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

Wherein I babble without notes but tell you about a few things.. including Diane Arbus at Edinburgh's Dean Gallery, ending soon! And Zorras in London and the Pride version of Cachin Cachan Cachunga! Sometimes you can "click to play", sometimes you have to click on "download this"... many thanks to the beautiful C for hooking me up.

Click here to listen:vocaroo.com/


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

I've been showing you some cool stuff from The Jewish Museum, but now I'm gonna take a break and show you The Gang... After the divine food, coffee and music at the Turkish Market, we wandered the streets of Berlin in search of tea and beer. We were ultimately successful.

will bike
The awesome Will with his awesome bike basket
menu
Nine and Scout scope the menu
beer
Beer appears - delicious German beer mmm
t
Scout makes postcards out of everything in sightsign
I like this sticker. It says something like Sexist Crap or Sexist Fuckwits.random

I also dig this random graffiti

pwoer
Inside The Silver Future
boy
Scout, Federica & Nine form a boy band -- note Nine's disdain for you
boy2
The boy band in their "seductive" phase
val
The adorable Svenja and Valentin... Germans!
nine
Nine looking hot...and then we carried her home.

 

 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Berlin is awesome because it's home to my dear friend, Number Nine. It's also awesome because it brought the lovely Rebeca Pla all the way from Prague in a crazy journey of almost-futility (more info later).

In Berlin, the architecture is generally horrible, as in it might hurt my soul to live among such ugly buildings. But this is understandable considering the times at which the city was rebuilt. I won't show you pictures as it might hurt your eyes.

On the plus side, Berlin has many trees and green things. From the plane I was shocked to see forests, a phenomenon I had quite forgotten about since moving to Scotland. I like forests.

band
(a band in the Turkish market with evidence of green things behind them)

Berlin is much cheaper than Dublin. I like cheaper than Dublin.

You can still smoke in bars in Berlin. I'm not sure if I like this, but it gave me a strange and beautiful nostalgic kind of feeling... Berlin has the single best queer and trans bar I've seen outside of Goodhandy's in Toronto. It's called The Silver Future and the door says it all (it says it better in German but if you don't read German I'm sure you'll get it anyway).

silver 2

silver 1

And they really *will* throw out terrible people, trust me, I'm a magnet ;-)
Near Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie, which makes the United States out to be everyone's saviour, they sell small pieces of the wall in plastic globes for 25 Euro. Ick, Berlin, this is nasty behaviour.
wall
Plus, I can name at least two walls currently in use, one of them built by Americans...

graffiti
(only a medium-ugly building)

Berlin has a great Jewish Museum, where I ended up because of a person from Edinburgh who I ironically got to know in Berlin even though we should've known each other in Edinburgh but didn't, and she said, "Let's go to this Jewish comics exhibit" and I said "Okay!"

My crappy blog doesn't allow me to talk for  longer so I'll have to talk about The Jewish Museum in the next instalment...my gawd, I haven't even gotten to the Frida Kahlo Retrospective! This could take years.


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

The lovely Karen Miranda Augustine has interviewed me for The Artist's Business Digest, about my micropress sandraslittlebookshop.

In other news, you can now download Zorras' songs online from CD Baby!

In still other news, here is my article in Xtra! about the censorship of queer and trans art in Glasgow.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

The new issue of Matrix is out! And there's an online component that features a short film by me and two recordings by Zorras from our CD, We Apologise For Any Inconvenience. Click here to visit Matrix New Feminisms Online.

In other news, there's a trans forum in Edinburgh this weekend sponsored by Scottish Transgender Alliance. Information here.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

A wee trip to the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art has revealed that they still have not replaced the light bulbs for my show (A Spot of b)other: LGBTI Deaf and Disabled Cutures), after promising to do so over two months ago. Almost half of the lights have been burned out for the duration of the exhibit, which is supposed to be accessible to people with disabilities. Never mind that a group of blind and partially sighted people are formally visiting the exhibition this week...

