EXPLORING ARTS, CULTURE, MUSIC, FILM WITHIN BRISTOL.
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WESTWORLD INCLUDING – BrisFest 2010 Bristol Poetry Festival 2010 FLASH Jim Moray Unchosen Film Festival How do to you A Western What’s on? FEATURED ARTISTS – Hannah Lake Maxine Hughes
Hannah Lake www.angeloulake.blogspot.com/ Originating from the mean streets of Peckham, South East London, Hannah Angelou Lake is a unique artist whose work is not limited to one media but many. Not many people transcend the boundaries they are comfortable with but Hannah, who believes her primary media to be photography, experiments with anything she can get her hands on. Through the years her artwork has evolved so that she now ultimately considers herself to be ‘an installation artist that involves print, drawing, photography and costume’. Her artwork beautifully manifests itself into a multimedia installation that perfectly reflects the beauty and simplicity of life.
Maxine Hughes www.mmmaxy.blogspot.com The beautiful Maxine Hughes studies graphic design at Bristol UWE but is ‘much more interested in illustration, sequential photography, exploring Bristol and finding the perfect cafe.’ She believes she went ‘half-heartedly into the degree,’ but is thankfully now ‘well and truly addicted’. If you want to delve into the magical world of Maxine then take a look at her blog where you’ll find photography, cards and cakes galore.
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UWE Publications Frenchay Campus Coldharbour Lane Bristol, BS16 1QY www.westworldmagazine.net
BRISFEST REVIEW By Lucia Dobson-Smith
Despite the success of the two previous Bristol Festivals, 2010’s Brisfest was undoubtedly the best to date. New features such as clearly defined zones and a large patch of turf for those in attendance to sit upon, as well as decent weather ensured that the event was a huge success. Sophia Jarvis attended on behalf of Westworld... A festival like Brisfest requires the time and dedication of many to ensure its success. For those who attend it’s a three day event. However, for those who organise the festival it’s a huge project that spans months. Westerneye’s very own Lucia Dobson-Smith helped organise this year’s event...
various organisations, and writing press releases and articles announcing, advertising and promoting various aspects of the festival. It was occasionally daunting to make contact with some top media professionals, but after the first twenty phone calls, it’s as easy as calling your granny.
Volunteering consumes both time and energy and giving away either for free is no easy call. The Bristol Festival Community Group, the charity who organise Brisfest, are almost entirely run by volunteers, and with so many people involved they must be doing something right. In July I joined that group of volunteers for what was set to be a nine week part-time placement.
As a student of Journalism and English, I was asked for my expertise in journalistic matters, and to proof the work of others. I was also allowed the space to develop my own ideas on press strategy. I found that I was thoroughly enjoying myself.
I was assigned the role of Press Officer for the festival, as I was particularly interested in gaining experience in PR and dealing with the press. My task was to ensure that Brisfest gained as much coverage as possible through contact and exchanges with a huge variety of culture and media organisations and individuals. It was quite a responsibility, and often stressful, but I felt a strange sort of rapport with the spirit of the festival, and the sheer enthusiasm that drives those who put it all together, it is certainly an infectious enthusiasm. The majority of my workload consisted of making contacts with
Often, working on a summer placement can be a bit demoralising. You enter, most of the time quite understandably, at the bottom of the ladder. It was genuinely surprising to work with an organisation that places a good deal of trust in the experience and knowledge of all of its members, even those that are only there for a limited period of time on a placement, or those working on a voluntary basis. All the hard work paid off when I visited the site during the festival and watched the thousands of visitors pouring in. I really felt like I had made a contribution and it definitely felt worth it. Some things are worth much more than money.
