Amelia’s Magazine | PLANESTUPID Stansted Protest

Pop-Up Shop

14 Bacon Street, erectile E1 6LF, page 11th-18th December

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The pop-up shop does what it says on the tin, buy appears in a different location for a limited time, so you have to be quick to get in and see what’s inside. But make the effort as you can find a plethora of goodies from new designers and artists, hand picked from exotic locations all around the world. The store also supports the East End charity Kids Company, so you’ll be doing your bit to help as you shop.


Brick Lane Late Night Shopping

Thursday 11th December

Enjoy an evening of late-night shopping on London’s trendiest street, as well as rumageing through all that vintage, there will be refreshments on hand and special Christmas gifts available only on this night.

The Bizarre Bazaar

Sunday 21st December

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Monday 8th December
Joan as Policewoman, Thekla, capsule Bristol
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Ex-Antony and the Johnsons collaborator touring in support of her new album. Expect mesmerising vocals and heart-rending tunes.

Boss Hog, Luminaire, London
Jon Spencer (as in Blues Explosion) and his wife Cristina Martinez front this long-standing blues-rock outfit.

Tuesday 9th December

Kong, Buffalo Bar, London
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Art-noise, cool as Manchester band, heavy on the guitars.

The Miserable Rich, Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Folky, orchestrated Brighton group, with links to Lightspeed Champion.

Sixtoes, Big Chill House, London
Cinematic, spooky blues-folk with a melancholy Eastern European edge.

Wednesday 10th December

Little Death, Club Fandango @ 229, London
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Cool, cosmopolitan London band playing psychadelic tinged noise-pop.

Land of Talk, Water Rats, London
Canadian indie-rock.

Thursday 11th December

Good Books, Proud Galleries, London
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Danceable indie-electro.

Mike Bones, Old Blue Last, London
One man and his guitar.

Friday 12th December

Rose Elinor Dougall, Barfly, Cardiff
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Pretty girl music from this ex-Pipette. Still very pop but less of the sixties girl group rip-offs.

Free Fridays: Brute Chorus, La Shark, Josh Weller, 93 Feet East, London
Bonkers hair (Josh Weller) and outfits (La Shark) will abound at this FREE night featuring up-and-coming bands including Brute Chorus who will presumably play new single ‘She Was Always Cool’.

Saturday 13th December

Herman Dune, The Deaf Institute, Manchester
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Perennial Parisian folksters on tour to promote new album ‘Next Year in Zion’.

Glissando, Holy Trinity Church, Leeds
Dreamy and ethereal. Should be lovely in a church.

Sunday 14th December

King Khan and The Shrines, Hoxton Bar and Grill, London
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Wild soul stage show.

Stereolab, Black Box, Belfast
Long-standing lounge/electronic post-rock with female French singer.

Getting up at 6am on a cold Saturday morning may be unthinkable to some -but for myself and fellow fashion enthusiasts, information pills the Angels Vintage and Costume clothing sale was more than enough motivation for the long, look early trek over to Wembley….or so we thought. The queue turned out to be VERY long… a 3 to 4 hour wait we were told. Despite our earlier determination, it was too long for us and we gracefully admitted defeat, leaving behind a growing queue of seriously hardcore shoppers.

One of those hardcore shoppers was ameliasmagazine.com’s very own Music Editor, Prudence Ivey, here’s her take on it, “Leaving the house at 6.30am, we were in the queue by about 7.15am and, although in the first 500, we were nowhere near the front. Some people – vintage shop buyers – had been there since Friday afternoon. There was a really friendly atmosphere, you could tell these people were true vintage fiends, as there was not a scruffbag in sight, it was all red lipstick and glamourous outfits despite the ungodly hour.

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When we were allowed in, after just over an hour of wating, there was virtual silence and heads down as people rifled through the cardboard boxes packed with clothes on the floor. A cloud of dust filled the room after about 10 minutes, most of the clothes were in a bit of a state and everything I ended up with turned the water black when I put it in to hand-wash, not to mention my black snot… A quick sort through, try on and swapping session with my friend, along with some excellent packing meant that I left with 18 items of pretty decent, some of them really excellent, vintage finds for a measly £20. One of my favourite shopping trips EVER.” (above and below is Prudence modeling her two of her wonderful buys)

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So now I wish I had stayed in the queue – but my day was not wasted, I found a far more inviting alternative, which boasted the benefits of being a. inside and b. no queue! It was the first London edition of New York magazine BUST‘s Christmas Craftacular.

Set in the St. Aloysius Social Hall in Euston, a mixed group of cool crafty kids, cute guys and even grannies filled the aptly dated-yet-cozy bar, and the Shellac Sisters played classic retro tunes on their wind-up gramophone, which added to the kitsch atmosphere. Having taken off in New York over the last 4 years, the Craftacular event has now come to British shores and brings together craft sellers, knitting circles, badge making stations and of course, lots of cake!

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Tatty Divine turned into doctors for the day and set up their very own ‘craft clinic’ offering advice and tips to craft novices or lovers.

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An ArtYarn Guerilla Graffiti Knitting Crew even set up a training camp, where boys sat happily next to their teachers, learning how to knit one, pearl one and Random Monkey Designs offered lessons in cross stitch.

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With a packed out venue and buzzing crowd, it’s likely that (and we hope) the Craftacular event will become a regular date in the British calendar.

Monday Dec 8th
It seems most exhibition spaces in this area begin like this, drugs in someone’s flat. Every day this week at 79a Brick Lane, viagra 100mg there will be an exhibition of seven separate artists (one for each day) alongside a selected feature film, including the likes of Saturday Night Fever, North by Northwest, and The Truman Show. It starts at eight and ends when the film does. For a more detailed itinerary, check here. Admission is free.

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Tuesday Dec 9th
A Family in Disguise, by Yu Jinyoung has been extended at Union on Teesdale Street and is worth a look, if not only for the fact that entering the exhibition is a surreal experience in itself. Not a curator to be seen, and with a camera that links the room to their gallery in Ewer Street, you are alone in a haunting room with this disparate family of forlorn faces. Ring the buzzer and take a look.

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Wednesday Dec 10th
Indian Highway is the new exhibition starting today at the Serpentine, describing itself as a snapshot of the vibrant generations artists working across the country today, well-established artists shown besides lesser known practitioners. Using a array of medias they are threaded together with a common engagement with the social and political, examining complex issues in contemporary India such as environmentalism, religious sectarianism, globalisation, gender, sexuality and class. It runs until Feb 22nd.

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Thursday Dec 11th
Hermetic Seel is a new exhibition by Shane Bradford opening on Wednesday at the Vegas Gallery. It might just be satisfying to see fourteen historical art encyclopedias subjected to Bradford’s “post-Pollock” dipping technique.

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Friday Dec 12th

Here’s what one of our writers said of Omnifuss’ last exhibition: In the heart of Dalston, down the end of a small alley road was a large garage with a little door. Through this door, a group of 24 artists showcased their work. Sculpture, music, performance and photography took place in the old car workshop that was far away from the usual pristine white walls of gallery spaces and created a rustic, and inspiring location for this exhibition. With flame heaters to warm those tootsies, and the symphonious sound of a violinist haunting the open rooms, I found myself immersed in the eclectic furniture and art… Downstairs is their new exhibit, an exploration of domesticity in its rawest states through sound, sculpture, video and installation, and by the sounds of it is worth a visit.

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Saturday Dec 13th
Awopbopaloobop. Artists listen to music, everyone listens to music. Lyrics are etched into our minds whether we want them there or not, and we can’t help but allow them to inform our everyday. Awopbopaloobop (I just like saying that word) is an exhibition at http://www.transitiongallery.co.uk/index.html, asking a host of artists to produce based on a favourite song lyric. This exhibition is coming to an end, (21st of Dec), so go and see it if you haven’t already. The space itself is worth the trip, and it’s fun to walk around a gallery with a song-sheet in your hands!

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Brian Aldiss’ short story, drugSuper-Toys Last All Summer Long”, this to which the exhibition “Super-Toys” makes reference, abortion tells the story of a mother and her android son in the overcrowded world of the future who, however hard they try, cannot find a way to love each other. It makes love seem like a human malfunction, a flaw which can never be imitated. But moreover it captures the feeling of dismay when two people who know that they should love each other realise they can’t – that they fundamentally don’t know how. The android boy, who questions whether or not he is real, seems more humane than his human mother; who sends him to be repaired for the flaw from which she herself suffers. Love cannot be programmed; but is a lover not someone who says all those things that you want to hear, like an automated machine?

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So with high expectations of an exhibition dealing with the strange interaction between humans and machine, fantasy and reality, love and compromise; what I found was initially disappointing. The notions the story had alluded to, the emotions and the complexity of them, were not to be found. Machine ducks floating in a pond, a room of human shaped stuffed objects lying mundanely on the floor; flashing machines dancing in a square box; all interesting to look at, but lacking explanation. The most interesting part of the exhibition was the nightmarish, garish and lurid room that followed, full of toys ripped apart: toys with two head, toys mutilated and deformed by visitors, and all in the name of art. With shelves and window ledges packed already, I was invited to create my own monster from a pile of rejected toys. There was something sinister about being instructed to rip the head off a teddy bear; glue Barbie legs where paws should be; and to work at a designated workstation. Despite the visual pleasure and hands on aspect of super-toys, it seemed to be an exhibition full of concept without real content. But maybe that’s what it allows you to do; to explore you own memories of love, childhood, playfulness and ultimately rejection; and realise that everyone else feels the same way too.

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Anne Collier
Dispersion is a patchy affair. Curated by the director of the Chisenhale gallery Polly Staple, hospital it features seven artists working from different locations, view tied together under the banner of an examination of the ‘circulation of images in contemporary society….in our accelerated image economy’. This seems a fairly sound starting point, although a bit nebulous and too wide in the sense of the number of artists that could be described as grappling with these issues.

Recycling and colliding of images is examined most clearly in Anne Collier’s photographs. Iconic posters, complete with creases, walk the line between multiple realities; but unlike other work in the show, the centre of power lies not in some theoretical hinterland but in the jarring sensation between seeing the photograph of the image and the image itself. Again this is hardly a new idea but it is well executed. The twin set of images a box of photos of the sea provides a further layer of tension between the natural and man-made.

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Anne Collier

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Seth Price

Most of the the other works are films. Seth Price’s ‘Digital Video Effect:Editions‘ (2006) , juxtaposing high and low cultural references (such as those barriers still exist), feels like an early 90′s MTV insert in its scope and complexity. Mark Leckey, now with the epithet ‘Turner Prize Winner’, is due to give a one off lecture/live performance ‘Mark Leckey in the Long Tail‘ in January tackling the similar ground, hopefully to better effect.

A better example of the film work on display is Hito Steyerl’s fascinating ‘Lovely Andrea’ (2007). This is an engaging documentary-esque look at a Japanese bondage artist, cut with scenes fom Wonder Woman cartoons and ‘backstage’ footage of the creation or recreation of scenes, calling the whole film’s authenticity into question. This could have led to a horribly self reflexive pile of mush but is actually a taut and gripping set of mixed narratives.

Henrik Olesen’s computer printed images mounted on blackboards, ‘some gay-lesbian artists and/or artists relevant to homosocial culture V,VI.VII’(2007), a collection reappropriated around queer history, touched on interesting ideas; a collection of female portraits by female artists from Renaissance onwards, for example. But the sum of its parts felt lazy and, like the rest of the show, he veers into hectoring or frustrating silence instead of fostering conversation between the work and viewer.

This is a problem, but one the ICA can absorb better than other cultural centres. The institution was founded as an ‘adult playground’ and this remit naturally involves risky and challenging work, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. Dispersion is a perfect encapsulation of this.

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The disjointed art punk of San Fransisco’s Deerhoof is pretty brilliant on record but I’d heard it was even better live and so couldn’t wait to see them at ULU on their only UK date this year. Their music is disarmingly simple sounding, online loved by music aficionados and 10 year old girls alike – my kid sister loves Panda Panda Panda and Milkman almost as much as any Girls Aloud single. Perhaps I should have sent her along to review the show. It would have been easier for her to convince the people on the door that she was called Prudence Ivey (the name I was under on the list) than a scruffy and definitely male reviewer. They thought I was a street-crazy.

Achieving such wide-ranging popularity is an impressive feat considering that, sick underneath that childlike simplicity, their songs consist of complex structures alongside fragments of dissonant guitar thrash/twang and improvisation. However, seeing Deerhoof is no overblown, intellectual chore. They manage to be simultaneously clever, loud and cartoonishly entertaining and enlivened ULU with a set that encompassed a lot of new album material alongside some stuff to keep the old school fans happy.

