Current Issue

The Skinny Current Issue

To kick off 2021, we’ve been thinking about what we can do to help make our readers’ lives a little brighter in these months of winter lockdown. In our lead feature, we look at creativity for its own sake, and the many therapeutic benefits that come from engaging in making. The flow state that comes through concentrating on creative activity is tremendously beneficial for escape, stress relief, and feelings of self-worth. When the feature was initially pitched to us by Phoebe I-H it sparked a lot of thought around the value of creative activity and why the perceived barriers to entry exist. From an early age we are taught that only people who’re good at drawing should draw; only people who’re pitch perfect should sing; only people who can refine these skills to such a degree that they can use them to become productive members of our economy should do them at all. And that’s really just total shit, isn’t it? Creative pursuits can make your life better, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re any good at them, or if anyone else even sees what you’ve made. It’s the process that counts. We suggest taking time to make; pick up a paintbrush, expressive dance, sing at the top of your lungs. We’ve taken this joy of creativity as a loose theme for the issue. In design, we meet Stefanie Ying Lin Cheong and Morven Mulgrew to hear about their playful, DIY (in the best sense) project Quality Craft Vision (QCV), a digital craft fair-cum-shopping channel. Berlin-based DJ and producer Samantha Poulter, aka Logic1000 discusses recording her EP in lockdown as a form of escapism. As always just now, much is infused with the weird effects of pandemic. We chat to Glasgow singer-songwriter Lizzie Reid about her debut EP, Cubicle, recorded at home in the last ten days of the before times. Art talks to Emma Talbot about her fascinating exhibition in DCA, currently tantalisingly installed but closed to the public until restrictions are once again lifted. Intersections meets Edinburgh’s Queer Skate Collective, formed in lockdown to offer a safe, inclusive space for communal joy. Comedy ponders whether online comedy is here to stay; and we meet a host of women-led musical projects – Hen Hoose, The F-List, POWA and Popgirlz – currently working to address longstanding inequalities and build a better music scene for all post-COVID. Film meets Bill and Turner Ross, the directors of Vegas dive bar-set Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets, to talk longingly about the importance of pubs. Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead discuss making ambitious sci-fi on a shoestring with time-travelling movie Synchronic; and The Broken Hearts Gallery’s writer-director, Natalie Krinsky, explains how she’s given the Hollywood romantic comedy a welcome upgrade. In Books, we meet Bryan Washington to discuss his debut novel Memorial, a deep and multi-layered look at the lives and relationships of two queer men of colour in the USA. Looking forward, we’re beginning the year with some exciting new projects to engage and enliven our community. Taking this societal break as a creative challenge, our Food and Drink section has departed from its longstanding January survey to launch a new writing competition. Food is arguably the most universal subject, capable of being the conduit for so much in terms of culture, history, identity. We’re opening up to creative explorations that depart from the orthodox ‘food journalism’ form – a more complete explanation from Food editor Peter can be found on p43. We’re also launching a new partnership with Edinburgh International Festival, who are generously supporting us to develop a six-month-long series of long form pieces of cultural journalism. An open call for contributions can be found on p12 – tell your friends.

 [Rosamund West]