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

"Scottish-Canadian poet Sandra Alland and musician Y. Josephine have a more experimental take on spoken word performance than your average word-spitter. Having emerged from the Edinburgh queer cabaret scene a few years ago, Zorras deliver their musical stories bilingually, mixing text, sound poetry, percussion, guitar, megaphones, singing and projected visual images. Though I'd wager their live performance is more true to their artistic vision than an audio recording, they are still interesting on CD, mixing it up between more musical numbers like the guitar-folk 'Nest' and more radio-dramatized pieces like 'Here's To Wang." I personally love the 'In the Details' spoken interludes, humorous musings on the idiosyncrasies of the Bulgarian language." - Curve Magazine, Feburary 2010

In other news, Cachín Cachán Cachunga is Tuesday at 7:30pm at The Street. Don't miss Alison Smith and Penny Stenhouse. Also Zorras and Lily, and a few filmic and musical surprises!

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Hi all -

I put together this demo of Zorras' performances, photos and recordings from the past two years. It should be up soon, if youtube ever processes it... (is the internet getting slower and slower in general, or is it just the bloody UK!?)

With thanks to Ariadna Battich, Teo Vlad and Evi Tsiligaridou. And love always to Y.

Enjoy... Zorras Demo 2010.

xo

ps when will this snow stop????????


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Happy new year!

My dear friend M recently told me that visual artist and actor ed fielding passed away. This is the last I saw of ed; he was briefly a co-parent of my also dearly departed hedgehog, Looloolooloo, when I moved to Scotland. Perhaps they are hanging together in the afterlife...

ed and lulu

I remember dancing with ed at Theatre Passe Muraille, and he was weird and wonderful to work with in a play I co-wrote and took to the New York Fringe in 2002. I dug up a few old reviews of the show, because of course ed always got a mention! Here's a spot-on summary of him: "Another highlight is a surreal moment captured by the enigmatic, Fellini-like persona of ed fielding (spelled in lower case). He plays the Waiter who lip synchs to a pre-recorded message on a hand-size tape player the synopsis of the story we are about to see. His long, wiry body; his deep, luring, monotone voice; and his frizzled eyebrows sprouting from his narrow head add a sense of intrigue and wonderment to his speech." (nytheatre.com). More reviews here.

Rest in peace, ed. For those of you on Facebook, you can visit a page for ed here.

In other losses, Edinburgh lost one of its last indie DVD rental shops, quietly and suddenly, just before the holidays. It seems the amazing Euro Films has closed its doors. Obtaining foreign and independent films just got even more difficult...

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Thanks to all the swell folks who came to the opening of A Spot of b)other (see previous entry for more info). It was a nice celebration despite the weather, and despite the fact that most of the lights are burned out in the gallery, the staff was rather cold, and our zine and display were labelled "explicit" at the last moment without consultation. No one would answer my questions about it at the time, but apparently this is because it has the word "fuck". I think "strong language" would have sufficed, and being told about it would have shown some basic respect... (not to mention I've seen the word fuck in GoMA before, and without a warning).

This kind of thing doesn't help much to eliminate the stereotype that all queer, trans and disabled work is pornographic (or to eliminate rumours of GoMA's insensitivity). When people hear the word "explicit", they think of sex. And this zine is sadly lacking in sex, quite frankly. As well as the label being culturally insensitive, people will be so darn confused! We will just have to make the next issue the porn issue.

Ah, well, onwards and upwards. I'm quite pleased with the show itself (the bother collective is stellar), and you can catch it for free until 21 February (if all the lights don't burn out before then...)

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Check out the London Review of Books blog. Eileen Myles forwarded me this powerful article by Jenny Diski on Roman Polanski being made out to be a victim because the U.S. wants him extradicted on rape charges... 

I have to say I'm especially disappointed by Whoopi Goldberg...

xox


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Reminder:

Sandra Alland Open Studio, with members of the b)other collective
Thursday 5 November
Trongate 103 Visting Artist Studio
(located at 103 Trongate, Glasgow)
3-5pm and 6-9pm
Free!

(see previous post for more info)

In other news, Matthew Jebb has started a new radio show on Edinburgh's Fresh Air. Listen at 11pm here. Zorras song-poem thingamobobbies will be played!

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Friday the 30th was Screen Bandita's exciting The Eruption of Kilauea and Other Treasures! What a fantastic night of screenings of 16mm film projects with live music (and poems and stories) from Zorras, Raise Your Hem, Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo Buffalo and Will Pickvance! Special thanks to Tim the Sound Guy. More info here!

In other news, as some of you know, I'm currently an artist-in-residence at GoMA and Trongate 103. In July I founded a collective called b)other, and together we've created a zine called A Spot of b)other (plus a lot of other things). See here for a preview in The Skinny!

An exhibition of our work (A Spot of b)other: LBGTI Deaf and Disabled Cultures) starts at GoMA on 25 November, but next week I have an Open Studio at Trongate 103 in Glasgow.

Sandra Alland Open Studio, with members of the b)other collective
Thursday 5 November
Trongate 103 Visting Artist Studio
(located at 103 Trongate, Glasgow)
3-5pm and 6-9pm
Free!

You can drop by, see the work we've been doing and chat with the artists. Also, we will have refreshments! Also, in the evening the rest of Trongate 103 (a fantastic new arts space with many galleries) will also have an open house. Please invite your friends and family!

b)other is Sandra Alland, Stuart Crawford, Nathan Gale, Y Josephine, Jennie Kermode, Rebeca Pla, Alison Smith, Penny Stenhouse and Kristiane Taylor.

You can also have a sneak-peak at my documentary about LGBTI immigrants to Scotland... featuring Nine, Janet, Y Josephine, Kika O and Rebeca Pla.

Other than that I'm out of commission for a while, maybe be back in late November...
xox


 
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

 

 


 


 
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