April 17, 2016
Artist and activist Hamja Ahsan goes "off piste" for the concept of this podcast, bypassing plot and instead choosing to discuss a collection of poetry - As a Black Woman by poet and artist Maud Sulter.
Hamja Ahsan is an artist who was unwittingly forced to become an activist after his brother was arrested on dubious charges and extradited to the United States having never been there. Hamja then spent ten years running the "Free Talha Ahsan" campaign to help free his brother. The campaign was successful, and Syed Talha Ahsan was finally freed in 2014.
If in London, you can see some of Hamja's work at the DIY Cultures Zines, Comics and Alternative Day Festival at RichMix Cultural Centre on May 29th. Hamja is also writing a book called Shy Radicals, taking a stand against extrovert supremacy, to be published this year.
Intro and outro music by Ali Mansour.
March 22, 2016
Artist Joy Mariama Smith takes Deborah through the plot-line of Tangerine (2015), a film shot entirely on iPhone, whose plot-line definitely earns the "explicit content" label this podcast has on iTunes, just in case, but is also extremely heartfelt and moving.
Joy Mariama Smith is an artist, curator, instigator, and "cultural cartographer" from Philadelphia, currently based in the Hague, Netherlands. A member of the "Your Name Here" collective, Joy is a non-gender conforming queer artist of colour who makes work with what they term a solid anti-assimmilationist motivation. They are currently at the Dutch Art Institute, and frequently show their work throughout the Europe. Their newest piece Color Block will be performed in Ponderosa at the Tanzland Theatre Festival in April.
This episode of "The Whole Darned Thing" includes some explicit content for the heart and mind. Enjoy.
Intro music by Ali Mansour.
March 13, 2016
Artist Tania El Khoury takes Deborah Pearson through the plot of a film which charts a very handsome young John Lennon's early life, Nowhere Boy (2009). The film is based on a memoir written by his half sister, Julia Baird, but according to Tania's description, you'd never know it. Tania saw the film on the plane, isn't a fan of the Beatles, twice refers to Paul McCartney as Paul McCarthy and I don't correct her. Best just to be honest about that. But in many ways, that is the charm of this particular episode of The Whole Darned Thing. We all know how a story about John Lennon might end - what we don't know is how Tania El Khoury remembers or doesn't remember it, and why that is.
Tania El Khoury is an internationally acclaimed artist who works primarily with performance, requiring the audience to be an active collaborator. Her work sits on the edge of art and activism - its politics and ethics are integral to the work she makes, while never shying away from the personal, the beautiful and the difficult. Her performance installation Gardens Speak uses the testimony of friends and family of ten people who died in the early days of the Syrian Revolution and buried in gardens, to reconstruct their stories as they themselves might have told them. Gardens Speak has toured all over the world, and is currently installed at the Battersea Arts Centre until March 19th, 2015. If you have the opportunity to go see it, you must. Ironically, given Tania's fragmented recollection of Nowhere Boy, she makes work that stays with you, continuing to grow and complicate itself in your memory. A book version of Gardens Speak was also published by Tadween Publishing this year.
February 28, 2016
Michael Goldlist takes Deborah Pearson the "plot line" (if you can call it that) of Peter Zeihan's best selling book on geopolitics, The Accidental Super Power: The Next Generation of American Preeminence and the Coming Global Disorder. (!) A non-fictional departure for The Whole Darned Thing, Michael explains Zeihan's over arching argument about the impact of the U.S. Navy on foreign trade, and summarises Zeihan's terrifying predictions for, in Michael's words, "which countries will be f*cked and which won't" once geopolitics are "turned back on."
Michael Goldlist is based in Toronto, Canada where he is an actor, writer and producer. He acted, wrote and produced the brilliant high concept music video for single "Close to Me" by the Darcys for Arts and Crafts, and has also written and produced music videos for The Strumbellas and Dzeko and Torres. He is also someone who is fun to talk to, even about geopolitics.
February 20, 2016
Artist Abigail Conway takes Deborah Pearson through the plot of Japanese animated sci-fi philosophical action mind f*ck Ghost in the Shell (1995). Adapted from a series of graphic novels, the singularity is singularly unpacked, flatpacked and ready to upload in this mid 90s tale of semi-conscious semi-human cyborgs and their existential crises.
Abigail Conway is a visual artist who works in the realm of live performance. She explores intimacy through instruction-based work, and frequently commits long periods of time to learning new skills which she then shares and explores with her audience members/participants. For her most recent piece Ride she learned how to drive a motorcycle, became licensed, and then took audience members on motorcycle rides (or as she called them, motorcycle meditations) through the hills of Tanzania.
February 14, 2016
Season Butler takes Deborah Pearson through Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, a messed up tale of sadness, heartbreak, and a woman stepping on swords. A perfect bedtime story if you want your child's eyes to widen and their lower lip to tremble while you say, "Deal with it kiddo. Life's no fairytale. Now sleep tight, and if you have a nightmare, DON'T WAKE ME UP."
Season Butler is a London-based writer, performer and academic, whose work interrogates the personal and political and the playful and disturbing. Her most recent show "Happiness Forgets" premiered at Fierce Festival last September. Its research process began with Season binge watching old episodes of The Cosby Show and learning and reproducing the opening credit dance at the beginning of each season.
Intro music by Ali Mansour. Outro music by TLC.
February 7, 2016
Artist Brian Lobel takes Deborah through the plot-line of Newsies (1992), Disney's strike-oriented-musical to end all strike-oriented-musicals.
Brian Lobel is an internationally renowned artist, writer and performer. Performing at the Sydney Opera House next month with his show "You Have to Forgive Me You Have to Forgive Me You Have to Forgive Me," Lobel is also co-writing the book for the upcoming musical Pacifist's Guide to the War on Cancer, premiering at the National Theatre this year.
This was the first ever episode of "The Whole Darned Thing" - so please chalk up any technical problems with the recording to the beauty and heart break of learning how to do something.
Intro and outro music by Ali Mansour.
February 7, 2016
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