Grainne Gillis
An opera singer and voiceover artist based in London, with a keen interest in art and politics, and how they affect the world we live in.

Interested in the art of politics, and the politics of art

Entries by Grainne Gillis

Fail Better

(0) Comments | Posted 26 March 2016 | (14:39)

I have David Cameron to thank for this post. No, really - I have.

This morning I awoke at 4.44am after a dream whereby I was serving David Cameron at a Westminster function. My attitude to him was servile, obsequious; he was, as I imagine him to be, loud,...

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The Freedom to Choose

(0) Comments | Posted 23 March 2016 | (11:51)

Sometimes the choice lies between no words and too many words. When tragedies happen, as in Brussels, or Turkey, or indeed the daily carnage that is Syria, a feeling of overwhelm and helplessness sets in. For some, there's an invisible barrier that comes down when tragedies occur in perceived far-away...

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What Happens Next?

(0) Comments | Posted 16 December 2015 | (15:50)

On Thursday 12th November 2015, I joined some Irish artists and theatre makers in an upstairs room at the Unicorn Theatre in London Bridge. Truth be told, Irish theatre is not something that has ever affected me personally in real terms; I trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School...

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Day of Judgement

(0) Comments | Posted 2 December 2015 | (21:40)

By the time this blog is published it will be all decided: Britain will/won't be at war. It feels very strange writing that. Maybe it should feel reminiscent of WWII; at least that seems to be the aim. There were the bombings in Paris which were truly reprehensible. As reprehensible...

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The Awakening

(1) Comments | Posted 12 November 2015 | (09:47)

There was a great meme doing the rounds a few weeks, that showed how few women there are in the political landscape worldwide. The pictures depicted lone women sitting down in various governments and organisations, with the men around them taken out. The pictures were a stark reminder of how...

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A Nation Once Again?

(1) Comments | Posted 5 November 2015 | (12:19)

Last year I did some ADR on a little film called 'Brooklyn'. The book, by Colm Toibín, is one I've had a sort of tenuous relationship with - a couple of years ago, I narrated it for the RNIB, and was delighted to be involved, even in a small way,...

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The Death Knell of the Playground

(0) Comments | Posted 21 September 2015 | (21:31)

Something has been happening in politics in the UK this summer. At first, it seemed inconsequential: a bearded rebel entered the Labour leadership race, let in on a whim and a prayer at the eleventh hour. And like another bearded rebel (though maybe with less messianic, more measured zeal) a...

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Silencing Through Space

(0) Comments | Posted 23 August 2015 | (17:56)

When I was in my final year at university in Cork, I wanted to do a music technology module. To my chagrin, I was too late, and my only option was to do a self-taught module i.e. research something of interest and present it as a paper. Someone had posed...

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Tribalism, Blair and Corbyn

(4) Comments | Posted 26 July 2015 | (22:30)

A lot of my thoughts have been about tribalism lately. It's an impetus that is deeply human, to surround ourselves with those who, in some ways, act in loco familias; and indeed, the adage that 'blood is thicker than water' is possibly at the heart of this in some way....

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Labour's Untimely Demise

(0) Comments | Posted 14 July 2015 | (10:10)

What has happened to the Labour party? Once the proud defender of the working classes, it has been steadily showing its true blue colours since it assumed the mantle of the now defunct and destructive 'New Labour' project. For me, this culminated in Harriet Harman's failure to oppose the government's...

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The New Hibernia

(0) Comments | Posted 22 May 2015 | (12:54)

I awoke today crying. Tears of hope, tears of pride.

I have 3 brothers. As a shorthand I call them the gay, the Muslim and the Republican (as in American, I-love-Dubya Republican, not the Gerry Adams kind). We are a motley crew, my brothers and I, and I love them...

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The Stories We Tell

(0) Comments | Posted 20 April 2015 | (16:00)

When I was in my final year at university studying music, it came about that I was not able to get a place on a music technology module and had to opt for a self-taught one. I stumbled upon (by chance) an article about the dearth of women composers, which...

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Why Labour's Best Strategy Is "There's No 'I' in 'Team'"

(1) Comments | Posted 14 December 2014 | (20:14)

Last week, I listened to a phone call from Mike in New Cross to the James O'Brien show on LBC. It would take someone with a heart of stone to not be moved by Mike's plight. There are many stories like this in the news, but what cannot be replicated...

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Opportunity Knocks - But Who Will Answer?

(0) Comments | Posted 14 May 2014 | (18:05)

A few years back, I was on tour in Germany. By sheer chance, someone I'd gone to college with was sitting in the audience in Munich. It was a big thrill to see so familiar a face so far from home and as it turned out, Colin had moved with...

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Cameron the 'Christian'

(0) Comments | Posted 20 April 2014 | (21:43)

This weekend, theoretically is the holiest in the Christian calendar. I say "theoretically" for a number of reasons. Firstly, Easter isn't a "Christian" holiday per se; there is much argument about this, but according to a friend of mine, it is derived from "Hausos" which was an Indo-European (precursor of...

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Beyond the Tube Strike

(0) Comments | Posted 5 February 2014 | (21:17)

The headline on this evening's Evening Standard was interesting, as its interpretation depended solely on one's political persuasion: "Millions caught up in rush-hour chaos as Tube strike cripples the London Underground". For my part, as someone who might be described as being on the left (though not far-left: to my...

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The Milk of Human Kindness

(0) Comments | Posted 19 January 2014 | (20:23)

Today I attended a memorial lunch for my friend Jaime. He died in October of Motor Neurone Disease at the age of 53. To say it has been a day of mixed emotions has been the understatement of the year (thus far); but having gone from dragging my heels in...

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On the Passing of Giants

(0) Comments | Posted 31 August 2013 | (21:47)

There's been a meme doing the rounds of social media this week. Under the aegis of "Make music not war" it states: "When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply replied "Then what are we fighting for?"". For any human being,...

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Is Masculinity in Crisis?

(64) Comments | Posted 21 May 2013 | (00:00)

In 2009, I was teaching in a sixth-form college. One of my students came to me one day and said "Miss, I'm a feminist". I caught myself wondering: Does she know what it means?

Sometimes, I am not sure what it means to be a feminist. I know what it...

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The Misunderstood Crime Part 2

(1) Comments | Posted 19 May 2013 | (11:28)

In a crime blog in the Guardian last year, rape and sexual assault didn't even merit a category of its own, whereas bicycle theft did. The statistics clearly show that women do not feel confident enough to report when they have been raped, because it is not treated as a...

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