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Posted By Sandra Alland

Cast Offs is a six-episode Channel 4 series about six disabled people marooned on an island together for three months. It's a faux reality show; we also follow the six people before they leave for the island, in interviews and going about their daily lives.

Cast Offs is a groundbreaking mockumentary for a very basic reason -- all the characters are played by people who are disabled. No Al Pacino pretending to be blind or Daniel Day Lewis with his left foot here. I think this is awesome, and it's extra-awesome because the actors are good.

But what I really dig about the show is that the writing is superb. Most of the characters are pretty unlikeable much of the time, which goes a long way towards fighting stereotypes of saintly disabled and Deaf people. The people are complex, and allowed to be selfish, petty and bigoted at times. There are plenty of crip politics throughout -- and the question is raised as to whether having a disability actually means you have anything in common with other disabled people (the age-old "community" dilemma) -- but often the characters are dealing with things that have very little to do with disability. Parenthood, commitment, sex and death are very present themes.

It's great to finally see disabled stories told from a disabled perspective. Jack Thorne, Tony Roche and Alex Bulmer (she is someone I knew in Toronto, how cool is that!) have created a show that's wonderfully dirty with a difference. It's one of the best television series I've seen in years, also because it's got a terrifically biting sense of humour. (So much so that Channel 4 actually puts an official warning of "Dark adult humour". lol). Check it out here.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

 
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

Besides giving relief money through Partners in Health www.pih.org or www.haitirelieffund.org or as a pleasant diversion you could call Pat Robertson at 1 (800) 759-0700 to give your opinion on the statements he made regarding the tragedy in Haiti- Remember that each call costs the 700 Club $1.


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

"This eye-opening exhibition explores complex identities and histories of LGBTI deaf and disabled Scots. Artist Sandra Alland, in collaboration with like-minded artists, expresses true dedication to equality and human rights through the effective use of portraits, poems and film." - Diva Magazine

A Spot of b)other continues at GoMA until 21 February.


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

blog.sarahsheard.com/2010/01/calling-canadian-writers-join-our-anti-google-petition/

I just signed this petition against Google's copyright infringement.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Brilliant Mexican-Canadian singer-songwriter, Lhasa de Sela, has died at age 37 of breast cancer. I can't tell you how sad this makes me. More here. Today is a day to listen to La llorona...

Here is one of her videos on youtube.
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


 

 

 
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