The Importance of Trans Rights in the Fight Against Fascism – Trans Day of Remembrance

In honour of Trans Day of Remembrance on 20 November James Queay exposes the history of the term ‘trans’ and the importance of protecting trans rights.

In the mass consciousness one may be forgiven for seeing the battle for trans rights being a modern one, or even one that only goes back as Stonewall in 1969. However, the term ‘trans’ was first coined in Berlin in 1910 (though the fight of course can be traced back even further if one looks).

Magnus Hirschfeld was a Physician and Academic who championed queer rights seeking to assert the views of it being a natural occurrence through case studies from every culture he could reach. It should be noted that the ethics of this were in no way up to modern standard, but for the period in time we will let that rest. While his vocabulary was limited compared to today’s vast lexicon of queer terms, his work to identify that trans people were separate from gay people was key in further works.

Hirschfeld led the Scientific-humanitarian committee to gather 5000 prominent signatures to overturn paragraph 175 of the section of the German penal code that, since 1871, had criminalized homosexuality. Despite his works being rejected a number of times he championed this cause making headway until the takeover of the Nazi party. Hirschfeld in his efforts to bring about change and promote queer rights additionally opened the Institute for sexual research under the Weimar Republic (A governing force far more tolerant and liberal than previously experienced). This institution not only educated in queer and heterosexual matters but also offered medical consultations to the People of Germany. Hirschfeld himself lived with his partner Karl Giese in the institute, offering himself up as an openly gay man in a world he wished to better, even when that world was not necessarily ready to hear what he had to say.

When Von Papen launched a Coup in 1932 which instated him as the Reich Commissioner the institute stayed open. Papen actively enforced paragraph 175; and in the face of this nigh on further criminalisation of Homosexuality Hirschfeld kept his doors open. However, in 1933 Hindenburg instated Adolf Hitler as the Chancellor. On the 6th May the same year a group of university students belonging to the national socialist student league stormed the institute. They began to smash what they could before the SA (Nazi Storm Troopers) arrived to systematically burn the books. Book burnings had got into full swing months earlier with April featuring the Wartburg festival one of the most prolific book burnings that would occur. Thus, the importance of Nazi suppression of Queer media cannot be overstated. Some reports suggest that the first book burned specifically was Magnus Hirschfeld’s research on Transgender Individuals, and this signifies their importance in the fight against Fascism.

Transgender rights in many ways typify everything that is wrong with Fascism. They promote self-expression, of individuality and the freedom to change and evolve into the best version of one’s self. For fascist ideologies these ideas are dangerous because they draw on how weak Fascism is, it is rigid and restraining, it cares not for its people and incites hatred.

Thus, championing trans rights and queer rights as an extension of that is inexplicably linked with fighting against right extremism. There was no strategic benefit to the Nazi’s for burning Hirschfeld’s work, and he himself was abroad public speaking at the time so he was not silenced. Rather it is that the Nazis and by extension fascists fear acceptance and tolerance as it is only through suppression and manipulation that they are able to maintain control. This evidenced by the extreme lengths in all cases fascists go to, to manipulate their members; whether that is through misinformation, propaganda, or violence.

The furtherment of trans rights is key to queer people without question, but through this link I believe that simply to be on any ethical standing everyone must also believe in its messages.

Therefore, when we remember the long standing fight for queer rights so too must we remember the responsibility we have to those who have upheld that fight before us; the opposition they faced; and most importantly that we carry those opponents with us.

Memorial bench for Catherine Silverstone

A memorial bench for Catherine Silverstone was installed this morning in the First Floor garden/atrium in ArtsOne. It was organised and paid for by undergraduate students in Drama through a Crowdfunder.

Billy Bray (Drama), Leda Maiello (English) and Gwyn Lawrence (Drama graduate) organised the crowdfunder and carried out the practical work.

