Sunday, 16 June 2013

HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK WAS AT THE LAUNCH FOR LET'S START A PUSSY RIOT


Some might say it is postmodern, but actually The South Bank was chaotic  yesterday afternoon. Families collided against each other, and young people with clipboards clutched to their chests like shields looked anxiously for others whose t-shirts matched their own for a sense of community. 

People sat at tables with leaflets, and a Steampunkish man made announcements through a loud hailer, while simultaneously being photographed and filmed as he apparently gave a running commentary on what was happening now (or should that be 'what is happening now'? Dammit, the moment's passed). Add intermittent showers to the mix and some very firm-to-rude security guards at the doors of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and it was tempting to go home.

But I didn't want to leave without a copy of Let's Start a Pussy Riot in my hands and I'm glad I persevered: and I'm also glad I had the patience to attend the whole event, the launch which had occasional clunky moments and occasionally prompted me to question what artistic freedom is about.

Emily Neu, who put the book together (what a feat! it is a beautiful book) and the editor Jade French (much hard work!) sat together and talked through the process of creating the book briefly before inviting Fox, who had appeared an a Channel 4 TV programme about gender realignment, to talk. Fox has artwork in the book and he is a guerilla artist, pasting photographs of transgender people in public loos. He was joined by Finnish musician and film-maker 'E' who showed a film that told the story of a motley crew of presumably gay men being interrupted in their revels by a group of white-clad homophobic religious people. What bothered me was that the first punch was thrown at a woman, by one of the men.

Read on...

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Take One
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Poetry and Rhymes
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