The primary purpose of Brisfest is to showcase local musicians and one of the first bands I watched was Bristol-based rock band Dead Legs who played The Lanes stage. The band consists of three members, Harriet (lead vocals), Chris (drummer) and Louis (guitarist). I really enjoyed their set and afterwards Chris and Louis told me that Brisfest is ‘a really nice place’ and that ‘it’s good to see local bands being given a chance to play’. ‘I hope you all have your passports because we’re about to take you on a trip around the world’ stated 6 piece reggae and blues crossover band Laid Blak. They played a varied set crossing many genres and became masters of puppetry, manipulating the audience to ‘get low’ on cue with their great sing along tunes that
were enjoyable even if you’d never heard them play before. You know you’re in Bristol when a rather dazed and confused actor from Skins (JJ to be precise) is prancing around nearby. At one point we even bumped into Big Jeff (if you’re new to Bristol and haven’t witnessed Big Jeff head banging at the front of a gig or club night, you really need to) who was, as ever, at the front of the Mr Wolfs stage trying to encourage a rather sombre audience to move to the music of Get The Blessing. At one stage I encountered a lovely man who cycles around Bristol on a fold away bike carrying a 120 year old camera. Not only has he mastered the art of using this Victorian contraption
but he was also very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about photography, using his skill to teach others just outside the main arena. On the Wondering World stage I managed to stumble across an interesting 3 piece folk band named ‘Green Angels’ who played instruments such as bagpipes, a banjo, shells and a clarinet. The stage also hosted poetry recitals, including a set from Dreadlock Alien who had the audience spellbound with his poems. Although he is from Birmingham, Dreadlock Alien tours his poetry around Britain and said of Bristol ‘I know about 50 people here today, it’s like a family’. I asked him how he got into poetry and he replied, ‘my dad is Jamaican and didn’t want me to do poetry, he told me “you need to feed your kids”’. But he said if Linton Kwesi Johnson (a prolific UK based political poet) approved of his poetry he could be a poet. So he sent him a letter and is still performing to this day. Just before I left I caught up with Big Jeff again and asked him about Brisfest, he said ‘it’s been pretty good, but not as busy as I had hoped, it feels more creative really. My highlight was Scarlet Rascal and the Train Wreck on the Lanes stage. They’re a 4 piece garage rock band. It’s actually a bit depressing as they’re only 19.’
– This year’s Brisfest was almost unrecognisable in comparison to last year’s. It was bigger and better and reminded me of a mini Glasto with something to suit everyone, from a chilled out chai tea area to a penalty shoot-out zone and a kids spot. I will definitely be buying my ticket for 2011. –
2010 saw the 15th anniversary of the Bristol Poetry Festival, how has the event evolved over the last 15 years? In the beginning there was more of a local emphasis, but if you’re too insular the audience eventually shrinks and the artistic and professional development of people interested in writing poetry will be severely reduced. You can’t write good poetry if you don’t read good poetry, hear good poetry and interact with the world of poetry. So the emphasis became one of bringing together the most entertaining and inspirational award winning poets from Bristol, the South West, the UK and abroad. There have been poets and performers from the USA, Africa, Australia and Europe. We even had a Poetry Slam a couple of years ago where a team of slam poets from Bristol competed against a team from Paris, with the Paris team speaking in French. We wanted a lively mixture of page poetry and performance poetry, and also to reflect and showcase the work that was taking place locally on a daily basis. This would include educational project work the Poetry Can undertakes with people and groups in the community.
By Sean Guest
– Following the success of the 15th annual Bristol Poetry Festival Sean Guest caught up with the man responsible for organising the event, Poetry Can director Colin Brown. –
This year’s event featured performances by nationally acclaimed poets such as Kit Wright and Ruth Fainlight, as well as local writers like David Briggs and Patrick Brandon. Is there a dramatic difference between the crowds drawn by local poets when compared to those drawn by poets with a reputation nationally? Not necessarily, of course well known poets such as Carol Ann Duffy and Benjamin Zephaniah will sell every seat in the theatre but some local poets and locally based events, such as the Poetry Slam, will also attract big audiences. How popular is poetry in Bristol? Well, Bristol has been referred to as ‘the city of the spoken word’ by Jeremy Paxman, which reflects its big reputation for performance poetry. Festival audiences have increased over the last ten years and poets really enjoy reading and performing here because the audiences are very well informed and extremely appreciative. Due also to its various long running groups and poetry nights, Bristol is a good place to be if you’re interested in poetry. The event is organised by Poetry Can, a registered charity formed in 1995. Just how much of the organisation’s time is dedicated to arranging this event each year and what else does the charity do? Timewise, from start to finish, a poetry festival takes about six months to organise. The Poetry Can is a poetry development agency funded by Arts Council England and by Bristol City Council to organise and promote poetry in Bristol and the South West, as well as nationally and internationally. Essentially we do this by organising, promoting and supporting poetry events, including Bristol Poetry Festival, by organising poetry educational activities through the year and by providing information, advice and support to anyone interested in anything at all to do with poetry. We achieve this last part by answering general enquiries through the Poetry Can website, sending out a monthly email bulletin and providing one-to-one poetry development surgeries for poets of all abilities. What was your personal highlight from this year’s festival? That’s a really difficult question as the quality of poetry and performance was so high and there were so many different kinds of events that I’ll just have to cop out and say everything was my highlight. How can people find out more about Poetry Can? If you’re interested in writing poetry and would like to talk to someone about getting started, or you want some advice on how to develop both artistically and professionally as a poet then please get in touch with Poetry Can. Our telephone number is 0117 933 0900 and our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want to find out what’s going on with poetry in Bristol and beyond, please visit our website www.poetrycan.co.uk
FLASH REVIEW By Alice Palmer Brown
Curious as to what the Bristol Poetry Festival had to offer, Alice Palmer-Brown attended the FLASH night, which boasted the likes of Lucy English, Sara-Jane Arbury, Glenn Carmichael and Anna Freeman, relatively excited by the prospect of performance poetry.