The following helped Billy, Leda and Gwyn spread the word and advertise for fundraising:

  • Rebecca Barton
  • Niall Loftus
  • Naz Simsek
  • Elliot Douglas
  • Sofia Renzi
  • Anca-Teodora Stoian

I’m so moved by – and proud of – the students who organised it, and those who crowdfunded it.

Dominic Johnson, Head of Drama

The quote on the plaque is from Catherine’s beautiful article on Derek Jarman. Leda (one of the students) chose it. 

Do please visit the bench and think of Catherine when you’re next on campus.

Accommodation Guarantee for Clearing Applicants

All Clearing applicants are guaranteed a room in Queen Mary halls, or with one or our partner providers.

Applications should ideally be submitted online by Wednesday 19 August (midnight BST), because room allocations for Clearing applicants will begin on Thursday 20 August.

Room allocations are made in date order of application submission.

In order to submit your housing application you must be placed at Queen Mary, i.e. you must be holding an unconditional firm (UF) offer. 

The Admissions Office will send the login details for the housing application system to applicants, once their status is confirmed as UF on UCAS.

There may be a few hours delay in you being able to apply for housing after you receive your login details from Admissions. If you experience any significant delay, please email residences@qmul.ac.uk.

New books published by Rachael Gilmour and Huw Marsh

The School of English and Drama are delighted to announce the publication of ‘Bad English‘ by Dr Rachael Gilmour and ‘The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction‘ by Dr Huw Marsh.

Read more about the books below…

Bad English

Literature, multilingualism, and the politics of language in contemporary Britain

Dr Rachael Gilmour

Bad English investigates the impact of increasing language diversity, precipitated by migration, globalisation, and new forms of communication, in transforming contemporary literature in Britain. Considering writers whose work engages experimentally, playfully, and ambivalently with English’s power, while exploring what it means to move between forms of language, it makes the case for literature as the pre-eminent medium to probe the terms of linguistic belonging, and for a diverse and growing field of writing in Britain defined by its inside/outside relationship to English in its institutionalised forms.

Bad English offers innovative readings of writers including James Kelman, Tom Leonard, Suhayl Saadi, Raman Mundair, Daljit Nagra, Xiaolu Guo, Leila Aboulela, Brian Chikwava, and Caroline Bergvall. Drawing on insights from applied linguistics and translation studies as well as literary scholarship, it will appeal to students and academics across these disciplines.

The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction

Who’s Laughing Now?

Dr Huw Marsh

The Comic Turn in Contemporary English Fiction explores the importance of comedy in contemporary literature and culture. In an era largely defined by a mood of crisis, bleakness, cruelty, melancholia, environmental catastrophe and collapse, Huw Marsh argues that contemporary fiction is as likely to treat these subjects comically as it is to treat them gravely, and that the recognition and proper analysis of this humour opens up new ways to think about literature. Structured around readings of authors including Martin Amis, Nicola Barker, Julian Barnes, Jonathan Coe, Howard Jacobson, Magnus Mills and Zadie Smith, this book suggests not only that much of the most interesting contemporary writing is funny and that there is a comic tendency in contemporary fiction, but also that this humour, this comic licence, allows writers of contemporary fiction to do peculiar and interesting things – things that are funny in the sense of odd or strange and that may in turn inspire a funny turn in readers. Marsh offers a series of original critical and theoretical frameworks for discussing questions of literary genre, style, affect and politics, demonstrating that comedy is an often neglected mode that plays a generative role in much of the most interesting contemporary writing, creating sites of rich political, stylistic, cognitive and ethical contestation whose analysis offers a new perspective on the present.

Queen Mary English Alumnus Gabriel Krauze’s novel ‘Who They Was’ longlisted for Booker Prize 2020

The School of English and Drama at QMUL is delighted and proud that our alumnus Gabriel Krauze has been nominated for the 2020 Booker Prize longlist.

