Tag Archives: Manifesto

The Manifestation at the Garden Party

29 Jul

by Sian Bevan

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the much-anticipated Forge of the Wordsmith’s Garden Party and so had to send a representative in my place to read the Mulipote manifesto. Simone de Fluck is a loyal comrade who, luckily, looks uncannily like me but sports a flawless French accent. It is a tragedy of the most epic proportions that we can never be seen at the same time in the same room.

I talked to Simone after event and she was very positive about the whole thing. She was mainly thankful that her performance was at the end of the evening, when the audience had drunk, listened, clapped and mingled enough to be receptive to her rather…military style. Shouting about a manifestation-led revolution could have been rather unsettling to the sober of heart or liver.

Literary events are in some ways incredibly unfair places. There are really talented writers who are made to release their words into the world in a medium with which they’re very uncomfortable. You wouldn’t ask a pilot to do a waltz, or make a doctor sing about his finest prescription, but realistically modern writers have to accept that speaking in public is a necessary evil. Simone and I are lucky that we’ve performed before, but she wanted me to mention how impressed she was at newbies to the mic and how they took on the fear.

A few people asked about tackling pre-gig nerves and the best advice I ever got was this: Whatever you were planning on doing, do it more. Do it bigger. Fill the room with everything you’ve got to say and, before you know it, people will take notice and the whole reason for creating the fear in the first place will, fingers crossed, become crystal clear.

Forge of the Wordsmiths is fast establishing itself as the venue for the unestablished performer, the nervous reader and as Simone can testify, a wonderful event.

Simone de Fluck and Barbie relax before inciting mass revolution

If you did miss the Manifestation performances at the Garden Party, please click on the links below. For a real-real copy of any of the manifesto’s, please e-mail writingonbrokenglass@gmail.com

Anarcho-Oneiric-Quietism takes you through the dark woods of fairy tales and myth, and holds your head under the colour of your own dreams. Are you ready to see your true face?

Booki$m plans to solve the current financial crisis and worldwide debt with the replacement of books as a real currency

Hatism wants you to stop being stupid and start eating your cat. You are now an accessory to the hat.  Cover your hair

Mulipote charge you with finding and eradicating shit women in fiction. They want your wankfantasies to be real and their decision must be final

The Sinsualist Manifesto invite you to a feast of potential, a tumbling and tearing of false idols, where ice-cream is the domain of science … and Barbie

La Sufferance deny the denial of experience. It is ok for your child to come home to an empty house if it contains at least one book. Let children set their own pace


The Manifestation

16 Jul

Performing at our Garden Party on Saturday 24 July, are some of the students from the newly created MA Creative Writing course run by Sam Kelly and David Bishop at Edinburgh Napier University. As part of their course, the students looked at the form of the manifesto, and went forth to make their own challenges.

“A manifesto has a madness about it. It is peculiar and angry, quirky, or downright crazed.” – Mary Ann Caws 1

The manifesto disrupts the indolence in established artistic norms.

The manifesto manifests at times of societal upheaval, crisis, and war.

The manifesto is a product of the times and a rejection of the times.

The manifesto is a razing of prevailing norms and accepted truths.

The manifesto is a judgement, a proclamation, a demand.

The manifesto kills the past.

The manifesto is the new.

The manifesto is now.

“The [manifesto] demands blood.”

–                                               Charles Jencks 2

In the first trimester of the MA Creative Writing at Edinburgh Napier University, we were given the opportunity to start our own movement and write our own manifesto. A number of us had a clear idea of what should be challenged and, how we would go about it. For some, this was the first time they seriously considered what needed to be changed and how. For others, this was an opportunity to satirise the medium of the manifesto itself.

The creation of a movement and manifesto allowed us to carefully consider our writing; what influences us, what decisions we make regarding style and content, our role as cultural producers, and how our writing reflects or rejects dominant discourses.

