Africa in Motion : Music Documentary Afternoon. Heavy metal and electronica in Africa? Yes! Africa is changing fast. Electro Chaabi (cert.15) offers an insight into the mindset of today’s restless Egyptian youth, focusing on this new underground craze, a dance form ‘combining punk spirit with a hip-hop attitude, set against a furious cascade of drum, bass and electronic vocals.’ Meanwhile March of the Gods: Botswana Metalheads (cert.15) explores the life of the Heavy Metal Brotherhood in Botswana and the struggle of a band called Wurst, who end up on stage at SoloMacello in Milan. 1.30pm (Electro Chaabi) and 3pm (March of the Gods), Lecture Room 017, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place. Free. Both films are subtitled. See The Edinburgh Reporter’s article about the Africa in Motion Festival here.
Leith School of Art Open Days: come and find out more about the range of courses on offer at the School, from part-time day and evening classes to weekend workshops, the full-time one year Foundation and Graduate Studies courses and the six-week Summer School. 10am-3pm, Leith School of Art, 25 North Junction Street (St James Campus on Leith Links also open). All welcome, no need to book – but if you are bringing a group please let the School know your planned time of arrival. If you would like a portfolio review, please call the school in advance. Also open at same times on Wednesday 29th October.
Organisation for Promoting Afghan Women’s Capabilities (OPAWC): Latifa Ahmadi, director of OPAWC, will talk about current issues and what OPAWC does. OPAWC was founded in 2003 by a group of women eager to do something proactive, concrete and achievable to empower Afghan women, focusing on literacy, practical wage-earning skills and health. More information here. 7-9pm, St John’s Church Hall, Princes Street.
A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography. Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator at NGS, explores Queen Victoria’s role in shaping the history of photography – and photography’s role in shaping the image of the Queen. 12.45-1.30pm, Hawthornden Lecture Theatre, Scottish National Gallery. Free and unticketed.
Blackwell’s Edinburgh Presents MJ Carey: The Girl With All The Gifts. ‘Every morning Mary waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun trained on her whilst two of his people strap her into her wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. Mary is a very special girl.’ MR Carey is the pen name of an established writer of prose fiction and comic books. ‘A must for fans of the sci-fi/fantasy genre’. 6.30-7.45pm, Blackwell’s, South Bridge. Free tickets can be obtained from Blackwell’s front desk or by calling 0131 622 8218.
Lunchtime Concert: Oliver Webber (violin), Christopher Suckling (cello) and Jan Waterfield (harpsichord) play Corelli Sonata Op.5 No.7 in D Minor, JS Bach excerpts from The Art of Fugue, Domenico Gabrielli Sonata in G, Merulo Toccata Quinta from Primo Libro (1598), Rognoni Divisions on lo son ferito and Geminiani A Selection of Scottish Airs. 1.10pm, Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, Bristo Square. Free.
Commonwealth Stories of World War One: Scottish-Canadian storyteller Phyllis Davison evokes the many experiences and connections of ‘the war to end war.’ 2-3pm, Museum of Edinburgh, Canongate. Free: part of Once Upon A Place: Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2014. Also available at same time on Thursday 30th October.
Edible Gardening Seasonal Advice: drop in to find out how to grow your own food, and take a look around the productive garden with the Edible Gardening Project Team. 1-3pm, Demonstration Garden, Royal Botanic Garden, Inverleith Row. Free: no booking required.
Ma La Divisa Di Un Altro Colore: author Pietro Neglie in conversation with Professor Philip Cooke (University of Strathclyde) for World Italian Language Week. In 1915 a religious peasant from Friuli and an electrician from Rome are both called to the front. After the war their paths diverge, one joining the fascist party, the other becoming a trade unionist, socialist and partisan. Many years later history brings them back together. The event will be chaired by Dr Davide Messina (University of Edinburgh) and will be in English and Italian with simultaneous translation provided. 6pm, Italian Cultural Institute, 82 Nicolson Street.
Alan Bruford Memorial Lecture: Lost Horizon or Living Landscape? Place, Time and People in Gaelic Tradition. For most visitors, and many Scots, the Highlands of Scotland – the Gaidhealtachd – suggst a region of misty mountains, the odd ruined castle perched by a loch and the perfect holiday spot for the romantic imagination. Dr Virginia Blankenhorn presents songs and stories from the Scottish Studies Archives to illustrate the relationship of ordinary Gaels with the lands they inhabited – the people and events that shaped them and the memories of those taken abroad and forced to emigrate from home. 6.30-7.20pm, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Royal Mile. Free tickets can be booked via the Storytelling Centre Box Office, online, by phone or in person. Organised by the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, as part of Once Upon A Place: Scottish International Storytelling Festival 2014.
Geographies of the Prime Meridian: the prime meridian – 0 degrees longitude – is where the world begins in space and time. From 1884 it has been at Greenwich in the UK. In this illustrated talk Charles Withers, Ogilvie Chair of Geography at the University of Edinburgh and co-author of the award-winning Scotland: Mapping the Nation, will examine the many different prime meridians in use before and after 1884, and explore the complex geographies and politics of this seemingly simple world-defining feature. 6pm, National Library of Scotland, George IV Bridge. Free but booking is required via the NLS website or by calling 0131 623 3734.
The Scots in Poland: a Forgotten Diaspora. An illustrated talk by writer and broadcaster Billy Kay, author of The Scottish World. Drawing on a lifetime of exploring, writing and broadcasting about Scots, their culture and journeys across the globe, Billy Kay reflects on the history of the Scots in Poland. He will celebrate the historic cultural connections that developed between Poland and Scotland, and illustrate the talk with clips from his Radio Scotland series Merchants, Pedlars, Mercenaries and Societies with Secrets. He will also compare and contrast the present day Polish migration to Scotland with the heyday of the Scottish Brotherhoods which existed in twelve Polish cities in the 17th century. How many of the Poles living in Scotland today are in fact Scots returning to their original homeland? 6-8pm, McDonald Road Library, 2-4 McDonald Road. Free tickets can be booked via eventbrite. Part of From Poland With Love: Scottish-Polish Cultural Week.
To Absent Friends – Scrapbooking Workshop. To Absent Friends is a festival of storytelling and remembrance, held for the first time 1st-7th November 2014. At this event you can remember, celebrate, tell stories and reminisce about people you love who have died, by scrapbooking a favourite photo of a loved one. Bring a photo 6″ x 4″ or smaller; all other materials will be supplied, but if you have any small pieces of memorabilia or something special you would like to include, please feel free to bring these along. 2-4pm, George Washington Browne Room, Central Library, George IV Bridge. Free but please book via eventbrite.
St Mary’s RC Cathedral Tuesday Concerts: Jeremy Filsell (piano), Rebecca Kellerman Petratta (lyric soprano) and Simon Nieminski (cathedral organist) play Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto and French music for piano, organ and voice. 7.30pm, St Mary’s RC Cathedral. Free: retiring collection.