Gabriel studied English at Queen Mary University of London graduating in 2009 and Who They Was is his debut novel. He grew up in London in a Polish family and was drawn to a life of crime and gangs from an early age. Now in his thirties he has left that world behind and is recapturing his life through writing. He has published short stories in Vice and recently took part in our Show & Tell – inspiring mini talks series. Listen to his talk below…

Gabriel gave a talk at Show and Tell at All Points East Festival in 2019

The blurb describes the book best:

This life is like being in an ocean. Some people keep swimming towards the bottom. Some people touch the bottom with one foot, or even both, and then push themselves off it to get back up to the top, where you can breathe. Others get to the bottom and decide they want to stay there. I don’t want to get to the bottom because I’m already drowning.

This is a story of a London you won’t find in any guidebooks.

This is a story about what it’s like to exist in the moment, about boys too eager to become men, growing up in the hidden war zones of big cities – and the girls trying to make it their own way.

This is a story of reputations made and lost, of violence and vengeance – and never counting the cost.

This is a story of concrete towers and blank eyed windows, of endless nights in police stations and prison cells, of brotherhood and betrayal.

This is about the boredom, the rush, the despair, the fear and the hope.

This is about what’s left behind.’

About Gabriel

Gabriel Krauze came of age among the high rises and back streets of South Kilburn. He was not an observer on the periphery of violence. He was – personally – heavily involved in gangs, drugs, guns, stabbing and robbery – all while completing an English degree at Queen Mary University of London in 2009.

Who They Was comes directly from that experience and as such it is confronting, exhilarating, morally complex, and utterly unique. 

Quotes about the novel include:

‘An astonishingly powerful book. Krauze is an immense new talent’  Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love

‘A timely and vital exploration into London’s violence crisis by someone who experienced the sharp end of it. I cannot conjure another work which captures this culture in such depth – or with such brutal honesty – as only lived experience can tell. ’ Graeme Armstrong, author of The Young Team

‘Gabriel Krauze is an unbelievably talented writer. No one manages to blend “literary beauty” and “an uncomfortable feeling that he’s actually quite scary” like him’ Joel Golby

Pre-order the book and more links

Karina Lickorish Quinn (PhD at QMUL)’s debut novel Mancharisqa to be published by Oneworld

Creative Writing PhD Karina Lickorish Quinn’s debut novel Mancharisqa, or The Dust Never Settles will be published by Juliet Mabey at Oneworld Publications after a competitive auction.

Mancharisqa is an ambitious and formally inventive literary epic about haunting and counterhistories, adopting the traditional Andean concept of cyclical time in a manner reminiscent of One Hundred Years of Solitude, and the novels of Bolaño, suffused with the surreal atmosphere of Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled.

Mancharisqa formed part of Karina’ PhD thesis, which she completed at School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London under the supervision of Director of Creative Writing, Professor Patrick Flanery and Head of English, Dr Rachael Gilmour.

Anaïs Echeverría Gest flies to Lima to oversee the sale of her childhood home, La Casa Echeverría. It is a house full of ghosts, literal and otherwise, of her ancestors and of the maid who fell to her death from its balcony, around whom myths circulate and from whom miracles are sought. Everything that happens – in Anaïs’s childhood, her return to the house in the present day, and in all the stories in between – begins to overlap until the stories are all inextricably entwined. The novel ends with a birth, an earthquake, and the discovery of something disturbing beneath that cursed yellow house on the hill – the past will not remain silent and the ancestors demand to be reckoned with.

Juliet Mabey, the acquiring editor at Oneworld, comments, ‘I fell completely and utterly in love with this mesmerising, intense, multi-layered novel as soon as I started reading. The tone is wonderfully mystical and haunting, with echoes of other great Latin American writers without feeling remotely derivative. A stunningly original saga of an expansive, complex, troubled family in Peru, it is conveyed with a lightness of touch that belies its debut status, and I could not be more thrilled to feature Karina’s astonishing writing on my literary fiction list. There is really nothing else like it.’

