We kicked off 2023 with just about as packed a schedule as we could manage. Poetry, film, books, music, drawing and more... We just live to invigorate people's cultural input 😛
The return of our book and film clubs were a lovely chance for regulars to reconvene, hear about each other's holidays and get stuck in again with some obscure cultural artefacts.
Swedish films are weird. That was the general consensus this month. Recurring themes were mystical creatures (vampires, trolls, human-gorillas), misery and death. Mostly endings were ambiguous, which also gave us a lot to puzzle at and discuss. We love having our core of regulars, who've now got a chunky backlog of shared cinematic reference points, as well as drop-ins who always bring a new perspective (bonus points if they're actually from the country of the month and can shed light on the more bewildering elements of its culture).
Weird Fucks was quite divisive. Some - perhaps most - book clubbers found it a fun, uplifting read, while others (namely this author) found it depressing and lacking in substance. Our discussion did not lack substance, however, and roved around topics: feminism, technology, sexual violence, international travel, '60s hedonism and writing style all got a look-in. Then we finished off the evening with a spontaneous poetry reading as it was Burns night.
Pictured above are Eaupale, who treated us to ethereal French pop, plus support from Australian artist Oscar Joe. We hosted Rachel Hill's single release party and had singer-songwriters a-plenty: Esme White and Sophie Wright (a pleasingly rhyming pair); MAR, Arif Raihan and Matteo Palmieri; plus Japanese Sports Bra, Katie Arnold and Nova Soon. Jazz nights continue to pack the place out with great tunes and vibes. This month Tom Remon (guitar), Nat Steele (vibraphone) and Hamish Nockles Moore (double bass) joined Morocco Bound's resident saxophonist Joe Elliott.
There are some great pics from our launch of Mandate: Thirteen by Joseph J. Dowling here. We also hosted an evening of poetry to celebrate the release of Fathima Zahra's pamphlet sargam / swargam with readings by Thembe Mvula, Oshanti Ahmed, Memoona Zahid and Zahra herself. A brand new series began: poetry writing workshops with Ruth Beddow. This month's sessions were on 'poetry and inspiration' and 'poetry and the city'. Our poetry open mics began the year with a bang - both had a full house, an incredibly high standard of poetry and our staple supportive atmosphere.
The activities at drawing club this month were based on the work of Chris Orr. The results of a collaborative exercise are below, which we thought were pretty spectacular. At zine club, creativity burst out in different forms; we had one on travel, one on politics, and some Dada-esque abstract collaging :-)