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

Thanks to all the swell folks who came to the opening of A Spot of b)other (see previous entry for more info). It was a nice celebration despite the weather, and despite the fact that most of the lights are burned out in the gallery, the staff was rather cold, and our zine and display were labelled "explicit" at the last moment without consultation. No one would answer my questions about it at the time, but apparently this is because it has the word "fuck". I think "strong language" would have sufficed, and being told about it would have shown some basic respect... (not to mention I've seen the word fuck in GoMA before, and without a warning).

This kind of thing doesn't help much to eliminate the stereotype that all queer, trans and disabled work is pornographic (or to eliminate rumours of GoMA's insensitivity). When people hear the word "explicit", they think of sex. And this zine is sadly lacking in sex, quite frankly. As well as the label being culturally insensitive, people will be so darn confused! We will just have to make the next issue the porn issue.

Ah, well, onwards and upwards. I'm quite pleased with the show itself (the bother collective is stellar), and you can catch it for free until 21 February (if all the lights don't burn out before then...)

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Thanks to the lovely man on the bench, the even lovelier man with the cape, the stupidity of those who wish to hurt those I love, and the sweetest friends a person could have. Thanks also to A in London, who is always there. Sometimes there is strange justice, sometimes you survive something you think will destroy you, and sometimes gifts arrive from unexpected places.

I know this all sounds obtuse, dear reader, but in some of our lives there are things you can't say for legal reasons. The main lesson of 2008 and 2009? Poetry and metaphor have more uses than I imagined... So beware, forces of evil, because books are coming and you shall pay dearly, if only in your hearts.

In other news, Zorras brought the house down at GFest, a lovely queer festival in London. The Cochrane Theatre was a fantastic venue... it was especially fab to see Ariadna Battich's beautiful videos on the big big screen.

In still other news,my first major art show, b)other, opens this Wednesday (to the public on Thursday) at Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. For info on b)other and the collective I've been collaborating with, read a wee article in The Skinny.

And then I must sleep until January, forgive me if I'm not often here. Sadly the end of this chapter has not yet arrived, we've just been given a moment's pause to clean our glasses... xox


 
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

"And if you can't trust your friends? What then? What then..."

The opening and closing lines of Danny Boyle's crackin Shallow Grave. Just watched it again for the first time since 1994. It's still great stuff, a wonderful thriller (set in creepy Edinburgh). But I also got new things out of it, and saw it as an intense metaphor for betrayal in general. The things that happen are so over-the-top, but give such startling imagery for what it's like to be "stabbed in the back" by a loved one (in this case stabbed in the front, and then the knive gets twisted deeper haha) that I couldn't help but think the whole story was a creative way of illustrating a more "normal" (and non-filmic) betrayal. Whatever the case, it's grand. And scary and sad.

Other grand things: Rabiya Choudhry's part in Diaspora at the Edinburgh Playhouse. Choudhry is a fantastic local artist who explored her mixed heritage (Scottish and Pakistani) and how it has impacted her art and her life. The work was deeply personal, and deeply moving. The world needs more Rab. Catch an interview with her about the project here.

And EVERYONE at last night's Cachin Cachan Cachunga was grand! Seriously, Carolyn Anona Scott sang like an angel, Ariadna Battich's film brought a tear to more than a few eyes, Kristi Taylor's reading was hilarious and her artwork stunning, and Lily danced the most powerful piece I've seen her do yet. Thanks to Anna, Jesus (not the lord and saviour one the Grassmarket one), Rebeca Pla and The Street for all the help! Next month is Rabiya Choudhry, Pat Cunningham, Gein Wong and of course Lily and Zorras. 7:30 on 15 September at The Street.

xoxoxo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Info on the next stellar installation of Cachin Cachan Cachunga (the monthly queer and trans cabaret at The Street), available here.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

The most recent exhibits as part of Sh[OUT] at Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art are full of intriguing and powerful stuff. Please check them out!

