Something Other (SO) is a website, a collaborative space, and a series of events, growing from an open dialogue between the writers Mary Paterson, Maddy Costa and Diana Damian Martin.
We use publishing, live events, workshops, salons, archives and interventions to mobilise, share knowledge, and reflect together.
Submissions are welcome: please see our editorial policy. We also welcome invitations to collaborate, whether as writers, facilitators, or outside eyes and ears.
We also facilitate The Department of Feminist Conversations: an open collective exploring feminist modes of gathering and exchange since 2016.
In 2023 SO includes:
- Writers Gatherings – approximately every 6 weeks we gather writers to talk about ideas. This is an inclusive and non-competitive space for people to come together around themes of writing and the live. We do not write together, and we do not critique each other’s writing. If this sounds like a space in which you would find solidarity, please contact us.
- SO Live – before we launch each SO Chapter online, we hold a live event of reading, performance, music and more.
- Workshops to the Future – public workshops in which we write to imagined futures, delivered in partnership with the Feminist Duration Reading Group, Battersea Arts Centre, and more.
- SO Chapters – we curate themed chapters of experimental work with a shifting relationship to language and performance. Past chapters and current call outs are here.
- In Response – we publish our own and welcome others’ responses to live performances (and other cultural events) here.
- Histories – a collection of some of the histories that are relevant to what we do.
- The Library of Unfinished Texts – a space for those elusive texts that refuse to cohere or complete.
(Somethings) Else – a collection of things SO has done in the past, and may do again
- Audio works, including Edge of an Era, a dialogue with the archive of EDGE 88.
- Collective writing, including a dialogue with the Marisa Carnesky archive for a forthcoming monograph edited by Eirini Kartsaki.
Looking to the future
We are always seeking new ways of working, and new collaborations. If you are interested in what we do, we would love to hear from you.
We are particularly interested in:
- Exploring audio work and podcasts as a space for experimental texts
- Working collaboratively to co-host events and gatherings that stretch the possibilities of collective writing, sharing, listening
- Developing new partnerships with venues inside and outside London to host workshops and live events
- Exploring collaborative processes in curation and editing
SO began in 2014 as an Arts Council England funded project to research the relationships between performance, writing and documentation. It has developed, stalled, restarted and evolved since then, through dialogue and collaboration and an endless curiosity about the ways in which performance, writing and documentation (which is to say, life) are in constant flux.
Our name comes from the cultural theorist Peggy Phelan (from Unmarked: The Politics of Performance):
“Performance cannot be saved, recorded, documented, or otherwise participate in the circulation of representations: once it does so, it becomes something other than performance.”
We remain committed to the somethings other.
Our values (as opposed to financial value)
Since 2015, SO has been unfunded, although we occasionally receive project funding for individual pieces of work. We engage in an ongoing dialogue about the implications of this for people being able to participate. We are learning that defining and monetising this work involves being connected to networks of ‘value’, which rarely align with the ‘value’ we find in the work.
We seek different languages and definitions of value, which are more concerned with values: the values of solidarity, collaboration, and experimentation, in opposition to the constraints of capitalism. We see SO as an invitation into a different space: space for gathering, for listening, for thinking and ideas.
These thoughts are explored in more detail in a text by Mary Paterson, which we invite you to read.