Tuesday, 30 December 2008

erika lopez in the uk in the new year

Author, Comix Illustrator, Performance poet, and all-round daredevil, Erika Lopez is heading to the UK in February to perform The Welfare Queen at a few shows.
A treat to be sure!

More details on the shows:

30 Jan.
- Club Wotever, The Cross Kings, 126 York Way, Kings Cross, N1 0AX London
Doors: 8pm-2am, show: 8.30-9.30 (no entry when show is running!)
After the show Club Wotever party!
Entry: £10 for show & party / £5 after 9.30pm

03 Feb.
- Bar Wotever, Central Station, 37 Wharfdale Rd, Kings Cross, N1 9SE London
Doors: 7pm-Midnight Show: start 8pm
Entry: pay what you can for show

05 Feb.
- Cup - For Folks Sake
Tonight at FFS, Erika will be emceeing and performing a taster from her new show
- so come to the Yard Theatre on Friday night too to see the whole show
53-55 Thomas Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1NA
Telephone 0161 832 3233
6-9pm, £4/£2 concessions

06 Feb.
- Yard Theatre. In the Work for Change/Homes for Change Building
41 Old Birley Street, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5RF
Doors: 7:30, show: 8.00
Entry: £5/£3 concessions

Monday, 29 December 2008

if i write them down, i might stick to them...

New years resolutions. I never make them, but I think I need a kick up the ass in 2009, so here we go...

*Take Less On in 2009 so that I can:

- Prioritise important projects
- Go to my job more regularly
- Spend more time with good friends
- Have time to visit people
- Get a bit of my "life" back
- Be a more active co-member of the Manifesta Distro team

*Try and get a hold of my ridiculous fatigue by seeking more helpful (medical) advice and support than I got this year

*Do the things I said I'd do without opting out, and enjoy doing them rather than stressing out about them. Mainly:

- The UK Female Comix Zine exhibition at The Women's Library, 24th Jan 09
- My work for Art XX Magazine
- The Colouring Outside The Lines exhibition June-July 2009 in Bradford
- Colouring Outside The Lines issue 5, due to launch at the above exhibition, June 09
- Write the book chapter on European female comix zines that I've been asked to write for the 'Grassroots Feminism' book

Here's to a more managable year than 2008 was!

(Natalie Dee)

Monday, 15 December 2008


From my inbox...
Cine25 event in York, UK, part of the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of The Centre For Women's Studies, University of York
(CWS has a place in my heart after studying there in 2001)

Cine25: Women in Film & Media Showcase are excited to announce the programme contents of the day.

Discussion panel: Where is gender in film and media today?
Cathy Lane: music composer/lecturer in music & sound design, London School of the Arts
Kristyn Gorton: lecturer in Television, University of York
Stacy Gillis: lecturer in modern and contemporary literature, Newcastle University
Anahid Kassabian: lecturer in School of Music, Liverpool University
Caroline Bainbridge: reader in visual culture, Roehampton University, author ‘feminine cinematics’
Mo White: Lecturer in art and design, Loughborough University
Florence Ayisi: Filmmaker & Reader in Film Practice, Newport School of Art, Media & Design.

Short film screening programme:
Kate Jessop: ‘When The Telescope Came’
Shyla Lee: 'Honour'
Jason Elvis Barker: ‘Millenium Man’
Abbe Robinson: ‘Private Lives’
Florence Ayisi: ‘Zanzibar Soccer Queens’
Mo White: ‘on stones’
Taz Wyllie: ‘Belle… je t’aime’

Low-budget filmmaking workshop
Alissa Juvan (Workshop Facilitator): from Girls on Film and Fabric
Ana Kronschnabl: Web media practitioner (Fluffy Logic etc) & author ‘Plug in, Turn on: a guide to Internet filmmaking’
Kate Jessop: co- founder Girls on Film
Jason Elvis Barker: artist, filmmaker & LBGTI film fest programmer
Abbe Robinson: filmmaker
Denise Fahmy: Arts Council funding advisor

Main Feature:
The UK Premiere of 'The Viva Voce Virus', Directors Kathleen Bryson and Kimmo Mokky
Cine25 is very proud to present, with City Screen York, Picturehouse, this new, supercamp, time-travelling extravaganza exploring the closet. Already hailed as a queer film classic, this screening will be the film's UK premiere. Tickets for the movie are included in the event cost for Cine25 or can be bought separately from City Screen box office
13-17 Coney StreetYork, YO1 9QL Tel: 0870 758 3219 o
Or book online, near the date of the screening.

Time of screening and individual ticket cost to be confirmed. Check this blog regularly for more details.w.vivavocevirus.com/

The event times will be advertised shortly, please check the blog regularly - http://cine25.blogspot.com


zine gathering in Gent, Belgium: January 31st-Febuary 1st‏

From My Inbox...


I’m going to organise a kind of “zine gathering” in Espace Ladda, a temporary alternative gallery in Gent, in Belgium, from January 31st - February 1st. Espace Ladda is a space that is being used by the organisation Ladda for a few months and where different kinds of projects can be done related to the themes skills, gathering, ideas or membership. The zine gathering will be part of the “gathering” activities. Ladda is very interested in zines and DIY and related things (my dissertation about riot grrrl is on their website for example). Afterwards a book will be published with the results of all the activities and the “alternative research” that have taken place in Espace Ladda. So it looks like a nice opportunity to do something fun there!

