Arika Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist @ Tramway, Glasgow

A quickfire run-through of the many events that formed Arika Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist.

Review by James Findlay | 07 Dec 2017
Samuel Delany

Arika Episode 9: Other Worlds Already Exist, a quick-fire, jam-packed event with author and self-styled sexual revolutionary Samuel R Delany as its central speaker unfolds at Tramway between Thursday 16 and Sunday 19 November. The weekend takes the form of various talks, performances, and workshops within the spaces afforded by Tramway and Many Studios. 

Highlights include writer and poet Jackie Wang’s The Cybernetic Cop, a comedic and at times hard-hitting performative work exploring prison abolition and growing up with violent 'RoboCop' toys as a child. Author Huw Lemmey reads excerpts from his new novel Red Tory: My Corbyn Chemsex Hell, which features a darkly hilarious scene blending hallucinatory nightmarish chemsex with contemporary British politics. Black trans feminist writer Kuchenga is a welcome addition to the programme having been invited back after Episode 8, in which she was an engaging and vocal audience member. This year she continues to cut through assumptions of knowledge with well-grounded and insightful comment. Similarly, Robert Softley Gale’s discussions of disability manage to combine radical propositions with an atmosphere of convivial and lively discussion.

The line-up is undeniably inspiring, with many interesting and exciting names, yet it features a notable dearth of local talent with only four Glasgow-based artists featured throughout the whole event. These are LAPS (a duo made up of Cassie Ojay and Alicia Matthews), Sgàire Wood, and Robert Softley Gale. LAPS, on Saturday, perform Every Book is Dead, a smoke-filled, dystopian gig/spoken word collaboration with queer fantasy fiction author Hal Duncan. On Sunday, the 'otherworldly' Sgàire Wood delivers another dose of the impressively high-energy Celtic lip-sync fantasy that she has become increasingly known for within the Glasgow club scene. Both are highlights offering blessed relief from what at times feels like a heavily academic atmosphere. [James Findlay]

Arika Episode 9 took place in Tramway between 16-19 Nov