakdowns in two short months. I was especially freaked by the behaviour of the children.

Currently the racist British Nationalist Party holds 100 seats in Britain, and recently won two seats in the European parliament. They are being permitted to take part if public debate as if they are a legitimate political party, and are screaming about freedom of speech and the "oppression of the white indigenous majority" in Britain. This is serious shit. Last year, there were 20000 more (reported) incidents of racial assault in the UK than the previous year. The propaganda of the BNP is hate speech, pure and simple... it incites people to violence, and also targets and takes advantage of the poor and uneducated.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

A lot of things were stolen from me this summer, the least of which was my wallet. Strangely, it arrived in the post the other day (minus my credit cards and the small amount of money I had, of course). But thanks to the thief who left my driver's license and other important things behind... you're kinder than some.

Tomorrow is Cachin Cachan Cachunga! at The Street, 2 Picardy Place. Featuring Nine, Kristiane Taylor, Lily, Zorras and some serious and silly films about freedom of speech. More info here.

In other news, I read an article in the Observer about government research into racism in the UK -- the results are not very surprising, but it's good to see them published. When applying for jobs, people of Asian and African descent have to apply for almost twice as many jobs as their white British counterparts (even with the exact same British education and experience) before receiving an interview. I have to say I have found the racism here (coupled with nationalist fervour, whether British, English or Scottish) to be extremely virulent and very very disturbing... the things people say and do are disgusting.

In more positive news, there is an exciting new small press in our midst. It's called tree house press and has just released its first two publications, both of which are stellar. Snapshots of the Boy by Shaun Levin and the long-awaited Joshua Tales by Andra Simons are available from treehousepress.ukATgmail.com. Please check them out, they are gorgeous.

xo

 

 


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Cachín Cachán Cachunga! just keeps getting better and better! Last night both Stuart Crawfrod and Pat Cunningham had their debut performances, and both were stellar! Crawford's inspired Nick Cave-esque singing was accompanied by his excellent and creepy photos. Cunningham's poetry was accompanied by gorgeous drawings by Rabiya Choudhry. We were also treated to a new film by Anna Urbanowska and dance by Lily. Zorras performed two new poem/song-like entities, and people seemed to dig them. Yay for Cachín! More queer and trans poetry, music, dance, video and photography next month. Info here.

In other news, here's a Guardian article about the censorship of queer art at GoMA (and elsewhere...)

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

"And if you can't trust your friends? What then? What then..."

The opening and closing lines of Danny Boyle's crackin Shallow Grave. Just watched it again for the first time since 1994. It's still great stuff, a wonderful thriller (set in creepy Edinburgh). But I also got new things out of it, and saw it as an intense metaphor for betrayal in general. The things that happen are so over-the-top, but give such startling imagery for what it's like to be "stabbed in the back" by a loved one (in this case stabbed in the front, and then the knive gets twisted deeper haha) that I couldn't help but think the whole story was a creative way of illustrating a more "normal" (and non-filmic) betrayal. Whatever the case, it's grand. And scary and sad.

Other grand things: Rabiya Choudhry's part in Diaspora at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Choudhry is a fantastic local artist who explored her mixed heritage (Scottish and Pakistani) and how it has impacted her art and her life. The work was deeply personal, and deeply moving. The world needs more Rab. Catch an interview with her about the project here.

And EVERYONE at last night's Cachin Cachan Cachunga was grand! Seriously, Carolyn Anona Scott sang like an angel, Ariadna Battich's film brought a tear to more than a few eyes, Kristi Taylor's reading was hilarious and her artwork stunning, and Lily danced the most powerful piece I've seen her do yet. Thanks to Anna, Jesus (not the lord and saviour one the Grassmarket one), Rebeca Pla and The Street for all the help! Next month is Rabiya Choudhry, Pat Cunningham, Gein Wong and of course Lily and Zorras. 7:30 on 15 September at The Street.

xoxoxo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Info on the next stellar installation of Cachin Cachan Cachunga (the monthly queer and trans cabaret at The Street), available here.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Last night's Cachín Cachán Cachunga was superstellarfantastico! Loads of people came, despite the rare summery weather. Gorgeous reading from Sophie Mayer, and crackin films from Evi Tsiligaridou and Karen Miranda Augustine. And Lily and Alejandro danced the roof off! Zorras ended up doing an extra late-night, totally unplugged set, which was really fun. And we sold all the Maricones we brought! (Contact me if you want one cuz there are only 50.) Thanks to everyone for coming out.

soph evi

Sophie Mayer                                                        Rab & Evi & Isi!

lili

Lily & Alejandro
unplugged

Zorras Unplugged

In other news, I also dig this beatboxer, Lasse Gjertsonwww.youtube.com/watch

xoxo


 


 
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