Monthly Archives: August 2003

what a day

[ from the dept. ]

So it is Sunday now and I have already missed out a day on my internet diary. We just went to see the fireworks, end of the festival. It got quite misty and foggy and rainy at the end, so we did not see much.
The festival was so expensive this year, that I went as usual only to the stuff I could see for free, and even that I didn’t do properly.
I went to see “The Girls of may” and found it fantastic, I really wanted to write a feature about it on IMcUk and ImcScotlands new culture section.
Not only about the play, but about the festival and the situation here during the festival in general.

The entry fees were just so expensive. I heard there would have been jobs going as in go to see as many things as possible for free and then write reviews about it.
That’s what I would have liked to have done would I have known about it earlier.
But unfortunately I didn’t. So I only went to see “Adventures in a Bath” and “Girls of May”. I even missed out all documentaries from the filmfestival including the free offers.
It was just so ridiculously expensive, 5 pounds 7.50, 10 pounds for one film per person. So in the end I just didn’t go, because it was so frustrating.

Arrgh. Also I tried to get these films and filmmaker from LA and SF Imc into the filmhouse or the cameo, but it seems to be quite a difficult task, especially if you don’t even have the money for a camera and aklso look like it.

I also get frustrated a bit because I was told the Forest wouldn’t help out hosting the SF filmmaker and their film, which would be exactly on the same day as the LA film. Dan is back now and I lost complete touch with the film world or with putting on screenings.

Well, the thing with the festival is, that it is trendy and hip.-it is also so expensive that you can guarantee only to meet people of the entertainment industry or attract a certain type of audience, who happen to earn guaranteed more than lets say 15, most likely 20 k a year?
What an unlikely co-incidence…

Well,there was the peoples festival and the mela and at least here outside Edinburgh, it is calm and grey like always. No new faces in this area, except some roma and gypsy camp down at the seaside.

So no more festival to me.
Although I quite appreciate the Theatre Workshops attempts to improve the world by acting it still is only a little drop on the capitalist hype of the festival.

well, it is all over today.

My first blog just got set up

Hi, this is the first message on my freshly set up site.

I am so excited. Still, I have absolutely no clue where this blog will lead me and what will come out of it.
Will it be a diary? Will it be a dictionary, and moreover will I write in German or English or both?
A reminder of what I have to do?
Crazy isn’t it.
I guess this century might develop to be one of the best documented so far, concerning what the people living in this time actually think and do rather than than the leaders.
Probably blogs full with minor problems and in some time back future generations might ask: Why have they been so ignorant about the destruction of environment? Why did they waste their time writing blogs?

Well for me I would like to say I love writing and it clears out my brain of all the toxic waste dumped there by society in the course of a day.
It is relieving just to tell anyone, but paper- or webspace now, is of course patient and most of the time doesn’t say or have anything against you- aeh, that’s more like the paper I’d say.
I wonder what it is like with the blog, how much interaction there is with people reading each others blogs.
Maybe blogs are interactive diaries?

Away from the blogs issue to another sensless question:
Flashmobs.
There was just the first one in Edinburgh and it was pretty shite.
See Edinburgh Flashcrowds for a media obsessed self centred organiser, giving interviews to the BBC and inviting all the media to the place and event for coverage. How spontaneous fun can that be as a performance for the media! Surely it can’t and it wasn’t.
Luckily the crowd he got was pretty minor such as about 8 pple on Bristo Square, who were looking up somewhere and pointing at something.
The Glasgow flashmob sounds much more sympathetic, and the poor teenager in Dundee who was so enthusiastic about organising it and then got arrested as far as I was told.

I totally share Toms and other critics on the flashmob, see the threat on Urban75, but I share the appreciation of the flashmob similar political projects in Germany such as the RadioBallett in Hamburg, who won the Alternative Media Award, and also the “collective listening to the radio in public spaces” in times, when the repressive interior minister of Hamburg tried to repress protests by not allowing big gatherings of crowds and trying to criminalize a community radio station for not sharing his political views on evicting a collective housing projects in caravans.
Luckily this guy had to resign when there was some unclear handling of money involved, but don’t know anything particular.

