Keep Watching…

Just two more sleeps until We Are Watching, and the Interrobang crew are getting increasingly excited! Ricky absolutely refuses to calm down.

What a shower!
Jacques! You said this was cold water!!

The reasons for our excitement are manifold. We’ve got Edinburgh Makar, CHRISTINE DE LUCA! We’ve got Beth Cochrane inspiration and writer-in-residence supreme, MARJORIE LOTFI GILL!! We’ve got broadsheet favourite and Scottish PEN board member, LAURA WADDELL!!! We’ve got consummate poet and performer COLIN MCGUIRE!!!!

What? Ancient references, Ricky?!
But wait! There’s more!!

Indeed there is, ancient references’ Jimmy Cricket! We’ve got brilliantly on-point music from SUPER INUIT! NIK WILLIAMS is going to talk about why we should all care about our surveillance society!! And there will be Live! Art!! HAPPENINGS!!!

And possibly humour, and prop-assisted storytelling!!!!

Because that's not a thing
But not at the same time, we promise!

So get along to the Bongo Club’s event page and secure your ticket – don’t miss the excitement!


Interrobang Interrogation – Ricky Monahan Brown

Since we started INTERROBANG?! Ricky’s quietly fantasised about getting to do an Interrobang Interrogation. And with our exciting We Are Watching show with Scottish PEN just around the corner – Friday, 30th June at 7pm, at the Bongo Club – this seemed like a good time to take the plunge.

They're less easily noticed
Short people are watching…

As well as curating and hosting the adorably edgy INTERROBANG?! –  winner of the Saboteur Award 2017 for Best Regular Spoken Word Night – with Beth Cochrane, Ricky’s fiction and non-fiction has been published in various books, magazines and journals, most recently 404 Ink’s The F Word. He’s also in the world’s most science-literate band with Stephanie and Paul. Take that, Prof. Brian May!

And here’s how he answered the questions in our latest Interrobang Interrogation:

?!:  You’re a writer, an artist, and you’ve been granted the opportunity to be a fly on the wall anywhere, any time, and collect material. Where do you go?


We had a similar question for our Now Is Not The Time show, and folks tended to want to go back in time. I think I’d like to go to… 2030. Things are so different to when I was in my early teens – from domestic and international politics to how we watch TV – I’d love to see what a kid born today would be seeing in thirteen years.

"Hey, I'm only 11 at that point!"
The future from the perspective of Ricky’s birth?!

?!:  We are watching – a piece of theatre, TV, cinema, performance art to chill out before the show. What is it?


I dunno about “chill out”, but I’ve always been intrigued by the BBC’s BAFTA winning Edge of Darkness. That chilly mid-eighties drama vibe seems to resonate with some of the themes of surveillance and investigation. (Actually, watching that sort of thing is exactly how I chill out.)

?!: What’s the secret that you’re keeping close? The internet won’t tell anyone, promise! ?


I don’t believe you, t’internet. But I will tell you that there is a secret I’m keeping right now, and I drove co-host Beth mad with it until I unwittingly spilled the beans ‘cos I was so excited. Stay tuned…

?!:  Wait! Someone’s listening in on your secret! You put on a piece of music to drown it out. What are we listening to?

The Hood remix of Mogwai’s Like Herod. The quietquietLOUD aspect of it should blow out the mic or the headphones or something.

?!:  The spooks are listening in to learn about what you’re planning to share with us at We Are Watching. Without being too spoiler-ific, what can you tell us about what they hear?


It’s two short bits. One’s a quite light-hearted piece – called History, I think. The other probably involves props?!

Thanks a lot to Ricky for indulging the INTERROBANG?! Interrogation! (You’re welcome Ricky!) Ricky’s going to be introducing some fantastic talent at INTERROBANG with Scottish PEN: We Are Watching – and some surprises, too.

Find out more at the Bongo Club’s event page, and save 17% on admission for spending on tasty, tasty booze.


We Are Watching?!

Hey, TJ Eckleburg!
Don’t turn around?!

Our upcoming gig in association with Scottish PEN at the Bongo Club is a really important one to us, so we’ve asked Nik Williams, Policy Advisor at Scottish PEN, to explain why and share a few words a few words about their Surveillance campaign.

Over to Nik…

Are we free to write if we are being watched? As surveillance increases, as the state legislates for sweeping powers that enable them to see our web browsing habits, who we communicate with and seek to remove encryption from our most sensitive conversations, Scottish PEN ask, where does this leave the right to free expression in the UK?

Scottish PEN has been opposing the Investigatory Powers Act for the last 18 months as it demonstrates a distinct threat to how we can communicate, share information, research and take part online free from the prying eyes of others. We do not believe pervasive surveillance powers are compatible with our human rights protections that enable everyone, irrespective of background, belief, gender, income, race or ethnicity to fully realise their fundamental freedoms.

Privacy is not an out-dated human right, it ensures we can all cultivate a space, however small, that we can call our own, where we can create and form the ideas that shape our identity and place in society. Suspicionless surveillance undermines this space, leaving nowhere for us to call our own and without this space how can we be sure what we create, who we communicate with and what we share with others is truly of our own making free from outside influence?

Thanks a lot to Nik for that. You can read more of his thoughts on surveillance and what is now the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 in The Herald.