– We have a venue! *trumpet the trumpets* Girlcon 2016 will unfold at Woodhouse College in London on the weekend of July 30-31st. According to my calculations that means there’s something like 80 DAYS TO GO DON’T PANIC OR ANYTHING I’M NOT PANICKING. It also means we all have plenty of time to amass all the glitter possible in preparation for the Spice Girls karaoke & Beyoncé dance party. Get glittering! Don’t Panic!
– Having a set date means we can also start officially organizing the programming and WE ARE SO EXCITED. We’ll let you know when we open an official call for talks / panels, but til then, if there’s a topic you’ve been musing on, maybe start writing up some ideas!
– Part II of the video series How to Con the Man is now available for your viewing pleasure. Or, like, if you know someone who lives far away (of course you do, this is the internet) who is already sad about not being able to go to Girlcon, send it to THEM!
So much happening! So many people making things!
Pip is putting together a zine called you, me, & _______ about how living with a mental illness affects platonic & romantic relationships. If you’re interested, check it out. The submissions are open until at least late June, so you’ve got some time to think on it!
Sophia has started this rad project called hurricane grrrl, which is, in the words of the twitter bio “a community for self-identifying women + non-binary folk living with mental illness – embracing the messiness + the beauty.” I am so excited about this and FORCES OF NATURE in general, whoooo
Soofiya has started a podcast on graphic design along with Natasha Nutall and Sherida Kuffour. It’s called Designed in London and it’s just beginning, so I’m really looking forward to hear what they cover!
Speaking of podcasts, you might have seen on the Girlcon twitter that me & Anna have been working on a Girlcon-inspired podcast called FANGRRRLS. The goal is to discuss fangirl-y topics we are excited about (like, everything, really, but especially books & film & music & feelings & struggles & Being Young) and also interview young women & nb creative people about the work that they do. I am currently in the process of editing the first episode, which is an intro to our fangirling history, and consists mainly of me & Anna laughing deliriously over our helpless younger selves–What a delight! I will let you know the second I release it to the skies! (if you are not aware, podcasts are a bit of a thing with me, I am very excited, this is very exciting)
Also a heads-up, if you have a creative project that you or someone you know is working on and you’d like it shared around, please let us know on twitter or by emailing email@example.com and we will add it to this here newsletter!
I don’t know where all of you are at, but if you are located in the often soul-crushing slough of despair that is looking for jobs & constantly craving the approval of employers while also being totally not into it and desperately trying to denounce their power over you, welcome to the club!!! While obviously job-searching isn’t the only way this happens, there is something very scary & overwhelming about feeling like no matter what you do, the decisions that shape your present & future are out of your hands and you have no choice but to trust that someone will recognize the value of your existence off of a small sheet of paper! Also your entire worth being reduced to squiggly lines meant to represent all of your ~skills is demoralizing as heck boo capitalism.
For me a big part of coping with ~professional struggles~ is finding other ways to express creativity, and projects that I CAN work on and get excited about and feel okay with. Often the hardest part for me is just switching from that “this is terrible and the terrible shall reign and I shall curl up in bed” to “ok let’s do a different thing.” One way I’ve been working on making myself feel like I have some agency & ability to do stuff for myself is, like, listening to Beyoncé’s “Sorry” (I AIN’T THINKING BOUT YOU) and also just literally making lemonade.
rejection tastes SO SWEET when you add like a lot of sugar and also pair it with the yum food of your choosing
I’ve also been trying to listen to some mellow music. I love this set of SOAK playing at NPR, especially when I replay “Sea Creatures” for a few hours straight. It’s dreamy and flow-y and good for the hazy hours at twilight when the sky blurs into the sea.
I just discovered the really cool trans musician & artist Anohni and I haven’t heard much of her music yet but she’s been all over the internet lately, including an interview with The New Yorker Radio Hour, as well as Lenny Letter.
Here is a quote from her Lenny interview with Laura Snapes that speaks to CREATIVITY & EXPRESSION & ANGER.
LS: Recently, you said you wanted to challenge yourself about how vigorously you could state your truth. Was the album difficult to write?
A: Actually, once I decided to jump off the edge and write really plain-hearted lyrics, it was very easy to write. I have so much emotion, so much anger, so much brokenheartedness, so much energy in me about each of these issues. It’s my day-to-day reality, it’s not something that I just dip a toe into. Once I decided I was going to step away from those gossamer interior songs I’ve been used to writing and write something that was really direct, it was a tremendous relief. I had to move through my fear of doing it. When I first sang “4 Degrees,” or when I sang “Drone Bomb Me,” it scared me, and then it felt really exciting. It’s always exciting to unleash your sense of truth, especially as a singer. It’s one thing to talk about these things or to see them represented in documentaries, but there’s something about singing — especially my kind of singing, which people tend to associate with a kind of elevated openheartedness — that is much thornier, more angular and difficult, combined with this complicated content. It was exhilarating.
Here is an interview Vivek did a while back about bi erasure. Also a few years ago Vivek sang a duet with fellow Canadian & queer musician Rae Spoon that is adorable and funny and features some stellar background dancing and also is guaranteed to make you feel like 1000x better.