“I’m thrilled to be joining Oneworld and their list of remarkable, talented authors. I have long admired Juliet Mabey and Oneworld for their commitment to introducing readers to a range of cultures and voices from across the world. And thank you to my wonderful agent, Seren Adams, for believing in me and my work. Mancharisqa could not have found a better home.”

Karina is a bilingual, Peruvian-British writer. She has a BA from Oxford University, an MA from UCL, and recently completed her PhD in Creative Writing here at Queen Mary University of London. Her short fiction is featured in Un Nuevo Sol, the first major anthology of British-Latinx writers, published by Flipped Eye Publishing. Her work has also appeared in Longitūdinēs, The Offing, Asymptote, The Journal of Latina Critical Feminism, and Palabritas. In 2016 she was shortlisted for The White Review’s short story prize.

Performance, Possession & Automation Conversations

Performance, Possession & Automation – a collaborative research project led by Nick Ridout and Orlagh Woods, in collaboration with Joe KelleherFiona Templeton and Simon Vincenzi – invites you to three online conversations.

Automation & Cultural Production

17 July, 6-8pm (BST)

Online

Seb Franklin and Annie McClanahan join Nick Ridout for a conversation about automation and cultural production.


Instead of imagining a future in which our lives are managed for us by robots or AI, it may be time to think instead about how automation is already deeply embedded in our everyday lives. Automation is not replacing human beings, but it may be changing how we work and act, and how we think and feel about ourselves and other people. 


Click
 here, to book your place and for further information.

Possession & Performance

24 July, 6-8 pm (BST)

Online

Paul C. Johnson and Rebecca Schneider join Nick Ridout for a conversation about possession and performance. 


What if possession is a totally modern idea? Could it be a way for people who live modern lives in a supposedly secular culture to describe modes of being that don’t fit with their ideas of what it is to be yourself? How does performance help us think about possession? Are performance and possession both ways of becoming an automated or programmed self? 

Click here, to book your place and for further information.

Possession & Subjectivity

31 July, 6-8 pm (BST)

Online

Kyla Wazana Tompkins and Roberto Strongman join Nick Ridout for a conversation about possession and subjectivity.

Might possession and other experiences in which people seem to lose control of themselves – like intoxication or narcosis – expand our understanding of what it means to be a subject, beyond the bounded subjectivity assumed and promoted in so-called ‘Enlightenment’ thought? Do subjects always and everywhere have to fit neatly into bodies?

Click here to book your place and for further information.

Performance, Possession & Automation is a research project exploring automation and possession as two ways of thinking about what happens to human subjects who act in ways that they do not themselves fully control. How can making and thinking about performance contribute to thinking about these ideas?

This project is supported through the Collaborations Fund of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and The Centre for Public Engagement, Queen Mary University of London in partnership with Fierce Festival and Hampstead Theatre.

Drama Alumna led project: Transform The Common Room exceeds fundraising target after receiving backing from Mayor of London, Tower Hamlets Council and 250 local people

Roman Road Trust (Director is Drama Alumna Rosie Vincent) & Public Works’ Crowdfund London campaign to Transform The Common Room reached beyond target and finished with £81,721 after receiving pledges from Mayor of London, Tower Hamlets Council, Queen Mary University of London, and over 250 pledges from local people.

The campaign was launched in January 2020 to turn The Common Room from a deteriorating space into a fully-functional cultural learning facility for local people. The vision is for local people to access high quality community learning in partnership with cultural and educational organisations. The original target was £74,000.

The Common Room is a grassroots project that was initiated by the community of Roman Road in 2014. The space has been managed and led by local people for the past six years. The Common Room is a valuable resource for many groups, individuals, and surrounding organisations.

Transform The Common Room is part of Crowdfund London – the programme delivered by the Mayor of London and Spacehive aimed at backing Londoner’s ideas for improving their local area with funding and support.