So I proposed them to give a zine workshop there, but when talking to one of Ladda’s members the idea came up to make it a real zine gathering during a weekend. So all participants can all work on making a zine together and there is also space and time to do other things (film screenings, quiet performances, related workshops, zine infostands, games, spontaneous actions, whatever you can think of that can fit into such a zine gathering). Ladda has a copy machine we can use to copy the zine and a button machine.

But I’m now looking for people who want to participate in the zine weekend! So let us know soon if you are interested. (Travel expenses can be covered from Belgium and the Netherlands ONLY, but let me know SOON). If you want to “do” something besides taking part in the zine, I can mention it on the website and also I can mention who is taking part and which zine(s) they publish. But you don’t have to be a (zine) writer to take part! I’m looking more for “like-minded” people (feminists, queers, DIY-artists, anar-activists, crafty people, etc) to make a DIY publication together. Like I said, there’s also space for other things besides making the zine; I’m very open for your suggestions and ideas! So it can be an entire creative DIY-queer-anarcha-riot-feminist gathering! It would be nice to meet up with lots of zinesters and creators and activists in such a space, so we don’t only know each other through mail and letters and zines, but also in real life!

This is the website of Espace Ladda: http://www.espaceladda.be and of Ladda: http://www.ladda.be

Mail me if you are interested or curious: flapper_grrrl@yahoo.co.uk ! Then I’ll keep you up to date!


Sunday, 14 December 2008

la la la lolli pop

A little bird told me that The Lollipop Generation may actually be screening at the 2009 London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Or at least the LLGFF have been in touch with GB Jones' distributors - so it looks possible!
Phew! This stops me from going into a massive sulk about it!

Saturday, 13 December 2008

latest UK Bonfire Madigan dates just released... London

19 Fri December
London, UK @ the Horse Hospital
The Mad & Strange / Strange & Mad Show
starring Bonfire Madigan
and Richard Strange (songwriter, storyteller, punk legend, actor: see him in Harmony Korine's latest film, Mister Lonely playing an impersonator playing Abe Lincoln)http://www.myspace.com/richardkidstrange

w/ Neotropic (a founding Future Sounds of London memeber)

DJing it all together. only £ 6-8

Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1HX
by tube: Russell Square, Piccadilly Line
buses: 7, 59, 68, 91, 168, 188

* * *

21 Sun Dec
London, UK @ Royal Academy of Arts Bar/Cafe
last gig of the year = on winter solstice = a special 3pm afternoon musical presentation in this beautiful high ceilinged space, presenting nearly all instrumental music.
Bonfire Madigan showcasing avant-classical cello and vocal work from her 2008 scoring commissions for the American Conservatory Theater.
last chance to get the rest of BMad's merch directly + as solstice gifts (she can't take it back!)
Including the book Live Thru This that she will sign for your loved one.

with a whole different set than Fri from Riz Maslen/Neotropic/Small Fish with Spine
In 6 Burlington Gardens W1


Friday, 12 December 2008

it's stuff like this that makes me wish i lived in new york...

"The Lollipop Generation" plays in New York:

http://www. timeout. com/newyork/articles/lgbt/69626/sweeter-than-candy-on-a-stick

Sweeter than candy on a stick
The film buffs at Light Industry are suckers for G.B. Jones's new film.

The writer Dennis Cooper once compared The Lollipop Generation, the famously unfinished film about underage porn stars by Canadian director and queercore icon G.B. Jones, to Orson Welles’s The Other Side of the Wind. Jones’s film, he wrote, “is roughly to queer cinema” what Welles’s film “is to, well, cinema.” In addition to being a filmmaker, musician and visual artist, Jones also cofounded J.D.’s, the zine that launched the queer antiestablishment cultural movement of the mid-’80s. After 15 years in the making, the bisexual artist’s erotic magnum opus is finally hitting the screen in all its lo-fi, grainy glory.

The Lollipop Generation will make its New York premiere Tuesday 16 at Light Industry, a venue for alternative and experimental film and art in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Light Industry is located in Industry City, a mammoth, six-million-square-foot former industrial complex that now offers low-rent studios to artists. Ed Halter, 38, and Thomas Beard, 24, opened Light Industry this spring, where they’ve been screening avant-garde films every Tuesday.

Both men have made their careers in the experimental cinema and art worlds: Halter is a film critic, was a programmer for San Francisco’s gay film fest Frameline and served as the head of the New York Underground Film Festival for ten years; Beard is a freelance art writer and curator and was a programmer for Cinematexas in Austin and Ocularis in Brooklyn. Their love affair with cinema extends beyond work, though—Halter and Beard met five years ago in the lobby of Anthology Film Archives and have been a couple since.

Running Light Industry has given Halter and Beard the chance to expose the work of artists they’ve admired to the public, while keeping the underground element central. The queer aspect to their programming has followed quite naturally. “One goal of ours is to bring together disparate communities of the moving image,” says Halter. “While we definitely think about maintaining a good gender balance, we don’t explicitly think about whether the invitees are queer or not. But a number have been.

Some of those past guests include William E. Jones, who presented his own reconstruction of classic Fred Halsted gay porn this summer, and the pioneering lesbian filmmaker Su Friedrich, who curated a show. Artists like these certainly draw an LGBT audience, but, says Beard, “while these people are very well known to those who are familiar with contemporary queer culture, they are also people who are known in the art world more broadly. And you wouldn’t see artists like this in an exclusively gay festival.

Welcoming G.B. Jones to Light Industry is a particular triumph for the organizers. “Her work is just such a perfect emblem of a certain strain of DIY filmmaking and DIY culture in North America,” says Beard. “The whole ethos that epitomizes that work is, in a way, how we conceived of the space itself: being a little punk rock in its design and really only needing the bare essential elements to make this sort of event happen. Her work and our space have an affinity to one another.

