Glasgow deserved better from COP26

Two years since COP26. Two years since Prince Charles turned up at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Joe Biden was chauffeur driven past my halls of residence to a VIP-dinner, and John Kerry was spotted outside The Dirty Duchess in Finnieston. Two years since 100,000 of us took the streets and crammed around George Square for hours, craning our necks to catch a glimpse of Greta Thunberg (who, despite many rumours, unfortunately failed to turn up to Polo Wednesday the following week).

Experimental dance and chronic pain: In conversation with Sarah Hopfinger

Living with invisible pain can be debilitating, but artist and Royal Conservatoire researcher, Sarah Hopfinger, endeavours to turn her pain into art through her autobiographical show, Pain and I, performed at Tramway on November 8 and 9.

Sarah Hopfinger has lived with chronic back pain since she was 14. In the script for her immersive autobiographical performance, Pain and I, she admits feeling “embarrassed” by her pain, and wishing it would “disappear for good”. Because she “can’t always sit f

Editorial: We support trans rights

The Glasgow Guardian stands with UofG’s trans community amongst increasingly vitriolic public discourse

In the past week, headlines have been dominated by successive government representatives making increasingly provocative and aggressive overtures about trans people. From Rishi Sunak declaring base level transphobia as “common sense” at Conservative party conference, to Steve Barclay announcing government policy designed to exclude trans women from female hospital wards, it has been a particu

Editorial: Higher education is in crisis, the University must act

The decisions of administration this academic year will be fundamental to the student experience.

Freshers’ week is once more upon us at the University of Glasgow, and with it comes for many of you a fresh start – perhaps you’re a fresher leaving your hometown to embark upon your university journey, or a returning student moving into the next phase of your academic career. Unfortunately, as we embrace the new beginnings that September offers, students and staff alike are unable to leave behind

My next job is beach (I just don't know it yet)

Building universities in seaside towns could help revive them.

It’s the end of July, and I’m soaking up the fragments of sunshine interjecting a surprisingly chilly afternoon. Behind me is the mound of sand – laden with crumbs and footprints – and beneath me are the pebbles, granular and crunchy. Right front of me is the soothing lull of the tide, crashing aggressively inwards, foaming, while further ahead are small specks of people exploring rough-and-ready ridges. What are they up to? A few d

Room 223, Cairncross House

Don’t obsess over making your halls a home away from home: embrace its eccentricites.

Someone else is in my room. A few days ago they hauled bags past reception, up two flights of stairs, through a door, left turn, right turn, zig zag, zig zag again. No time to get a first impression when they finally arrive because there’s six more boxes of stuff waiting outside on the pavement and what if someone steals the one with their collection of houseplants which will probably die anyway because they w

Glasgow zine library gets bigger and better

The Glasgow Guardian visits and speaks with their staff about the creative value of zinemaking, and why exponential growth isn’t always a good thing

It’s Friday afternoon, and I’m reading a zine called Old Ladies Swearing. Doreen, hunching slightly, says “Shithouse”. Gladys has a perm, and she says “Cunt”. While I flip its plain white, A5 pages, a woman wearing a Scottish autism jumper gets up and leaves the building. She’s been quietly working on a zine for the last few hours. “The last time I

Ten Years since Sheryl Sandberg told women to Lean In

Since Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In topped bestseller lists, we have entered the fourth wave of feminism. This has been, in part, defined by the #metoo movement which challenged sexual harassment in the workplace, as well as a renewed focus on intersectionality. Neither of these two issues are addressed by Lean In, and Sandberg’s supposedly feminist manifesto has largely failed on its own terms - the number of female tech leaders has fallen. Sandberg herself called it quits in June last year, taking

Glasgow Film Festival 2023: How To Blow Up a Pipeline

Why To Blow Up a Pipeline is perhaps a more appropriate title for the book this climate crisis thriller is based on. Yet Andreas Malm’s theoretical and intellectual justification of direct action, sabotage and property destruction in tackling the climate emergency is almost less philosophical than Daniel Goldhaber’s screen adaptation, which provides a nuanced account of a group of environmental activists as they attempt to destroy an oil refinery.

One of several programmes chosen by Glasgow Fil

15 minute cities deserve more than 15 minutes of fame

There is no greater evidence that candidate selection processes are not working than the increasing regularity in which online conspiracy theories find themselves on the parliamentary record. In June 2019 Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi held a Westminster Hall debate where it was at least insinuated that 5G causes cancer, while a cursory search on Hansard post-2020 reveals three appearances of cultural marxism, a far-right antisemitic conspiracy. Most recently, Tory MP Nick Fletcher stood up in the H

Theatre meets 90s House: Better Days by Ben Tagoe

Ben Tagoe was a teenager when the title track to his one-person show, Better Days, was released. Featuring a raft of classic early ‘90s rave tunes, his crowdfunded production tells the story of Danny, a 19-year-old in 1990, who grapples with the intersection of two subcultures: football hooliganism and the house music scene. The first draft took only two to three months (“this was from the heart”), but as the hard work of refining and perfecting the play carries on until its first performance at

In Anticipation of: Celtic Connections Festival 2023

The annual Celtic Connections festival returns to Glasgow from Thursday 19 January to Sunday 5 February, offering a lineup of musical, theatrical and other events encompassing traditional, folk, indie, jazz and Americana genres. A range of venues throughout the city will host performances big and small, from the grandeur of the Royal Concert Hall to the intimacy of The Hug and Pint. As the 30th edition of the festival, this particular lineup not only includes those involved with the Scottish mus

Review: Big Joanie @ Mono

Punk died six years ago according to Joe Corre (the late Dame Vivienne Westwood’s son). Though he lambasted its transition into a “marketing tool” used by the music industry, the success of Big Joanie’s UK headline tour - Glasgow being their 3rd sold out show - suggests a radical alternative is alive and thriving.

