Read my weekly roundup of radical arts and politics..Embrace of the Serpent, A Bed of Shards, The Trials of Spring and Backlash Blues

Stop look listen


embrace of the serpent

Embrace of the Serpent (Home), a stunning film about the price that indigenous people have paid for colonialism. This time it is the Columbian Amazon and the story of a shaman, Karamakate, who is the last survivor of his tribe, and his relationship with two scientists over 40 years.  The script is inspired by the journals of two scientists, German ethnobotanist Theodor Koch-Grünberg and American botanist Richard Evans Schultes who spent years in the Columbian Amazon seeking a sacred healing plant.  Made in black and white – but just as powerful because of it – it is nature that dominates,   imposing a dreamy state on the viewer as we sail down the river with the shaman and his friends, seeking a cure for their physical and mental ills. At the heart of the film is the impact of western colonialism: destroying people, their environment and their culture. Karamakate does not let the scientists off the hook as their journey takes them to a destination  that neither of the men expected. It is not an easy film to watch, but is mesmerising and stays with you long after you leave the cinema.


bed of shards

a new drama A Bed of Shards by local  playwright Jane McNulty at the Lowry Theatre on 1 & 2 July. Two women  face being  moved from their home in a tower block to a council bungalow, but have different attitudes to the move. Whilst Ronnie embraces the possibilities of a new beginning, her partner, the reclusive Button, fears the move will bring exposure and loss. Good to see drama about ordinary older people who share all our own worries about the future.

Watch the trailer here

Book here



trial of spring

to some films about female political activists, it’s one for women only, as part of the Create Film Festival. On Sunday 10 July 2016 you can watch three films exploring the role of women in recent conflicts. This includes a film about Eqyptian women in the 2011 Arab Spring in The Trials of Spring (2015) by Gini Reticker, the war in Sri Lanka in I Too Have a Name and Colours of Resistance (2014) about refugees in Jordan. More info see


nina simone

to Backlash Blues, written by Langston Hughes, African American poet, activist, novelist, and  playwright,  and sung by Nina Simone. In his work he depicted the lives of poor blacks, articulating their demands for equality and justice. Nina Simone was not just a singer and writer,  in the 60s she took her anger about the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama and the killing of four children,  and poured it into her songs and performances. This is one of her best see

About lipstick socialist

I am an activist and writer. My interests include women, class, culture and history. From an Irish in Britain background I am a republican and socialist. All my life I have been involved in community and trade union politics and I believe it is only through grass roots politics that we will get a better society. This is reflected in my writing, in my book Northern ReSisters Conversations with Radical Women and my involvement in the Mary Quaile Club. .If you want to contact me please use my gmail which is lipsticksocialist636
This entry was posted in drama, education, feminism, films, human rights, Middle East, political women, Salford, Uncategorized, women, working class history and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s