Watch…Caramel, (2007) set in Beirut in a beauty salon, this film concentrates on women’s lives, rather than the politics of the Middle East. In beauty salons across the world women gather together to chat, exchange secrets and seek support from one’s sisters. (My sister was a hairdresser in a salon (or “shop” as they said in East Manchester) and the only man allowed across the threshold during opening times was the gay bartender and he was there to get his hair dyed!) The director of Caramel, Nadine Labaki, also starred in the film. Her latest film, Where Do We Go Now?, will be shown at the Cornerhouse next month as part of their Arab and Lebanese film season.
Read….Resolution (1986) Maeve Kelly is not just an incredible writer of fiction, but also a poet who directly addresses the politics of being a woman. In this collection she takes on many issues; love for a man, love for her children, as well as the bigger issues of the war in Ireland. She has written three poems about being a feminist and looking back (she is now aged 82) at her life as an activist she says ; Lucky to have made that leap/out of the dark of youth’s complacence (from Feminist I). I had to buy this from a secondhand book website, it’s a shame that Maeve Kelly isn’t up there with the likes of Seamus Heaney.
Listen to….The Liberty Tree (CD) by Leon Rosselson and Robb Johnson. Originally a show commissioned by the Labour Party (that won’t happen again!) in 1987 to commemorate the 250th birthday of Thomas Paine. It tells the story of an incredible man, a radical, who didn’t just write about what was wrong with the world, but went out there and did something about it! Leon and Robb have used Tom’s words and their music to show how important he is to us today. To quote the man, “My country is the world, my religion is to do good.” Buy it from Fuse Records
follow ….new blog and a fun way of learning about the radical history of Manchester in the places where it happened, Red Flag Walks