The crowd were particularly receptive to old favourite Milkman, along with the Yo La Tengo-in-a-parallel-universe sounds of new album Offend Maggie – a title that always gives me the mental image of an outraged, pre-dementia Margaret Thatcher. There were clipped drums ahoy, along with Deerhoof’s twinkling wire to fuzz guitar textures. Satomi’s vocals, all coy and Japanese, were accentuated by goofy hand gestures – a fitting accompaniment to her surreal and playful subject matter. The whole band were really tight and surprisingly enthusiastic after fourteen years playing together. I can’t wait to see them again.

For anyone wanting to brush up on their climate science, drugs I thoroughly recommend this charming animation by Leo Murray.
The friendly and clear narration takes you steadily through the various chemical processes that are happening on our planet in it’s present climatic state. Without being overly ominous, the film warns how these processes, unchanged for millions of years, are being disturbed by man-made CO2 emissions and may be heading towards a tipping point where we will be plummeted into a place of no return. This definitely ‘isn’t about polar bears anymore!’
I found it really helpful for clarifying some terminology, the science bits- told in a simple way- are up- to- date, and it projects a statement of encouragement, not one of doom. The prospects are scary but we’re lucky to be the generation who could prevent them from happening.
To vote for Wake Up Freak Out then Get a Grip in the Aniboom Awards 2008 click here.
For anyone wanting to brush up on their climate science, buy information pills I thoroughly recommend this snappy animation by Leo Murray.
The friendly and clear narration takes you steadily through the various chemical processes that are happening on our planet in it’s present climatic state. Without being overly ominous, the film warns how these processes, unchanged for millions of years, are being disturbed by man-made CO2 emissions and may be heading towards a tipping point where we will be plummeted into a place of no return.
I found it really helpful for clarifying some terminology, the science bits- told in a simple way- are up- to- date, and it projects a statement of encouragement, not one of doom. The prospects are scary but we’re lucky to be the generation who could prevent them from happening.
To vote for Wake Up Freak Out in Aniboom Awards 2008.
No Equal clothing are a company who don’t pander to press agendas and celebrities, sick instead they are refreshingly focused on working with new and exciting design talent and helping charities.
They also know how to throw a party – and it was good cause central. In the first room of The Russian Club Studios was a display of logoed t-shirts and hoodies, website like this made in collaboration with three emerging illustrators– Yann Le Bec, Thibaud Herem and Jean Jullien.

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10% of the sales – not just profit – of this No Equal apparel are being donated to three charities, which No Equal Clothing are supporting, Kidsco, Addaction and XLP. To mix up the mediums and give some background to the collaborations, there was also a video installation showing the three artists at work.

In the second room, as part of their desire to champion new designers, No Equal clothing held a silent auction (of which all profits go to Kidsco, Addaction and XLP) for the London College of Fashion. Seven of LCF’s undergraduate students working for the college’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion created collections that were environmentally and ethically conscious and these were being sold.
The auction is also a possible reason for the eclectic mixture of guests. East London kids hung out with men in suits (in separate groups obviously) in the sparse concrete venue created an unusual atmosphere, you could have been in an underground club, art gallery or exclusive couture shop.

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The students collections were varied and interesting, Michela Carraro (pictured below) used hemp based fabrics sourced from small family run businesses to create a romantic chiffon-esque collection, while Manon Flener created deconstructed / reconstructed garments made of pieces of fabric pieced together with studs. She says her motivation for the collection was to reduce waste in fashion; each piece can be put together in a different way to make many garments.

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Supporting the Fashioning the Future programme at LCF, which encourages designers to think about the environmental imapct of their work, No Equal clothing are actively championing eco-friendly designers of the future and with their own clothing label, bucking the greedy fashion trend by giving a percentage of profits to charity. Good work all round.
Last week the Earth team at Amelia’s Magazine went along to the Friends House in Euston to listen to a report made by the Public Interest Research Centre (PIRC). The issue was climate change and the information it uncovered was alarming.
As a self-confessed newbie to these sorts of events I must admit to harboring uneasiness about feeling out of place in a room full of swampys. But my silly preconceptions were immediately flattened.
Lead by a panel of speakers expert in their field, story the atmosphere at the Friends House was alive with people from all manner of backgrounds but united in the opinion that climate change is a matter of urgency.
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Chairing the debate was Christian Hunt who kicked off by asking the audience a few questions. 99% raised their hand when asked whether they would describe themselves as environmentalists. Roughly 70% would say they had some knowledge of climate change while roughly 20% would say they had lots of knowledge on the subject. 99% of us responded yes we did like his t-shirt that read ‘don’t give up.’
The first to speak from the panel was Kevin Anderson from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. He started with a clear message: the question of climate change is a humanitarian one. While the U.K. and E.U’s definition of a dangerous climate change as 2°C per annum may be an adequate threshold for us in the western world, it is not nearly small enough to safeguard the rest of the world.
It is the southern hemisphere, containing the world’s poorest, that is targeted the most by global warming in it’s present state, with people dying on a daily basis. Therefore it is an ethical decision about how much we care about the world’s weakest as to how and when we go about dealing with the climate.
He went on to say that the entire climate change debate needs an urgent rethink when taking into account the latest emissions data. The planet is heating up at an even faster rate than we thought, and our government seems to be denying this is happening by following the miscalculated advice from the Stern Report and not pumping in nearly dosh needed to implement a strategy that will radically cut back our emissions.
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But Kevin Anderson pointed out there may be a silver lining to retrieve from the present economical situation. History has shown us that larger emission reductions occur when there is economic turmoil. I guess this has something to with cut backs in industry forced by a plummeting economy. When the Soviet Union collapsed, for example, there was a record drop of 5% per annum.

Tim Helweg-Larson, the director of Public Interest Research Centre bounded onto the platform next. So this is where it gets rather technical but don’t worry, Tim’s clear and straightforward delivery meant that even my mind didn’t drift into thinking about what I might eat for tea.
He showed us a series of images showing the levels of sea ice in the arctic in 1979 and in 2007 and I was taken back to those pretty pictures in my school science lab…Predictably the more recent images contained a much larger surface area of dark gloominess.
These dark regions absorb more heat. This additional heat penetrates 1500km inland across a plain of perma-frost. This stuff is harmless if left untouched but once melted, its carbon content-which is twice the amount of the entire global atmosphere-is released into the air. Yep that means even more bad stuff is added to the high intensity of CO2 that started this whole malarkey.
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The knock-on effect going on in the arctic-known as the triple melt- is steadily destroying the climatic state of the entire planet. Soon we will reach the point where we will no longer be within the realm of temperatures that enable things to grow and humanity to survive (known as the middle climate). If this isn’t scary enough this tipping point is likely to peak sooner than we thought; as early as 2011 to 2015.

George Momboit was next to speak. Hello. His exuberance for the cause was exciting…ooh la…did you know he has been shot at, shipwrecked and pronounced clinically dead? Well he was very much alive that evening as I listened – intently- to his practical, if ambitious, advice to the government to stop fannying about and introduce a ‘crash program of total energy replacement.’
He whizzed through a series of steps geared to cut our emissions by 20% by 2012 and more thereafter. But those wild curls, brisk demeanor and air of academic brilliance were just a little distracting. Without getting too carried away I managed to jot down the key points of this radical plan:
1. To train up a green army of builders that is equipped to build more energy efficient homes
2.A mass subsidy program to re insulate homes
3.Replacement of power plants
4.Re engineering of roads to cater better for cycles and coaches
5. To Cap number of landing spots for airports so that by 2030 the maximum number of flights is 5% of current levels.
6.Agriculture should be devoted to the most efficient carbon saving schemes
7.He summed up with the statement that lowering demand for fossil fuels should happen simultaneously with lowering their supply and we need to dramatically cut oil and gas exploitations.
Pretty rousing stuff…
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Solar energy pioneer, Jeremy Leggett gave us a more buisnessy slant on what can be done for climate change especially in this current state of economic upheaval and an encroaching energy crunch (the I.E.A. predicts 5 years time). With people becoming increasingly disheartened by the government’s spending priorities, now’s the time to duck in and make a collective effort to re-engineer capitalism. He enforced the notion that money needs to go into building a carbon army of workers that would create 10 thousand new jobs and…cost a measly half a billion squid

Caroline Lucas, MEP for South East England and Leader of the Green Party, disheartened by the inertia of our government, shocked us all by urging ‘a massive campaign of civil disobedience.’ This prompted uproar amongst the audience and I must say it felt pretty inspiring .She went on to talk about Climate Rush, an activist group who take their inspiration from the Suffragette movement. Like the women who were denied the vote, their rush on parliament really is a demand for life itself. They also dress-up in fancy Edwardian petticoats, which sounds fun. But their theatricality is not without sincerity, direction and a passion to change the injustices that climate change is causing on humanity. Caroline Lucas’ speech stirred an energetic drive to ‘do something’ in me. She reminded us of the words of Emily Pankhurst ‘to be a militant is to be a privilege’ and something hit home. We are very lucky to not be totally powerless in this situation, as so many people across the world are, and it is possible to make our government listen to us, albeit with a bit of hard work. To find about the next climate rush action click here.

So I’ve dipped my toe into the murky sludge of our current climate. All the facts and figures might not have filtered through into this article but I hope if, like me, you previously thought this issue was for only for really clever people and maybe just a little put off by dreadlocks, you’ve realized that this is something we should all be aware of whether we want to listen to it or not, including our government.
As I left the Climate Safety talk to cycle home, I felt almost grateful for never bothering to learn to drive as perhaps in a small way it might make up for that stomach-sinking feeling of how terribly selfish I had been for only vaguely paying attention to news of melting popsicles and greenhouses.
The truth is I felt safe in the view that the really scary things won’t happen for a very long time, well after I’m buried in the ground and used for compost. Well I was wrong, it’s not our grandkid’s grandkid that’s going to feel the full force of climate change-it’s us.
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We’ve searched online for hours to find these wonderful gift ideas for Christmas this year! Including solar powered fairy lights, advice recycled wrapping paper, rx sew-it-yourself dresses, fairtrade teddies and handmade jewellery.

JEWELLERY

Kate Slater
First up on our list, and featured in Issue 10 of Amelia’s Magazine, we have wonderfully talented illustrator Kate Slater. She is one of many artists currently selling her work on etsy in the form of these gorgeous little accessories that she has made. Kate‘s illustrations come alive through the use of collage, mixed papers and wire for relief work.
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Furtive Pheasant Brooch
Kate’s collaged pheasant has been remade into this lovely brooch. The original illustration has been printed onto durable shrink plastic and bejeweled with green diamantes. We love the idea of being able to wear Kate’s illustrations!
Buy the Furtive Pheasant Brooch here

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Flighty Pheasant EarringsThese gorgeous quirky earrings also from original illustrations by Kate, made in the same way the brooch (above).They measure 6.5cm from the tail to the head and 7cm from the tip of one wing to the other. These earring hooks are nickel free.
Buy the Flighty Pheasant Earrings here.

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Vegan Star Necklace
This cute necklace is made from recycled sterling silver, and the star is made of recycled copper. It is hand-stamped and perfect for all vegan stars!
Buy the Vegan Star Necklace here.

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Recycled Aluminium Eco Chick Pendant
Made from recycled lightweight aluminium and also hand stamped! The metal chain and clasp are all from ethical sources too.
Buy the Recycled Aluminium Eco Chick Pendant here.

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Golden Seduction Earrings by Amisha
Amisha is a new independent ethical jewellery label and we love these snake earrings made from gold plated recycled silver with blue sapphire eyes. All of Amisha’s jewellery is ethical and ten percent from each sale goes to the ‘Garden of Angels’ charity; a charity in Bahia in Northern Brazil set up to help with the pre-school care of poor children living in the Favellas.
Buy the Golden Seduction Earrings by Amisha here.

www.amisha.co.uk

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Large Cross Stitch Bicycle Badge
This lovely handmade cross stitch badge comes in four different colours (shown above). The button measures approx 2.5 inches across.
buy the Large Cross Stitch Bicycle Badge here.

LADIES

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Organic ‘Film Noir’ Knit Dress by Lovelina
Green is definitely the new black! Lovelina are currently selling their beautiful clothes though etsy.com and the ‘Film Noir’ Knit Dress is our particular favourite! Sweatshop-free and made from a blend of organic cotton and soybean, this wonderfully vintage inspired dress comes in many colours and makes a wonderful eco-Christmas Party dress!
Buy the ‘Film Noir’ Dress here.

