CCA Highlights - March/April 2016

With Glasgow International, Glasgow Short Film Festival, Declaration and Counterflows all stopping off at the CCA this spring – not to mention Shonen Knife on tour – there's almost officially too much going on (except not really). Here's what we've chosen

Preview by George Sully | 02 Mar 2016

Spring is here! No, really, it is! The frost is thawing, the Easter Bunny is preparing her list of good girls and boys so they can receive their annual chocolate Jesus eggs, and everyone’s talking about the summer as if it’ll come quicker if we just wish really hard. Spring! And now that you’re actually prepared to leave the house, might we advise a wee visit to the beloved CCA? There’s plenty going on over the next two months, but we’ve whittled it down to these highlights.

Though there have been many major advances in conversation and legislation regarding human rights in recent years, there’s still some way to go in raising awareness (both internationally and right here at home). In that vein, multiple health awareness groups (including NHS Health Scotland and the Mental Health Foundation) have worked together to create Declaration (Thu 3-Sun 6 Mar), a brand-new festival dedicated to human rights and the right to health in Scotland and further afield. Named after the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed at the then-new UN, the festival – “a mix of conversations, provocations, performances, and film screenings” – features an impressive 30 events across four days, with one event per article from the bill (e.g. the Right to Equality, Freedom from Discrimination, the Right to Presumption of Innocence, and so on).

Hopefully you’ll have spotted our official Glasgow Film Festival guide The CineSkinny last month, featuring exclusive interviews and reviews during all that cinema fun. Those mourning the end of another brilliant GFF might find succour at its younger, more compact sibling: the Glasgow Short Film Festival (Wed 16-Sun 20 Mar). Be sure to check out our own Short Film Competition 2015 winner Caustic Gulp by Brian M Ferguson – among the shortlisted runners-up – at our showcase screening on Thursday 17 March.

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More things to do:

 Meet the artists at RSA New Contemporaries 2016

 The best gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh this March

Looking ahead to April, cross-cultural idea exchange and 'festival for the curious' Counterflows returns to Glasgow for its fifth edition. While we recommend checking out its entire programme (Thu 7-Sun 10 Apr,, above all we point your noses towards the Counterflows Residency (Sat 2-Sat 9 Apr), an always-important facet of the festival’s annual offering. This year, again in partnership with the Goethe Institut, the residents are an international pairing: decorated Berlin accordionist Franka Herwig in collaboration with Glasgow-based artist and musical improviser Liene Rozite.

On a more visually artistic bent, Finnish fantasist and troublemaker Pilvi Takala (Fri 8 Apr-Sun 15 May, not Mon 2 & 9 May) brings her first Scottish solo exhibition to the CCA, casting an eye back on the past decade’s playful work. Some of her best-known pieces involve infiltrating institutions and challenging social conventions, and this exhibition – also coinciding with Glasgow International – will focus on revisiting a particularly local work from 2004, Event on Garnethill. Takala, an exchange student at the GSA at the time, tested Catholic school St. Aloysius’ College’s literal and social boundaries by simply purchasing and wearing their uniform around school grounds.

For more Scandinavian creativity, Danish dreamscapers Efterklang have teamed up with Finland’s most resourceful percussionist Tatu Rönkkö (Check I Play Your Kitchen) to form Liima (Thu 14 Apr). Their debut album ii is out 18 March on 4AD and you can check out ambient lead single Amerika on using a careful combination of the internet and your ears.

Meanwhile, the 'Osaka Ramones' Shonen Knife (Fri 29 Apr) slip in at the end of April, as part of a tour celebrating a mighty 35 years in the game and the release of their 20th album Adventure (out 1 April on Damnably). And who better to support an internationally cult all-female pop-punk outfit than The Girl Effect hosts and Glasgwegian pop-gals TeenCanteen; as if it wasn’t already a winning Friday night.