The attraction began when Halter saw Jones’s previous film, the cult faux-documentary The Yo-Yo Gang, in the mid-’90s. “It wasn’t even finished but it was already showing,” he says. “It was the quintessential underground punk film. Like Lollipop, it was shot over several years, had an overlaid soundtrack, and was very funny and kind of crazy.” The film stuck in his mind for years.

Halter has been awaiting the completion of Lollipop ever since, not just because of an interest in Jones’s lo-fi technique, but because of the length of time over which it was shot. “By being so many years in the making, it’s chronicling a really interesting piece of queer culture in North America over 15 years,” explains Beard.

One Super-8 reel at a time, Jones captured an extraordinary array of queer underground performers—a generation, indeed (actor Mark Ewert, multimedia artist Scott Treleaven, Yo-Yo Gang star Jena von Brucker and punk drag legend Vaginal Davis are just a few). In this slice of history portraying the youthful freedom of alternative street life, a grotesque, John Waters–ian band of young runaways connect with one another by indulging in intense oral fixations satisfied only by lollipops (use your imagination, people), accompanied by a time-spanning soundtrack featuring Jane Danger, the Hidden Cameras and Italian industrial-music project Mariae Nascenti.

Jones, who rarely makes New York appearances, will introduce the screening herself, a true treat for underground-film buffs, queercore veterans and the latest generation of gay runaways, who these days seem to crawl around the South Brooklyn industrial park. They might be a little more clean-cut than Jones’s crew, but they like lollipops all the same.

The Lollipop Generation screens at Light Industry Tue 16.

http://www. lightindustry. org/

Oh, what I wouldn't give to see this film...

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

be out with art

A friend of mine is organising this:

“Be Out with Art” Exhibition

Calling all artists ...Tower Hamlets LGBT Community Forum will be hosting an arts exhibition which celebrates the lives, experiences and contributions of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people as part of LGBT History Month 2009.

We are in search of artists - professional or amateur - to contribute to this exhibition and we are particularly looking for local artists based in Tower Hamlets.

The theme for this year’s history month is ‘Respect and Protect’ and we especially welcome any submissions that interpret this theme.

All artistic mediums are welcome.

The exhibition will be open between 30th January and 8th February 2009 and will be held at the Arts Pavilion in Mile End Park.

If you are interested in accessing to free space to exhibit your work as part of this exhibition please contact Lizzie Guinness on 0207 364 4218 or e-mail lizzie.guinness@towerhamlets.gov.uk by Friday 19th December to register your interest and receive further details.

Lizzie Guinness
National Management Trainee
Scrutiny & Equalities
London Borough of Tower Hamlets
0207 364 4218

Monday, 8 December 2008

from my inbox...

fem ad lib, the wall/space event on Sunday 1 March 2008, from 2pm to 6pm.

It is a half-day event - we originally planned a full day but our funding applications were not accepted. We are lucky to be sponsored by Imece, the Turkish-speaking women's association in North London – see note 1.

The structure for the event will be: short introductory presentations by a range of practising women/feminist artists, leading to a general discussion about the issues raised by their work, what feminist art is or could be, and what it means to be a feminist artist. There will be a session in which you can share and discuss your own art work – please bring in images of your work if it's not possible to bring in the actual work. Finally there will be a short discussion about the feminist art exhibition we are holding in June 2009.

Numbers for this event are limited and we are asking you to book a place as soon as possible. We are also asking you for donations to help cover the costs of the event – either £6 or £4, depending on your income. If you can send in your donations when you make your booking, that would be really helpful. Please make cheques payable to wallspace and send to 31 Shacklewell Road London N16 7TW.

The venue is Oxford House, Derbyshire Street London E2 – see their website at: www.oxfordhouse.org.uk for details of access etc. If you need a signer or childcare, please let us know. If you have any further questions, please email us.

Best wishes, Banu, Caroline, Helen and Itziar for wall/space.

(1) IMECE is a women- only organisation which aims to empower Turkish/Kurdish/Turkish Cypriot women through providing culturally sensitive services in Turkish language. and through raising awareness on important issues including domestic violence, racism and the legal rights of women. Their website is: www.imece.org.uk.
(2) For more information about wall/space, look on our website at: http://wallspace.digitalblonde.co.uk

Sunday, 7 December 2008

over a steaming scanner

The sweetest acknowledgements page ever!

As featured in this book.

comix ladies

I forgot to post about this at the time, but a few weeks ago I went to the Thought Bubble comics con in Leeds, predominantly to attend the 'Women In Comics' panel. The panel was chaired by Dr. Mel Gibson and included Emma Vieceli, Simone Lia, Liz Greenfield, Hannah Berry, and Robin Furth.

During the day I had the pleasure to finally meet Lizz Lunney, Liz Greenfield, and Simone Lia (Simone and Lizz have featured in Colouring Outside The Lines, but I'd never met them in person before).

All three ladies were a joy, and Simone even drew me my very own Fluffy...!

looking forward

In the past week both Lynn Breedlove, and Sabrina Chapadjiev have emailed me about plans to visit the UK in 2009 to tour.
Plus, I hear on the email grapevine that Erika Lopez has plans too.
The new year looks brighter as a result!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

when you get what you want


Why oh why did I not go see her at Queer Up North this year??? I'm a dumbass sometimes.

look at the moon, look at the stars, look at the sun

Camilla's blog post, 'I Like My Friends', here just warmed the very cockles of my heart!
Nan and Phoebe look ridiculously happy.
Aww, this has cheered me up so very much!