Big Joanie are a Black feminist punk band. Its three members - Stephanie Phillips on guitar, Chardine Taylor Stone on drums, and Estella Adeyeri on bass - charmed veggie bar-turned-gi

Cheryl is still viable

Cheryl Tweedy Cole Fernandez-Versini. Several articles about the former Girls Aloud member, who is now known as “just Cheryl”, commence with a bricolage of the last names she has accumulated over the years, and why shouldn’t they? It’s an etymological masterpiece - Kimberley Gail Ratcliff (née Marsh, previously Ryder and Lomas) just doesn’t hit the sweet spot! - and a reminder of the chaotic love life that, among other reasons, induces a very British affection for her. Following a long period in

Mental illness: the diagnosis dilemma

Recent NHS data reveals a cost of mental health crisis: a quarter of 17 to 19 year olds have a probable mental disorder, while 1.2 million people languish on waiting lists. With our health service gutted of the capacity to deal with increased demand, it’s inevitable that sufferers look to alternatives. The ever-encroaching ubiquity of the internet into everyday life means that conversations about mental health now often take place online, rather at the doctor’s surgery: TikTok videos accompanied

Review: Bongo’s Bingo Christmas @ SWG3

There is no greater accumulation of heteronormative slaying than at Bongo’s Bingo Glasgow. Almost everyone in the queue snaking down Eastvale Place was sequin-clad or generally glammed up, and some were dancing on the benches before 7pm. In Glasgow there’s no settling down into your forties, fifties, or beyond - going off out to get plastered is still the done thing. A scour of the Bongo’s Bingo website listings unsurprisingly revealed nowhere else in the UK to have as many shows this month as G

The Kelvin Ensemble’s Voyages of the Sea

No one quite knew where the queue started and ended. The endearing chaos of Hunter Halls - a charmingly functional but far less elaborate version of Bute Hall - was the result of a sold out concert from the Kelvin Ensemble: the University of Glasgow’s student run orchestra. Its chairperson, Nick Baughan, spoke to The Glasgow Guardian before the event, and emphasised the “challenges in getting a venue that’s big enough for us all in previous years”. Though evidently a problem not quite resolved b

How To Build A Tenement

Turn right off Byres Road and onto White Street, you’ll stumble upon row after row of sandstone tenements, in all their Victorian glory. For many students, a fine aesthetic, aptly complementing your post-lecture autumnal playlist. The ceilings are high, the rooms are huge, and there are traces of art nouveau in the tiles and railings, but the struggle to physically get inside renders tenement living impossible for a sizable number of Glasgow’s citizens, with women, the elderly and disabled peopl

David Cameron is still the worst Prime Minister of the 21st Century

David Cameron was the worst prime minister in living memory. Worse than Liz Truss, worse than Boris Johnson, worse than Theresa May.

Liz Truss and Boris Johnson were only elected Prime Minister after being promoted to foreign secretary by their predecessors. Boris Johnson caused Liz Truss, Theresa May caused Boris Johnson, and David Cameron caused Theresa May. Cameron did a runner after his big Brexit gamble, because he was too scared to face the consequences; instead leaving them to a chain of

Review: The Book of Mormon @ Theatre Royal Glasgow

“Jesus lived here, in the USA”, supposedly. It’s the kind of writing that should be so ridiculous, so satirical, as to bear little resemblance to reality. But what The Book of Mormon does so well is make us, among cackles and giggles, question and engage critically with so much - charity, race, religion are only the start.

The actual Book of Mormon is a founding text of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. What Robert Lopez, and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, do wit

Review: Sugababes @ O2 Academy

It was an eclectic assortment of us filing into the O2 Academy on a Monday night. Lots of forty somethings were reliving their glory days, sporting semi glamorous attire scrambled together after a Monday slog in the office. But the Sugababes are a timeless phenomenon, and the number of young people in attendance was both heartening and unsurprising.

We were first treated to two support acts following on seamlessly from one another. Kara Marni is 22 and on TikTok. She releases EPs (not albums) a

Review: Just An Ordinary Lawyer

Tunji Sowande was not just an ordinary lawyer. Becoming Britain’s first Black judge in 1978, this one-man show documents his story, as captivating insights into race are conveyed through impassioned song and spoken word.

This interpretation feels all the more authentic because Sowande was also a concert singer, with music remaining close to his heart throughout his legal career. It seems likely Sowande would want to tell his story through his booming baritone voice, and it is a shame that this show was only made posthumously.

Review: Disenchanted: A Cabaret of Twisted Fairy Tales

It was naive of me to enter Disenchanted with some scepticism. The concept of “twisting” fairy-tales through cabaret seemed so overdone, so unoriginal, and yet what could have been a tedious 55 minutes of insignificant mediocrity turned out to be more enjoyable than not.

Our cheeky, feather-laden host explained that she talks to characters who are not being represented properly in fairy tales, hence the “twist” is platforming the voiceless victims or villains otherwise derided or degraded by society. ‘Disenchanted’ is arguably more successful when it subverts

Review: The Same Boat

Directed by the same people who came up with the genius that is Tokyo Fugue, my expectations for The Same Boat were pretty high. Having broadly the same setup, with chairs being the primary form of self-expression and navigation, five characters - a witch, a bitch, a goldfish, a salaryman and a sleepwalker - deliver monologues united by their common expression of guilt. Embedded in-between are ritualistic dances, in which the characters do not have conversations with each other, but have conversations with themselves around each other. General expressions of hysteria are found throughout.
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