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Butterfly Dress Kit
Gossypium is a great place to buy gifts from! All the clothes on their site are high quality, fairtrade and made from biodegradable materials. They’re one of the great sites working with the idea of a zero-impact on the environment, and we’ve love this Butterfly Dress Kit. It is a sew-it-yourself organic cotton kit that comes with a lovely printed fabric and easy instructions to create one of three garments. You can make a blouse, a dress or a smock with or without pockets, and have the option of long or short sleeves; with nine different styles to choose from you are in total control of how your finished product looks!
Buy the Butterfly Dress Kit here.

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Alpaca Fairtrade Slippers
These wonderfully warm fluffy slippers are the best way to keep your feet cosy this season. Handmade in Peru by a small co-operative, the local workers receive a high percentage of what you pay.
Buy the Alpaca Fairtrade Slippers here.

MEN

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Solar Helicopter
This little toy is perfect as a desk ornament, and is loads of fun for kids and grown ups! Working with as little light as from a desk lamp, the solar cells demonstrate how efficient modern eco technology is.
Buy the Solar Helicopter here.

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Fairtrade Low Cut Sneakers by Ethletic
These 100% Organic Cotton Shoes come with a tough rubber sole made form FSC certified Rubber (the FSC stamp is on every sole)
They come in different colours including black and white low cut, white low cut , and green high top too!
Buy the Etheletic Sneakers here.

The Hemp Trading Company
Runner up at the RE:Fashion Awards this year for their environmental work, THTC produces ethical, eco-friendly clothing featuring designs by renowned graphic artists. And until the 18th of December they’re taking 25% off all orders when you use the code ‘GREEN CHRISTMAS’! Below are three of their newest designs, made from 70% bamboo and %30 organic cotton.
For more information visit www.thtc.co.uk

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Men’s T-Shirt “All you can eat”
http://thtc.co.uk/shop.php?p=product_detail&id=290
womens version: http://thtc.co.uk/shop.php?p=product_detail&id=293

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Men’s T-Shirt “Evil Mac”
http://thtc.co.uk/shop.php?p=product_detail&id=288
womens version: http://thtc.co.uk/shop.php?p=product_detail&id=254

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Men’s T-Shirt “Fear Trade”
http://thtc.co.uk/shop.php?p=product_detail&id=289

HOMEWEAR

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Biome Christmas Crackers
These Eco-Seed Crackers from Biomelifestyle.com are perfect. The exterior is made from handmade seed paper– which contains wildflower seeds inside the paper that can be planted once you’re done with them! Inside you get an eco-tip, a paper christmas hat, and a small handmade gift. The little fairtrade gifts are made by a co-operative of women in Kathmandu out of chemical-free felt and include brooches, finger puppets and christmas decorations.
Order you own set of Biome Eco-Seed Crackers here.

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Outdoor Solar Powered Christmas Fairy Lights
These all-year-round lights are a great way to bring some green sparkle to your home! They’re waterproof and come with 8 different settings including flashing, continuous light patterns! The lights only come on when it’s dark (so about 3:30pm…) and the solar panel uses high grade Kyocera Solar cells that store enough energy to run for 10 hours, even on winter days! These lights are a bargain too at only £19.99!
Buy your Solar Powered Fairy Lights here.

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Recycled Wrapping Paper

These 100% recycled wrapping papers are by Lisa Jones and come in many different styles! They are modernist and brightly coloured using vegetable inks.
Get some Recycled Wrapping Paper here.

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Cardboard Cutting Table
This 100% Icelandic made brilliant cardboard table can be used as a meeting table, a cutting table (it comes with a laminated white surface top), a dinner table and a baby changing table! It’s portable and folds away to save space! (and comes with a handy 18% discount for design students!).
Buy the Cardboard Table here.

KIDS

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‘Woodsy The Owl’ Bib
This adorable bib is by etsy seller ‘cocoandmilkweed‘, consisting of Evan and Lila Maleah- a husband and wife team intent on creating lovely products for little and big people!
Woodsy has been handmade in a dark brown eco-felt that has been made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, and sewn onto a soft cotton woodgrain fabric. the entire bib has been backed with organic cotton flannel and lined with organic cotton and bamboo for extra absorption! All this detail has added to its appeal, and it even has a snap closure to make sure its little wearer isn’t able to yank it off!
Buy a ‘Woodsy The Owl’ bib here.

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Dala Horse Stocking
The Christmas tradition of stocking has been brought into the 21st century by Erin ‘sewsewsuckurtoe‘ by using the folk art inspired Dala Horse. It is constructed out of eco-felt which is made from recycled plastic bottles and lined in cotton to make it strong enought to hold as many things as possible!
Buy a Dala Horse Stocking here.

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Kenana Fairtrade Jungle Animal Teddies
(£16 each; Monkey, Zebra, Lion, Elephant and Leopard)
These cute fairtrade teddies are from a project which started in Njoro, Kenya in 1998 to provide income for women who were able to knit and spin wool. For more information about the project click here.
The teddies meet CE safety standards and about 11-12 inches long.
Buy a Kenana Fairtrade Jungle Animal here.
Amelia’s brother Sam Gregory is the Program Director of a human rights group Witness, viagra and this inspiring collective are front page YouTube news today, information pills in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with a video asking you what image or images have opened your eyes to human rights?

Witness are a group, based in New York, that use video and online technologies to expose human rights violations all over the world. By making videos of victim’s personal stories, they direct attention to injustice and promote public engagement and policy change.

Sam’s first up on the video (below), telling us that the images of a school teacher in East Burma hiding out in a forest with her children is one of the images that shows us we need to go further with our actions to help those whose human rights have been severely violated.
A video producer, trainer and human rights advocate, Sam’s videos have been screened at the US Congress, UK Houses of Parliament, The UN and in film festivals worldwide.

The group are also launching an online channel for these videos called The Hub. This is a new multi-lingual online portal dedicated to human rights media and action. It provides the opportunity for individuals, organizations, networks and groups around the world to bring their human rights stories and campaigns to global attention.

To find out more about Witness (www.witness.org) click here.
The non-existent morality faeries that do not sit either side of my head were in a fluster last Thursday. I took them down to a police auction in Bethnal Green, salve and for the entirety of my pedal there, they could not be resolved: surely there is something fundamentally wrong with capitalising on the lost and stolen goods of hapless victims, or worse still, liquidated assets, urgh! But then again, stolen … and retrieved; lost … and found. Where else would these items, long since departed from owners, go? I have nothing to say about liquidated assets, but apparently that’s next time – this week was reserved to lost and stolen goods only, courtesy of the metropolitan police; thanks.

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Once we arrived, debates were dispelled and there was nothing to fluster about – it did not seem in the least bit seedy. This fortnightly event, put on by Frank G. Bowen Ltd Auctioneers and Valuers, two men both of whom are very friendly, one of whom looks like Santa Clause, takes place in an old air raid shelter, making for a strangely intimate and cosy affair. Potential bidders arrive early to browse, an advisable precaution seeing as nothing can be returned once purchased. I felt like the passer-by who steps into a regulars-only pub, my obvious excitement an instant give-away; but I tried my best to look like this was routine, and nestled myself in amongst the clutter on Lot 135, 1 wooden kitchen-table chair. Pensive brow in place, I concentrated on my catalogue sheet, my mind now settling to the bewildering list before me …

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An initial glance reveals nothing of a surprise: bicycles, phones, cameras, and mp3 players; but it’s not long before you start to wonder … who steals a kitchen chair? A cupboard? An oak mirror overmantle (Lot 379)? The clothing list is the strangest of all: Lot 4: A pair of Ladies sandals, size 40; Lot 58: (non-specific) Ladies Clothing as bagged. One Lot contained a pair of jeans, a jacket, and a pair of trainers – all stolen from a single owner? How did that happen?

Against all inclinations, we ended up describing the place and the experience as a gem. Don’t go expecting to find vintage treasures, but there are amenities at a good price (surely I need a quad bike). And a few pointers: don’t let the excitement of bidding make you go for things for no other rational reason than the pleasure of raising your hand; careful of the man who will out-bid everyone for bikes; and don’t take a lunch break in the middle, thus missing that one item you’d circled in red that you were willing to spend forty quid on, and ended up going for under twenty, pah.

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Don’t miss this excellent event tonight:

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Cheshire Street Christmas Shopping

Friday 12th December

This Friday, case pop down to Cheshire Street as the whole street will be open to 10pm, cost so you can get your quirky Christmas gifts till late(ish) into the night and enjoy wine and nibbles while you do it. The shops will be offering exclusive discounts also, including 20% off on the night at I Dream of Wires. Amazing.

Frock Me! Vintage Fashion Fair
Sunday 14th December

Frock Me! vintage fashion should not be confused with the questionable television show of the same name hosted by a certain over-exposed designer and TV presenter. It is in fact a fabulous vintage fashion fair, and this Sunday, in the swanky surroundings of the Chelsea Town Hall you can pop down and pick up a genuine vintage garment.
They even have their own tea-room. What more could you want?

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Open: 11am – 5.30pm
Admission: £4 (students £2 with ID)
Nearest Tube: Sloane Square / South Kensington

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Christmas singles, diagnosis still the preserve of naff novelty acts, pill pop stars in trendy coats and X Factor winners, or newly fertile ground for acts that are unlikely to even get a sniff at the bottom of the charts? As the Top 40 becomes less and less of a barometer for success and following much-loved Christmas releases from the likes of Low and Sufjan Stevens, this year it seems that more and more indie bands are joining in on the act. But are any of them actually any good? And how to stop them seeming like lame commercial cash-ins in the style of the Christmas tunes of yore?

1. One way to quash accusations of rabid commercialism is to give your single away for free as Slow Club (see above) have done, with ‘Christmas TV’ offered as a free download in a spirit of seasonal goodwill to all mankind. A sweet little folk pop tune about travelling home for Christmas and snuggling in front of the Vicar of Dibley or some such, this is good for anyone feeling the pangs of seasonal separation. The boy/girl vocals chime prettily together in a song that has thematic echoes of ‘Driving Home For Christmas’.

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2. Stay true to your signature style. If you’re usually a grumpy old misery guts, Christmas is no time to suddenly become cheerful just for the hell of it so why not whack out a truly miserable Christmas EP a la Glasvegas? A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss) is the one to pull out when your Dad forgot to turn the oven down, your mum’s sobbing into her charred potatoes and your granny’s being cantankerous.

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3. Restrict your mentions of the season to atmospherically wintery weather references a la The Leisure Society with their pretty waltz ‘Last of the Melting Snow’. Cinematic strings, romantic lyrics and a slightly more upbeat B-side in the form of ‘A Short Weekend Begins With Longing’. It’s available to download but it would be far more festive to buy one of the limited edition handmade copies in the spirit of wonky gingerbread men and glitter-glued everything.

There’s just one thing we’re a little bit worried about. Where are all the sleighbells???????

Now I know I sound like a purist, medicine but sometimes I wish Photoshop had never been invented. After seeing the ingenuity of the post-war artists featuring in Estorick’s ongoing exhibition, rx Cut & Paste: European Photomontage 1920-1945, I longed for the days when you could actually tell something had been done by hand. When skill was quantifiable – based on precision, patience and masterfully cut and mounted shapes; not down to your aptitude with adjustment layers, clipping masks and liquify tools. Of course these arguably require a well-honed set of digital skills within themselves, but Photoshop has cheapened photography to a certain extent. Unimaginably cool things can be done on it by anyone with a shard of creative impulse, so we can’t help but lose the eensiest bit of respect for the end product, no matter how groundbreaking this may be. Don’t you think?

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Regardless, this is a little gem of a show. Small – with only around 25 pieces – it looks at the modernist manipulation of photomontage (in which cut-out photographs and fragments of newsprint from illustrated journals were pasted into drawings and paintings) by the Cubists, Futurists and Dadaists. There’s also a healthy dose of angular Russian Constructivism in there, so for such a small exhibition, they have all the seminal art movements of the early 20th Century well and truly covered.
Developed towards the end of the First World War by the Dadaists in Berlin (the word ‘photomontage’ was taken from engineering and film editing practices) it was a way of making art with a new kind of conceptual clarity. And grit. It was powerful and playful – there is one untitled image of Hitler and a devilish-looking Churchill quaintly enjoying a cup of tea together – and mixed mediums in a way which made people stop and look. And they still have that affect today.