The event took place at the Arnolfini, by the Bristol harbour side, in a small theatre-like room. The back wall featured a large screen, upon which images and silent films were projected to support the poetry. The title of the night FLASH refers to flashbulb memories, which are distinctly vivid, precise and often recalled with extreme clarity. They are usually from a significant or upsetting time in a person’s life. Through the use of drama, spoken word and images each poet revealed to the audience such instances. First up was Anna Freeman who dramatically spoke about homelessness. She was a brilliant performer and included incredibly morbid and graphic language like ‘nylon sticks to sweat with clinging parasitic teeth’, which I enjoyed. Next up was Lucy English, who talked about growing up with a younger sister who has down syndrome. Her poetry moved me a great deal, yet it would have been nice if the different poets linked in some way instead of switching in style, tone and theme as it became a little confusing at times. At one point haunting projections of brain scans appeared on the screen. At this Sarah-Jane Arbury began to speak, using her poetry as a way of describing her experience of having a brain tumour. Arbury tended to use performance more than others, choosing to act out scenes rather than present them as a monologue. She often involved Glenn Carmichael in her pieces, giving him the role of the doctor. I was shocked however at one instant when he was reading his lines from a piece of paper. Carmichael performed a poem entitled Flash that I found particularly striking. It was a bizarre one that had him pretending to flash a woman that walked passed his house and thankfully it
was over quite quickly. The poems were not connected in any way but the poets seemed to weave them together with a mixture of actions, light and sound. However some of them were ruined by the terrible graphics in the background as the images were completely irrelevant and kept jolting and zooming in on nothing in particular. After the show I discussed the graphics with a friend who simply concluded that the film must have been broken for it was so bad. Despite this however, I had a satisfactory night and managed to really get into some of it. Most of the poems would have worked better on the page as speaking them didn’t add any further depth or dimension, however they were still relatively enjoyable.
Ever since the release of his debut album Sweet England in 2004 Jim Moray has been considered a somewhat controversial figure on the traditional English folk scene, as his radical take on the genre involves elements of electronica, strings and, God forbid, hip-hop. It is, perhaps, this tendency for experimentation that ensures the Thekla isn’t full to sinking point when the man himself takes to the stage. He and his band are currently touring new album In Modern History and it’s from this collection that the majority of tonight’s set is drawn. Collectively the band succeeds in recreating the splendour of the recorded material by playing various traditional instruments including a hurdy gurdy and a melodeon, although Moray plays all the instruments himself on the self-recorded albums. The modern approach to folk music, for which Moray has become so well known, is evident in the programmed beats provided by a laptop, which is also used to broadcast the voice of absent collaborator Hannah Peel whilst a projected image of her face mouths along during standout track Jenny of the Moor. Moray’s passion for folk music is evident in each song he plays, yet it’s never more apparent than when he’s providing a brief description of the origin and content of the song he’s about to perform. During one such instance he explains the nature of a ‘broken token’ song, while the audience hangs on his every word.
releases has been an award winner, most recently 2008’s Low Culture won the Mojo Folk Album of the Year Award. It is this album that provides the highlight of the set Leaving Australia, a conflict of swooning balladry and abrasive violin. Another highlight, also taken from Low Culture, is All You Pretty Girls, an XTC cover. Somewhat unsurprisingly, Moray’s version is more sea shanty than pomp rock and causes the audience to dance and sing along with reckless abandon, while the band repeats the chorus over and over to their delight. At the end of the show Moray removes himself to the bar area where he sells and signs records, poses for photographs and talks to his fans as if they’re long lost friends. That many of them are teenagers suggests he is breathing new life into a tired old musical genre and by reinventing it in such a manner he is attracting listeners who may have never bothered with anything post-Dylan otherwise. Jim Moray’s enthusiasm and humble demeanour is refreshing and not often found amongst musicians, especially those who have received the kind of acclaim he has. His adopted hometown may be biased, but on this evidence alone his popularity only looks set to increase.
