CCA Highlights: March / April 2018

From the criminal underworld to pulling an all nighter, CCA's spring programme is spiked with adventure

Feature by Ben Venables | 02 Mar 2018

Russell Findlay tracked Scotland's most notorious gangsters. But the journalist almost paid the price for his intrepid investigations when William 'Basil' Burns turned up on his doorstep and attempted to douse him with sulphuric acid. The bungled revenge is recorded in Findlay's book Acid Attack (22 Mar, 6pm) which he'll be discussing at the returning literary festival Aye Write! (22-24 Mar). The netherworld's depths are then plumbed further in Goodfellas & Good Mothers (22 Mar, 7.45pm). Federico Varese, a criminologist and author of Mafia Life, has researched the world's most clandestine operations. He's joined by prosecutor Alessandra Cerreti who targeted the Ndrangheta – a group controlling much of Europe's drug trade. Cerreti helped vulnerable and unhappy women within the mob to turn informants; the remarkable story is now set to become an American crime drama.

The underground music festival Counterflows (5-8 Apr) is back at CCA for its seventh outing. Joining the celebration of international and experimental music is mischievous Edinburgh duo Usurper, with Malcy Duff and Ali Robertson premiering music written especially for the festival. And they aren't the only unconventional musicians powering into the CCA programme this spring. Not long ago, the members of enigmatic and multidimensional eight-piece Superorganism (11 Mar, 7pm) were strangers to each other and living in different parts of the world. From collaborating on forums and email they now all share a four-bedroom house in east London. They arrive in Glasgow as part of their first European tour. Also making a UK debut are Japanese quartet Otoboke Beaver (17 Apr, 7pm). Part of the feminist punk scene, the band take their name from a love hotel. And they don't suffer fools gladly, with tracks about dodgy boyfriends, terrible relationships and sexism.

Glasgow Short Film Festival (15-18 Mar) welcomes American filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson, whose work draws on his background in street photography and sculpture. From everyday tasks to gestures, he documents Afro-American working class lives in fine detail. There are curated screenings and also a special masterclass hosted by Everson. South East Asian filmmaking is also illuminated with 'an overnight cinema of dreams' (17 Mar, 11pm). Thirty shorts by Thai filmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who is best known for his Palme D’Or winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives and his otherworldy style, will be screened at the pyjama party. The eleventh GSFF programme also blossoms with its annual showcase of new Scottish screenings.

A trio of Glasgow School of Art graduates – Ewan Mitchell, Zoé Schreiber and Camara Taylor – introduce Roadmaps (20 Apr-7 May). This reflective exhibition uses found images and archival material to explore connections between personal and collective memories. The impact of power on an individual and society becomes clearer as forgotten stories are exhumed.

Finally, the largest self-publishing fair in Scotland is back: Glasgow Zine Fest (14-15 Apr) is a two-day festival packed with lectures, workshops and screenings. Writers, producers and anyone with a DIY ethos to publishing is welcome and will find something of interest – with plenty of events set to be announced provideing a space for artists to chat, exhibit and sell their work.