Posted By Sandra Alland

I am currently liking Kristiane Taylor. I hope you like her too. Read her poems here.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

The blatantly fascist/racist British Nationalist Party's website currently describes the Copenhagen Summit as an "anti-white guilt hatefest which will see billions more taxpayers' cash poured into the Third World." When will Britian do something about the BNP?

In other news, Borders is closing its doors in Glasgow. In the Metro "news", there were reports of campaigns to keep it open. The quotes were as follows: "I met my wifey at the Starbucks in Borders." "I like watching people passing from the window." and "I enjoyed wandering around." No one mentioned books or magazines. I guess that explains why these "protesters" weren't around to protest the closing of independent bookshops...

I do have to admit that I'm slightly sad to see Borders close, only because it's one of the very, very, very few places in Scotland where you can get at least a minimum selection of independent arts, feminist and LGBT magazines and journals. Waterstones, for example, do not sell a single magazine or journal. This is very scary. And I don't know of one good independent bookshop in Glasgow or Edinburgh that specialises in new books and magazines on a wide variety of topics.

Speaking of the death of books and book culture, have you heard of Google Books? Google Books freaked me out a while back when I read they were scanning billions of books to put online without permission. Now it seems there's a class-action suit against them for copyright infringement, which they deny and yet are agreeing to a settlement about.

It's all very confusing for a poet but it seems that I can get the whopping sum of 30 quid for each of my published books that was stolen by Google. From now on I can also supposedly get payments if people request full views of my books (currently the views are partial yet extensive) or click on advertisements for new cars or breath mints next to my books. I can also decide how much of the work and what sections people can view. Finally I have the option to delete my books from their database, but with the threat that they will not be rescanned in the future should I change my mind (e.g. because Google owns the whole world and it's the only way to read anything.)

My first instinct is to have my books deleted, yet I'm a bit confused. Look here and tell me your thoughts if you're so inspired www.googlebooksettlement.com/

In still other news, Noisy Nights was fantastic! Check out the next one in February. It's the Traverse Theatre's new music night, where they accept scores by new and established composers, then arrange a (usually somewhat bizarre) trio of professional musicians to play them live. I especially loved Robert Irvine on the saw and Judith Keaney on the toy piano. Zorras had a blast, and even sold some CDs, which was impressive to me in such a discerning crowd. Also fittingly the logo for Noisy Nights is a person with a megaphone, and the Traverse is currently showcasing Zorro.

Now back to bed with me. Haven't been feeling well.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Zorras play Noisy Nights on Monday 7 December at 8pm at the Traverse Theatre bar on Lothian Road. Free admission to this cool night of new music experiments, with a focus on composition.

In less fun news, my experience working for GoMA and Culture and Sport Glasgow (and without my knowledge Glasgow City Council) has (among other things) confirmed for me the notion that the government should never ever ever have any direct involvement with the arts. Funding for the arts is of course necessary, but politicians should not have any direct say about the actual commissioning, production or dissemination of art. It's a slippery slope when it comes to freedom of speech and freedom of expression. As soon as you let them decide one thing, suddenly they are deciding everything -- not only limiting artists and art itself, but also limiting what the general public can and can't see, or the way in which they see it. For many people (including queers and trans and disabled folk) this is a scary thing in a prejudiced world. Just plain icky.

xo


 
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

 

 


 
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

Where is perhaps the last place you'd expect to see Zorras' reviewed? Well, I would maybe have thought at the Ultimate Metal website. And also reviewed favourably! Here's what Simon Brand had to say about us:

"I thought that Zorras were the best band of the second night. A very unique mix of poetry, music, stories and just plain weird. The poetry was sharp and funny, the placement effective, the visuals fitting; a rather unforgettable experience, I highly recommend checking them out to anyone looking for something different. At some point after Zorras, I turned to someone I had met at the festival and said 'How the hell do you follow that?'"

For the full review of Cocoon Counter Culture Fest Weekend go to www.ultimatemetal.com/forum/live-reviews/531551-cocoon-counter-culture-festival-edinburgh-scotland-12-13-september-2009-a.html

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Zorras had a fantastic show at Bar Wotever in London! Thanks to Ingo, to the ever-lovely A for putting us up, and to all those lovely strangers who bought our CDs!

This Saturday at 8pm, we play Ladyfest at The Bowery. It's listed under Ladyfest's Big Gig.

In other news, my short film, Slippery, will be screened at London's GayWise Festival on 14 November. And Zorras play the same festival 21 November! Info here.

xo


 


 
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