Monday, 24 November 2008

cuz i'm not busy enough

As if I didn't already have a to-do list large enough to make me weep I've decided to make my own christmas cards this year... or, more realistically, make as many as I can (if I make it past 5 I'll have impressed myself!)
Bring on the pritt stick!
Oh dear!

In other news I finally got my act together and joined the world of Folksy as a zine-touting seller.
It's like Etsy's smaller UK cousin, but with exchange rates going haywire it seems more sensible for UK buyers to have the option of buying in ££ rather than $$ like is the case with my etsy store
My (quite unattractive and empty looking, at the moment) Folksy store is here

Friday, 21 November 2008

ribbons and paper and comix zines

Excitingly I recieved photos this week of the space I have to host the UK Women's Comix Zines Exhibition in at the Women's Library in London as part of Zinefest!

It may require imagination at this stage, but... Budge those tables out of the way (or even better cram them with distros selling kick ass zines, and supplies to make your own zine with), cover those bricks with banners of big, colourful, blown up comix pages, add a bit more fairy lighting, and get zines dangling down from those light fittings via streams of ribbons and I think it's gonna shape up quite nicely, and transform the space somewhat. I've got my creative hat on!

If you're reading this and thinking that you'd like to get involved there's still time to submit your comix zine or self-published comic, blown up pages from your comic/zine, create a comix piece espacially for the wall, or send in your how-to tips for wannabe comix creators.
Drop me a message for full details.

So far I have received submissions from the amazing Charlotte Percivil, Sarah Lippett, Rosie Brice, Lizz Lunney, Erica Akerlund, Lady Lucy, Carolyn Alexander, Jenny Linn-Cole, Liz Greenfield, Kate Evans, Flo Brooks, Kate Dickinson, and Karrie Fransman. With over 30 other ladies due to contribute within the next month too.
Exciting stuff!

Details of the whole shebang are...

Zine Fest!
Saturday 24th January 2009,

The Women's Library,
25 Old Castle Street
London E1 7NT


Distros, workshops, discussions, screen printing, hands-on, female comicx zine exhibition, plus more.
For full details of all events please check back...

More info at library website

Thursday, 20 November 2008

on the aspire...

The Bonfire Madigan UK tour I've been working on is now less than a month away and looking set to be amazing.

A rare rare UK tour from this avant-pop, chamber-punk trailblazer. Armed with dynamic vocals and innovative, self-styled cello virtuosity Madigan ignites the Bonfire with a shebeen of soul-art-string-sounds. Madigan has previously played with seminal riot grrl band Tattle Tale and is a founding collective member of the autonomous mental health collective The Icarus Project

‘Bonfire Madigan play baroque-folk punk grounded on frontwoman Madigan Shive’s soaring lullaby vocals and virtuoso cello skills. Shive, a master of tone and mood, crafts songs with raw, emotional melodies and powerful, unexpected dynamics.’ - New York Press

bonfire madigan myspace

*December 11th: LONDON
at The Barbican, London,
Cost: £13/18/22 subject to availability
Twisted Christmas featuring special guests including Bonfire Madigan Shive
Are you frustrated by the fey joviality of Christmas? Long for a sense of meaning and depth to be returned to our yuletide traditions? Then Twisted Chrismas is for you. Brought to you by David Coulter & the team behind ’Plague Songs’ this deliciously dark evening features an array of special guests performing their own versions of Christmas songs past present and future. Christmas with a twist - returning a little bit of darkness to light...

*December 14th: BRIGHTON
at Westhill
Bonfire Madigan, and Daniel Knox, + Lianne Hall.
8pm onwards.
Mulled wine and mince pies!!

*December 16th: MANCHESTER
At: The Black lion, 65 Chapel Street, Manchester
Lineup: Bonfire Madigan / mcwatt / march of alka malka, there will also be a festive buffet
£5 on door
Updates via: kaffequeeria wesite kaffequeeria@riseup.net

*December 17th: LEEDS
At: Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queens Road, Leeds, LS6 1NY, Tel: 0113 275 2411, Brudenell website
£5 on the door
Supported by: Ray Rumours London) Ex- Electrelane, The Battys & Lesbo Pig myspace + The Seven Inches (Leeds) myspace

*December 18th: HULL
Adelphi Club, 89 De Grey Street, Hull, HU5 2RU Tel: 01482 348216, Adelphi website

*December 19th: LONDON
At: the Horse Hospital
The Mad & Strange / Strange & Mad Show
Starring Bonfire Madigan and Richard Strange (songwriter, storyteller, punk legend, actor: see him in Harmony Korine's latest film, Mister Lonely playing an impersonator playing Abe Lincoln)http://www.myspace.com/richardkidstrange
+ Neotropic (a founding Future Sounds of London memeber)
DJing it all together. only £ 6-8
Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1HX
by tube: Russell Square, Piccadilly Line
buses: 7, 59, 68, 91, 168, 188

*December 21: LONDON
At: Royal Academy of Arts Bar/Cafe
Last gig of the year = on winter solstice = a special 3pm afternoon musical presentation in this beautiful high ceilinged space, presenting nearly all instrumental music.
Bonfire Madigan showcasing avant-classical cello and vocal work from her 2008 scoring commissions for the American Conservatory Theater.
Last chance to get the rest of BMad's merch directly + as solstice gifts (she can't take it back!)
Including the book Live Thru This that she will sign for your loved one.
+ a whole different set than Fri from Riz Maslen/Neotropic/Small Fish with Spine
In 6 Burlington Gardens W1