After receiving over 150 pledges from local people in the first two months, Transform The Common Room was awarded the maximum pledge of £50,000 from Mayor of London in March 2020.

Following this, Transform The Common Room continued to gain momentum leading to a further 100 pledges. 15 of which were from local businesses who collectively raised £4,095 towards the campaign despite the current challenges facing businesses due to Covid-19.

During the final days of the campaign, Transform The Common Room was awarded the maximum pledge of £10k from the Tower Hamlets Innovation Fund. This was then followed by a £5,000 pledge from the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London on the very last day.

Rosie Vincent, Managing Director of Roman Road Trust and QMUL drama alumna said:

“We have been truly overwhelmed by the support shown by local people and neighbouring organisations.

“Receiving the maximum pledge of £50k from the Mayor of London as well as the maximum pledge of £10k from Tower Hamlets Council proves how vital this project is for our community and Roman Road high street.

“The Common Room is a project that has been trying to happen for over six years. We are very proud to know our 253 backers also agree it is time for this space to become what it truly deserves to be.”

The Common Room is scheduled to be ready in Summer 2021. Roman Road Trust is now developing the first wave of Learning Programmes to be delivered in The Common Room. If you would like to be involved or help the project please email: hello@romanroadtrust.co.uk

Free Literature Festival: Bookbound 2020 presented with Wasafiri Magazine (Based at QMUL)

BookBound 2020: an antiviral literary festival

bringing authors and readers together online for 7 days of stories and conversation

Monday 27 April to Sunday 3 May 2020

Add to Calendar

BookBound 2020 is a new, not-for-profit literary festival, bringing authors and book-lovers together online for 7 days of exciting events, including readings, story-times and live author-to-author conversations.

While the majority of BookBound 2020’s team is based in the UK, the festival’s mission is to make connections and support new voices in Britain and around the world.

Wasafiri Logo

Proudly partnered with Wasafiri Magazine (based at QMUL), BookBound 2020 offers a global platform for big names, emerging authors and all lovers of literature to come together during this period of international uncertainty and isolation.

Throughout the festival period, speakers will be championing their favourite independent bookshops, and encouraging remote support for the industry while Covid-19 restrictions remain in place.

Viewers will also be able to help their local bookshops through a special arrangement between BookBound 2020 and the online bookseller Hive.

Here’s 10 writers we’re most looking forward to hear from including some QMUL connections:

Octavia Bright

Octavia Bright

Octavia is a writer and co-host of the New York Times and Guardian-recommended literary podcast Literary Friction. She holds a PhD from UCL, where her research focused on hysteria and desire. She has written criticism, fiction, journalism and essays for a variety of publications including Elephant, Orlando, Somesuch Stories, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and The White Review. She has written librettos for several musical collaborations, which have been performed at Snape Maltings, Kings Place London and LSO St Luke’s.

Wed 29 April | 5.30pm BST

Caleb Femi

Caleb Femi

Caleb is an acclaimed London artist. Featured in the Dazed 100 list of the next generation shaping youth culture, he uses music and film to push the boundaries of poetry. Stream SLOG, Caleb’s latest body of work, and preorder his debut collection POOR (Penguin, July 2020).

Fri 1 May | 5.30pm BST

Niven Govinden

Novelist and speaker Niven Govinden

Niven is the author of four previous novels, most recently All The Days And Nights which was longlisted for the Folio Prize and shortlisted for the Green Carnation Prize. His second novel Graffiti My Soul is about to go into film production. His third novel Black Bread White Beer won the 2013 Fiction Uncovered Prize. He was a judge for the 2017 4th Estate/Guardian B4ME Prize. This Brutal House was shortlisted for the Gordon Burns Prize 2019.

Sat 2 May | 9.15pm BST

Intisar Khanani

Author and Speaker Intisar Khanani

Intisar grew up a nomad and world traveller. She has lived in five different US states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Her works include The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn.

