Members’ news July 2019

This month saw the publication of OTHERS, by Unbound. I know there are so many demands on your attention, and your reading time, but I would be ever so grateful if you could see your way to adding it to reading pile. I’m immensely grateful to be in it, of course, but beyond that: like so many of the anthologies that Unbound have been pioneers in publishing, it’s a way of not just discovering voices hopefully new to you but also: perspectives, experiences, opinions. We need to – hopefully, collectively – start to realise that we are all ‘other’ to someone else, and so with kindness and empathy know that trying to walk in those shoes is not just a life skill but a super power. All profits from the book will go to support the work of Refugee Action and Stop Hate UK. You can get it from Waterstones and all other bookshops now.

– Rishi Dastidar

I’m taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe festival with my poetry collective 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE. It’s called 4BGWW presents The Poetry Phamily, and will feature a curated show of poetry, standup and music, all by people of colour. BUT we need help getting there, as the admin fees alone have proved to be beyond thousands of pounds, so we’re crowdfunding to help cover our costs and make sure we can take this unique show to the Fringe. We’ve already had a few 26 members show their support with kind pledges – other members can do so here. Tickets to the actual show in Edinburgh are available via Gilded Balloon here.

– Roshni Goyate

I was commissioned to make something to mark the British Library being in their St Pancras building for 20 years. I knew that big, broad cultural-corporate messages weren’t right. I spent time hanging around the place and got a little obsessed with the fact that every visitor to the Library has a unique, niche reason for being there. My idea was to make the weirdly specific, widely relatable. 

The giant banner spot was going to be free for a few weeks before an advert for the blockbuster Anglo-Saxon show was due to go up, so we seized that space. And long copy felt right, we have an audience of readers after all. 

The reaction on social was phenomenal. Huge numbers of heartfelt responses were shared by the public. One photograph of the advert alone received 12,500 likes and 3,500+ retweets. Other institutions across the world created their own versions. I made a film using the writing too.

It won the Gold in Writing for Design at June’s Design Week Awards.

– Tom Sharp

sward (n.)

I have a new art and writing project, Sward (originally ‘skin of the Earth’) where I am walking the central reservation of the A240 Kingston Road, from Tolworth Roundabout to the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames boundary with the Borough of Epsom and Ewell.

– Lucy Furlong

Ladies First – Gracefield Art Gallery, Dumfries, Scotland

Thirteen writers respond with new texts to artwork made in the last 70 years by women artists – a project led by 26 member, Vivien Jones. Works displayed side by side in a free exhibition from early July to August 24th.

– Vivien Jones

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