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All the works are beautifully balanced and composed. Italian Futurist Enrico Prampolini’s Broom (1922) is a punchy little piece with huge red circles and chunky text overlaid on a photo of a massive machine, while Gustav Klucis’ Spartakiada Moscow / All-Union Olympiad (1928) is packed with movement and angles so sharp you could cut your fingers on them.
Curated by Lutz Becker, Cut & Paste showcases work made almost a century ago, but which feels surprisingly fresh and modern. It’ll make you turn off your computer, pick up a pair of scissors and start attacking The Daily Mail like there’s no tomorrow. I think that’s always a good thing.
I’m not a person who wins things; Lady Luck is not my friend. Never has my name been picked from a raffle or hat, discount scratch cards always defeat me, and even when I tried to Derren Brown the ticket man at Walthamstow Dogs, “Look into my eyes, this is the winning ticket”, I still came away empty handed. So when my name was electronically selected for the Time Out Bus Tour, a heavily over-subscribed perk to First Thursdays, I was veritably excited.

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I’m not sure what I imagined, a day of musing amalgamated in something entirely inconceivable bearing reference to the Playbus and set firmly beyond the realm of reality. This is the description from which I fabricated: Each month, join leading curators, writers, academics and artists on a guided bus tour visiting a selection of First Thursdays Galleries; and that’s precisely what it was, but I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed when I saw a very ordinary looking bus waiting outside Whitechapel Gallery, a bit health & safety and sanitised, OAP visit to Hastings anyone?

If you were in fact there for a guided bus tour with leading academics, curators, and artists, and not for a bus of dreams, then you’d probably be satisfied. Four selected galleries, a talk from a curator in each, and the wealth of information that only a guided tour can give, adding much more depth to your engagement with the work. My favourite part was a six-strong bowling team that unofficially tagged along, following the bus in a Transit, and innocuously joining the talks wearing matching blue team shirts, names on the breast. I did feel a pang of jealousy at the scores of people casually strolling between galleries on Vyner Street, drinks in hands, hmmms and ahhhs at the ready. I’ll opt for a home made bicycle tour next time, but that doesn’t mean I don’t recommend this.
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If you’re planning on going to any of these events, sale or have something you want to write an article about for the Earth Blog, email us: earth@ameliasmagazine.com!

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Now here’s a lovely story: One felt-making coffee morning in South London, three suburban mums discover a shared hoarding habit, a joy in rummaging through rubbish and a desire to make pretty things (with or without the use of felt). Out from the discarded chicken-shop boxes and begrudged lotto tickets emerged, not Oscar the Grouch (think Sesame Street) but The Skip Sisters.
These ladies really know how to make-do-and-mend, rescuing shabby bits and bobs found in skips and attics and revamping them into something truly lovely. 100% eco-friendly.
From now until Christmas Eve the Skip Sisters will be selling all sorts of treasures from the debris at 14 Northcross Road in East Dulwich. (Not open Mondays).
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Clocks made out of tins…found in a skip!
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Jewelry…found in a skip!
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Necklaces made with real human hands…found in a skip!

At 3am on the morning of the 7th of December two mini buses, thumb a 1960s fire engine and just over 50 cold, eager and very excited protesters turned up at a gate near the long stay car park of Stansted airport. Calmly and attentively we piled out of the mini buses and began to swarm around the entry point. A security vehicle happened to be passing just as we arrived, which instilled some nervous butterflies in our stomachs, but there was no stopping us. Once through the fence panel with our wire cutters we marched, as if to a temporary ark of safety (which we were to construct), two by two, carrying the tools and materials we were to need. Our objective was to reach the taxiway and setup a Harris fence enclosure around us to which we would lock-on to for as long as possible. After 6am, which was when the first flight was scheduled for take-off, every minute was to count as extremely important – directly stopping the release of ridiculous amounts of CO2 into the earth’s atmosphere.

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We were all so pleased to be doing something so direct; the feeling was one of pride in knowing that we were helping to facilitate discussions, raised levels of awareness, and aid to those directly suffering as a result of raised CO2 emissions in developing countries around the world. It really won’t be long before we are seriously suffering from our selfish actions, we need to look and focus on long-term rewards not short term ones. In reading the press coverage after the action I have been surprised to read a few comments by people who were disrupted – one man was quoted to say “Why couldn’t they have waited a few hours?” if we all adopt that approach where will we be left?
I will go on to strongly encourage non-violent direct action to be taken by as many of you reading this as possible, it feels so great to be there, in the heart of potential change, to be able to say “I have tried my hardest”. It is our future generation who will suffer, and personally I don’t want my children to be struggling as much as they will be if no “green” systematic changes occur.

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At The Climate Safety Talk delivered at Friends House, Euston, a few weeks ago I became scared – and directly inspired by that very fear to act, with others feeling the same way, as soon as I could, as this seems to have the most impact. I am newly accessing this level of climate science through living with some of the most inspiring women I have had the pleasure to meet and we discuss this issue of climate change daily, and innovatively focus most of our energy in the direction of raising awareness and creating social change methods and access points. Tamsin Omond lives upstairs and is helping to organize another suffragette style Climate Rush at Heathrow on Jan 12th, which I invite everyone to attend. Beth Stratford, Mel Evans, who spoke to the press after the Stansted protests, and Clemmie James from the Drax 29 also inhabit this eco-warrior house.
This action came as an opportunity for myself and others to not just discuss what is happening, but directly and physically respond, and gain immediate results – we stopped 86 flights from leaving the airport and acted as a catalyst for many many discussions.

Stansted has on average at least one flight leaving its runway every minute during working hours generating a shocking 4.2 tonnes of CO2 every single minute! Aviation is the fastest growing source of emissions and already contributes at least 13 per cent of the UK’s total climate impact. In October controversial plans for an expansion of Stansted Airport were given the go-ahead by the Government. Airport owner BAA wants to increase passenger numbers from 25 million to 35 million a year and flights leaving the airport from 241,000 to 264,000 a year. Objectors say an expansion would damage the environment, but some unions said the proposal could bring new jobs. Do we really need new jobs in this sector, should the Government not be pushing for new green jobs to go along with its emissions reduction target? The target that has been broadly accepted by many bodies including our own Government is that a rise in global average temperature of more than 2C above its preindustrial value must not be allowed. If this airport expansion is really given the go-ahead there will be very little chance of us being able to achieve the targets.
Aviation is the fastest growing cause of climate change and a major threat to the earth and everything living on it. But rather than reining the industry in and trying to reduce demand for flying, the government is promoting it through tax breaks and through its plans for massive expansion at our airports: the equivalent of a new Heathrow every five years!

Plane Stupid demands a fundamental rethink of the government’s 2003 Aviation White Paper which predicts that air travel will treble by 2030: an increase in annual plane journeys from 180 million to 501 million.

We, as Plane Stupid want to see airport expansion plans scrapped, and an end to short haul flights and aviation advertising.

Discussions and presentations are important, as the information and science needs to spread as far and wide, and touch as many people as possible, but we need to follow contact with this information with direct action as nothing else seems to be getting the results we need as soon as we need them. The Government has been making empty promises of reductions in the levels of CO2 emissions, and as nothing has happened yet we want to directly affect this ourselves.

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www.planestupid.com

Categories ,activism, ,BAA, ,Climate, ,Climate Rush, ,Earth, ,Plane Stupid, ,Stansted

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Amelia’s Magazine | Film Preview: Just Do It – get off your arse and change the world launches Crowd Funding appeal


Alice Early, approved from her graduate work

Kingston University might be a hop, skip and a jump from the capital, but the 2010 fashion graduates aren’t letting a little thing like distance stop them from becoming real contenders in the fashion stakes. I went along to Graduate Fashion Week to find out just what the noise from the suburbs is all about. 

Standing at the front of the cavernous Earl’s Court 2 arena, River Island’s Graduate Fashion Week sings it’s assault on the senses, a holding pen for the designers of the future. Bright lights, pumping music and hundreds of discerning fashion devotees mill around institutes’ stands; groups form and disperse, giggle and buzz through the milieu. ‘I like her shoes, I wonder if that’s a wig, isn’t that Vivienne Westwood?!’

Amongst the activity, a stand glows at the front, a beacon of minimalist beauty: welcome to Kingston. 

Representative students are dressed in clean black t-shirts, hints of their individuality breaking through with a slick of lipstick or a quiff set just-so. White stands display student portfolios. The monochrome serenity of Kingston’s presentation is impressively slick, but I am struck by how, behind the blank white covers, the students’ portfolios come alive with a turn of the page. Illustrations of every kind dance like flickbook figures running across the paper, the minute but ornate versions of the catwalk to come. Pocketing an equally gorgeous guide to the designs to be shown, I’m soon heading off to Kingston’s prime time catwalk slot, seated just in time for the lights to go down. 


Live front row illustration by Lauren Macaulay

Alice Early’s designs make for a grand debut with her exploration into the craft of tailoring; rounded cape shoulders and flowing dresses enhance the silhouette of the slinky models, but leather tops and soft, wearable tailoring on high waisted trousers show Early has been paying attention to the direction of fashion today. Baby blues and smattering of peacock prints add a subtle femininity that appears in drops across Kingston’s show.

Sophie Hudspith’s rose and teal sheer knitwear seems to play under the lights of the catwalk, a fine lattice intricately woven together. Meanwhile, Lucy Hammond takes to the other end of the feminine spectrum with her tongue-in-cheek girl about town sweaters pronouncing ‘I Love Knitting, I’m not Shitting’. If Dennis the Menace can put up with her potty mouth he’d love Hammond’s knit’n’purl girl decked in red and black stripes and oversize, floorlength scarfs inspired by the work of Sonya Rykiel.

Nathalie Tunna showcases some of my favourite designs of the show in cute, round shoulder dresses, completed by a zesty palette of pastels. The lines of her garments have an exactness befitting of Jackie O, but a playfulness is inherent in the accessories as leather trim backpacks and printed holdalls make an appearance.    

For an institute hitting so many marks, it’s odd that 21 year old knitwear Zac Marshall should announce that he likes ‘getting it wrong’. But experimentation and an exploration into deconstruction and altering panelling have left Marshall with a wrong-and-yet-so-right collection of menswear. The audience could barely take their eyes off their cute, hand-knitted creatures adorning the jumpers, but clever twists on tailoring meant Marshall’s clothes are more than just fancy dress costumes.

David Stoneman-Merret’s garments share a sense of hyperactive jumper joy (you know the joy, when you find that amazing jumper with a teddy bear eating a cheeseburger on it in a charity shop for a pound), with pixelated digital prints of flowers and his Nan in a Christmas hat. Her death two years ago inspired an exploration into the garments worn by the elderly and the darker realms of dementia, but David is adamant that his Nan would be jumping for joy too: ‘She would have loved the attention- she’d be telling everyone ‘That’s me on that top!’ I’d have to agree with Nanny Stoneman Merret, appearing on such odd but strangely entrancing garments is an accolade to be proud of. 

Naama Rietti sends models down the catwalk with breathtaking, contorted knitted headwear and matching neck pieces. They twist and come to life as faces emerge from their fabric as a bestial addition to a collection scattered with snakeskin prints and rich blue furs coats.

Angharad Probert’s lust for large scale ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ style fur creations is evident as models strut to a hypnotic, trendy beat; the large collars and dip-dye effect rustling to the rhythm. Sheepskin and fur headpieces hint at mohicans and transform the catwalk into a beautiful Darwinian manifestation, complete with extra details such as razor sharp teeth adorning leggings. Panelling slits reveal gasps of skin on a knee or shoulder, the armour of the modern warrior woman.

Zheng Zeng mixes up the female shape with contours etched into the patterns, dipping and diving over the curves of the body and ballooning on the shoulders like a superhero. 
The final two showings cross polar opposites in fashion but bring the show to a fantastic finale. First Vivian Wong shows her deconstructed business suits – parts removed, ripped up and replaced. Wong creates entirely new shapes on the body; a lapel is moved and a neckline becomes a triangle, or a collar hangs glibly down. In a comment on the recent MP expenses scandal, Wong is asking her audience what it means to have a rule or a uniform broken down, taken back to the drawing board and reimagined in a new way. Her suits conjure glimpses of the 1980s power woman but distinct lines on the body and luxury greys and browns bring the look up to date.

Finally, Harriet de Roeper closes the show in style, as her moody, androgynous suits are paired with Dr Martens, in an homage to the anarchy of Lord of the Flies. Flies stamp the exterior of her suits in spludges and splashes, a sense of chaos that jars against the formality of button up collars and polo necks. 

As the last model trails off the catwalk, I’m struck by the maturity inherent in much of Kingston’s work. Whilst fashion inspiration can be tenuous and at times somewhat off the mark, the Surrey fashion gang have certainly been doing something right. Collections express a clear and solid direction. For a class that draws so much inspiration from rebellion against tradition, it would be promising to see the next students amp up the risks a little more, but you can’t complain about a graduate collection that is making this writer head off for some serious talks with her bank manager.

