Amelia’s Magazine | I wanna be in their gang

Having spearheaded the new London folk scene with their debut album, there medical Noah and the Whale are back with their hands full up, releasing a new single, album and film out this summer. We talk school plays, Daisy Lowe, weddings, gardening, Werner Herzog in the studio with the effortlessly charming frontman, Charlie Fink.

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Photos by Katie Weatherall

Amelia’s Mag: You’ve got a whole host of new releases coming up – single, album, film – how are you feeling about it all, happy/nervous/excited?

Charlie Fink: All of the above… I dunno, we did the album so long ago… From the last album, I realised the only satisfying feeling you’re going to get is the feeling you get when you’ve finished it and you think it’s good, that’s the best it gets. Reading a review of somebody else saying it’s good is good to show off to your mum, but it doesn’t really mean anything. Likewise, if there’s something you believe in and someone says it’s bad, you’re still going to believe in it.

AM: And the live shows must add another dimension to that?

CF: Yeah. What I’m excited about really is that this record realises us as a band more than the previous one. So that’s going to be really exciting to go out and play that live to people.

AM: And is there anything in particular that has done this or has it been the natural progression of the band?

CF: It’s a million small things, from us playing together more, us growing up, learning our trade a bit better, from what happens in lives and the records you listen to. I very much try to rely as much as I can on instinct and satisfying myself. And this is not a selfish thing because the only way you can supply something worthwhile to somebody else, is if you’re totally satisfied with it yourself. Doing the right things for us and hoping that’ll transfer to the audience.

AM: Was there anything in particular you were listening to whilst making the record?

CF: The things I’m listening to now are different from the things I was listening to when I wrote the record. When I first started the record, I was listening to ‘Spirit of Eden’ by Talk Talk, which is a different sounding record to what we did. Nick Cave, lots by Wilco

AM: So tell me about the film, ‘The First Days Of Spring’, that accompanies the album (of the same name)… which came first?

CF: The first thing was the idea of a film where the background and the pace was defined by an album. But it totally overtook my whole life. It’s one of those things you start for a certain reason and then you keep going for different reasons. The inspiration was sort of how people don’t really listen to albums anymore, they listen to songs. We wanted to try making an all emersive record where the film puts people into it. We’re not dictating that this should be the only way people listen to music, we just wanted to offer something alternative. On a lot of records these days, you don’t feel like the unity of the album gives it more strength than each individual song. Whereas with this record, the whole thing is worth more than the individual parts. That’s how I see it anyway.

The First Days Of Spring Teaser from charlie fink on Vimeo.

There’s this quote from I think W. G. Collingwood that says, ‘art is dead, amusement is all that’s left.’ I like the idea that this project, in the best possible way, is commercially and in lots of other ways pointless. It’s a length that doesn’t exist. It’s not a short film or a feature, it’s 15 minutes and the nature of it is that it’s entirely led by its soundtrack. It’s created for the sake of becoming something that I thought was beautiful.

AM: And Daisy Lowe stars in it, how was that?

CF: She’s an incredibly nice and intelligent person. I met with her in New York when we were mixing the album and I told her I was doing this film… She was immediately interested. And her gave her the record as one whole track which is how I originally wanted it to be released. Just one track on iTunes that had to be listened to as a whole and not just dipped into. She sent me an email two weeks later, because she’s obviously a very busy person. With her listening to the album, a kind of live feed of what she thought of it. Making a film and having her was really good because she kept me motivated and passionate. She genuinely really took to this project. The whole cast as well, everyone really supported it and it was a pleasure to make. I had to fight to get it made and understood. It’s one of those things that people either passionately disagree with or agree with. From thinking it’s absurdly pretentious or beautiful. Fortunately all the people working on the film were passionate people.

AM: So is film making something you want to continue with?

CF: Yeah, definitely! At some point I’d like to make a more conventional film. The thing that really stuck with me about making a film was surround sound. When you’re mixing a film, you’re mixing the sound in surround because you’re mixing for cinemas. You realise the potential of having five speakers around you as opposed to just two in front of you. The complexity of what you can do is vast. So I’d love to something with that. If you record in surround sound you need to hear it in surround sound, so maybe some kind of installation… Then another film after that…

AM: You’ve been put into a folk bracket with your first album, is that something you’re ok with?

CF: I like folk music, I listen to folk music but then every folk artist I like denies they’re folk. It’s one of those things, it doesn’t really matter. We played last year at the Cambridge Folk Festival and I felt really proud to be a part of that. It’s a real music lovers festival. That was a really proud moment so I can’t be that bothered.

AM: I recently sang your first single, ‘5 Years Time’, at a wedding, do you ever imagine the direction your songs may go after you write them?

CF: Wow. That’s really funny. I’ve had a few stories like that actually. It’s touching but it’s not what I’d imagine.