In other GoMA disasters, it has just come to my attention that they placed my audio tour of the show online months ago without seeking permission from me or my collaborators, thus globally outing participants in terms of sexual orientation, gender identity, disabilities and mental health status. After several complaints they have now removed the download, but it has been up for months without our knowledge and may have caused irreparable damage. Just the latest in a long line of ineptitude and disrespect from Culture and Sport Glasgow.

b)other placed a formal complaint regarding discrimination on 30 November that still has not been responded to. Amazing.


 
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

Thanks to all our friends who came out to the most excellent Christmas party at the ceaselessly amazing Elvis Shakespeare Music and Books. If you're shopping, please shop there! They are a rare last bastion of community-oriented shops. And they have good stuff.

Zorras had a blast and enjoyed all the other bands who managed to cram themselves into that tiny corner among too many records, books, beer bottles and people. We especially dug the Fnords. Pure surf-punk joy.

In other news, please read the following review of Angels of Anarchy (see previous post on this amazing show at Manchester Art Gallery) by London's fantastic Sopher Mayer. I can't tell you enough times to go see this show if you get the chance.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Wow. Just got back from a much-needed break in Manchester. Unfortunately I couldn't walk as much as I would've liked to (because of post-stressful-employment pain), but wow. Angels of Anarchy: Women Artists and Surrealism is perhaps the best show I have ever seen. Dr Patricia Allmer curated this exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, and has put together an incredible historical collection, as well as mind-blowing art by amazing international artists. There's Frida Kahlo, Kay Sage, Dora Maar, Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar, Lee Miller, Leonora Carrington, Meret Oppenheim & Dorothea Tanning, just for starters. Honestly, it was stunning stunning stunning to see these artists collected so extensively in one place. There are paintings, photographs, films, collages, exquisite corpses, sculptures & books. You really get a sense of what was going on in surrealist art, of how important these women were to that movement, and to art and feminist thought in general.

It was also wonderful to see the work of highly talented artists who have been even more under-exhibited than those mentioned above -- mainly from Argentina, Mexico, India and former Czechoslovakia. Lola Alvarez Bravo, Leonor Fini, Remedios Varo, Ithell Colquhoun, Emila Medkova and Eva Swankmajerova, to name a few. The show gave me a sense of lineage that I've never felt before... this is work by, and often for, women -- and work of such high calibre that relegating it to a separate category (or footnote in the margins of history) is ridiculous. There's also work that explores gender identity in a less binary way (as surrealism itself explored the world beyond binaries), allowing a transgender narrative to enter into art history... if only quietly in the work of Cahun. Yay for Patricia Allmer! Continues to 10 January, do not miss it!

The experience was bittersweet, though, for as you travel throughout the remainder of the gallery everything remains as male as always. The gallery shop has only one small and temporary section of women's and feminist books; the rest of the shop continues to promote male artists through books, posters and calendars. There was one calendar of Tamara de Lempicka, though...

In other art news, Manchester Art Gallery's show of Francisco Goya's etchings The Fantasies, The Disasters of War and The Follies is also stunning, as is the accompanying installation, The Disasters of War, by the Chapman Brothers. As always, the Chapman Brothers' gruesome detail of the horrors of war and occupation left me feeling sad, sick and slightly faint. Goya's work didn't help much... but what more fitting way is there to feel when faced with the atrocities of war. Sadly, despite Goya's fame, these works were not shown or published in his lifetime because of their controversial or disturbing subject matter. Luckily Manchester Art Gallery respects its audience enough to show these still-disturbing and extremely violent works, and without any condescending warnings. This is even more impressive when you consider MAG is known as one of the most child-friendly galleries in the UK... but perhaps it's only Scotland that is so paternalistic with its art-goers as to limit or label what they see?

In accessibility notes, MAG is great... there are audio guides for the shows and large-print versions of text available, plus you can book BSL tours upon request. You can even borrow a wheelchair if you need to! Some of the works could have been hung lower for people using chairs to view, but overall they score four stars for accessibility.

Okay, back to bed with me.


 


 
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