You are currently viewing archive for April 2009
Posted By Sandra Alland

Zorras got reviewed! Glasgow’s Lock Up Your Daughters magazine says of our January Forest gig: “The place is rammed...and the show does not disappoint. Reminiscent of Miranda July and complemented by a deadpan delivery, Alland's words are at once both drolly funny and sweetly strange...Y. Josephine's vocals and percussion really shine and embody the set with the kind of soul spoken word frequently lacks.” Sigh, someone I don’t know compared me to Miranda July. I can die now.

The multimedia queer event, Cachín Cachán Cachunga, went great at The Street on Sunday… some highlights were Teodora Vlad’s documentary about being queer in Romania, and songbird Steven Smith playing with his band The Stigs. I screened my video Slippery for the first time, too, which was great because I wasn’t the only one who thought it was funny…. On 31 May, Zorras launch issue two of their zine Maricón, and the usual Cachín team will be joined by Canadian visual artist Karen Miranda Augustine, Greek filmmaker Evi Tsiligaridou, and London poet Sophie Mayer.

In other news, yesterday I caught the exhibition that's part of a 6-month-long LGBTI programme at the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art. GoMA has a yearly social justice project, Sh[OUT], featuring shows, artist talks, residencies, publications & loads of stellar community outreach. The current show, which is just the beginning of this year's project, has works by Nan Goldin, Della Grace Volcano, Robert Mapplethorpe and many others (including locals). My favourite part was Our Vivid Stories, a cracking collection of digital shorts made by LGBTI youth in Glasgow. Free!

Some media have criticized the show’s “pornographic” content and “the wasting of tax-payers money” (reminiscent of negative publicity of Canada’s Banff Centre gay show in the 80s), which shows homophobia is alive and well in Scotland (also saw comments in the visitor’s area like, “Where is the straight show? Why do you have to throw it in our face?” and “Why ruin such a beautiful building with such crap?”). But the show is excellent (and could even use some pornographic content, in my opinion!), and the majority of feedback from the public (including many young visitors) is overwhelmingly positive. Yay GoMA! This is the biggest public project on queer, intersex and trans issues, ever in Scotland!


Posted By Sandra Alland

Tomorrow night, Forest Publications launches my first short story collection, Here's To Wang. Starts 8:30, I'm on around 9:30. Zorras will do a few pieces too. It's free & you can bring your own booze to The Forest. My book is £2!

The next Cachín Cachán Cachunga is Sunday 26 April at 9pm at The Street (2 Picardy Pl). Featuring Zorras, Teodora Vlad, Steven Smith, and Lily. Entry by donation--you'll get to see films, music, poetry-music fusion weirdness, dance and performance poetry!

Also, Edinburgh is more queer-friendly than you might think!




Posted By Sandra Alland

Quick Update: Been hellish with fibromyalgia, also enjoying some rare Scottish sunshine. Just turned Older again. Twas fun, but I'd love to skip it next year! I'll finally see a rheumotologist and get into a pain clinic in May. Meanwhile I'm in some physio class that's doing nothing. But I do love hanging with the old folks.

In other news, Feminist Freeschool at The Forest was spectacular! Zorras especially enjoyed the surprise performance (and great new hair) from Pockets, and the brave women who read from the Edinburgh University-based sex zine, Speak.

In still other news, I caught Slumdog Millionaire. It was okay...I liked the performances, and some of the visuals were stunning, but I just couldn't deal with the English. People are okay with subtitles these days, even Heroes and Lost have them. We can handle Hindi, really. Also, I dunno, it was a little too feel-good, romantic crap for me...I wasn't entirely sure what the point was. Dany Boyle has a habit of making difficult subjects seem a little too fun for me. Also, MIA's music rocked, but the other composer thought it would be cool to put some terrible Spanish lyrics and rhythms in the middle of an Indian song, like any "foreign" music is the same or something...

Also, I'm reading Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway. I always forget how good Woolf is. Then I pick up a book, and I think, Really?  Man, is she good.


Posted By Sandra Alland

Last night I rented Ari Folman's stunning and shattering Waltz With Bashir, an animated documentary about the devastation of the 1982 Lebanon War. It's one of the best films I've seen in a long while, though it left me drained. An Israeli soldier suddenly regains his memory after 20 years and has to come to terms with a devastation he helped bring about. The film is a rare glimpse into the confusion and ignorance of young soldiers sent into battle without the slightest clue of who they are trying to kill or why.

In other news, this Thursday 9 April, Zorras play Muse-Ic at The Bongo Club with Ex-Men and Shell-Suit Massacre. It should be a swell night of spoken word bands. Only £5/4, starts at 9pm.

Friday at 8pm is the launch of the latest issue of Lock Up Your Daughters in Glasgow, a great wee zine of queer women's stuff. There's an interview with Zorras in this issue, too! The Flying Duck, 142 Renfield Street.

In still other news, I saw a short theatre piece collated and directed by Stef Smith, Breaking Binary. It was part of Queen Margaret University's presentations, and explored gender variance and transsexuality through several monologues by various writers. A very brave piece to do in Edinburgh, kudos to Smith for that! The piece was visually quite stunning -- different images were created using plastic wrap to divide the space (and performers), and the audience sat on all four sides of the stage. Some of it was bit heady and didactic -- it was hard to know who the intended audience was... I think this a wonderful introduction for non-genderqueers or people not aware of the issues, but perhaps slightly preaching to the converted otherwise. Also it was occasionally confusing in terms of who was talking and when we were listening to a new character -- though I personally love pieces that are not 100% clear and spelled out, this can be problematic with issue-based work if the director wants to say something specific. Overall the piece featured good performers, fairly solid writing, and imaginative direction!



Posted By Sandra Alland


02/04/2009 19:30

VoxBox at The Meadow Bar with Zorras
42-44 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh,
Cost: £3 (2)

MIKE DILLON - Scottish Slam Champion 2009
ZORRAS - Poetry & Music with poet Sandra Alland & Y.Josephine
NANCY SOMERVILLE - Poet with new collection ’Waiting For Zebras’
ELIZA LANGLAND & COLIN DONATI Music and Poetry with special guests
VENUS CARMICHAEL (Kelly Brooks & Andrew Ferguson)

M/C Anita Govan & Kevin Cadwallender

In other news, here are some things that suck:

1. The London G20 coverage in British news... sounds like anti-communist propaganda from the United States (see: Red Scare, Cold War, etc.). Nonviolent protestors with "anti-capitalist literature" are being rounded up, and every television and newspaper is screaming about how the anarchists are coming to get you. One woman was advising people not to leave their homes, but if they had to, not to wear any corporate logos or they would be attacked. And of course the only protestors anyone could actually find were a few hippies having a tea party in the middle of the street (surrounded by a ridiculous number of cops). Can someone please take the time to look up anarchist in the dictionary? Please?

2. The amount of money (millions, millions!) spent on security for the G20. And the ridiculous number of police that will be patrolling peaceful protestors with tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray at the ready. This is the biggest operation of its kind in London, ever.

3. The G20.





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