JIM MORAY By Sean Guest
In 2004 Moray won the BBC2 Horizon Award following the release of Sweet England. Since then, each of his subsequent
UNCHOSEN FILM FESTIVAL By Oscar Clarke.
– The annual Unchosen Film Festival returns to Bristol for its third year, later this month. The aim is to raise awareness about the growing problem of human trafficking the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. –
On four consecutive Tuesday’s, between the 19th of October and the 9th of November, screenings will be held at the Colston Hall, supplemented by talks and Q&A sessions by filmmakers, after the films have been shown.
borders into India’s sex trade, directed by Ananya Chatterjee Chakraborti, will be screened on November the 2nd. The film won the United Nations Population Fund award, at the Laadli media awards in May.
between $5 billion and $9 billion, while the Council for Europe estimates that it has a total annual market of over $40 billion. According to the United Nations, 2.5 Million people from 127 different countries are being trafficked around the world.
The honorary president of the event is filmmaker Nick Broomfield. Dramatist, Ken Loach is a patron, along with Paul Field and Chantelle Tagoe. Broomfield says, “I am honoured to be working with people who have the energy to put their caring into effect”.
According to Chakraborti, at least 500 girls are trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh to India every month, via the Eastern corridor. According to Interpol, sex trafficking of women and children is a $1 billion (USD) global industry that continues to grow; and 200,000 Nepalese girls work in Indian brothels.
The first screening will be the UK premier of Portuguese filmmaker Rui Simoes’ Paths of Pain, which explores issues such as poverty and the plight of immigrants associated with human trafficking. Simoes is a renowned filmmaker whose earliest work was the 1975 feature film ‘God, Fatherland, Authority’, about the Portuguese clerical fascist dictatorship, of Antonio de Oliveira Salazar‘s Estado Novo (New State). The following week, three short films - Bristol Bike Project, Echoes and Brazil’s Child Prostitutes - will be screened.
Unchosen patron, Paul Field, closes the festival on November the 9th with CARGO, a musical which compares the struggle to end the African slave trade in the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries with the plight of human slaves today.
Many countries still fail to comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. In the Totalitarian states North Korea and Burma, the Theocracies of Iran and Saudi Arabia, and many African states, like Zimbabwe and Sudan, no effort at all has been made to comply with the TVPA. And in the whole of South America, Africa and Asia, only four states are in full compliance with the TVPA’s minimum standards.
Understanding Trafficking, a film about young girls lured across
The total annual revenue for human trafficking is estimated to be
Human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world, after the drugtrade. It is the exploitation of human beings for the purposes of sex or labour, making it a modern day form of human slavery.
Tickets to each screening at the Colston Hall can be purchased from the Colston Hall website, or at the box office and are priced at just £2. The Colston Hall will also host the (UN)VEILED art exhibition, on Monday the 18th and Tuesday the 19th October. Screenings will also be held at the Forum in Bath on Wednesday nights, starting with Nick Broomfield’s Ghosts on Wednesday the 20th October.