Sun 3 May | 5.30pm BST

David Lammy

MP and author David Lammy

David was born in London to Guianese parents and has served as the MP for Tottenham since 2000. He was the first black Briton to study at Harvard Law School and before entering politics practised as a barrister. David served as a minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. His first book, Out of the Ashes: Britain after the Riots, was published to widespread acclaim. Tribes: How Our Need to Belong Can Make or Break Society, is out now.

Sat 2 May | 7.15pm BST hosted by Wasafiri Magazine’s Malachi McIntosh

Georgina Lawton

Georgina Lawton pic by Alicia Canter/The Guardian

Georgina is a 27-year-old author, journalist and travel writer. A former Guardian Weekend columnist, her first book, Raceless, a memoir on family and identity, will be released in September 2020 with Sphere (UK) and Harper Collins (US). Her writing and speaking has been featured in: The Independent, Sky News, Ref29, Stylist, BBC Newsnight, Travel + Leisure, VICE, Suitcase, and Time Out London.

Tue 28 April | 5.30pm BST

Amber Massie-Blomfield

Creative non-fiction writer Amber Massie-Blomfield

Amber Massie-Blomfield is a creative nonfiction writer and arts producer. She has written for titles including The Independent,The Guardian, The Stage and Exeunt. Her first book, Twenty Theatres to See Before You Die was published in 2018 (Penned in the Margins).

Wed 29 April | 7.15pm BST

Malachi McIntosh

Malachi McIntosh

Malachi is Editor and Publishing Director of Wasafiri magazine. Along with his books Emigration and Caribbean Literature, and Beyond Calypso: Re-Reading Samuel Selvon, his writing has appeared in the Caribbean Review of Books, Flash: The International Short-Short Story Magazine, the Guardian, The Journal of Romance Studies, Research in African Literatures, Under the Radar, and The Cambridge Companion to British Black and Asian Literature, among others. Prior to joining Wasafiri he was co-lead of the three-times award-winning Our Migration Story project.

Sat 2 May | 7.15pm BST

Lola Olufemi

Writer, organiser and researcher Lola Olufemi

Lola is a black feminist writer, organiser and researcher from London. Her work focuses on the uses of the feminist imagination and its relation to liberated futures. She is the co-author of A FLY Girl’s Guide to University: Being a Woman of Colour at Cambridge and Other Institutions of Power and Elitism (Verve Poetry Press, 2019), author of Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power (Pluto Press, 2020) and a member of ‘bare minimum’, an interdisciplinary anti-work arts collective.

Sun 3 May | 7.15pm BST

Susan Rudy

Susan Rudy

Susan is Director of the Centre for Poetry in the School of English and Drama at Queen Mary University of London. Her research investigates the intersections between experimental writing, radical feminist theory, and gender ontoformativity. With Dr Georgina Colby, she founded SALON – LONDON: a site for responding to the present through women’s experimental writing, and is currently working with collaborators across the UK to establish a Queer Poetics Research Network at Queen Mary’s Centre for Poetry.

Thurs 30 April | 9.15pm BST

Announcing ‘Wonderer’ – The Queen Mary Literary Journal

We caught up with English students Chloe Lim and Ioana Radulescu to talk about their new literary journal Wonderer, which launches very soon.

Here’s what they could tell us:

“This project is a great opportunity for budding writers, editors and students who just want to get involved to experience working together to improve writing skills, enhancing knowledge of publishing and sharing new, innovative ideas with a group of like-minded, passionate individuals.

About Wonderer and how to get published in the journal

  • Wonderer will accept submissions from undergraduate students enrolled in any institution of higher education
  • Topics of general literary interest, literary theory, dramatic theory, comparative literature, interpretative readings of texts, philosophical approaches to literary works, research into the literary context of (a) particular work(s), intersections between art history and literature, aesthetics, provided that they are based on at least one literary or non-literary work of any genre. Academic papers should be between 3,000 – 8,000 words in length, and comply with guidelines detailed in the MHRA style guide.
  • Submissions are sent to wonderer.journal@qmul.ac.uk
  • The deadline for submissions is 19 June 2020.