Alice Early, pills from her graduate work

Kingston University might be a hop, and skip and a jump from the capital, cheapest but the 2010 fashion graduates aren’t letting a little thing like distance stop them from becoming real contenders in the fashion stakes. I went along to Graduate Fashion Week to find out just what the noise from the suburbs is all about. 

Standing at the front of the cavernous Earl’s Court 2 arena, River Island’s Graduate Fashion Week sings it’s assault on the senses, a holding pen for the designers of the future. Bright lights, pumping music and hundreds of discerning fashion devotees mill around institutes’ stands; groups form and disperse, giggle and buzz through the milieu. ‘I like her shoes, I wonder if that’s a wig, isn’t that Vivienne Westwood?!’

Amongst the activity, a stand glows at the front, a beacon of minimalist beauty: welcome to Kingston. 

Representative students are dressed in clean black t-shirts, hints of their individuality breaking through with a slick of lipstick or a quiff set just-so. White stands display student portfolios. The monochrome serenity of Kingston’s presentation is impressively slick, but I am struck by how, behind the blank white covers, the students’ portfolios come alive with a turn of the page. Illustrations of every kind dance like flickbook figures running across the paper, the minute but ornate versions of the catwalk to come. Pocketing an equally gorgeous guide to the designs to be shown, I’m soon heading off to Kingston’s prime time catwalk slot, seated just in time for the lights to go down. 


Live front row illustration by Lauren Macaulay

Alice Early’s designs make for a grand debut with her exploration into the craft of tailoring; rounded cape shoulders and flowing dresses enhance the silhouette of the slinky models, but leather tops and soft, wearable tailoring on high waisted trousers show Early has been paying attention to the direction of fashion today. Baby blues and smattering of peacock prints add a subtle femininity that appears in drops across Kingston’s show.

Sophie Hudspith’s rose and teal sheer knitwear seems to play under the lights of the catwalk, a fine lattice intricately woven together. Meanwhile, Lucy Hammond takes to the other end of the feminine spectrum with her tongue-in-cheek girl about town sweaters pronouncing ‘I Love Knitting, I’m not Shitting’. If Dennis the Menace can put up with her potty mouth he’d love Hammond’s knit’n’purl girl decked in red and black stripes and oversize, floorlength scarfs inspired by the work of Sonya Rykiel.

Nathalie Tunna showcases some of my favourite designs of the show in cute, round shoulder dresses, completed by a zesty palette of pastels. The lines of her garments have an exactness befitting of Jackie O, but a playfulness is inherent in the accessories as leather trim backpacks and printed holdalls make an appearance.    

For an institute hitting so many marks, it’s odd that 21 year old knitwear Zac Marshall should announce that he likes ‘getting it wrong’. But experimentation and an exploration into deconstruction and altering panelling have left Marshall with a wrong-and-yet-so-right collection of menswear. The audience could barely take their eyes off their cute, hand-knitted creatures adorning the jumpers, but clever twists on tailoring meant Marshall’s clothes are more than just fancy dress costumes.

David Stoneman-Merret’s garments share a sense of hyperactive jumper joy (you know the joy, when you find that amazing jumper with a teddy bear eating a cheeseburger on it in a charity shop for a pound), with pixelated digital prints of flowers and his Nan in a Christmas hat. Her death two years ago inspired an exploration into the garments worn by the elderly and the darker realms of dementia, but David is adamant that his Nan would be jumping for joy too: ‘She would have loved the attention- she’d be telling everyone ‘That’s me on that top!’ I’d have to agree with Nanny Stoneman Merret, appearing on such odd but strangely entrancing garments is an accolade to be proud of. 

Naama Rietti sends models down the catwalk with breathtaking, contorted knitted headwear and matching neck pieces. They twist and come to life as faces emerge from their fabric as a bestial addition to a collection scattered with snakeskin prints and rich blue furs coats.

Angharad Probert’s lust for large scale ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ style fur creations is evident as models strut to a hypnotic, trendy beat; the large collars and dip-dye effect rustling to the rhythm. Sheepskin and fur headpieces hint at mohicans and transform the catwalk into a beautiful Darwinian manifestation, complete with extra details such as razor sharp teeth adorning leggings. Panelling slits reveal gasps of skin on a knee or shoulder, the armour of the modern warrior woman.

Zheng Zeng mixes up the female shape with contours etched into the patterns, dipping and diving over the curves of the body and ballooning on the shoulders like a superhero. 
The final two showings cross polar opposites in fashion but bring the show to a fantastic finale. First Vivian Wong shows her deconstructed business suits – parts removed, ripped up and replaced. Wong creates entirely new shapes on the body; a lapel is moved and a neckline becomes a triangle, or a collar hangs glibly down. In a comment on the recent MP expenses scandal, Wong is asking her audience what it means to have a rule or a uniform broken down, taken back to the drawing board and reimagined in a new way. Her suits conjure glimpses of the 1980s power woman but distinct lines on the body and luxury greys and browns bring the look up to date.

Finally, Harriet de Roeper closes the show in style, as her moody, androgynous suits are paired with Dr Martens, in an homage to the anarchy of Lord of the Flies. Flies stamp the exterior of her suits in spludges and splashes, a sense of chaos that jars against the formality of button up collars and polo necks. 

As the last model trails off the catwalk, I’m struck by the maturity inherent in much of Kingston’s work. Whilst fashion inspiration can be tenuous and at times somewhat off the mark, the Surrey fashion gang have certainly been doing something right. Collections express a clear and solid direction. For a class that draws so much inspiration from rebellion against tradition, it would be promising to see the next students amp up the risks a little more, but you can’t complain about a graduate collection that is making this writer head off for some serious talks with her bank manager.


Alice Early, sickness from her graduate work

Kingston University might be a hop, order skip and a jump from the capital, viagra sale but the 2010 fashion graduates aren’t letting a little thing like distance stop them from becoming real contenders in the fashion stakes. I went along to Graduate Fashion Week to find out just what the noise from the suburbs is all about. 

Standing at the front of the cavernous Earl’s Court 2 arena, River Island’s Graduate Fashion Week sings it’s assault on the senses, a holding pen for the designers of the future. Bright lights, pumping music and hundreds of discerning fashion devotees mill around institutes’ stands; groups form and disperse, giggle and buzz through the milieu. ‘I like her shoes, I wonder if that’s a wig, isn’t that Vivienne Westwood?!’

Amongst the activity, a stand glows at the front, a beacon of minimalist beauty: welcome to Kingston. 

Representative students are dressed in clean black t-shirts, hints of their individuality breaking through with a slick of lipstick or a quiff set just-so. White stands display student portfolios. The monochrome serenity of Kingston’s presentation is impressively slick, but I am struck by how, behind the blank white covers, the students’ portfolios come alive with a turn of the page. Illustrations of every kind dance like flickbook figures running across the paper, the minute but ornate versions of the catwalk to come. Pocketing an equally gorgeous guide to the designs to be shown, I’m soon heading off to Kingston’s prime time catwalk slot, seated just in time for the lights to go down. 


Live front row illustration by Lauren Macaulay

Alice Early’s designs make for a grand debut with her exploration into the craft of tailoring; rounded cape shoulders and flowing dresses enhance the silhouette of the slinky models, but leather tops and soft, wearable tailoring on high waisted trousers show Early has been paying attention to the direction of fashion today. Baby blues and smattering of peacock prints add a subtle femininity that appears in drops across Kingston’s show.

Sophie Hudspith’s rose and teal sheer knitwear seems to play under the lights of the catwalk, a fine lattice intricately woven together. Meanwhile, Lucy Hammond takes to the other end of the feminine spectrum with her tongue-in-cheek girl about town sweaters pronouncing ‘I Love Knitting, I’m not Shitting’. If Dennis the Menace can put up with her potty mouth he’d love Hammond’s knit’n’purl girl decked in red and black stripes and oversize, floorlength scarfs inspired by the work of Sonya Rykiel.

Nathalie Tunna showcases some of my favourite designs of the show in cute, round shoulder dresses, completed by a zesty palette of pastels. The lines of her garments have an exactness befitting of Jackie O, but a playfulness is inherent in the accessories as leather trim backpacks and printed holdalls make an appearance.    

For an institute hitting so many marks, it’s odd that 21 year old knitwear Zac Marshall should announce that he likes ‘getting it wrong’. But experimentation and an exploration into deconstruction and altering panelling have left Marshall with a wrong-and-yet-so-right collection of menswear. The audience could barely take their eyes off their cute, hand-knitted creatures adorning the jumpers, but clever twists on tailoring meant Marshall’s clothes are more than just fancy dress costumes.

David Stoneman-Merret’s garments share a sense of hyperactive jumper joy (you know the joy, when you find that amazing jumper with a teddy bear eating a cheeseburger on it in a charity shop for a pound), with pixelated digital prints of flowers and his Nan in a Christmas hat. Her death two years ago inspired an exploration into the garments worn by the elderly and the darker realms of dementia, but David is adamant that his Nan would be jumping for joy too: ‘She would have loved the attention- she’d be telling everyone ‘That’s me on that top!’ I’d have to agree with Nanny Stoneman Merret, appearing on such odd but strangely entrancing garments is an accolade to be proud of. 

Naama Rietti sends models down the catwalk with breathtaking, contorted knitted headwear and matching neck pieces. They twist and come to life as faces emerge from their fabric as a bestial addition to a collection scattered with snakeskin prints and rich blue furs coats.

Angharad Probert’s lust for large scale ‘Where the Wild Things Are‘ style fur creations is evident as models strut to a hypnotic, trendy beat; the large collars and dip-dye effect rustling to the rhythm. Sheepskin and fur headpieces hint at mohicans and transform the catwalk into a beautiful Darwinian manifestation, complete with extra details such as razor sharp teeth adorning leggings. Panelling slits reveal gasps of skin on a knee or shoulder, the armour of the modern warrior woman.

Zheng Zeng mixes up the female shape with contours etched into the patterns, dipping and diving over the curves of the body and ballooning on the shoulders like a superhero. 
The final two showings cross polar opposites in fashion but bring the show to a fantastic finale. First Vivian Wong shows her deconstructed business suits – parts removed, ripped up and replaced. Wong creates entirely new shapes on the body; a lapel is moved and a neckline becomes a triangle, or a collar hangs glibly down. In a comment on the recent MP expenses scandal, Wong is asking her audience what it means to have a rule or a uniform broken down, taken back to the drawing board and reimagined in a new way. Her suits conjure glimpses of the 1980s power woman but distinct lines on the body and luxury greys and browns bring the look up to date.

Finally, Harriet de Roeper closes the show in style, as her moody, androgynous suits are paired with Dr. Martens, in an homage to the anarchy of Lord of the Flies. Flies stamp the exterior of her suits in spludges and splashes, a sense of chaos that jars against the formality of button up collars and polo necks. 

As the last model trails off the catwalk, I’m struck by the maturity inherent in much of Kingston’s work. Whilst fashion inspiration can be tenuous and at times somewhat off the mark, the Surrey fashion gang have certainly been doing something right. Collections express a clear and solid direction. For a class that draws so much inspiration from rebellion against tradition, it would be promising to see the next students amp up the risks a little more, but you can’t complain about a graduate collection that is making this writer head off for some serious talks with her bank manager.


Live illustration of the UEL front row, doctor by Lauren Macaulay

Kicking off Graduate Fashion week, search the East London Show was a blend of slick, commercially-minded pieces, and the challenging designs this pocket of London is famed for. From the glossy brochure showcasing the class of 2010, to several wearable, beautifully crafted collections, it could quite easily have been a commercial catwalk show.
 
Several collections chimed with existing trends – Charlotte Macke’s black moulded felt and macramé dresses, with accessories draped with chain-mail, were a reminder of the ‘urban warrior’ we have seen marching catwalks for a few seasons, and there were countless versions of the nineties body con, maxi length and minimalist aesthetic that Louise Goldin and Marios Schwab have played with.  

Equally easy on the eye was Jane Branco’s “Kiss Me Deadly” collection of draped, soft-toned silk-jersey dresses, and Queesra Abbas Dad’s upmarket traveller, with models wrapped up in fur hats, camel coats, brocade trousers and matching suitcases, off on an exotic expedition. Both collections wouldn’t have looked out of place on a luxury label’s shop floor.  

But you come to a graduate show expecting fresh blood, and there were plenty of students who brought the East London edge.


