GENTLE/RADICAL: THE SOUND OF CAPITAL BEING GROUNDED | PREVIEW
I remember sending a friend a text: “The Earth is breathing again.” You may have had the same feeling when the cars stopped pouring past your house and there wasn’t a plane in the sky. In the spring of 2020, you probably heard the birds sing louder than (or as loud as they had been) before. The logical reaction to which is part of the ethos behind Gentle / Radical’s latest online event: this is a moment to be remembered, to be captured; this is a glimpse of a bygone past, or maybe a possible future.
Gentle/Radical, a culturally motivated arts organisation who put accessibility at the heart of their work, are hosting a Zoom event that celebrates those now infamous pictures of goats in Llandudno, as well as other memorable memes from the first Covid lockdown. The Sound Of Capital Being Grounded takes its name from guest speaker Josh Virasami’s words. Inspired by the moment, in 2016, when City Airport was brought to a standstill by London Black Lives Matter protesters, Virasami – a key BLM UK organiser – articulated the impact of community taking precedence over commerce. The same buzz was in the air during the early stages of the pandemic when people actually did stay at home in an attempt to save lives and stop the spread of something we all felt unable to understand.
Gentle/Radical are trying to make sense of these conflicting feelings of hope and despair in a world that continues to experience so much loss – of life, and of cultural and environmental perspective. And, being acutely aware of how all peoples are in need of the connection and conversation that this event will bring, G/R are ensuring that the Zoom stream is captioned and includes audio descriptions for deaf people.
As well as Virasami, whose guide to successful campaigning, How To Change It, was recently published by Penguin Books, Spud Knowles will also be speaking. Knowles, co-founder of Cardiff’s communal arts space, One Fox Lane, is an expert in finding sustainable solutions for urban agriculture and in explaining how society can readily adopt such methods.
Alongside words from Virasami and Knowles, The Sound Of Capital Being Grounded will show short films which represent both the duality of our natural and urban worlds and question the ability for both to co-exist. Audience members will be invited to consider how we can move toward a world where the events of 2016 and 2020 aren’t seen as newsworthy, freak occurrences, rather as the pivotal moments that helped us find a way to some sort of balance between our seemingly opposing poles of country and city.
The Sound Of Capital Being Grounded, via Zoom, Thurs 13 May, from 7pm. Tickets: free. Info and booking: here
words JOHN-PAUL DAVIES