The Russell Club was a key part of the Moss Side community.
“The first club experience for me was The Russell because that was the place to be, especially like New Years and stuff like that and because I had that connection with my dad. He and the bus drivers took it over in, I think it was probably early eighties.
Often You weren’t getting the music you wanted to hear, it was you know more mainstream music and stuff like that, so it just was not the vibe that you wanted. For me I have always liked being around my own people and just hearing the music I want to hear. And sometimes just even as form of socialising in a sense, you would know if you were going out on New Year’s Eve you were going to go out to Russell, you were doing it to see everybody. So it was just that.” (Jackie Macneish)
“I remember Horsemouth playing with Dennis Brown at The Russell club” (Aidan Cartwright aka dubwiser)
The launch of Womanswrite’s first collection was an enjoyable event, with some fine readings by contributors and guest appearances by Cathy Bolton (poet and director of Manchester Literary Festival) and Cath Staincliffe (her first novel Looking For Trouble was published by Crocus in 1994 and she’s gone on to write 13 more since then) both of whom attended Womanswrite way way way (is that too many ways?) back in the mists of time.
Thanks to Almira Holmes for all the hard work she put in, getting the collection off the ground.
The Secret Garden was a film project delivered in partnership with MediaBox, Manchester Libraries, Contact Theatre and Manchester Youth Service. The project involved 30 young people and engaged them in every aspect of film making(script writing, casting, storyboarding, acting, directing, sound and editing).
The three short films produced were based on anonymous secrets which were posted into secret boxes located at the partner venues. Participants then selected some of the secrets and worked with scriptwriters on the project to produce a script, which was then professionally made with the assistance of and mentoring from professional film makers.
As a part of the project, there were several screening events which allowed the community to watch the films and to ask the participants about their experience on the project.
In 2010, Manchester welcomed Saul Williams when he made a one-off visit to the city as part of the Literature Festival and Black History Month.
One of the most outstanding Slam poets of his generation, Saul Williams has many lyrical accolades under his belt such as winner of the 1996 Nuyorican Poets Cafe’s Grand Slam Championship, featured in the documentary film SlamNation and star of the 1998 feature film Slam. He has performed with The Fugees and Erykah Badu, as well as Sonia Sanchez and famous beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
Young Identity arranged a series of events around the festival, with Saul appearing in a Q&A session at Contact Theatre and performing at Band On The Wall.
With music provided by the Speakeasy Band, and members of Young Identity performing alongside their hero, the event was an exciting and fully enjoyable session!
“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know.” – United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld
We live in a world of secrets and walk among experts of social espionage. With Don’t Tell Anyone But, Young Identity undressed deception and let the truth walk naked in the garden of reality. A night of cabaret, Young Identity style, with musical musings, poetical pyrotechnics and a healthy serving of real secrets.
The poetry in this show was based loosely on anonymous secrets collected from young people in several Manchester venues. The show was an exploration of the issues young people face in Manchester. This was also the first performance that many YI members were a part of.