Live catwalk illustrations by Lauren Macaulay

Bunmi Olayi’s ‘Matriarchy’ collection went for the warrior vibe, but with striking results. Inspired by the Ekpe ‘leopard masquerade’, a women-only cult in pre-colonial Nigeria, and Scottish missionary Mary Slessor (a revolutionary figure in the Victorian age) Olaye’s designs were a fierce combination of the tribal and traditional. Models stormed down the catwalk with sticks topped with pom-poms, and feathered masks and headdresses, their bodies clad in a sharp Victorian silhouette. This was playful power dressing, with well-tailored jackets, balloon sleeves, and a sweet skirt suit in burnt ochre and deep red, adorned with raffia, bells and beads, and cartoonish giant pom-poms.  

Another stand-out name was Johanna Greenish. ‘Unfold’, a collection of simple, exquisitely crafted monochrome pieces, explores “the effect of folding and unfolding fabric”. Layers of rough, unfinished materials were manipulated into geometric shapes, and origami-like creations were toughened up with leather accents – from a leather dress with a paper-thin collar, to rippling skirts paired with thick leather belts. The star of the show was a top that unfolded in two different directions, creating a ‘concertina’ on the model’s chest.  

Uniform across the collections was the attention to detail –with eye-catching accessories just as exciting as the clothes. Diana Gevorgian’s collection of black leather suits and sheer organza shirts were inspired by “metal roosters bought from a car boot sale”, evident in the metal decorations of feathers adorning everything from leather gloves to the avant-garde shoes.  

“The starting point was a photograph of nuns smoking”. Hard to believe, but Stephanie Hemphill’s collection of short, cobalt wool dresses, grey hooded tops and latex peekaboo layers were a contemporary take on the nun’s habit. We doubt you’ll be seeing these designs down a convent anytime soon, but Hemphill’s clean, futuristic designs were some of my favourites in the show.


Live catwalk illustrations by Lauren Macaulay

Also worth a mention was Anna Grzegorczyk’s “Patterns of the Earth”, a rustic range of cocoon shaped dresses, paired with thick wooden sandals, and clunky jewelry. Inspired by “trips to Scandinavian countries” and “the beauty and harshness of Norwegian Fjords”, each dress had an organic feel, with hand-dyed fabrics, and soft romantic shapes. Each garmet was decorated with ripples and cracks from a book of natural patterns, and whilst the shapes weren’t particularly adventurous, they billowed around the frame beautifully.  

In a show of strong, ‘warrior’ inspired shapes, strong colours and heavy embellishment, Grzegorczyk’s pared-down palette and natural aesthetic was rather refreshing.


Live catwalk illustrations by Lauren Macaulay

Images courtesy of catwalking.com

Photography by Mini Mouse

Left Field Films is producing an exciting new documentary film on climate change and is asking for your help to get it completed. Since 2009, order Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world has been following the mischievous antics of UK Climate Change Activists. Emily James, here the film’s director was granted unprecedented access to document a variety of direct actions from the fraught G20 protest, buy the occupation of Blackheath by Climate Camp to Copenhagen and the spectacular failure of the UN COP 15 climate talks.

This is the briefest of introductions to a film that will inspire you to get off your arse and change the world and does no justice to the breadth and width of the activities and activists who inspired the project.

Heard about the time a load of bikes closed down Westminster?

YouTube Preview Image

For more videos documenting the variety of actions appearing in the film, check out the Just Do It website.

What makes this film really special is that it will be completely non-commercial and is being produced by a combination of volunteers and film professionals. As none of the costs will be coming from sales Just Do It are asking the public to help fund the production costs, to enable this exciting documentary to be released completely for free under creative commons.

Launched on Monday 14th June, the crowd funding appeal enables you to help make a film you would like to see by putting your money where you mouth is and sponsoring the film.

Photography by Kristian Buus

This is a community engaged film in which the move away from a financially driven production model towards self publishing enables the contributors and the wider team to have far more rights and input than if this was a commissioned documentary. Importantly Just Do It are able to tell the stories of the activists without the editorial or stylistic concerns of a Broadcaster.

Just Do It is the story of people standing up to worldwide governmental inefficiency to tackle the problem of Climate Change. It is a tale of people getting up, leaving the house and taking a stance for what they believe. Just Do It introduces the people behind the politics as they stand up against corporations and the subsequent treatment they receive.

Photography by Rob Logan

The film is: “a story of heroic individuals throwing themselves against the might of the machine, because it’s the right thing to do, regardless of success or failure. By telling their story, we hope to inspire and incite others to do the same.” Just Do It 2010.

Photography by Rob Logan

By releasing the documentary under creative commons Just Do It are making this film “in a way that reflects the culture that it is about. We want to give it away rather than capitalise on it, and support the Creative Commons and Free Culture movement.” Just Do It 2010

Photography by Kristian Buus

What are you waiting for? Just Do It!

Directed by Emily James it follows the story of 3 organisations, 2 loose affiliations and one domestic extremist: Marina Pepper (Seen in the Last Picture).

Categories ,Activists, ,Bike Rush, ,Campaign Against Climate Change, ,Climate Camp, ,Climate Change, ,Climate Rush, ,Cop 15, ,copenhagen, ,Creative Commons, ,Free Culture, ,g20, ,Just Do It Film, ,Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world, ,Kristian Buus, ,london, ,Marina Pepper, ,Minnie Mouse, ,Plane Stupid, ,Rob Logan

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Amelia’s Magazine | Solar Impulse: the plane that flies with the power of the sun.

The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.
solar impulse plane-thereza rowe
The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.

Holiday season is steadily approaching; the time when adverts for faraway climes become ever more enticing and flight prices drop like environmentalists’ jaws when they see photos of tar sands. Heathrow and London City airports both have plans for expansion, troche whatever the cost to the surrounding area or local people. While they claim that more flights are beneficial to everybody, information pills East Londoners face ever higher levels of respiratory diseases and noise pollution, and Sipson residents wonder when the property laws became irrelevant in the face of the aviation industry. With all this contention, isn’t it about time someone threw some renewable technology into the aero-space?

Enter Solar Impulse. A weird insect-looking plane which runs on solar power, with a wingspan to match that of an Airbus A340 (roughly 63 metres) and a bulbous cockpit hanging in the centre like a spider’s egg sac. Also known as the HB-SIA, the plane has been in development for the past six years, and last week, on April 7th, completed its first two hour test flight. The man behind this project is Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss ex-astronaut who was one of the first men to complete a non-stop round the world tour in a hot air balloon, an experience which led to the realisation for him of the need to live sustainably on the planet which we are currently destroying.

The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.
Illustration by Thereza Rowe.

At the moment, Solar Impulse is more of an ambassador for renewable technologies than a useable mode of transport. Much of the technology used was developed solely for, and due to, this project. The wings are covered in photovoltaic cells which convert sunlight to power the propeller. One square metre of cells provides a consistent supply of 28 watts, the equivalent to a lightbulb, over a twenty-four hour period and the planes motor achieves no more than 6kW altogether – similar to the amount the Wright brothers had for their first powered flight of 200 metres. Due to this restriction on power the plans has been stripped of all extraneous weight. The wings are made from a composite carbon-fibre honeycomb around a sandwich shape with carbon ribs placed at intervals to create the aerodynamic shape. The speed is obviously also affected by this and the plane cruises at forty-six miles per hour. The cockpit is also big enough for only one pilot, and is unpressurised, which is fine for test flights which are used to optimise the balance between weight, energy consumption and manoeuvrability, but bigger things are planned for Solar Impulse.

The next steps are more test flights to perfect this balance, and then hopefully a night flight later in the year. This ability to store power and fly over night is what marks Solar Impulse out from the other solar powered plans currently in development. The ultimate goal for the project is to develop a second plane with a pressurised cabin, capable of making a round the world tour, stopping only for pilot changeovers.

The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.
Illustration by Thereza Rowe.

The purpose of the Solar Impulse project is to challenge pre-conceived notions of what can be achieved with alternative renewable energies. If a plane can be solar powered, then surely other forms of transport can incorporate this technology into their energy supplies. It has also pushed people to develop more efficient forms of solar technology, advancing this field of research and encouraging new ways of thinking when it comes to uses of alternative energy sources. We know that oil and coal are not only running out, but are derived from the environment at great cost to the planet, and in an age where people are not willing to give up their conveniences no matter how many before and after photos of boreal forests in Alberta are waved in front of them, could solar planes be the saving grace of the aviation industry?

Well, we’re not going to see solar powered jump jets anytime soon, but consider that it was only sixty-six years between a 200 metre flight and two men on the moon. Solar Impulse already has two hours under its belt, who knows where it could progress to from here?

You can read about other similar projects in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, available from this very website!

Categories ,Alberta, ,Bertrand Piccard, ,Fight the Flights, ,heathrow, ,London City Airport, ,Plane Stupid, ,Renewable Technologies, ,sipson, ,Solar Impulse, ,solar power, ,Tar Sands, ,Thereza Rowe, ,Transition Heathrow

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Amelia’s Magazine | Solar Impulse: the plane that flies with the power of the sun.

The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.
solar impulse plane-thereza rowe
The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.

Holiday season is steadily approaching; the time when adverts for faraway climes become ever more enticing and flight prices drop like environmentalists’ jaws when they see photos of tar sands. Heathrow and London City airports both have plans for expansion, troche whatever the cost to the surrounding area or local people. While they claim that more flights are beneficial to everybody, information pills East Londoners face ever higher levels of respiratory diseases and noise pollution, and Sipson residents wonder when the property laws became irrelevant in the face of the aviation industry. With all this contention, isn’t it about time someone threw some renewable technology into the aero-space?

Enter Solar Impulse. A weird insect-looking plane which runs on solar power, with a wingspan to match that of an Airbus A340 (roughly 63 metres) and a bulbous cockpit hanging in the centre like a spider’s egg sac. Also known as the HB-SIA, the plane has been in development for the past six years, and last week, on April 7th, completed its first two hour test flight. The man behind this project is Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss ex-astronaut who was one of the first men to complete a non-stop round the world tour in a hot air balloon, an experience which led to the realisation for him of the need to live sustainably on the planet which we are currently destroying.

The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.
Illustration by Thereza Rowe.

At the moment, Solar Impulse is more of an ambassador for renewable technologies than a useable mode of transport. Much of the technology used was developed solely for, and due to, this project. The wings are covered in photovoltaic cells which convert sunlight to power the propeller. One square metre of cells provides a consistent supply of 28 watts, the equivalent to a lightbulb, over a twenty-four hour period and the planes motor achieves no more than 6kW altogether – similar to the amount the Wright brothers had for their first powered flight of 200 metres. Due to this restriction on power the plans has been stripped of all extraneous weight. The wings are made from a composite carbon-fibre honeycomb around a sandwich shape with carbon ribs placed at intervals to create the aerodynamic shape. The speed is obviously also affected by this and the plane cruises at forty-six miles per hour. The cockpit is also big enough for only one pilot, and is unpressurised, which is fine for test flights which are used to optimise the balance between weight, energy consumption and manoeuvrability, but bigger things are planned for Solar Impulse.

The next steps are more test flights to perfect this balance, and then hopefully a night flight later in the year. This ability to store power and fly over night is what marks Solar Impulse out from the other solar powered plans currently in development. The ultimate goal for the project is to develop a second plane with a pressurised cabin, capable of making a round the world tour, stopping only for pilot changeovers.

The Solar Impulse Plane. Illustration by Thereza Rowe.
Illustration by Thereza Rowe.

The purpose of the Solar Impulse project is to challenge pre-conceived notions of what can be achieved with alternative renewable energies. If a plane can be solar powered, then surely other forms of transport can incorporate this technology into their energy supplies. It has also pushed people to develop more efficient forms of solar technology, advancing this field of research and encouraging new ways of thinking when it comes to uses of alternative energy sources. We know that oil and coal are not only running out, but are derived from the environment at great cost to the planet, and in an age where people are not willing to give up their conveniences no matter how many before and after photos of boreal forests in Alberta are waved in front of them, could solar planes be the saving grace of the aviation industry?

Well, we’re not going to see solar powered jump jets anytime soon, but consider that it was only sixty-six years between a 200 metre flight and two men on the moon. Solar Impulse already has two hours under its belt, who knows where it could progress to from here?

You can read about other similar projects in Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, available from this very website!

Categories ,Alberta, ,Bertrand Piccard, ,Fight the Flights, ,heathrow, ,London City Airport, ,Plane Stupid, ,Renewable Technologies, ,sipson, ,Solar Impulse, ,solar power, ,Tar Sands, ,Thereza Rowe, ,Transition Heathrow

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Amelia’s Magazine | Happy Birthday Grow Heathrow

Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.
Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.

