If you live in Leicester, you now know this story by heart: king dies in battle, king’s body goes missing, king’s body is found several centuries later — of all places — underneath a car park. Regardless on your views towards the king’s possible behaviour in his lifetime, monarchy in general, and the whole concept of life, death and the afterlife, the reburial of Richard III was a big event and a unique opportunity for all of us. We were witnessing history, and we had seen it unfold for the past 18 months almost like a motion picture. Someone found something: was it? Wasn’t it? It was, and now it was our turn to say goodbye and send that something back underground but with a much nicer setting above.
They were exciting, friendly and inviting. The show was opened and closed by ritual songs where we sang along and brought in the spirits of music to bless us. There was a lot of comedy between songs and direct audience interaction, Kushal playing with you face to face, off the stage, for several seconds at a time.
Nearly a couple of weeks ago, I was involved in the making of a movie as part of Seven Five Productions. It’s called I’ll Be Waiting, and it’s a short film about those lives lost during the First World War, not only in the bunkers and the fields but in the towns back home.
It tells the story of Mary (Vaiva Jankauskaitė), a young girl waiting for her betrothed Arthur at the railway station once the Great War is over. Even if he doesn’t come on the first train home, Mary remains loyal to her promise and keeps sitting down on the same bench every day, restlessly, as her resources and health — but not her hopes — vanish day by day.
As you may know, I collaborate for La Pop Life, a Mexican website on popular music and everything about it. They have weekly sections or “international reports” where different people in different countries share their latest findings and events. My turn with Reporte UK is once a fortnight, and I share the space with the magnificent Samuel Valdés from Sloucher.
Thanks to popular request, every time my article for Reporte UK goes online, I will publish the English translation here. Bands have been asking for translations so they get to know what we say about them, so here it is. For the original reports, please, please visit La Pop Life. It’s also a great way for you to find out what’s going on in other places like the USA, Germany, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, and — of course — México.
I found this William Trevor Pocket Penguin at a charity shop in Leicester City Centre.
The Pocket Penguin series was released in 2005 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Penguin Books, the first publisher in the United Kingdom to release high-quality literary works in more portable formats and more accessible prices in a time when books were either thick and heavy or cheap in content and cost. Pocket Penguins are skinny and affordable, £1.50 each (or 99p if you find them at a second hand store), and they tend to include short stories or brief essays written by classic or contemporary authors. There are writings by either Homer, Gustave Flaubert and Sigmund Freud orHunter S. Thompson, Anaïs Nin, Zadie Smigh, Virginia Woolf, Evelyn Waugh and Alain de Botton. This one I found, even without knowing the author yet, attracted me because of its dimensions apt to be read anywhere, because short stories are my favourite literary form, and because I thought the artwork cover by Claire Coles was pretty. So what?
Meera Darji wants to make a documentary about the hijras, the term used in South Asia for people who don’t consider themselves men nor women but contain features of both genders. Usually assigned male at birth, hijras have effeminate traits and present themselves in femme outfits. In Indian culture, they are/were seen as holy human representations of Ardhanari, the composite of Lord Siva and his partner Parvati. Blessed by Rama in the Ramayana, they to go to weddings, childbirth and celebrations to dance and bring fortune and fertility. They were featured in the Kama Sutra, although a vast percentage of them renounce to sexuality and channel their sexual energy into other sacred activities.
As you can see, I’ve changed a bit of the look and a tiny bit of the concept of this website. I still need to restore images and make a few changes here and there (a pretty menu, anyone?). Anyway, you can roam around and be surprised by anything new that suddenly appears. I’m so tired of keeping everything hidden!
Translation coming soon.
As you may know, every other week I write for La Pop Life recommending some project or event from the United Kingdom. The UK Report (Reporte UK), as it’s formally known, is written by me one week, by Samuel Valdés from Sloucher another week. Sam used to live in Sheffield and I live in Leicester, so each one of us has had the opportunity of meeting local and national bands, attend their gigs and share the findings with you.
To be translated