With the Writing On The Wall Festival well underway, Getintothis’ Mostyn Jones brings us his list of what to catch across the city.
As this year’s Writing On the Wall Festival continues, the organisation continues to make good on their promise to deliver a diverse program of events that give an insight into the on the state of the arts in the UK
A fixture of Liverpool’s literary world since their founding in the early 2000’s, Writing on the Wall are just as active on the national publishing scene as they are within the city’s schools and communities.
From bringing people the chance to meet international writers and artists, to providing opportunities for emerging writers to see their work developed.
WoWFest is a fixture of the literary calendar and one of the longest-running literature festivals in the country.
The theme this year is Where Are We Now? with events ranging from workshops and book launches to panel discussions and film screenings, which engage with current social and political climate.
For Getintothis readers who want to check out what’s on offer, these are our top picks of what’s to come.
The B-Word: Where are we now?
Thursday 16th of May, LEAF, 65 Bold St, 7:30pm
Despite the general fatigue around talking about Brexit, it’s the elephant in the room for any event concerned with asking questions about the modern world. As most news that covers the issue tends to entail watching politicians loudly speaking over each other and repeating their different slogans, WoWFest’s Brexit panel promises to be a comparative breath of fresh air. The panel consists of author and editor James Meek, journalist authors Anita Sethi and Ros Wynne-Jones, and economics professor Costas Lapavitsas. The event should be interesting to anyone wondering what a genuinely thoughtful and well-informed conversation about leaving the European Union might look like.
Light Night Windsor Street Party
Friday 17th of May, Windsor St, from 6pm
If you’re a fan of arts festivals you shouldn’t miss the chance to attend two at once, Light Night is a one-night arts festival with events across the city. A collaboration between over a hundred smaller organizations, WoWFest’s contribution to the evening’s events is In partnership with Squash, 20 Stories High, Brazuka/Katuma, Video Odyssey and Cinema Nation. A street party that celebrates the range of cultures present in the city, with food, music, spoken word performance, and Katumba drumming for a real carnival atmosphere.
Where are you now? The state of Grime
Saturday 18th May, Video Odyssey, 37 Windsor St, 8pm
One of the nation’s most popular original genres and richest cultural exports, Grime music a form that regularly grapples with contemporary political issues; as well as being a style of music that is often under-represented in the North. This panel brings together Liverpool-based rapper Blue Saint with artists and writers Jude Yawson, Dorcas Seb, and Kayo Chingonyi, for a conversation on the state of the genre, how it can respond to the present moment, and the place that BAME voices have in our culture.
Stuart Maconie – Jarrow: Road to the Deep South
Saturday 18th of May, Epstein Theatre, 7pm
As a veteran radio DJ and long-serving journalist, Stuart Maconie is one of the country’s most established musical tastemakers. Maconie’s career as a writer has always been concerned with British cultural identity, from 2007’s Pies and Prejudice, in which he examined the evolving state of Northerness as well as his status as a self-proclaimed professional Northerner, to 2009’s Adventures on the High Teas, in search of middle England. In his latest volume Maconie details a three-week three hundred mile walk from Jarrow to London, and the things he learned along the way. This is sure to be an evening of anecdotes and recollections, and an absolute must for music fans.
Billy Bragg: The Three Dimensions of freedom.
Sunday 26th of May, British Music Experience, 8pm
The iconic musician gives a talk on his new book The Three Dimensions of Freedom in which he lays down the foundations of his mindset on the modern world. In a tense time for democracy and creative freedom, Bragg has a perspective honed by years of experience as a protest singer and political activist. Here he is in conversation with Peter Hooton, frontman of The Farm and editor of legendary fanzine The End.
Dayglo: The Poly Styrene story
Thursday 30th of May, British Music Experience, 8pm
Both one of the most important and most often overlooked icons of the punk era, as the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, Poly Styrene held her own as a working-class mixed-race woman in a scene where the spotlight was most often given to the loudest and most abrasive men. For the first time, this biography brings together contributions from Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell and journalist and writer Zoe Howe, who previously authored Typical Girls? The story of the Slits, as well as testimonials from icons of the punk scene.