I interviewed international poet Kinga Fabó whose work has been translated into 17 different languages. Kinga has been published in journals such as Modern Poetry in Translation; Numéro Cinq, Ink Sweat & Tears, Deep Water Literary Journal and anthologies like The Significant Anthology, Women in War and World Poetry Yearbook 2015. Her latest book, a bilingual Indonesian-English poetry collection Racun/Poison was published in 2015. She lives in Budapest, Hungary.
I’m lying on my side in a darkened studio with lights and a camera pointed at my bare back. Christoffer is taking the pictures, directed by Andreas and Dagmara. The studio is in Aarhus, Denmark, I’m naked, and the film, called ‘Landscapes’, puts together close-up images of seven LGBTQI people over 60.
It’s a four-hour shoot, first across my back then tight on my chest, moving to my hand and finally to my upper body and face. While the camera pans through smoke effects and I’m in the picture, the film crew are exclaiming how beautiful it looks. Dagmara calls the session ‘funky’. It’s as if they’re sightseers in a gallery being constantly surprised and astonished by the artwork they see there. Continue reading ART & GENDER – Leslie Tate→
When character drives story the narrative no longer depends on ‘hooks’ or plot twists and satisfaction comes from seeing more deeply into personality. This kind of writing goes beyond ‘entertainment’ or ‘reveals’. It’s often quite personal, taking the reader into psychological space, so when the ‘ah’ moment arrives it’s usually a discovery about innerness or hidden feelings. Character-led writing values depth over cleverness, subjectivity over analysis, and may depend more on tone of voice than content. And because it’s person-centred it may feel ‘exploratory’ with very little happening until suddenly the protagonist’s mind shifts and the authentic personality steps forward. Continue reading CHARACTER-DRIVEN STORIES→
I interviewed Nadia Nadif, actor and theatre activist. Appearing with innovative theatre companies in a wide range of roles, Nadia has taken part in family shows (including learning how to stilt walk!), plays about domestic violence, and performed a Sudanese trance dance as part of a production at the Edinburgh Festival. She has also toured the Middle East with a comedy-farce show.
I began by asking Nadia about the pivotal role she played in creating The Scar Test, a challenging exposé of the UK’s inhumane treatment of refugees in detention.
Jane, who has been acclaimed by The Bookseller, is the author of eight novels. Her 2015 novel, An Unknown Woman, was Writing Magazine’s Self-published Book of the Year 2016 and has been shortlisted for two further awards.
The painting below, ‘Las Meninas’ by Velázquez, was used by André Gide to demonstrate the idea of mise en abyme – a technique in art where a copy of an image is placed within itself. So the effect can resemble parallel mirrors, suggesting an infinitely recurring sequence of images. It’s sometimes called the Droste effect, named after the 1904 Droste cocoa package, which shows a woman holding a tray bearing a Droste cocoa package, which bears a smaller version of her image.
Jane says about herself: “I spent my twenties and the first part of my thirties chasing promotions at work, but when I achieved what I’d set out to do, I discovered that it wasn’t what I wanted after all. It was then that I turned to writing.”