Yes, we will always need another ode to the power of art, a love letter to creativity.
These three books have been a joyful, electrifying antidote to demeaning govt. policy toward the arts - fuck this Government and fuck you Rishi Sunak. The creative industries (which generate over £110Billion a year for the UK economy) are more vital than ever. They are a lifeline, as well as a livelihood, for millions of us.
So hurrah for books, notably books like these:
Kae Tempest' On Connection
This punchy little book puts the human- as writer/creator/reader/audience- at the heart of the conversation about art, and creativity. It’s exhilarating, engaging, political, self aware and endlessly thought provoking - a look at empathy building in the context of contemporary social schisms.
The inimitable, irreverent Eileen Myles has new extended essay out, For Now is an immensely generous, laugh out loud, cooler-than-cool glimpse at the creative process. An artful, compelling rejection of ‘utility’ & commercialisation that makes you want to DO: To write, create, glory in the making, in the moment.
Lastly we have Khousik Banerjea’s stunning coming of age novel Another Kind Of Concrete- a glorious debut from indie press Jacaranda Books. We’ve had so many readers reach out to us about this specific book. Readers so touched by the sense of belonging, of place, of humanity in these pages that they keep buying the book for others, even for strangers.
These books have reminded us that art is for sharing. For communing around. For conversation. Its specificities can reach across huge differences in experience, world views and identities. How badly we need this!
Come find us over on instagram and tell us what art - of any kind! - has done this for you?
And if you have the time, please join the clamour to #SaveTheArts, because our government is failing miserably to do, despite their bullshit Cultural Recovery Fund. Call on your MP to shift government policy and properly fund a safety net for the creative industries, including proper support for freelancers (who make up 15% of workers across industries, but represent 47% of those in the arts).
If you can afford it, buy books (or use one of our paid forward vouchers!) - buy books by indie presses, supporting publishers, and authors and bookshops along the way.
Think of the performers/artists and their performance/creative spaces. It has been reported that in the first 12 weeks of lockdown, more than 15,000 performances were cancelled - losing theatres £303m in box office revenue. And it is getting worse. The estimated total loss of income for theatres may be more than *double* that, at £630m.
If you have a local theatre or art gallery, go find them & find out what they need - sponsor seats, buy tickets for future runs, spread word of them!
In Edinburgh you can support initatives like Traverse 3 - the Traverse hosted us for events with Akala, IYS Scotland & Tracey Thorn, they are bril.