* * * * *

For the Leeds date view the myspace event here and the facebook event here

BONFIRE MADIGAN SHIVE is a visionary cellist, composer, vocalist, performing artist, community activist, and international touring musician from the United States. Shive has collaborated onstage and in studio with artists as diverse and influential as iconoclastic music producer Hal Willner (Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, Allen Ginsberg, Laurie Anderson), Joan Jeanrenaud (Kronos Quartet), David Coulter (The Black Rider, The Pogues), Kimya Dawson (Juno Soundtrack), Cat Power, Gossip, Fugazi, The Good, the Bad and the Queen, Jolie Holland, Slovenian industrial-music-theater artists Laibach, Finnish chamber-metal showmen Apocalyptica and Academy Award nominee Elliott Smith.
Shive's songs have been included in the films Better Luck Tomorrow, But I'm a Cheerleader, and Chain Camera. Commissions include the original score composed and performed for the American Conservatory Theater's 2008 production of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, London's Barbican Hall 2008 Twisted Christmas program, prepared solo cello suites for San Francisco Grace Cathedral's 2006 Easter Vigil, as well as the score and starring role in the forthcoming experiMental silent film Transliminal Criminal. She is a contributing author to the recently released anthology Live through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction (Seven Stories Press), sharing company with bell hooks, Nan Goldin, Kate Bornstein, and other creative pioneers. She is a founding collective member of The Icarus Project (theicarusproject.net), a grassroots support and media network led by people living with experiences commonly labeled "mental illness." Starting on cello at the age of nine, she began her composing career at fifteen in the Pacific Northwest riot grrrl scene releasing music with seminal independent record labels K and Kill Rock Stars. Shive has gone on to establish herself as a singular and trailblazing performer, blending folk, art, punk, classical and avant-baroque styles. Her albums include Sew True, ...from the Burnpile, Saddle the Bridge, Plays for Change, and the recently reissued I Bleed: a Decade of Song; she is currently finishing her sixth full-length album, to be released in collaboration with her label, MoonPuss Music.
Visit Shive at bonfiremadigan.com or myspace.com/bonfiremadigan.

if the exchange rate wasn't so bad...

... everybody would be getting one of these beauties by Sally Harless for Christmas.

Welcome to The Ocean World of Sallee Cousteau.
Sallee has lovingly drawn various sea creatures for this calendar so that not only will you know what day it is, you can also enjoy a different underwater drawing each month.
These calendars measure 81/2 by 14 inches when unfolded. The covers are ivory cardstock and the inside pages are a thinner green paper.
These make really great Christmas gifts for children or adults!
$7 plus $1 shipping

How do you get one of these?
1. You send a check, money order, or well-concealed cash to:
Sally Harless
2836 S. Walnut St.
Bloomington, IN
2. You send money via paypal to sally@sadlyharmless.com.
3. You see me in person and we go in the alley and seedily make the exchange.

Sally on myspace
Sally on etsy

Friday, 14 November 2008

some people are too nice

I was blogged about today.

Thanks MGU, I'm happy you liked the zine!

"I have trouble with boys voices"

Last night I went to see the only film on the Leeds International Film Festival programme that excited me enough to attend the festival, Who's Afraid Of Kathy Acker?
It was really great and I encourage anyone to see it if they get the chance (alas the screenings in Leeds have now finished)

The film is described here...

WHO'S AFRAID OF KATHY ACKER? is the first film to explore the outrageous life and times of the banned American writer, Kathy Acker, a woman who lived her life without boundaries. Named one of America’s original “outlaw writers” by the New York Times, Acker created challenging and sexually graphic fiction rooted in the same New York underground scene which inspired the worldwide punk movement. This first film, conceived & directed by the young Austrian Artist, Barbara Caspar, and co-written with English filmmaker Andrew Standen-Raz, covers every aspect of Acker's life, from her wild early years in New York City to her untimely death in Tijuana, Mexico, of breast cancer in 1997. Caspar's film is a multi-layered, artistic tour de force--a sophisticated mix of animations, graphic text and filmed reenactments of scenes from Acker's bestseller "Blood & Guts in High School", shot in NYC, as well as a host of interviews with leading figures of the time connected with Kathy, including William Burroughs, Kathleen Hanna & Bikini Kill, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, Barney Rosset and Ira Silverberg.

It kinda blew my mind with inspiration.

In the US the film appears to have been distributed by Women Make Movies, a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women.
How rad is that!

The last book I read by Acker was Pussycat Fever, (illustrated by Diane Dimassa) which I'm gonna dig out and re-read cuz I remember at the time being totally overwhelmed and confused and challenged by it, and in truth not getting much from it; so perhaps it's worth another shot, especially after learning so much about Acker last night.

Writing is what I did when I was alone with no one watching me or telling me what to do. I could do whatever I wanted.

"Women need to become literary “criminals”, break the literary laws and reinvent their own, because the established laws prevent women from presenting the reality of their lives."

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

typical girls... are emotional

There was one point during Ladyfest Manchester on Sunday that I felt myself welling up, on the brink of crying. Let me explain why...