The movements and manifestos that have emerged from this show a diverse, “angry, quirky,” and “downright crazed” response

  1. Caws, M.A. ed. (2001) ‘Manifesto: A Century of Isms’, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, pxvix
  2. ibid, pxxiii

Ever Dundas – The Sinsualist

Composing and designing the Sinsualist Manifesto brought together many influences, with Queer Theory at its core. I wanted to make a break with established norms, and to bring Queer Theory to a new audience, as it is still to break into mainstream consciousness.

‘Sinsual’ is both an attack on the religious and the secular-scientific. These dominant discourses have violently converged on the body, reifying established norms, and constraining our potential. Queer Theory razes the very foundations of our society. It is exciting, fun, and dangerous. In terms of literature (and all the arts) it opens up so many possibilities.

The Manifesto of Sinsuality is the starting point. I want people to find out more about the theorists and artists I have cited and bring about a Sinsualist revolution.

Mark Nicholls, John Fagan, David Marsland and Jonathan Whiteside – Hatism

Hatism is a manifesto about wearing hats. It doesn’t aspire to a plateau of intelligence higher than this.

The manifesto satirises the various silliness of manifestoes past and present, using hats as the running joke throughout, and runs with this joke until everyone else has run away.

We decided to do this manifesto since we are naïve cherubs with an outstanding sense of humour. Our artistic sensibilities have not developed to such a state of refinement that we might consider writing (or even performing) such a manifesto beneath our dignity.

Hatism is here, and it has the snazziest headgear in the Edinburgh area.

Sean Martin – Anarcho-Oneric-Quietism

The Anarcho-Oneric-Quietist Manifesto comes from convictions that I didn’t know I had, but seem to have become apparent over the last few years. Dreams, myth, a dissenting/refusenik political stance, a fascination with folklore and old wives’ tales, plus a few nods to writers who are also working in a similar field gave me the impetus to try to get the manifesto down on paper.

It has been important to me for the writing to reflect these ideas, to suggest rather that dictate; to hint rather than describe; to infer rather than point to directly. Such an approach is, I believe, valid for our secular, consumerist times; a culture dominated by all that kills the soul and the imagination. From such things writing comes, and, indeed, all creative work which is vital to… well, I’ll leave that up to you.

Siân Bevan – the Mulipote

The Mulipote was formed out of itchy-fingered frustration at the number of poor female characters in genre fiction. Its creation pokes fun at clichés, which readers buy into, while demanding a higher standard in modern literature. The Mulipote is confrontational, but manages to remain light-hearted, feisty and mellow.

I want (well, I suppose I should demand, but very politely) the Mulipote to become a guerrilla movement, with bookmarks and stickers praising or condemning the strength of female characters in the literature that surrounds us. The Mulipote swear, swagger and we love decent books above all.

Barbara Melville – Booki$m

Like so many pieces of genius, Booki$m began as a light joke in a dark bar. But it soon evolved into a mischievous, sceptical trick that endeavoured to dig deeper than the ‘books as currency’ proposition. The ideas are always met with the same sorts of queries: how’s worth decided? Is debt promoted? Will people steal it?

And that’s what Booki$m does: it provides the spade. Receivers may be scoffers, even attackers – but at least they’re after answers. By encouraging us to read our wages, Booki$m casts our attention to the questions we should be asking about any money system. It may take a quiet approach, but that’s ok: Post-Booki$m will be louder.

Silvia Barlaam, Christina, Jenni Green – La Sufferance

The goal of the Sufferists is to shamelessly channel the trauma and misery of childhood into bankable fiction.

To achieve this aim, we have devised intricate strategies of childcare designed to transform children into bestselling novelists whose works are REAL and TRUE. There will be no more overprotecting children into a numbing cocoon, suffocating all experience and expression. Our aim is to bring the veracity of SUFFERING back to art.

The manifesto looks with scorn upon cynical airport fiction, and satirises the cheap and tacky whores of contemporary hackdom. If the public want suffering, then the artist must truly SUFFER. Our aim is to put the art back into the mainstream, to put artifice in the trash where it belongs.

We believe art is learning the best way to express suffering. This is our business. This is what we do. Viva la Sufferance