1. Jane and Louise Wilson

    In the courtyard of the Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrozia, Jane and Louise Wilson start talking about their favourite spy films – from The Ipcress File to the original series of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – before our conversation drifts almost innocuously in the poisoning of Russian KGB defector Alexander Litvinenko and the “amount of times we were clocked on the way here, on the tube, in this hotel, it’s a part of the fabric of how you live now,” says Louise. Not entirely out of context though, we’re here to discuss their latest exhibition at the Paradise Row gallery, False Positives and False Negatives, a reference, as Jane explains, “to what a CCTV operator would say when identifying a suspect from an image; there are no definitive yes or noes, only false positives and false negatives.”

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  2. Stewart Home

    “I did a project to prove that the literary establishment didn’t like me,” author Stewart Home is explaining in a crowded East End pub on a late Saturday afternoon: “I applied seven years in a row for an Arts Council writers award, and didn’t get it. The eighth year I applied, they’d introduced blind submissions and I won, that was my vindication. I had the joy of Salman Rushdie refusing to shake my hand when I got the award.”

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  3. Goth Tech

    The internet is the new wild west: an ungovernable, barely policed frontier-land populated by digital outlaws and those seeking quick and easy fortunes panhandling in the cyber stream. And Goth Tech are the in-house cowboy band. Not that they’re channelling Johnny Cash or Dusty Springfield – it’s more that Goth Tech use the web not just as a tool for distribution, but in the very form their music takes. Their sound, aesthetic and ideas are all entwined with the internet: each thumping, melodramatic house track is immovably embedded within a specific web page.

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  4. Welcome To Vukovar

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    “It wasn’t worth the time to examine it. He was what he was and everything he did was right if it conformed to what he was.” MORAVIA.

    I.

    November 20th, 1991, the end of the battle of Vukovar, a small town with a population of about 30,000, sitting on the border between Croatia and Serbia. At a hospital in the city, a Serbian paramilitary unit took the two hundred Croat patients into the countryside, and killed them. Ethnic tensions, that went back to the role of the Croatian Fascist party, the Ustaše, in the Balkans during World War Two, had risen up again in the dissolution of Yugoslavia into its constituent entities.

    Like the majority of Fascists, the Ustaše believed in racial purity and wanted to create a racially pure Croatia. To this end they devised a plan, to kill a third of the Serbs living in the ‘greater Croatia’ that stretched between the River Dina and Belgrade, expel another third, and convert the remainder to Catholicism. They put in place race laws similar to those of their benefactors in Berlin. The Ustaše set up a concentration camp in Jasenovac, and the Serbs, Jews, Communists and Romani of Yugoslavia were sent there, about 400,000 were exterminated  between 1941 and ‘45. After the victory of Tito’s Partisans in 1945 many of these racial divisions, between Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croats and Orthodox Serbs, were relegated in forming a united, socialist, Yugoslavia. Subsumed, but never fixed, because as Yugoslavia dissolved in the late 1980s those old grudges seemed to have never gone away.

    How swiftly are the neighbourly bonds that make up communities shown to be nothing more than fantasy, how easily society slips back into ethnic tribalism, when those old wounds reappear, and are shown to have never been healed, just festering under the surface. Neighbours turned into butchers.     

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  5. Jerusalem In My Heart

    Radwan Ghazi Moumneh speaks blisteringly quickly, his sentences flow into each other without discernable gaps; thoughts are dropped, picked up, expanded, forgotten; he rarely opts for the simplistic if he can elaborate and tell a story, “ask me a question,” he says apologetically, “and I’ll tell you what day of the week it is.”

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