Sunday, 24 March 2013

A Sunday Smile

I remember how much I used to hate the mere thought of 'Sunday' when I was in primary & secondary school - they came with restrictions and curfews, and there was always the sense of impending doom that I may have forgotten to do a vital piece of homework for the next day. Nowadays, although my days aren't much simpler, I've started to treat my Sundays as a day to relax / catch up on things that may have passed me by during the week. Today, I decided to take some time out to read Kaleidoscope's Summer 2012 'Africa' Issue. It's taken me far too long, and as soon as I started to flick through, I realised why I had gone to the effort of ordering a back copy all the way from Kaleidoscope's offices in Milan.

All images courtesy of RD-OK & Alessio Ascari for the Kaleidoscope "A is for Africa" issue

"In a time when the once-dominant western model is collapsing, the impressive growth of Africa’s economies looks likely to continue and its cultural offer is growing more and more vibrant, exposing the international audience to an incredible offering of art, music, architecture, film, design and fashion."

The issue is, of course, all about Africa and its new 'rising' tag which I feel is still pretty contentious, but exciting to look at all the same. The essays are written by influential artists living on the continent and the diaspora abroad, which made all of the points raised brutally honest. No over-exaggeration, or glossing over the rough bits, which I've noticed can happen when the issue of 'Africa' as a continent is written about. I've definitely been inspired to check out more of Santu Mofokeng's South African photo essays and Ghanaian filmmaker Frances Bodomo's work. I'm a sucker for beautifully printed magazines, and this one doesn't disappoint.

Alongside my bagel and latte, this was the perfect companion to my quiet Sunday. I've also spent the majority of the day playing Laura Welsh's 'Unravel' on loop. Produced by Dev Hynes (who really does seem to be everywhere right now) of Blood Orange/Lightspeed Champion/Test Icicles fame, this really is a great collaboration.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Culture: The Portico Library, Manchester

I have to apologise for lack of blogging. There have been many occasions where I've thought, "I'll have to write about this when I get back", but it's never really happened for some reason. To make up for this, I'm going to post about the various cool places I've had the pleasure of visiting over the past few weeks.

First up is this hidden gem in Manchester city centre, the beautiful Portico Library. When I say hidden gem, I really mean it. Located on Mosley Street, just a few minutes walk away from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Gardens, it's the perfect place to take a break and admire the large collection of 19th Century literature. The Grade 2 listed building is striking in its Greek revival style architecture and beautifully designed interior. As I found out after I had visited, the Portico Library has a members only collection, but they also host various cultural events for the general public so it's well worth checking out.

The Portico Library is one of those buildings that needs to be seen in the flesh to be truly appreciated - the sense of history and yesteryear hits you as soon as you walk in. Described as "the most refined little building in Manchester," I'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would disagree.

For more information, check out their websitetwitter and Eventbrite page.