Culture Diary w/c 24-05-21


Welcome to Culture Diary – a roundup of the current arts, design, film and music events that have taken our eye. Loads of new shows have either opened or reopened recently. So, if you’re itching to hit the galleries and museums, we’ve got you covered. Cinema, too.

Equally, we’re conscious that many are happy to acclimatise that bit more slowly, so we’ve included some choice online options. Stay safe everyone!

Soft Boys @ FACT Liverpool – FREE

If you’re planning to pop into FACT, it’s likely to check out the Biennial offerings from Black Obsidian Sound System (B.O.S.S), and Zheng Bo. While you’re there, don’t miss a third exhibition under their roof. This is Soft Boys, a collection of works by Liverpool-based Somali artist, Kiara Mohamed. Curated by Fauziya Johnson (co-founder of ROOT-ed Zine), the works tackle trauma – both personal and collective – with what Mohamed calls “Radical Joy”. The films are calming, optimistic ruminations that comfortably earn their place alongside the other artists on display here.

Read an interview with KIara Mohamed

Unlocked, online @ Outside In – FREE

During lockdown, we were introduced to Outside In, a platform for artists contending with issues around health, disability, social circumstance or isolation. Their latest online exhibition is Unlocked, which celebrates “the amazing creativity of Outside In artists during the Covid pandemic”. Including works on paper, photography, painting, textiles and more, Unlocked is a showcase for creativity in challenging times. As Outside In director Marc Steene says, “The resilience, humour and creativity shown by our artists has not only helped them but provided a much needed source of pleasure and escape for our audiences as well.”

Cinemas across the UK

Releases old and new are in cinemas this week. Coming on Friday is First Cow (above), ze newie from director Kelly Reichardt (Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff). A tale of brotherhood and new beginnings set in the 1820s American frontier, this is a pastoral vision of the American Dream. Another new release – to UK audiences at least – is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba the Movie: Mugen Train. The first Japanese film to top ¥40 billion at box office (surpassing Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away), Demon Slayer is set during Taishō-era Japan (1912-1926). There, we meet, among other fantastical characters, a boy raised by boars who, with his cohorts is on a quest to, you guessed it, defeat a demon. Meanwhile, the BFI continue their tribute to Robert Altman, with a series of screenings and discussion on and around the work of the veteran New Hollywood director.

From our archive: DW Mault on the films of Kelly Reichardt

Virtual Cinemas

Although cinemas have recently reopened you can, of course, continue to stream films from the comfort of your couch. We can’t be alone, though, in a form of fatigue setting in when it comes to time spent scrolling through a plethora of platforms including Disney+, and Netflix et al, for something new to watch. Help is at hand via the likes of specialist distributors such as Modern Films, Dogwoof and various other VoD providers. You can even choose to support local cinemas by watching new films, many of which we might not be able to see elsewhere. Among those available currently is Some Kind of Heaven, the UK Asian Film Festival, and Feminista’s shorts for Mental Health Awareness week.


Another Screen – FREE/Donation

A publication we’ve followed and enjoyed since its launch in 2016 is feminist film journal Another Gaze. Offering a different, often more nuanced perspective, they’re a vital and refreshing voice in the world of film criticism. During lockdown, they expanded with their impressive new streaming service, Another Screen. Currently available is For a Free Palestine: Films by Palestinian Women, including work by artists and filmmakers such as Larissa Sansour (pictured, above), and Marguerite Duras on Television. All films are FREE to access but you can donate or become a patreon, to help ensure the team’s excellent work continues.

Homeground @ Home Manchester, from Friday 

For those wanting to reintegrate but happier to do so in fresh air, this new outdoor venue from Home MCR is incredibly welcome and well-timed. With a programme including music, cabaret and comedy – and a tidy-looking food and drink offer – Homeground opens this Friday with a DJ set from the fab LoneLady, with more to come across the weekend.

Steffi Klenz_Tensed-Muscles

AND Festival 2021, from Thursday

AND Festival (short for Abandon Normal Devices) has long been where it’s at when it comes to innovative ways to curate in non-traditional, often outdoors settings; so, we’re v excited about this year’s iteration, which responds to the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey in locations ranging from the Wirral’s Bidston Observatory to the deck of a tugboat. In their words, “AND Festival 2021 will take place online, on docklands and on the water”, encompassing contemporary art, film, performance, talks and workshops.

Steffi Klenz: Tensed Muscles @ Camden Art Centre – FREE

At the intersection of photography, design, art and architecture, Steffi Klenz’s new work has been made in response to the Maiden Lane Estate in Camden. Devised in the 1970s along Modernist ideals, the estate was to include hundreds of new homes, shops, sports facilities, a community centre, a primary school and open spaces. Like so many such schemes, promises went unkept as plans were never fully realised. Now, Klenz addresses this under-delivery, to explore the relationship between the utopian visions of modern living, equality and opportunity, with the reality of life on Maiden Lane.

Mike Pinnington

Images/media from top: Lone Lady/Homeground; First Cow official trailer; A Space Exodus, Larissa Sansour; Steffi Klenz: Tensed Muscles 

Posted on 24/05/2021 by thedoublenegative