Pamflet 13: Absent in the Spring

23.04.2015 | Culture , Literature | BY:

Twin contributors and Pamflet founders, Phoebe Frangoul and Anna-Marie Fitzgerald, are about to launch the thirteenth issue of their post-everything, satirical girl culture zine. It’s been four years since a printed edition has been released, but their back with 40+ pages of pure London grrrl culture.

To celebrate Phoebe and Anna-Marie will be at The Trouble Club on Monday 27th April, where there will be free-flowing wine, music and zines for all.

Get tickets to the launch of Pamflet 13: Absent in the Spring here

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18.11.2014 | Literature | BY:

There aren’t many bloggers who have successfully made the transition from pixels to print – too often something gets lost in translation – but Sasha Wilkins aka Liberty London Girl has more than pulled it off with her first book, Friends, Food, Family (Quadrille Books, £18.99). Ostensibly a recipe book, it’s also an elegant and insightful guide to living well packed with lists of the best foodie spots and flower markets around the world, tips for throwing a stress-free cocktail party and the ultimate dinner party playlist.

But first, the food: there are simple recipes for kitchen beginners which require a handful of ingredients and the most basic culinary skills, then for more confident cooks there are some serious showstoppers, such as a spectacular triple-layer lemon cake. Each recipe has a highly personal flavour – these are dishes Sasha has cooked countless times for her nearest and dearest in kitchens all over the world, so she knows they work on every level.

Through her witty, wise prose, the Delia of the digital age delivers the message of good food – it nourishes the soul as much as the stomach and should give joy to the creator as well as the consumer. Whether you’re a fan of the Liberty London Girl blog and want to explore the LLG world further or are simply looking for a reliable cookbook packed with foolproof recipes that will comfort and impress in equal measure, Friends, Food, Family will fast become a kitchen shelf stalwart.

Lily King’s Euphoria (Picador, £13.99) is a compelling novel inspired by the life of the anthropologist Margaret Mead, her husband and a colleague during their time studying the tribes in New Guinea. The three main characters have complicated, intense relationships which are skilfully rendered against a beautiful, dangerous landscape that is as powerful a presence as the people living in it. The story of an all-too-typical love triangle in an extraordinary setting unfolds through often contradictory accounts from the characters’ different perspectives, building up a multi-layered narrative that reveals much about these intelligent, egotistical personalities. But the most tantalising aspect of this story is wondering just how much was drawn from fact and how much was the inspiration of the author’s imagination.

Not that Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned has been one of the most anticipated books of 2014 and it was worth the wait. Wrapped in a seventies-throwback dust jacket and finished with dreamy endpapers which look pretty from far away and reveal a mosaic of tacky girl-stuff close up, here is Lena Dunham, let loose.

If you’ve already seen Girls, Tiny Furniture and the rest, this book of lists and essays is testament to how consistently Lena has mined her own experiences for her screen fictions. That blurred interexchange between memoir and storytelling is what makes her work so authentic and resonant – and the content of these essays so familiar. There’s not much here to surprise the fan, including the fact that she’s just as amusing on the page as on TV. However, this goes much further than the average confessional narrative. Indeed, ‘I live in a world that is almost compulsively free of secrets’ she states at one point, comparing her relaxed attitude towards privacy to others’ reticence.

Our heroine might not feel very glamourous most of the time, but for the English kind-of-girl reader, her world is ridiculously fabulous. She grew up in SoHo, NYC, vacationed in idyllic summer camps and holiday homes and hung out with artists and wannabes. In that glamorous world Lena might have been the weird girl, the outcast, the morbidly obsessive teen but that otherness has made her an open-minded, fair and funny observer.

The most tantalising and entertaining chapters of Not that Kind of Girl are where Lena takes a break from her mostly polite, professional persona and unleashes her inner anger. In one she addresses (names have been changed) her many detractors in a series of unsent emails and in another she reveals that she hopes she’ll live to 80 so that she can legally expose all the sexist ‘sunshine stealers’ who’ve treated her badly in Hollywood (they’ll all be dead by then).

Furies: A Poetry Anthology of Women Warriors (For Books’ Sake, £10) edited by Eve Lacey (all profits from the collection will go to Rape Crisis England & Wales) is a brilliant anthology of verse inspired by women warriors from the internet’s finest lady books journal For Books’ Sake. Featuring contributions on Betty Draper, Sylvia Plath and more, this is a vital and powerful outpouring of page-rage.

Anna-Marie Fitzgerald and Phoebe Frangoul are the co-editors and co-founders of the London grrrl-zine and literary salon Pamflet. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @Pamflet. 

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Radical reels

11.02.2011 | Blog , Culture | BY:

It seems shocking that only one woman – Kathryn Bigelow – has ever been awarded the Best Director Oscar, when you consider that women have been making films since the birth of cinema. It’s that lack of recognition of women in film that drives Cinenova – a volunteer-led collective that’s dedicated to preserving and distributing the work of female filmmakers, artists and activists. This month they’re opening up their impressive archive in an exhibition called Reproductive Labour at THE SHOWROOM gallery.

Films from Cinenova’s collection will be screened daily – it’s a rare opportunity to see pivotal works from the history of feminist, black, queer and experimental film and video. There are silent films from the early days of cinema, documentaries, shorts and feature-length works dealing with themes like post-colonial struggles, domestic work and representation of gender and sexuality.

A quick browse through the 500 titles in Cinenova’s online catalogue threw up some intriguing names: French pioneer Alice Guy is arguably the first ever filmmaker. She directed the 1906 feature The Life of Christ with a cast of 300, and used innovative techniques and special effects. Her contemporary, Lois Weber was Universal Studios’ highest paid director in 1916. She covered controversial social issues like abortion, alcoholism and birth control in films like Where Are My Children?, Hop and The Devil’s Brew (both 1916). One of her most successful films was The Blot (1921).

As well as showing these rare and precious films in their original state, the exhibition has a wealth of fascinating material – photographs, pamphlets and posters – to add some context to the work. The title of the exhibition – Reproductive Labour – also alludes to how much of a labour of love Cinenova is. Run entirely by volunteers, the charity is always struggling for survival and depends on donations for its loyal band of supporters to keep going.

Check THE SHOWROOM’s online calendar to find out which films are being screened and when ( Our top picks are Peasant Women of Ryazan on Saturday the 12th February, and Broken Taboos and New Voices in Iran on Wednesday 23rd March at 6pm.

Reproductive Labour: An exhibition exploring the work of Cinenova runs until the 26th March
The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, London NW8 8PQ

Words by Phoebe Frangoul

Images from top: Peasant Women of Ryazan by Olga Prebrazhenskaya (USSR 1927) and Daughter Rites.

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