I'd arrived in a car full of my favourite ladies and songs on the stereo of joy. I'd set up the distro with one of my best friends and sold zines and crafts to genuinely enthusiastic people keen to read words written by allies. I received more hugs-per-day ratio than in a hell of a long time, as everybody was in a terrific mood and happy to be sharing the space and the event with each other. I'd gone off to run a couple of workshops on independent publishing and feminist activism that some absolutely wonderful participants came to full of ideas and questions and wide eyes and advice and thoughtfulness and humour and articulation and ready to share knowledges and experiences and thoughts and suggestions. Some people went away expressing to me that they were inspired to make their own zines as a result of the workshop, while some just wanted to talk more, to spend time communicating. I met some really great people that I wouldn't have had the chance to were it not for me being invited to be involved with the festival. I sat with friends and giggled so hard I thought I would cry. I saw crafts and felting that flabbered my gast with its exquisite production and boundless creativity. I saw people I hadn't seen in ages, and enjoyed catching up. I saw a band that made my ache with love for their pumpkins and dollies and treacle toffee, and was overjoyed to turn to my left and turn to my right to see my friends beaming with happiness too. I saw three of my friends take to the stage and blow my mind with the most powerful and positive and inspiring performance I've ever seen them do, almost like the ladyfest energy brought something else out within them that we always knew they had, but that that stage and reception let them see it too and took over, creating something amazing. And the way Jenny talked on that stage about feminism still being necessary and important, and me looking up and seeing that notion in action in her face and in her actions to the point that a shudder of tingles surged up my spine upon her refrain to the audience to 'keep on keeping on'. And to be stood there watching that with these people, friends, and friends-in-spirit around me who *got it*. And riding on the wave of euphoria and excitement and pride of seeing friends achieve something so incredible, along came the slits. And they launched into 'shoplifting' and there wasn't a sullen face in the room. And I looked around to see a lady, a friend, an organiser of the whole event stood there in rapture after such a stressy weekend, if not months of organising. And to hug her and hear her express just how much it was worth it to have got to this, the climax of the whole ladyfest, with such happiness and presence of mind, and proud unrestrained female voices all around us singing along with Ari Up - that's what kinda started me off in welling up. I then began to look at my friends singing every lyric, every word of 'typical girls' and hearing ari speak of them, my friends, my acquaintances, my fellow ladyfesters being family, being revolutionaries, I was just overwhelmed with possibility and potential and happiness and I could feel the tears of pride coming. So I snuck to the front in time for some of my friends to take the stage alongside the band while I stood amongst those friends who mean such a great deal to me and hugged and danced and sung and shouted along with them in unison, all the while knowing I was part of something ridiculously important and hopeful and soul-nourishing.

Thank you to everybody involved.

Photos "borrowed" from Charlotte and Emma cuz it'll probably be ages til I get mine developed

(apologies for all the grammatical and comprehension errors etc. in this post, it was written in a stream of consciousness and giddyness while the ideas were fresh in my head...)

Monday, 10 November 2008

my favourtie photograph

My Gran gave me this photograph many years ago. My great-aunt Alice is apparently the woman on the right. I never met her, but think I'd have liked her!

free encouragement

Free Encouragement is a neat project I just heard about.
More info:

"There is just so much negativity all around us these days, have you noticed?
I don’t think I know of a single person who couldn’t use some encouragement, so here it is!
You can use this gallery to encourage a close friend or someone you just happened to pass by on the street. You can encourage a relative who may be ill or the girl who handed you your coffee this morning. You could even use this place to encourage yourself!

Keep your message fairly short. Say what you mean with as few words as possible (a general rule for good writing anyways).
Please send in your encouraging words via email to this address: encouragement@booooooom.com.
Your message will be displayed as a simple, anonymous, image in the gallery. Like this":

Submissions will be accepted until Friday, December 5th.

<< EDIT: The first batch of submissions are up here >>

Saturday, 8 November 2008

The Dream and the Nightmare

Mikhaela Reid

Originally from:

Join Mikhaela's weekly update list by sending a blank message to newtoons-subscribe@mikhaela.net

I'm not personally advocating the need for gay marriage - in that from a queer perspective it's not exactly the top of my list of things to strive for, personally. However, that said, the rejection of the opposition of the ruling is blatant discrimination. Purely horrible, and has so many other impacts upon gay, queer, and alternative freedoms, rights, and respect.

doug martsch, will you be my favourite uncle? please?

I'm not much of a music reviewer. In fact I'm not much good at reviewing any sort of art, be it music, visual art, film, performance art, comics, theatre, etc. etc.

All I know is what I know.
All I know is what I love.
All I know is that feeling when my internal organs leap somersaults of happiness.
All I know is what I can and do truely engage with.

When you're stood at a gig and you forget to notice that your back aches from standing so long. When you're not drifting off and thinking about whether you left the oven on. You've got cheek ache from smiling as the band in front of you launches into another one of you all-time favourite songs. You see people in the crowd turning around and beaming at the people they came with as the opening chords to their favourite songs start up, and you can't help but join in the smile too. When you have a huge feeling of contentment and happiness and solidarity and *joy*. When you no longer feel self-conscious about going to the gig on your own because the band make you feel like you belong. When you're in your favourite tiny gig venue and it feels like you're at home in your bedroom dancing to your favourite songs. When the band seem so happy to be there. When the band love the venue and criticise all the bleedin' carling academy venues in this country. When you hear songs that bring back such fond memories and then forge brand new ones of you and the band and *this*. When the first note of a song makes you open your otherwise shy and timid mouth and sing along loudly. When tracks from all the bands albums are played with the same enthusiasm as the last. When nobody in the crowd is annoying you because you hardly notice anybody else is there. When nobody in the crowd is annoying you cuz they're clapping in applause, and dancing along, in time with you too. When you realise that half the band have facial hair that you're jealous of. When you never knew how joyful it was to hear the word 'brontosaurus' sung live. When the drums and the bass are so familiar that your body reacts to them instinctively, without restriction, without hesiataion, without thinking, by passionatley moving your head in response. When this live experience overtakes and overshadows every other time you'd seen the band. When this gig overtakes every other gig you've seen this year.