There's Made In God's Image (Anthony Schrag & David Malone, in collaboration with Metropolitan Community Church, Quest, Al Jannah and individuals from a range of faiths). These works explore faith and LGBTI issues. The photos that most interested me were by the Muslim participant (names are missing from the website, in some cases purposefully I think...), I liked that he not only explored issues that pained him but also had some fun. I was also drawn into the Bible-eating and participatory Bible-rewriting project by a young Christian woman. Overall I would have liked to see more of a focus on the quality of photographs in the show, but I also understand that the content was the more important issue here...

And then there's Rendering Gender (David Sherry, in collaboration with Transgender Alliance's Transforming Arts). Here's the link to some images from Rendering Gender, although it attributes the artworks to David Sherry, when they are in fact from a variety of people... http://www.shoutdocuments.com/david_document.html. I liked almost everything in this exhibition... but the work that affected me the most was by Kristi Taylor, who contributed stunning and often hilarious drawings, as well as a sculpture and video, about her experience as a trans woman. Taylor is definitely someone to watch. Her work truly made my day.

Okay, gotta fly.

xo


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

So Michael Jackson died. There's of course more news coverage on the death of a pop star than on the stepped-up wars in Afghanistan, or the new reports of torture in secret U.S. prisons (and the Brits who lent a helping hand). Nonetheless it is one of those... historic moments? When I was ten, I wanted to *be* Michael Jackson. There's that, too. In the end I never knew what to think of the man, except that he was talented and knew how to move people...

But Farrah Fawcett died yesterday too... and Charlie's Angels were pretty damn cool. I also wanted to be her when I was 10. Bad timing, Farrah. I'm afraid no one's gonna notice now... there's too much cash to be made off of Michael.

In better news, Y was on fire last night. Zorras played to a small but delicious crowd at the lovely lovely Bowery. Thanks to Jane for the gig! Hailey Beavis was great too, she's quite a composer and plays guitar superwell. And I super super dug The Debutante Hour, a trio of women who are hilarious and fun and gooooooooooooood. Some of the best lyrics I've heard in ages! Too bad you can't see them, cuz they're off to Poland, but check them out if you can. Y joined them onstage for a couple of songs, one of which was a Ukrainian song that brought the house down!

In still other news, I saw on the news the other day that Prince Charles spent 3 million pounds of taxpayers' money on travel last year! I've never been a fan of the royal family, yet I'm more infuriated than usual. And that's just *one* of a huge family of idiots. But instead of doing away with the royals (I mean, really, don't they have enough of their own money??!), the government does things like focusing on the tiny number of people committing "benefit fraud." They encourage people to spy on their neighbours and report those living in poverty who may have "stolen" 200 pounds, when the real thieves are the banks (that have been bailed out with our money), the car companies (also bailed out with our money), and here in the UK -- the royal family. Millions of pounds for non-essential travel is never justifiable, and even less so in these times.

Lastly, check out the new shows as part of Sh[OUT] at the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. Anthony Schrag collaborated with LGBTI faith communities (including Al Jannah, Metropolitan Community Church and Quest), and David Sherry worked with The Scottish Transgender Alliance.

And speaking of the queers, tomorrow is Pride Scotia. The parade kicks off at 1pm on The Royal Mile.

xox


 
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!

xox

SA


 
Posted By Sandra Alland

Two choice quotes from Bindel that I found on the petition site:

"Those who 'transition' seem to become stereotypical in their appearance - fuck-me shoes and birds'-nest hair for the boys; beards, muscles and tattoos for the girls."

"Think about a world inhabited just by transsexuals. It would look like the set of Grease."

 
Hmmmmm, sounds like a *perfect* Journalist of the Year to me. Petition here: www.ipetitions.com/petition/Stonewall1/index.html


Or email stonewall and urge them to remove her from the nominations: info@stonewall.org.uk
xo

SA


 


 
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