One of the events that most destroys the notion that Swindon is a cultural desert is the Swindon Festival of Literature, an event that for two weeks brings together novelists, poets, scientists, philosophers, politicians, historians, artists, storytellers, singers, adventurers, good writers, and plain speakers to talk, to listen, to think, to drink, and also to laugh. As a result, enjoyable, interesting, challenging, unpredictable, funny, and even memorable things happen. As it fitted in perfectly with our own philosophies we thought we would like to join in and host a few shows.
So we did…
Wednesday 3rd May – The Swindonian Night.
Our opening gambit is a night of music and poetry: a relaxed soirée that blends socializing with culture in a chilled and sumptuous atmosphere curated and presented by local news and views website The Swindonian, who are regularly regulars at the bar.
Music will come from folk-pop pixie Tamsin Quin; poems courtesy of Poetry Swindon, with selected readings from the best local poets; and the night rounds off with songs, stories, and comedy from Shaun Buswell.
Wednesday May 10th – Mark Sherratt– on a career in pictures that tell stories.
Is a picture worth a thousand words? Do pictures of big known things tell more important stories than pictures of the unknown and often unseen? What do we get from pictures that we cannot get any other way?
Photographer and videographer Mark Sherratt moved to Swindon in 1977 to pursue a career in skateboarding but when he discovered that he was not actually that good at it, he found he had more talent with a camera than a board on wheels. Mark will talk about how Swindon inspired him and launched him on his career as international photographer.
Thursday May 11th – A Hip-Hop Panel – on the four elements that shaped a new urban youth culture.
Not in the Bronx but in Swindon: four individuals, who embraced the culture of hip-hop, chose one of the elements as a creative form to pursue, and made it their career.
Colin Astin, Graffiti writer, artist, and cultural historian; Ross Burden AKA DJ Para, DJ; and producer, Richard ‘Banksy’ Banks, break-dancer, and Gee Ealy MC, will be talking about the hip-hop elements, what they are, why they are entirely pivotal to the culture of hip-hop, why they chose their respective paths, and why they kept their careers in their home town.
The evening will be rounded off with a jazz-accompanied rap battle!
Chaired by our very own Jamie Stapelton no less!