LYRA, obviously, knows how useful, and liberating, it can be to crowd fund. So we’re very interested in other creative ventures that choose this path, especially if they’ve similar interests to us. We heard about the efforts of Georgia Oakley to raise funds for a short film about women shot by a completely female team, and asked Georgia to write something about the film, and her decision to rely on the crowd.
Though we completed our Kickstarter campaign (thank you everyone!) we feel our video presents the ideas behind LYRA so beautifully that it should be available on our blog! You can buy the first issue of LYRA here.
Our memory of shooting the video is a mixed one. On the one hand, we exceptionally lucky to work with the amazing Giorgio Bosisio, on the other hand we completely melted on camera, and had to be coaxed back into making sense. By the end of our twelve hour day, in which we also filmed Irma Kurtz, we could barely speak, and were both utterly sick of, well, everything. We will never forget the hilarity of Giorgio making Jago repeat a middle-length sentence twenty or so times.
In the first of our series on how much has changed since the ground-breaking feminist magazine Spare Rib’s 1970s heyday, we look at the female orgasm and ask: is the orgasm still a feminist issue? Discussing this, Clare Lydon quotes a ’70s doctor saying
“The toughest problem to treat is frigidity, some say because a woman’s response is so subjective, varied and vulnerable to so many outside factors. In any case, success depends upon the goals of the patient. Some are happy to be having sex at all. Some want the moon.”
We were casting around for a classic (a Linda Snell-esque word) poet to use in our first issue. It’s always difficult, though – the past. After deliberation, we chose Sappho: the foremost erotic poet of antiquity (imagine how Ovid’d shudder if her work was more than fragment!) We asked Jessica Worden to write about her for us, and she delivered more than the scholarly summing up we’d half-expected and not, really, wanted. Her essay begins
I think of Sappho by the sea. She sings against the noise of the wind and waves crashing, standing on the sand of Lesbos. She knew many forms of love.
She acknowledges the bitterness of absence in this fragment but pairs it with the perpetuation of desire through the corporeal traces within memory. I think of Sappho by the sea. She sings against the noise of the wind and waves crashing, standing on the sand of Lesbos. She knew many forms of love.
Jessica’s is a beautiful piece, gently lyrical, humble even. She does not force the poet into this or that corner, does not decide what Sappho meant, but shows her to the reader in the palm on her hand: a flower, a weed, a gorgeous blade of grass. By the sea.
– Jago Rackham
Read Jessica’s full article in issue 1: subscribe and support our Kickstarter here.
In our first issue, the feminist campaigner Nikki van der Gaag argues that men, boys especially, must be inducted into feminism if the movements success is to be ensured because
boys who witness their fathers using violence against their mothers are more likely to use violence against their partners when they grow up. At the other end of the spectrum, boys who see their fathers sharing the housework, looking after the children and being respectful towards women are likely to replicate this positive behaviour when they become adults.
In our first issue Richard McDonald asserts, simply, that
The ‘good life’ is a capitalist one.
From this position, he examines what happens when gay men are inducted into this good life through victories (marriage equality) and greater acceptance:
Gay (white, cis) men are now protected as members of the productive economy, able to buy into the dynamic of cruel optimism that lives in the image of the nuclear family: the stable job, the high wage, the relationship founded on marriage, the children born in wedlock, and so forth. This signals a momentous shift away from the radical rethinkings of kinship once so dear to gay men. As capitalism offers us a tool with which to carve out a space for ourselves in mainstream society, it tempts us to leave behind the radical aspects of gayness and queerness that it finds distasteful. When the dust settles, and your space is carved out, the template of sexual identity you have left is a very strict one. It represents a new wave of homosexual normality: the ‘homonormative’ template.
I used to live across the street from Sh! Woman’s Emporium in Hoxton, but I didn’t go in until I interviewed their founder, Ky.
I’m not sure why: partly, until recently, men needed to be accompanied by a woman. And it was too close. I don’t like having to say hello to someone every morning (a problem I had with Goodhood) because, often, I am in no mood to do so. And, I always figured, if I needed to buy something from them I’d rather the experience be somewhat alien finding the erotic, generally, to reside in the unknown. After a few weeks, it simply ceased to really exist for me. It was just another shop I walked past, like Goodhood or, latterly, Prohibition Vapes.
Earlier this week, the artist Grayson Perry attacked Bear Grylls’ (that name!) for promoting a ‘useless’ brand of masculinity that’s ‘a hangover from a more violent age’. He argued that the sort of thing Bear (!) gets up to, hunting, killing, climbing et al, are useless in our modern age – well, obviously.