Krystof Strozyna has been on my radar for what seems like forever in fashion… which in practice means a couple of years – ever since we wrote about him in the print version of Amelia’s Magazine, generic visit this shortly after his graduation from Central Saint Martins in 2007. Which makes it all the more annoying that we don’t receive proper tickets to his shows. I hate e-invites, information pills I really do. I always forget to print them out which usually means I forget to attend the show (I need tickets IN MY HANDS during LFW – there’s just too much to juggle otherwise) and they’re invariably no good for anything better than standing. Basically, viagra they just don’t cut it.

Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.
Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.

Luckily my face is so well known around Fashion Scout that I can usually slide into any show with no problem. So it was that I got cajoled in to see Krystof Strozyna‘s A/W collection – well, it didn’t take much to be honest. Apparently Kimberly Walsh was there too, flying the flag for Girls Aloud during a rare break for Nicola Roberts. I can imagine her curves would suit his sexy 80s inspired draped tailoring a little better anyhow.

Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Matilde Sazio
Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Matilde Sazio.

For the most part this collection did not disappoint, featuring tailored black and flesh tones combined with undulating shades of ruched blue chiffon. A little more awkward was a one legged dress – maybe a good idea in practice but somewhat inelegant on the catwalk.

Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.
Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011 by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.

The winning numbers were undoubtedly Krystof Strozyna‘s gorgeous neon fractal prints, which brought a splash of welcome colour to the ubiquitous Little Black Dress… and a devastating punch delivered by the liberal use of acidic orange. Red may have been the favoured highlight of many an A/W collection but on the strength of this I’m voting for vibrant orange. Yum yum.

Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryKrystof Strozyna A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Krystof Strozyna A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
Grow Heathrow by Rebecca Peacock
Grow Heathrow by Rebecca Peacock.

Just over a year ago a group of my friends envisioned a radical new version of the Transition Town model. Activists drawn from groups such as Plane Stupid and Climate Camp decided to squat a rundown old market garden in the village of Sipson that was being used as a dumping ground for car scrap in an area planned for demolition to make way for the third runway at Heathrow. And thus Grow Heathrow was born, link a great big YES in the face of so many NOs.

We Won! Grow Heathrow by Sam Parr
We Won! Grow Heathrow by Sam Parr.

Over the course of the past year they have utterly transformed the area; growing their own food, stomach hosting bike workshops and ensuring a sustainable community has sprung up that fully involves the locals. What was once an eyesore covered in shattered glass has become an inspiring success story, described by one local as “better than prozac”. In this beautiful short video from You and I Films the misty eyed community get together to reminisce about the past year, describing how what they did was “naughty but extremely worthwhile” and a necessary action to enable the creation of their “own piece of paradise.” As is so often the case, gardening has proved the glue that has brought people together.

Later in March Grow Heathrow will host the Reclaim the Fields European gathering, and then a group of people associated with the project will go on an ambitious 100 day cycle ride to Palestine. P.E.D.A.L. will meet with permaculture projects along the way; sharing ideas and stories for a better world.

Inspiring stuff indeed, but I’ll let this lovely video – made to celebrate Grow Heathrow‘s first birthday – do the talking.

YouTube Preview Image

You can read more about Grow Heathrow in this blog, written just after it was set up in early 2010.

Categories ,Climate Camp, ,community, ,Direct Action, ,Firecatcher, ,gardening, ,Grow Heathrow, ,heathrow, ,P.E.D.A.L., ,Palestine, ,Plane Stupid, ,Rebecca Peacock, ,Reclaim the Fields, ,Sam Parr, ,sipson, ,squatting, ,sustainability, ,Third Runway, ,Transition Heathrow, ,transition towns, ,You and I Films

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Amelia’s Magazine | Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world with a Crude Awakening

Illustration by Mina Bach

In June, order Amelia’s Magazine previewed Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world, information pills a feature documentary (in production) from Age of Stupid Executive Producer Emily James. At the time of writing, clinic Just Do It had just launched their innovative crowd-funding scheme to help raise the final funds required to complete the film for release in early 2011. From October 12th and for the next 18 days (this article was posted on 14th October) Lush Cosmetics will match all donations made to the Just Do It website POUND FOR POUND! The challenge? To raise 20K in 20 Days.

You might be wondering why a feature film is asking for money now, rather than at the box office? The answer is surprisingly simple, Just Do It will be released for free under creative commons across the internet, your donation today means people across the world will be able to watch it for free, forever. The other reason the film needs your support is Just Do It is a completely independent production – there are no TV/Film backers, a decision carefully made by Emily James in order to protect the rights and the representation of the activists who kindly let James film their actions over the course of two years from the G20 to those sad talks in Copenhagen.

Meet the Team!

And whilst you’re at it why not sign up for The Crude Awakening action happening this very Saturday? That’s right, as well as putting your money where your mouth is, you can put your feet there too…

Just Do It introduces those of you unaware to the adventurous and inspiring world that is UK Climate Change Activism. A cause that has been documented, reported and championed in these very pages in the Earth Section established by Amelia Gregory. It is a cause that needs your help and your support – watch the trailer, the bike bloc and the guide to Climate Camp. Watch all the videos and if you feel inspired and want to know what to do next, the answer is multifold. First you can visit the website, donate and find out how you can get involved if your time rich but cash poor…

Transition Heathrow

The Crude Awakening is a mass action aimed at waking up the oil industry, to the responsibility they owe the earth. There are three different mass actions to get involved in – click on the links to find out more about each, and to sign up to receive SMS texts as the action takes place, from 10am this Saturday 16th October…

Dirty Money Bloc – Drawing attention to the involvement of BANKING in the oil industry, for example RBS has been linked to extremely devastating practice of mining the Canadian Tar Sands. If you like the sound of holding your own space and being creative to beat the oil industry… If this sounds out like your bag, find out where to meet here.

Photograph Courtesy of Amy Scaife

Building Bloc – The building and occupying of space through structures expressing dissent at the unchecked flow of both oil and finance. If you have a head for heights and want to be actively involved, click here to find out more

Finally the Body Bloc celebrates the “carnival of life, death, fun and resistance.”
Do you have an imaginative idea of life beyond (and without) oil and wish to turn the impossible possible? Find out more here.

Illustration by Faye West

So that’s two things you can do alongside your recycling – the first is find out how you can support Just Do It and the second is to support A Crude Awakening on Saturday 16th October.

Categories ,A Crude Awakening, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Climate Camp, ,Climate Rush, ,Creative Commons, ,earth, ,Emily James, ,Facebook, ,Faye West, ,Just Do It, ,Just Do It: get off your arse and change the world, ,Plane Stupid, ,twitter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Agrofuels Don’t Roc(K) – Rally against Biofuels

On Monday evening as the sun set and the lights from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) blared onto the street, ask over a hundred protesters gathered to call for an end to government subsidies on biofuels.

agro1

Agrofuels are seen as a green alternative to conventional oil but cause even more damage, indigenous communities are being dispossessed, land that was used for food is being handed over for the production of palm oil. The production of biofuel contributes the the acceleration of climate change through deforestation and its twin results of water and soil degradation . This ‘green’ subsidy is even starting to need carbon offsetting for it to meet government agenda.
Due to protests against biofuels power stations, plans to build have already been stopped at Ealing and Portland among others. However protests are still needed to push the government into action, currently agrofuel power is awarded double the number of subsidies compared to offshore wind farms.

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Joining the demo were a range of musicians that kept up spirits and entertained with witty biofuel songs, as well as several speakers highlighting the issue.

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John Stewart,Fight The Flights, spoke about the aviation industry plans to incorporate biofuels. Companies like BA complain about the increasing tax on fuel consumption using the inequality agenda as an argument. But when considering how agrofuels are largely made by exploiting poor countries while the rich benefit, their argument is quickly invalidated.

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The demo was also held on the International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People, which ironically falls on the same date Columbus discovered the Americas. A large group, part of ‘Global Mobilisation for Mother Earth’ called by Andean indigenous peoples joined us outside DECC and a speaker highlighted the problems faced by indigenous peoples in Latin America.

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The police set up a pen as per usual, making sure the left hand side pavement wasn’t blocked which would obviously have a huge detrimental effect. Instead they crammed us all inside the narrow fences; health and safety you know, can’t have a protest stopping people from having to cross the road to the other pavement to get passed. Anyway we all managed to listen and rally in any little space we could find and as darkness fell continued to put pressure on the energy department in the 100-watt bulb luminous lit rooms above.

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Categories ,agrofuels, ,biofuels, ,deforestation, ,demo, ,Department of Energy and Climate Change, ,government, ,Indigenous People, ,Latin America, ,palm oil, ,Plane Stupid, ,protest

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Amelia’s Magazine | Climate Rush and Newham Flashmob

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Hello, treat treat Katie!! featured in our latest issue, prescription as part of the New Brasil section. It’s the vision of Hisato, who Amelia described as ‘a small portly man with the slightly pallid demeanour of someone who lives for the night”. He’s a very well respected DJ, and I think this says a lot about the key idea behind his latest EP, ‘Girls’.

Opener ‘Don’t Panic (That’s The Way It Is)’ is drenched in the atmosphere of New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ – famously the highest selling 7″ of all time, purely because of it’s popularity with DJs. Vocals come in the form of some super cool sounding girl, who I imagine to look exactly like the type you see standing in front of DJ booths in the hope of grabbing attention. It’s a song that I guess comes from Hisato’s time spent hanging around the super cool, Djing fashion shows and stuff like that. Considering the band is named in honour of Kate Moss herself, this is perhaps something to be expected.

My favourite track is ‘Female Moustache’. It has the feel of a soundtrack from a high octane action movie, building and plateauing, only to return to its peak moments of drama once again. You can imagine some bald guy with stubble diving between trains to it, or something like that anyway.

It finishes with ‘Today’s Tomorrow’s Breath’, something of a respite compared to the rest of the album. The vocals sound almost scary, sung by Hisato himself in what sounds like a cave.

The EP comes across like a party in your ears. It has all the aspects of really fun party music that has put Brazil on the musical map in recent years.

Having interviewed the girls who will be featuring in issue 10 of Amelia’s mag (keep an eye out for them), click I was keen to make a pit stop to their preview of their exhibition, look ‘in bed with the girls’.

The first thing that hits you as you enter the bubblegum pink Beverly Knowles Gallery in Notting hill is the burst of colour within all the photos. Cramming 12 years worth of staged portrait photography, capsule self portraiture and performance pieces in one smallish room gives their work an intensity. A few faves are the performance piece where a naked lady is adorned with various sweet treats such as: swiss rolls, tarts, custard creams. The performance piece reminded me of the oldsy english countryside picnics that now looks like a novel practice. With a priest sat next to her this set to unnerve the viewer.

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Also the smurfette pieces were cute and kitsch.

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Most of their work is playful, set with lavish sets, however I also like some of their black and white shots particularly Dungeness which are actually tiny.

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With so many different sets designs and images, these reflect two varied, bubbly personalities. They reference pop culture, the idea of Englishness, gender roles, nostalgia and desire in a fun yet also subtly dark way. So there really is something for everyone.

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Perhaps you’d like a pair of wizard boots? A caterpillar? some skeleton string? or a monster forest? Inventory of Parlour, ed an Australian designed jewellery label, more about offers treats for the imagination! A range of delectable pieces with intricate and distinctive designs that originate from another realm.

Katia, who studied textile design at RMIT University in Melbourne, was introduced to the wonderful world of jewellery when she spent some time living in London interning with the infamously unique Tatty Devine. The influence is clear – treating jewelry as a piece of art, creating something personal to illustrate the wearer. Katia’s own inspirations draw from the Parlour rooms of the 1800′s and the curious happenings within them. The pieces themselves are made mostly out of collages using text and vintage imagery from periodicals, catalogues and encyclopedias.

“A world of alakazams and abracadabras.. demented delights and a menagerie of oddities..”

Intrigued? Want to see more? Unlock the cabinet of goodies on the their blog and get a new lace for that neck!

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Photo: Dan Spinney

Despite my obsession with These New Puritans (we’ve all read the inspiring reviews from music boffs across the globe so its not necessary for me to rationalise this passion), medical neither time nor cash had granted me with a chance to witness them live, prescription until their set at the Amersham Arms. Perhaps it was dangerous levels of excitement which left me doubtful (or the fact that Derv from Amelia’s team wouldn’t stop chatting in my ear), but I couldn’t help but feel that I was left half empty.