The website is: https://www.wondererjournal.co.uk

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wonderer.journal/

Our Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/wondererjournal/

World-class education: English #11 in UK and Drama #9 in UK in QS World Rankings by Subject

Our English subject area (within QS category English Language and Literature) has been ranked as #11 in the #31 in the world.

Performing arts, a QS category including Drama and Film, is rated #9 in the UK and #31 in the world.

Eleni Sophia (English Student) on getting to the Final of Gradventure with her business Perspective Press Global

“So I got a phone call from Francesca telling me I had been nominated for the sem-finals for Gradventure – a competition for the student entrepreneurs of the University of London group where we would be pitching for funding! There were 16 semi-finalists and 8 of us made it to the finals!

On 1 February I had to pitch at Goldsmiths and a week later I was told I had gotten through to the finals! I believe I am the youngest finalist- the others have already graduated.

Next week, (March 12) I will be pitching for funding! By this time next year I want six authors published under Perspective Press Global so I need this funding to be able to provide services for editing, illustrating, marketing, cover designing etc.

When I graduate, I want to work on this full time; there is nobody else doing this in the UK and I already have a large following of almost 60,000 followers on my Instagram- many of whom message me asking me for help! I just need the funding to take it further; everything else is already in place!

Also, just as a side note, in celebration for International Women’s Day we will be donating a pack of sanitary towels (per book sale) for women who cannot afford them in order to raise awareness of Period Poverty!”

Discover The Sacred Cave of Kamukuwaká with our very own Thiago Jesus from People’s Palace Projects

We caught up with Thiago Jesus to talk about a new project discovering the Sacred Cave of Kamulkuwaká as part of an ongoing project with the Xingu tribe.

Background info: In September 2018, as part of PPP’s The Challenge of the Xingu project, an expedition to the sacred cave of Kamukuwaká organised with members of the Wauja community, specialists from Factum Foundation and an independent team of Brazilian anthropologists, found its ancient petroglyphs had been systematically destroyed (https://peoplespalaceprojects.org.uk/en/kamukuwaka/). Chisel marks, a chipped surface and scattered fragments on the ground were all that was left.

The sacred cave of Kamukuwaká, an archaeological site sacred to the Wauja and to the 15 other communities living in the Xingu Indigenous Territory (Brazilian Amazon), was listed as a heritage site in 2010 by IPHAN (Brazil’s National Institute of Historic and Artistic Heritage). The destruction is likely to be a result of the ongoing tensions between indigenous and farming communities in the state of Mato Grosso.

Digitalisation and rematerialisation: In defiance of this tragedy, Factum Foundation’s team (http://www.factumfoundation.org/), employed high-resolution photogrammetry and LiDAR scanning to record the cave. Then, using cutting-edge 3D printing technologies and with reference to previous photographic documentation as well as the collective memory of the Wauja, a forensically accurate digital restoration of the rock carvings was carried out, resulting in a 1:1 facsimile of the entrance to the cave with all the petroglyphs, measuring 8x4x4m (http://www.factumfoundation.org/pag/1289/The-Sacred-Cave-of-Kamukuwak%C3%83)

The event: On the 18-19 October 2019, one year after the vandalism was discovered, Factum hosted a two-day event in their Madrid’s workshop to inaugurate the facsimile of the restored cave. It was unveiled by a leader of the Wauja community, Akari Waurá, oral historian and song carrier, and his son Yanamakakuma Waurá, alongside Takumã Kuikuro, filmmaker from the Kuikuro people, and Shirley Djukuma Krenak, leader of the Krenak people.