Built To Spill. I adore you.
That's what I know.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

getting my gig hands dirty again...

Weds 17th December, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds.
£5 OTD
Supports TBC.

A rare rare UK show from this avant-pop, chamber-punk trailblazer. Armed with dynamic vocals and innovative, self-styled cello virtuosity Madigan ignites the Bonfire with a shebeen of soul-art-string-sounds. Madigan has previously played with seminal riot grrl band Tattle Tale and co-founded the autonomous mental health collective ‘The Icarus Project’

‘Bonfire Madigan play baroque-folk punk grounded on frontwoman Madigan Shive’s soaring lullaby vocals and virtuoso cello skills. Shive, a master of tone and mood, crafts songs with raw, emotional melodies and powerful, unexpected dynamics.’ - New York Press


*Full UK tour update to come once I've made a poster showing all the dates!

Sunday, 2 November 2008

I just fell in love...

Breaking The Bell Jar

Once upon a time a girl took a guitar and tried to play it* she started to sing and write lyrics* and it made her get through the dark and sunny days of life*

Saturday, 1 November 2008

The World's A Mess And Yr My Only Cure

I had the pleasure of contributing to this new zine, alongside other wonderful contributers including: artist Enid Crow, Charlotte of Toe Curl zine, Julia of Manifesta and Vile Vile Creatures, Kandy of Knit & Destroy, Dottie's Fake DIY, filmmaker Nina Jones, Bunny of Wonderleague.co.uk, Calvin Johnson (K Records), Lady Rouge of Suppedisne zine, Melissa Ann of She's So Very zine, Cara of Daisy Daisy Does, Ste Mc Cabe, Asbo a Gogo girls, Kelly Rose of Pulse zine, Ngombo Chansa Machile of Manifesta Leeds, Jenny Howe of Vile Vile Creatures, Nat and Emily of Fornax Records, Allison Wolfe of Bratmobile/ColdColdHearts/etc., Vanessa of Queer X, Skulleena of Kandy Pop, and a bevvy of others.

Plus amazing cover art from Nina Nijsten whose website is packed to the rafters with more great work.

About the zine, The World's A Mess & Yr My Only Cure editor, Em, writes:

'a zine focusing on feminist/queer DIY culture, focusing on inspiration, influences, motivation and celebrating self empowerment!
The zine features interviews with people i and others took and continue to take influence from, it also looks to discover the inspirations of these idols and also a look to the people carving new inspiration into the present and future.'

It's one of those zines that made me giddy and excited to read. That filled me with motivation and validation, and a sense of security to know that there's people out there making and doing, hoping and believing, creating and producing, and living their lives as a result of excited energies and inspirations they came into contact with.

It's a tremendously hopeful zine in that it acts as a view into the hearts of those active within DIY feminist cultures, people whose actions can only have positive consequences for, and impacts upon, others.

Also, it feels so good to read others writing with such passion about things/people/experiences that have and/or do still matter so deeply to their lives, and the way they continue to experience these lives as a result. Almost as if no body has ever cared to ask this question before.
To read such passion, such strong emotion and belief on a page is in itself tremendously inspiring.

The zine is available from various UK distros, and via paypal from the zine's myspace site.

Friday, 31 October 2008

submissions of the ziney kind

Reassess Your Weapons
zine needs contributions and submissions for it’s tenth issue.

We hope to have this issue ready to take to the Zinefest occurring at The Women’s Library in London on January 24th 2009.

As always, general submissions are hugely sought after, as well as submissions around this issue’s theme; Boundaries.

The theme developed from the need to recognise and respect boundaries in order to effectively and comfortably work within, and contribute collectively to our communities.

However, please feel free to contribute by exploring any ways in which boundaries affect or influence you. Or around the theme of boundaries in general.

Reassess Your Weapons zine developed from the Manifesta feminist and queer DIY collective in Leeds, UK but has grown into a wider collective, contributions based zine, which is looking for submissions from and friends and supporters of Manifesta’s feminist ethos.

To contribute, or for more information, please contact: reassessyrweapons@manifesta.co.uk

Deadline for submissions: January 4th 2009

Thursday, 23 October 2008

letterbox radness

Letter-Box is a piece of interactive street art, that can be found in Dublin City, in Dame Lane, the LANE way beside the GEORGE on the end of GEORGES STREET, just off Dame Street, DUBLIN!!


The theme for the letters will change roughly once a month, but letters unrelated to the theme are always accepted greatfully.
Please visit Letter-Box and post your thoughts, art, cd or anything.

Letter- Box themes:

May = Letters to God (one time only chance to give the big man a piece of your mind
June = Letters to the past
August = Letters to the Future
October = Letters to a Stranger
November = Letters from your travels
December = Send small OBJECTS that hold memories or have stories behind them.

More info on the project here

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

u'huh i hear ya

Sometimes when I'm flailing, I need someone to tell me what to do and knock some sound sense into me.
Today I found a little sense here
More of their inspirational (and ridiculous) resolutions are here


Oh, and while I'm at it, more good mantras:

Sunday, 19 October 2008

I heart you, nara!

(photo above pinched from Rebecca at Angry Chicken blog, cuz my camera isn't digital, so it'll be an age before I process my own photos.)