Anyway, that is what was forwarded sometime by email of one of the apparant organisers of the Edinburgh flashmob:
” As far as the Flash Mob goes, it’s planned for the 28th of this month, and you can get details here if you wanna show up! :)
Also, despite the fact that by their very nature Flash Mobs are apolitical and have little or no connection with anti-capitalism or anti-consumerism, I myself often sympathize with those sentiments. I used to be anti-capitalist, but later decided that capitalism isn’t -inherintly- evil, even if the form of capitalism we currently labour under in the west -is- horrible.”

I think that says it all really, why it wasn’t worth going to the Edinburgh flashmob, and probably won’t be worth going in future.
They even decided to call it “flashcrowds” to make it sound nicer!
And to add that capitalism seems to me particularly evil in the global south. We- in the “west”- (certainly depending on the point of view as well as the place) can still be happy with a bit more privileged form, where most of us have access to clean drinking water, food, shelter, education, medical treatment – although the IMF and World Bank and free trade agreements try their best to abolish it all.

Also their copyright symbol on their webpage says it all really.
Why they were wearing “Redhat” T-shirts still seemed unclear to me.
Total control freaks they seem to be.
So don’t copy the content of their website…. And try to give out fake instructions next time for the crowd to strip of naked in Marks and Spencer.
That would be one of the best things a pro-capitalist nonsense gathering could do for media coverage when “flashcrowding”, and by the way, it wasn’t “flashy” after all either as most of the organisers were keen to talk to the press after their organised publicity obsessed “performance”.

Argentinian Puppet Show in North Edinburgh

Graciela from the Argentina Autonomista Tour with her puppet showThe Argentina Autonomista Tour visited Edinburgh on 2nd and 3rd of July, arriving from Glasgow before moving on to Ulverston.
Graciela (pictured) from the Argentina Autonomista Project had a full timetable with interviews with the BBC and the Big Issue, showing slides in the Forest Cafe linked to a Q & A session, and presenting a puppet show in the evenings.

Neka, from the Unemployed Workers Movement in Argentina, gave her talks in spanish, and they were translated into English in the Q & A session.

The event in the local Muirhouse Millennium Centre was excellent, and many locals helped to make it happen in a collaborative effort.
The Pilton Partnership lent their film projector, so the audience was able to, not only imagine, but also see the images of events, groups, campaigns and places in Argentina.

The local Muirhouse Millennium Centre staff encouraged and participated in the set-up of the event and left no wish unfulfilled.

Some videos were shown to give an impression of the situation in Argentina, and then the highlight of the night started: Gracielas puppet show!

In simple words, with songs and puppets, Graciela told the story of modern Argentina.

Everything in Argentina’s recent history was covered; from the dictatorship and the resisting ‘Mothers of the Disappeared’, to the factory occupations, financial collapse with the people losing all their savings and sliding into unemployment, poverty and road protests. The audience clapped and sung throughout her performance, learning about these complex issues through the eyes of Evida, the homeless woman picking cardboard on the streets of Buenes Aires.

After the adults’ inner child was stirred by the puppet show, Neka talked about her own experiences and her take on the history. She discussed the options and praxis of her group and the movement.

The audience was enthusiastic about the puppet show as a means of education, and amazed about the astonishing things, Neka had to tell. It was important to get a visual impression from the slides and the videos shown. Over a £100 was donated to Neka’s Unemployed Workers Group, which aim is to start a collective food kitchen.

The financial collapse of Argentina saw many people lose all their money, when the currency collapsed, and the majority of the population found themselves without work or food. The state did not pay any benefits and people did not know how to survive. Factories were closed as the owners couldn’t pay wages or obtain raw materials.
Out of this situation people came together, unsure and not knowing how to cope with the future. They started discussing and finding solutions, running collaborative volunteer projects, organised by everyone in a non-hierarchical way.
We invited the Autonomista Tour to North Edinburgh, to inform people about Argentina’s history, but also to show how poor people in the hardest of situations can help themselves by sticking together as friends and neighbours in their community, and by founding groups, initiatives and councils to overcome hardship.
The tour, in itself, was a success, with over £1000 being raised for Neka to take back to Argentina. This money will be used to fund a neighbourhood health centre.