During the event, they explained the importance of the cave and its meaning for the preservation of indigenous cultures, and discussed ways in which the facsimile of the cave can best serve the indigenous communities in Brazil. The two-day event was co-produced in partnership with People’s Palace Projects and funded by Factum Foundation, Queen Mary University of London and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Publication: to mark the event, Factum has self-published the book The Sacred Cave of Kamukuwaká: the preservation of indigenous cultures in Brazil, which can be download here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wndu82dpxjcnqlx/Kamukuwaka%20book_web.pdf?dl=0

School of English and Drama Takeover at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019

Lots of our students, alumni and staff use the Edinburgh Fringe to showcase and critique new performance work.

Queen Mary Theatre Company

This year QMTC have four shows heading up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Here’s the blurb for all of the shows…

Auto-Nation by Cindy Kim

On the verge of a natural disaster, a prison guard is called into work and discovers a newcomer to the team – an Artificial Intelligence named Sally. When the city is evacuated, what happens to the prisoners?

If I Die On Mars by Clarice Montero

The final 24 candidates for The Mars Mission Programme have been observed for a month by the public in a reality TV show designed to choose the final four. The public have voted and the candidates are about to be sent off to Mars with no hope of return… as soon as the final confirmation is granted.

At This Stage by Megan Young

Have you ever loved a show so much that you wished you could kidnap all the actors, keep them in your basement and get them to perform it again for you? No? Just Rupert?

Rock’n’Roll Girls by Rachel Jermy and Ellie Calnan

Lola, Eleanor Rigby, Brown Sugar, Roxanne, and Monica – you may know their names, you may even remember singing them in the shower or at a party. What you probably don’t know is their stories. Neither do they, but they’re trying to figure it out.

Alumni at the Fringe

Just These Please

Georgie Jones is part of this highly acclaimed sketch troupe who are performing their new show ‘Suitable’ at the fringe.

The Cat’s The Thing

Marissa Landy is taking her comedy based on the reality of living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to the Space @ Surgeon’s Hall.

I, Am Dram

Hannah Maxwell channels her inner am dram in her new show at the fringe.

Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum with Expats

‘Celebrating their final year as Europeans, island monkeys Becca and Louise got invited to the 2018 European Capital of Culture in Malta. Lads on tour…Sh!t Theatre went to drink rum with Brits abroad but found mystery and murder in the fight to be European. Here it is, another excuse for the multi award-winning Sh!t Theatre to get drunk on stage. ‘

Kayla MacQuarrie: Traumatised

‘From an Essex-based, sad, weird kid to a less sad, trans, lesbian loudmouth. She’s grown up, gotten hurt and she’s still here and ready to share in her debut hour. Winner of the Best Comedy Show Award at the Brewery Fringe Festival.’

Criticism and Insight

Bechdel Theatre: BT talk gender and representation on stage and list shows that pass the Bechdel Test.

Check out their list of shows

The Sick of the Fringe: Lewis Church will be covering shows which deal with health at the fringe. Follow @TSOTF for the latest.

To Do List: Rupert Dannreuther from the admin team is a blogger with a mission to bring the offbeat underdogs to the fore at this year’s fringe.

Check out their 50 Unmissable shows list

Did we miss a show? Leave a comment…

Love Hay Festival? Come and study your Master’s in English Literature with us

Hay Festival our very own Jerry Brotton will be in conversation with Germaine Greer on 27 May. If you’re getting inspired by the festival why not extend your knowledge in literature and culture with our MA in English Literature.

About Jerry Brotton’s event at Hay

Jerry Brotton, Hannah Critchlow, Catherine Fletcher and Germaine Greer, Leonardo 500 | Monday 27 May 2019, 4pm Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

We celebrate the 500th anniversary of the death of the incomparable Renaissance man – artist, scientist, inventor and lover. Brotton and Fletcher are Renaissance historians, Critchlow is a neuroscientist and Greer is a scholar and art historian. Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most inspiring figures of European history.