There’s something about the intensity of delivery by lead vocalist Jack Barnett which just didn’t hit me as hard as my 5 year old Woolworth’s headphones. Its not that I’m not accusing them of being poor live performers, ‘Colours’, ‘Infinity ytinifnl’ and ‘Swords of truth’ resembled the album versions to a T, but all that intellectual equation and science stuff just seemed that little bit more magical without the hustle and bustle of a pub. Naturally These New Puritans took the opportunity to drop a few new tracks, which if this occasion is anything to go by, prove to be bordering on bland or atmospheric depending on your perspective or the volume of your glass.

Micachu and The Shape’s set wasn’t as enthralling as it should have been, mainly due to the venues poor sound. Teamed with a crowd that seemed preoccupied with having a chin wag, their music almost seemed to take a back seat. When I’ve seen them before, crowds are usually silenced by their magnificent performances, but I think most people were too preoccupied with drinking at that stage of the night. ‘Golden Phone’ did seem to divert people’s attention, and it’s definately still her standout track. She’s an artist destined for much bigger events this time next year.

Next we headed over to The Tavern to finish our night with sets from Loefah and Benga, and were subjected to some very garage heavy selections, which delighted some, but for me it just wasn’t too exciting. Soon after they had taken to the decks though, the speakers blew. It was announced that the line-up would be moved to the nearby Goldsmith’s Student Union Bar.

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Photo: Louis Hartnoll

We followed the crowds round the corner to where there was already a sizeable queue forming. I hate situations like this, when a mass of people is trying to get into a venue and the venue’s security sees it as an excuse to exercise their power by just being weird and annoying. Eventually they decided everybody had waited long enough an allowed us in. The choice of venue was strange, and didn’t really suit the music. Nevertheless, everyone was there to have a good time, and it’s difficult not to enjoy yourself in that type of environment.
So this morning I received an email shouting about NOISE, erectile an online arts showcase funded by the Arts Council & NWDA. The idea is to showcase art, ask music and fashion all conjured up by creative beings under 25. The curators include acclaimed industry professionals such as Badly Drawn Boy for music and Norman Rosenthal for fine arts. This month NOISE festival will cherry pick the crème de la crème for your viewing pleasure. Here’s a few things I spotted:

The talented miss amy brown, prescription who designed the cover of amelia’s mag issue 8 has her portfolio on here. She says that an average day consists of replying to e-mails, tea drinking, drawing, and wiping paint off my kitten Millie-Rad. She also comments that she has always loved drawing and just hope that people get as much enjoyment from looking at [her] work as [she]does making it! Have a peek at her work.

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patrick gildersleeves, aka wowow is inspired by the people of the world, patterns, paper, animals and plants. He likes to work with a pencil, felt tips and paint. His biggest influences are Inuit art, Ancient South American culture and drawings from the Far East.

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heres a cool image of promo shots for the electric circus band by ‘paul’
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6 by rae:
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clockface by chimere:
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brunch from brunch series by shauba:
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So if you want to inject a little brightness to your day or are seeking some inspiration go and check it out.

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It’s been a busy few days – I’ve been up early again with the Suffragettes to try and persuade city commuters that they should join the Climate Rush on Monday.

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getting ready in the station

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Tamsin sandwiched by commuters

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I’ve learnt that the amount of technical devices attached to your body is a direct indicator of whether you are likely to engage with a piece of paper coming your way. Commuters plugged into ipods are in their own little world and noone is going to disrupt that other place… and if you also have a mobile in your other hand you are doubly likely to ignore anyone else. Interesting, this site how we disassociate from the real world around us. Also a trend I have noticed that disheartens me – people with bikes are also more likely to ignore people who are flyering. Very saddening that – all the more I think because as a fellow bike rider I always expect people who ride to be on our side.

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flyering aplenty

That said, remedy many flyers were given out and since then the Suffragettes have been out every day all over town to try and raise awareness. I will be joining them on Friday afternoon in Soho (5.30pm in Soho Square if you fancy coming along) The more the merrier – we’re quite an arresting sight amongst all that grey.
On Saturday we’re going to be making more sashes at my house – if you fancy joining in email us. I am in east London and we plan to go out on the town afterwards dressed as Suffragettes, so come meet us and join in the fun!

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shaking a fist for the cameras

Then yesterday I hotfooted it over to Newham town hall in East London (well, more like District line slowfooted it. How slow is that tube line?!) to meet up with the Flashmob, there to oppose plans to expand City Airport.

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I love this golden light…

The council was meeting to make the final decision on whether expansion goes ahead and local group Fight the Flights directed a flashmob of about 30 people in a chant for the ITV cameras. Everyone was wearing distinctive STOP AIRPORT EXPANSION t-shirts. It was all over very quickly and I then had to slowfoot it back into town to do my jewelery class for the evening.

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flashmobbers still need lipstick

Unfortunately I have since found out that the council has given the go ahead to the expansion, but the evening was not without its drama. I’ve just spoken with Leo from Plane Stupid, who was one of some 25 people to present objections during the meeting, and it sounds like the locals put up a great fight. There were about 75 objectors in the audience who were “kicking off left, right and centre,” so that by the time the meeting drew to a close some hours later a lot of people had been removed for causing a ruckus. Leo was eventually removed for throwing paper airplanes.

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looks like Ken, of Barbie and Ken fame. is actually a highly groomed ITV reporter.

Apparently the local group will be taking the council to court on the grounds that there was no proper consultation – even though up to 13,000 people will be affected by increased noise pollution there have been no new measurements of noise since the year 2000, and only 10,000 letters have been sent out as part of a mandatory consultation.

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A local teacher explained that his students had been processing field data which showed that the noise levels are frequently reaching 85-95 decibels, and not the declared 57 decibels, over which the government considers noise to be a nuisance. Funny then, that the airport owners have forgotten to take new measurements in the past 8 years.
Leo described the yellow tie wearing owner as being totally complacent, safe in the knowledge that his plans would get the go ahead. In fact he was looking so smug that the locals even had a pop at him about it. I wasn’t there, but I can picture him in my mind’s eye. I bet he would have wound me up too.
The airport expansion may be mooted to go ahead, but don’t expect it to happen without a fight…

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sporting an E.On F.Off badge in a hairband. Lovin the look

Categories ,City Airport, ,Climate, ,Climate Camp, ,E-On, ,Earth, ,East London, ,Flashmob, ,Plane Stupid

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Amelia’s Magazine | Deloitte Ignite 2011 at the Royal Opera House: Festival Review

Red Dancer by Claire Kearns

Red Dancer by Claire Kearns

Mike Figgis held the creative reins at the festival this year. One of the names he had invited along was someone I was keen to see – Hans Ulrich Obrist, diagnosis the director of the Serpentine Gallery and art mastermind. When we arrived at the epicentre of the festival, the Paul Hamlyn Hall, Hans and Mike were in deep conversation about Mike’s career, and his thoughts on Hollywood. Mike spoke bitterly about what he saw as the corruption of mainstream cinema and wasn’t abashed to name and shame, as he slammed Michael Bay and likened Steven Spielberg to Adolf Hitler. A poor shot from Figgis I thought.

Paul Hamlyn Hall by Amelia Gregory

Paul Hamlyn Hall by Amelia Gregory

It was independent film maker Emily James and her two guests, who almost managed to stir the reserved crowd. Emily is an American film-maker who was at the festival to present her film Just Do It. It was actually reviewed by Amelia for this blog back in July 2011 – a great review, which you should go and read here. The film charts three years in the environmental activism scene, focussing on protest groups such as Climate Camp and Plane Stupid. Emily follows a number of activists with her camera, as they show up at places like power stations, bank headquarters, and with no exceptions, films the direct action that takes place. Emily’s documentary provides a refreshing change from the mainstream media’s representation of the activity of these groups, which is often negative and has a habit of portraying the activists as trouble-makers.

The star of the film is Marina Pepper, a passionate ex-journalist who now devotes her life to rallying. In the film she dwells on what she does, and asks, ‘will this really make any difference?’. Cue long pause. She admits that it probably won’t, but she has attached herself to this fight, and will see it through. Marina was one of Emily’s guests, alongside Leo Murray who works with Plane Stupid, who were the group behind the closures of Stansted and Manchester airports a few years ago. It was a shame that feisty Marina faced a timid crowd when she tried to initiate a discussion about the Dale Farm issue. ‘Who here doesn’t like travellers?‘ she bellowed into the crowd. I felt a small achievement was made when Marina did manage to rouse the inner activists with some of the crowd members. She reminded us all that the environmentalist’s bane, oil company BP were the sponsors of the Royal Opera House.

It was a thought-provoking and intelligent part of the day. I felt I’d been given a lot of information that honestly, I hadn’t really been prepared for. Amelia’s Magazine has blogged extensively about activism, and specifically about groups such as Climate Camp. After coming home from the festival, and preparing to write this review, I took some time out to read these previous articles. One article which particularly stood out for me was by Adam S – his account of when over 1000 protestors stood their ground at the Ratcliffe-On-Soar power station. If like me, your not familiar with the good work of these people, go read one of Amelia’s fantastic and energetic articles here.

Dress Display by Amelia Gregory

Dress Display by Amelia Gregory

Alber Elbaz, the creative director at Lanvin, delivered Saturday’s highlight. No-one in Camp Deloitte had anticipated that Alber’s talk would bring in the masses. Due to an impromptu room change (Alber preferred the opulence and beauty of the intimate Crush Cinema Room) not everyone could fit in, and so he agreed to do the talk twice. He instantly won us over when he interrupted co-host Alice Rawsthorn as she mentioned his short lived career at YSL to add that yes, he had been fired. What touched me was the story of how he found his purpose at Lanvin. He had heard from a friend in New York, who was going to see her ‘arsehole husband‘ to sign their divorce. She messaged him, ‘Alber, I’m wearing Lanvin and I feel so protected‘. The idea that he could create this feeling from something as fine as silk is what propels him today.

Dress by Claire Kearns

Dress by Claire Kearns

The cinema room showing interviews from the likes of David Lynch and John Berger were interesting, but I found it difficult to concentrate with people constantly coming and going. I enjoyed it much more in the main hall, sat at a table and engaged with the speakers. This was the playground to several dancers who were performing for both 8 hour days – the young girl in red, continuously twirling on a raised block became a point of conversation for visitors and speakers.

Peter Blake by Amelia Gregory

Peter Blake by Amelia Gregory

On Sunday I enjoyed a cosy afternoon with national treasures, artist Peter Blake, and newsreader Jon Snow. Peter studied at the RCA, and is best known for the album artwork for the Beatle’s Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Peter was genuinely lovely. I felt like I could listen to him and his stories for hours. He was honest to admit that his printed work has made him more financially secure in the last two years than he has ever been before.

Jon Snow and Mike Figgis by Amelia Gregory

Jon Snow and Mike Figgis by Amelia Gregory

Jon Snow was last on the bill. He brilliantly handled a question from the audience about the representation of Palestine in the news. He pondered whether the situation would be as bad as it is now if they had covered the story properly – probably not, he said honestly. He also spoke about the fall of print, and the rise of online media, ‘We’re travelling into the golden age of journalism…democratised information‘, he said after admitting that he frequently goes an entire day without touching a newspaper. He finished with an emotive speech, that highlighted how highly individual we have all become, and how we desperately need something that we have lost, a sense of community. He received a huge applause.

Red Dancer on Podium by Amelia Gregory

Red Dancer on Podium by Amelia Gregory

Only one word can describe the finale, and that is ‘spectacle’. Mike transformed from curator to director, of a sort of hotchpotch avant-garde orchestra. The People Band took one side of the stage, and the Opera House orchestra on the other. They were joined by saxophonist Peter King, Rosey Chan on the piano, the weird but wonderful Feral Choir, and the magnificent flamenco dancer Eva Yerbabuena. She crept on to the centre of the floor dressed all in black, and gave a stand out performance.

I felt like I’d been on an a funny sort of emotional rollercoaster with Mike Figgis this weekend – laughing with him, but quickly annoyed with his eye rolls and name calling. At the end, I saw someone congratulate and thank him. He was speechless, and it was at this point that I liked him best, and I thought, well done Mike, well done Deloitte. I’ll be back next year.

Categories ,Alber Elbaz, ,Alice Rawsthorn, ,Beatle’s Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, ,Climate Camp, ,Crush Cinema Room, ,Deloitte Ignite, ,Emily James, ,Hans Ulrich Obrist, ,Jon Snow, ,Lanvin, ,Marina Pepper, ,Mike Figgis, ,Peter Blake, ,Plane Stupid, ,Ratcliffe On Soar, ,rca, ,Royal Opera House

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