Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Updates and inspirations: The Isthmus, moving on, and so on and so forth

This semester (my last!) I am working within a team on an intelligent online pop culture journal called The Isthmus. I've put my hand up to be editor, so I'll be work-shopping ideas, producing general content and subbing as well as contributing. I'm so grateful for another chance to work with talented, interesting people on a project close to my heart while I remain a student.

The FPS site is about to be taken over, and it will be interesting to see where they take it this year. I don't want to get too misty-eyed about it - it's on to the next one for me - but I'll be posting up some screen grabs of the pages and designs so there's a record of the work we did last year. I'm also eagerly awaiting some exciting bylines upcoming this September. I have written again for the next issue of Voiceworks, and have put together a feature on one of my pet loves - traditional tattooing - for the second issue of Vintage Affair zine. All in all it September is always a great time of year, especially if you live where I do. The weather is nice, Brisbane Festival and Big Sound (which I should be reporting on) are both upcoming and I just got my business cards in the mail, making me, for all intents and purposes, an actual human being. Hooray!

Feature: 'The people and stories behind Greazefest' for Seam Magazine

A write-up I wrote on the culture behind events like Greazefest and the people who live (and love) it. View the original here at Seam Magazine's shiny new website.

“You’ve got to lean over the car like this,” a well-dressed woman in her sixties calls out to me, before demonstrating a classic pin-up pose on a bright red 1950s hot rod. As I poorly attempt to mimic her moves, she yells quick-fix beauty tips at me. From the outside, Greazefest, which takes over Brisbane for one weekend each year, is a carnival of vintage cars, modern pin-ups and poodle skirts. As Seam Magazine discovered, it is more so a celebration of the people keeping the old school dream alive by living and breathing it year-round.

Greazefest, now in its twelfth year, may be one of longest running and largest rockabilly and kustom kulture festivals in the Southern Hemisphere, but it’s by no means the only. Devotees from all corners have a calendar of events to roll up to, from Coffs Harbour’s annual Wintersun festival, Victoria’s Bright Rockabilly Ink and Oil and New Zealand’s largest nostalgia festival, Beach Hop. Come Monday morning, when the last car has left in a trail of smoke and the sun set on the festivities, Australia’s most dedicated revivalists don’t simply re-join the 21st century and return to the office.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Feature: 'Always room for write stuff' for The Courier Mail

Always room for write stuff
Anna Angel

Weekend writers' groups and workshops are ideal for being exposed to new ideas and networks, writes Anna Angel

ARE you a closet scribbler or a weekend pen-wielder? They say writing is a solitary profession, but don't quit your day job and retreat to the mountains just yet.

Whether or not you've put pen to paper in years or fancy yourself the next Agatha Christie, Nick Earls or J. K. Rowling, there's a workshop or writers' support group for you.

If there isn't, then start one yourself, says Nancy Cox-Milliner, who formed Writers of Seville more than 10 years ago.

``There was a real need for groups running on the weekend,'' she says. ``People who work during the week don't want to meet at night because that's their writing time.''

Now several writers' groups meet across Queensland at weekends. Most are open to all writers, while some cater to those who dabble in genres such as crime, romance or poetry.

Brisbane fantasy writer Marianne de Pierres co-formed Vision Writers more than 15 years ago. Open to writers of fantasy, sci-fi and speculative fiction, de Pierres says the group's ranks constantly replenish.

``People find it so exhilarating to know there are other people out there interested in the same thing they are,'' she says.

For Sarah Gory of Queensland Writers' Centre, a group's main benefit is fostering a sense of community and support.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Column: 'Have your say' for The Courier Mail's Village Green

I wrote this earlier in the year, but it's funny, it seems all the more fitting that it was published now.

Anna Angel, Clayfield

AMONG the few early childhood memories I can recall is a family trip to Melbourne. As a kid from Nambour, the number of people shoving their way through the city centre floored me. On every intersection there were figures standing among the commotion, calling out. Mum seemed to be the only one who stopped. When I asked why nobody else saw them, she said it was because a lot of people aren't very nice. That's certainly turned out to be true. I just wish I didn't turn out to be one of them.

We're all guilty of compassion fatigue. This year especially, SES volunteers would have it something chronic, and a devastating sequence of natural disasters has stretched most of our donation budgets. We've all crossed the road to avoid someone wielding a clipboard, lest it's another damn charity. One thing we're supposed to be very good at as adults is being practical. We don't give away all our time or possessions and we no longer don a cape and try to fly (not often, anyway). But if you asked the five-year-old version of yourself whether they like who you've become, you're probably not going to like the answer.

Even if you're a pretty decent sort, we as ``grown-ups'' are boring, we make compromises and we can be awfully mean. I barely qualify as an adult in most cultures and I've already upset mini-me. I stared blankly past a homeless woman who asked politely for some change last week, because it was easier than meeting her eye. A handful of Hollywood movies centre on the premise of rediscovering your younger self but not many make for bearable viewing. It is interesting, though, to consider how differently we'd react at a crossroad if mature concerns such as money and duty didn't drive us. If you think your life would be much the same, congratulations.

In a year that's been as disaster-ridden as this one, there has never been a better time to step back and view the world through eyes that haven't yet learnt not to see. We can't regress to a naive mindset and damn the consequences, even if we want to. But we can promise our younger selves to do small things daily to please them, or to consider them in life's big decisions. And when the time comes for me to have kids of my own, I hope they'll forgive me for being such a bloody grown-up.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Column: 'The Chivalry Code - he says she says' for Biscuit Magazine

For the August issue of Biscuit Magazine, which you can read the lovely pages of here. This will be a regular feature that should be a lot of fun!

Chivalry committed suicide in an existential crisis a few years before the turn of the century. He couldn’t stop thinking back to the days he was respected among men and valued by women, wondering what his place was in this brave new world. He is survived by generations of men, unsure of how to navigate the courting phase of a relationship without him as a guide. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Interview: Dane Beesley for Tom Magazine

Read online here.

Splitting The Seconds.

Dane Beesley, the fly on the wall of Brisbane’s music scene, takes a break from preparing for the launch of his first photographic book - a scrapbook of the last decade in music - to chat to Anna Angel. It’s shaping up to be quite a party, with some of the rockers who feature in Beesley’s work heading along to help him celebrate and drink the booze. And why wouldn’t they? ‘Splitting the Seconds: a Photographer’s Journal’ catalogues not just Beesley’s own work, but the evolution of Brisbane’s culture as captured through his lens.

"It’s always been my dream to have a book, even when I was in college," Beesley says.

"I started in the film days keeping track of the exposures, writing notes to go with the photos, and just kept it going."

Scribbled notes and micro interviews on bar coasters compliment a retrospective of Beesley’s shots from the past decade, including the likes of Grinderman, The Lemonheads, Beyonce and Metallica.

"It’s pretty personal, but it’s also a really good time for Brisbane - there’s a lot of bands that I’ve worked with like The Grates, Powderfinger, and more recently Hungry Kids of Hungary, that it’s been great watching grow into international acts."

Having shot for street press and magazines like Rolling Stone, Beesley has become a part of the landscape, and now counts a handful of the artists he has worked with as close friends.

"I’m lucky to have made some really great friends but it’s hard having to charge for my jobs when it’s a friend’s band," he says. "It usually just ends up that they’ll buy me a carton of beer."