I hopped on the train today up to Newcastle to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art to see the Yoshitomo Nara A-Z Project there.

The train broke down for over an hour on the way (air was leaking from the brakes... apparently this isn't as scary as it sounds...) so I was hella late arriving so ran (okay, for those that know me, this isn't strictly the truth, I didn't technically run, but you get the picture!) to Baltic before it closed (both the gallery for the day, and the Nara exhibition, which ends next weekend - so if you wanna go, be quick!)

I was pleased I'd made the effort though, as despite only having an hour to explore, the exhibition was wonderous.

The exhibition was situated within a constructed 'village' of wooden huts, all accessibe via wooden ramps and walkways connecting them. Each house/hut required you to bob under tiny wooden doorframes and small entrance porches and tunnels, like a wonderful children's adventure park.

Inside the houses, Nara's art had been exhibited alongside oodles of tiny plush and fluffy toys, nick-nacks, and remnants of the artists studio; making it all feel so homely and real, and like you were peaking into the world and life of Nara and his wonderfully charming mind.

The artworks inside could also be seen by peering through the windows of the huts from outside them, like a special game of peeping tom, all wonderfully lit and placed in order to catch a glimpse of his work and the paintings' eyes and faces through every higgledy-piggledy window frame.

It really was magical, and so wonderful to see Nara's work up close.
Especially these two:

It was really special too to see the faces of people as they exited each of the huts, with looks of joy and wonder on their faces.

A very special day for me, as I've loved Yoshitomo Nara's work for quite some time now.

(the photos here don't quite do the experience justice, if you get to go before the exhibition closes on Oct 26th, do do do!)

Friday, 17 October 2008

Tag team

Eek, Sarah Utter over at Snazzy Bouquet blog "tagged" me in this blogger game of divulgance. Thanks for the invite, but please bear in mind my anecdotes are always pretty mundane!

Let's hope this isn't as rough as the brutal game of tag at school which went under the name of 'British Bulldog' and eventually got banned from the playground...

The rules and regulations of this shindig are as follows:

So here are the rules:
• Link to the person who tagged you.
• Mention the rules.
• Tell six quirky yet boring, unspectacular details about yourself.
• Tag six other bloggers by linking to them.(sorry in advance!)
• Go to each person's blog and leave a comment that lets them know they've been tagged.

I once met Drew Barrymore. She was on honeymoon in Dublin with Tom Green and I bumped into her at the city art gallery there. Please understand, I've always been somewhat of an uber admirer (and seen 90% of her films; yes, that even includes 'Home Fries'!!!), so I kinda freaked and lost the plot with nerves and excitement. Also note, I had had my lip pierced a couple of weeks before (hey, I was only like 20 or something!) and hadn't yet fully recovered from the swelling there. So I sidle up to Drew after my friend had calmed me down and fully convinced me that if I didn't say 'hi' I'd kick myself forever. So Drew's looking uninterestedly at some uninteresting artwork, and I say 'hi' and shoot her my most 'hey I kinda love you, love me' smile. And as soon as I'd moved my mouth into the smile shape my swollen lip contorted into some unfeasibly unattractive state, and I realised I'd just GURNED at Drew Barrimore. Oh the shame! I gurned at Drew Barrymore...

I'm a bit OCD about cutting my toe nails, and sometimes feel the urge when I'm half asleep to get out of bed and trim them, regardless of whether they need it or not as I can't sleep til I've done it.

Sarah U at the end of her 'tag' game asked: "What word is hard for you to pronounce?" I struggle with words with silent letters, cuz I always try and pronounce that letter for some reason, maybe I feel sorry for it. In particular, the word 'February' is a killer. Kinda ruins that whole month for me!
Oh, but also, 'dwarf' is one that I simply trip over every single time. Those letters in that order make my brain and mouth spasm.

I realised tonight, watching it with friends, that I can *still* quote the entire film, 'Reality Bites', line-for-line. And it's been like 15yrs since that film came out, or something!

I was on the front page of the 'Yorkshire Evening Post' the day my A Level results came out when I was 18 as I'd done kinda well (okay, I was hella geekish at school and got some pretty good grades), and the photo they took to feature on the front page was of me and two other girls jumping in the air waving our results. If you look at the picture though (and this is waaaay before the days of Photoshop, so I musta managed to contort myself in some hella strange way) I have a third arm reaching out from behind my head. My Mum was really proud that I was in the local paper, til I pointed out the third-arm thing and totally ruined the moment!

I once ate so many tomatoes from my dad's greenhouse that it turned all the skin on my tummy orange and I had to stop.

I tag:

Good luck!

fem ad lib

Sometimes I get the most wonderful emails in my inbox. Emails that remind me that behind the hustle and bustle of things, people are working on amazing projects and community events and activisms that are really important.
This is just one of today's, & I hope, perhaps, in some way to be involved with the discussions for this particular one...

Although we haven't organised any exhibtions since secret lives, we've been very busy with our latest project.
Called fem ad lib, it is a project on the theme of feminist art - it inlcludes discussions, a one-day conference for women in March 2009 and a month-long exhibtion of feminist art in June 2009.
Our website has more details.

If you want to get involved or want to be on the fem ad lib mailing list or if you have any suggestions , ideas or comments you'd like to share with us, please get in touch.
We are particularly keen to work wwith women artsists from a range of differnt backgrounds and women working outside the UK - so please spread the word as far as you can.

Best wishes from Banu, Caroline, Helen and Itziar
on behalf of wall/space