Posted By Sandra Alland

Hello friends,

I'm very chuffed that the nice folks at Edinburgh's Forest Publications have gone into a second printing with my wee short story chapbook, Here's To Wang!

In other news, Zorras play Words Per Minute in Glasgow this Sunday at 3:30pm at Creation Studios. It's a grand wee series, check it out here.

And soon I shall be visiting Canadialand, and doing a bunch of readings/performances. Read about them on my myspace. (Special note about the Lab Cab Festival: there are TWO readings per day, one at 1:15 pm and one at 4:15pm on both the 18th and 18th of September).

Keep up the good fight,

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 Zorras play The Wailing Banshee at Banshee Labyrinth, 29-35 Niddry Street, 9:30 doors. Free!

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Hi there,

I'm too tired to write to you about my travels in Dublin and Berlin, but I'll do it soon I swear. In the meantime, for those of you who live in Edinburgh, Saughton Skate Park is now open and it is awesome. Sadly it is full of boys and men -- I have yet to see a single girl or woman skateboarding, rollerblading or cycling. Hopefully this unhealthy imbalance will end soon... I am currently too exhausted to go take pictures, but here is a link that at least shows you a wee bit...

In other news, Queer Mutiny is tonight at The Forest Cafe, upstairs. Starts at 9pm and it's free and there's also free food. BYOB. Zorras are playing!

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

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

The amazing Wisrutta Atthakor reviews Ladyfest Edinburgh here, including Zorras and Sister Spit. Also including an interview with Y and me. Many thanks to Wisrutta and the F-Word: Contemporary Uk Feminism! Check out the site in general, it's stellar.

In other news, I watched Sin Nombre (Nameless) and El Bano del Papa (The Pope's Toilet), two films focusing on poverty in Mexico, and Central and South America. Both films are brilliant and gutting, though El Bano del Papa has much more comic relief. Sin Nombre tells the story of gangs of young men (and boys) killing each other in Mexico, as well as the life-threatening journeys many people make across Latin America to reach the United States. El Bano del Papa is a fictionalised telling of the real visit the Pope paid to Uruguay, when hundreds of families in a small town went broke by investing in schemes to sell food and souvenirs to the thousands of Brazilian visitors that never showed up. The Vatican did nothing to help them, of course...

A Special shout-out to Bosslady Kika for all the quality films she's been feeding Zorras with!

xox


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Ladyfest Edinburgh put on a grand show at The Bowery on Saturday, thanks to them for a superb adventure. And special thanks to the newest Zorra, Ariadna Battich, for all her amazing video and technical work. We would be so fucked without you, Ari! And we'd be having less fun too...

Yesterday I passed by GoMA and checked out the exhibit they've mounted in the space where Dani Marti's work was meant to be (see previous entries for info on the cancellation of Marti's show). The first balcony has been used to highlight all GoMA's social justice work in the past (which to me seems a bit like they are protesting too much that they do good work with marginalised communities). The second balcony is slightly more interesting... it features newspaper articles about the Sh[OUT] exhibition, as well as responses from GoMA, artists, curators, gallery visitors and (other) LGBTI community members. I was impressed that GoMA presented the statements of people who were accusing them (or more specifically Culture and Sport Glasgow and City Council) of censorship and homophobia. However, the information still seems quite biased towards the gallery, as well as incomplete or inaccurate in places. GoMA maintains that Marti's work was never censored, but the reasons for rejecting his work keep changing, and in the end seem quite flimsy. Also, I still cannot grasp why a major gallery would care so much about, or even think about reacting to, what The Daily Mail says. This is the paper that yesterday said refugees are riding a "gravy train" and wasting millions of taxpayers' pounds. If something is queer or trans, they are going to find a way to make it into "porn at the cost of taxpayers." A better strategy is to target positive publicity from papers with a brain and a conscience. But this has not really happened, and from what I understand from Sh[OUT] participants, they were told their shows would be promoted LESS, in order to avoid controversy...argh. Hopefully things will improve, but it seems there is no real dialogue continuing between GoMA and the LBGTI advisory committee to Sh[OUT].

Here are two recent updates in The Guardian regarding the situation: www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/sep/22/goma-censorship-row and  www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2009/sep/29/goma-shout-exhibition

In other news, I saw El Nino Pez (The Fish Child), the newest film by stellar Argentine filmmaker Lucia Peunzo (creator of the amazing XXY). See both films if you can. Puenzo is an amazing director (and writer), and both films also feature the stunning actress, Ines Efron. El Nino Pez is the unlikely love story between a middle-class Argentinian girl and the native Paraguayan girl hired as her housekeeper. It's stunning.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Two nights ago, Zorras performed at the Freshers' Week event for Edinburgh University Feminists. EUF are the best! Self-described as "a friendly group of feminists who campaign on issues related to women's rights and breaking gender binaries," they certainly know how to throw a party. The space was great, the mocktails were delicious (I could swear there was rum in that mojito), and the games were hilarious (Throw the Ring Around the Papier Mache Penis, and Pin the Strange Assortments of Body Parts on the Body!). Also, there were crackin readings from the zine, Speak ("an anonymous compilation of sexual experiences"). If you're a student at EU, check them out -- all genders welcome! Next meeting at 1pm on 22 September in the Chaplaincy, and there's a social on the 23rd at 6pm in the Teviot Writing Room.

Speaking of feminists, I've been reading the latest issue of Canada's Open Letter journal, which focuses on women's feminist poetry in Canada. It's quite a tour de force, edited by Kate Eichhorn and Barbara Godard. More indepth thoughts on it soon... it's made me quite emotional in many ways, as it's the first time my work has been been taken seriously in a critical light... and more importantly, the first time this has happened for many writers who have written and/or published way more/longer than me.

xo

 


 


 
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