HOW-DO-TO-YOU AN EXHIBITION PREVIEW
Friday night saw the launch of a new exhibition in Howies gallery space upstairs. The exhibition features 12 of howies favourite Illustrators and showcases a selection of their work, both past and present. To celebrate this creative reunion, Howies have had a limited print t-shirt made up with their doodling friends rewriting the Howies logo. If you didn’t make it on Friday night you may have missed out on organic cider, scones and brownies…but you still have the rest of the month to pop in, check out the work and grab yourself a t-shirt. Work includes Mr Bingo, Nicholas Burrows, Claire Scully and UWE’s very own Robert Hunter who graduated in 2007. The show runs until November the first and if your not in the know Howies can be found at the top of Park Street next to some club called Bunker? Never heard of it myself but there you go ENJOY. Alex Green
From Top Left to Bottom Right - Billy Jean, Nicholas Burrows, Claire Scully, Mr Bingo and finally David Sparshott
In the upstairs bar at Bristol’s Tobacco Factory theatre, free whiskeys are being given out to the crowd that’s gathered to see A Western, a performance by Bristol based production company Action Hero. There’s no sign of any props and when the two sole performers Gemma Paintin and James Stenhouse enter the bar equipped only with a cowboy hat, a harmonica and a bottle of discount brand ketchup, they announce that there’s going to be a lot of moving around. What follows is a series of lively and endearingly clumsy renditions of all the scenes that are compulsory to any classic Western movie. There’s no real story line to link the scenes
together, but that doesn’t matter because no one ever really understands what’s going on in those movies anyway. Instead we get the best bits, the show down at noon, the drunkard rolling down the steps outside the saloon and the ending where the hero dies a long and drawn out death. The ketchup, of course, functions as a particularly low budget alternative to fake blood.
as dauntless as this. With any kind of performance it’s always more exiting when the performers take risks and countless things could have potentially gone wrong here. Although the dialogue was minimal and the movements were sketchy, in hindsight it’s clear that A Western is tightly written and carefully considered. I’ll keep an eye out to see what Action Hero are up to next.
A Western is very much an interactive show and this element of the performance genuinely elevates the atmosphere of the evening. Audience members and the theatre’s staff are pulled in spontaneously to become menacing card players, cold blooded gunmen, and thick skinned saloon bartenders. Almost everyone was really receptive to this, although a small handful of the theatre goers, who were probably expecting an evening of chin-stroking and deep contemplative thinking, were reluctant to get involved with the playful shenanigans. One individual, for example, spent the entire duration of the performance seated, reading the theatre brochure and occasionally rolling his eyes in response to the jokes. The performance parodies the overblown machismo and moronic patriotism of American Western movies in a witty and lighthearted way. It makes fun of the idea that we’re supposed to think that there’s something so momentously cool about pretty absurd clichés - the scene where the cowboy struts into a saloon, everyone stops talking... he orders a whiskey, for example. Traditional Westerns usually project a very conservative idea about American morality, George W. Bush didn’t win the hearts of so many Americans by being a good speaker, but it probably helped that he talked like a cowboy from some.
By David Reed
A Western mocks the generic individual-against-the world mentality and dodgy stereotyping of Western films, like when the audience are instructed to laugh like bad guys if they’re “anything other than white, American and male”. I’ve seen interactive stuff at the theatre before, but nothing quite
THE BIG CHILL
THE MAGNUS PUTO BAND – Wed 13th October
TAKAHIKO IIMURA – Wed 13th Jan - Wed 13th October
THE BIG CHILL BAR'S 1ST BIRTHDAY with special guest NORMAN JAY – Sat 16th October
JAROSLAW FLICINSKI – Wed 27th October
FUTUREBOOGIE – Fri 22nd October
MOUNTAIN OF 9 with MOUNT KIMBIE, XIU XIU, LICHENS, PAUL METZGER, MUNCH MUNCH – Sat 30th October – Price: £12.50 advance
CRAZY P, HOT BLOOD DJS, FOOLISH FELIX DICKINSON AND FUTUREBOOGIE DJS – Sat 16th October
CUBE TWELFTH BIRTHDAY PARTY: INFINITE LIVEZ, BLACK ALIEN SABBATH AND GUEST DJS – Sat 9th October – Price: £7.00 on the door / £5.00 advance
CUBE CLASSICS LIVE JAZZ NIGHT: BIG R BIG BAND – Thurs 14th October – Price: £3.00
BLOWPOP with DJ YODA, ORBITAL, THE FREESTYLERS, HIGH RANKIN, SOUL OF MAN AND MORE! – Sat 9th October – Price: £15.00
TOBACCO FACTORY LA TRAVIATA – Tue 12 Oct - Sat 23 Oct
BLOC FESTIVAL with GREEN VELVET (AKA CAJMERE), CLAUDE VONSTROKE, ANDREW WEATHERALL, APPELBLIM, RAMADANMAN, JULIO BASHMORE, VENT (1), OCTOBER (3), APPLE PIPS, SCUBA (DJ), AL TOURETTES AND MORE. – Fri 15th October – Price: £16.00
VICTORIA KLEWIN – Sunday, 17 October RICH HALL – Mon 25 Oct - Tue 26 Oct – Price: £15.00 all tickets