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AM: Do you write songs in that way? Some bands set out to write a love song, dance song etc…

CF: I can’t really remember how I write… I was writing last night but… do you drive?

AM: I just recently failed my test.

CF: Perfect! Well, you know when you start driving you have to think through everything – put my foot on the clutch, take it off the clutch etc. Then when you’ve been doing it a while, you just do all those things without even knowing you’ve done them. That’s how it feels with songwriting, I can’t really remember doing it. It just happens how it happens. Or like gardening… you’ve just gotta chop through and it’ll come.

AM: Is being in a band everything you imagined it to be?

CF: For me it’s more about being creative. I do some production for people, the band, the writing and now the film. I just love what I do and just keep doing it. I follow it wherever it goes. The capacity I have for doing what I do is enough to make it feel precious.

AM: So are there any untapped creative pursuits left for you?

CF: At the moment what I’m doing feels right. I never had any ambitions to paint. I don’t have that skill. I think film and music have always been the two things that have touched me the most.

AM: So how about acting?

CF: I did once at school when I was 13. I played the chancellor in a play the teacher wrote called ‘Suspense and a Dragon Called Norris.’ Which had rapturous reactions from my mum. I don’t think I could do that either. When you direct though you need to understand how acting works. It’s a really fascinating thing but I don’t I’d be any good at it.

AM: Do you prefer the full creative potential a director has?

CF: The best directors are the ones that build a character. Building a character is as important as understanding it. It needs major input from both the director and the actor. You can’t just give an actor the script and expect it to be exactly right. You need to be there to create the little details. The way they eat, the way they smoke… That’s an important skill.

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At this point, Charlie asks me about a note I’d made on my reporter’s pad, which was actually a reminder about a friend’s birthday present. Which draws the conservation to a close as we recite our favourite Werner Herzog films. Turns out, he shares the same taste in film directors as my friend.

Monday 24th August
Mumford and Sons
The Borderline, more about London

UK’s answer to Fleet Foxes, online Mumford and Sons, visit this celebrate their music video to the first single off their debut album in North London tonight.

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Tuesday 25th August
Wilco
The Troxy, London

If Charlie from Noah and the Whale tells us he likes Wilco, then we like Wilco. It’s as simple as that. It’s time to get educated.

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Wednesday 26th August
The Hot Rats
The Old Blue Last, London

Otherwise known as half of Supergrass plus hot shot Radiohead producer, The Hot Rats get their kicks taking pop classics by, amongst others, The Beatles and The Kinks and infusing their own alt-rock psychedelica – worth a gander.

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Thursday 27th August
KILL IT KID
Madam Jo Jos, London

Their blend of durge blues, barndance and freestyle frenzy jazz blues make KILL IT KID a gem to behold in a live setting.

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Friday 28th August
Swanton Bombs
Old Blue Last, London

If you like your indie adorned in Mod and brimming with angularity, then Swanton Bombs will be pushing the trigger on your buttons.

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Saturday 29th August
South East in East Festival – Teenagers In Tokyo, Tronik Youth, Ali Love, Publicist
Vibe Bar, London

It’s all about South East London – full stop. In this cunning event, it up sticks to East London, where synth-pop Gossip descendents, Teenagers In Tokyo headline a night of New X Rave.

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Sunday 30th August
The Gladstone Open Mic Night
The Gladstone, London

As it’s Bank Holiday Weekend and all the bands are at Reading/Leeds Festival, London is starved of big gigs. No fear, The Glad is here – A little known drinking hole in Borough that continually serves up a plethora of folkey talent… and pies!

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Sunderland born designer Rosie Upright is truly passionate about design. Aren’t we all I hear you say? Well, health she’s up, recipe all hours, medical day or night… cutting away with her trusty stanley knife… stopping only when her numb fingertips plead for rest. Do your fingertips bleed? I thought not! Rosie developed her unique hand-crafted techniques whilst at university in Epsom, where she learnt all the usual computer design programs… and then decided to steer clear of them. She’s fled the suburbs of Epsom now, to live in London town with all the other hopeful new freelancers. She spends her days photographing, drawing, organising balls of string… and deciding what hat to wear.
We caught up with Rosie for a little chat…

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Hi, how are you today?

I’ve got a bit of a sore throat coming on, the irritating children over the road are noisily playing some kind of shooting game, a car is beeping its horn continuously just below my window, itunes is refusing to play anything other than Billy Idol (which I’m not in the mood for), my coloured ink cartridge has just ran out, I’ve got a blister from my favourite pink shoes, an uninvited wasp is stuck in my blinds, my ginger hair has faded to a weird brown, I forgot to buy milk and Ronnie Mitchell is still crying on Eastenders – but apart from that I’m topper thanks.

What have you been up to lately?

Fingers in pies, fingers in pies!
Including…cross-stitch and a week in a cottage in Norfolk (no telephone signal or internet connection, bloody lovely!)

Which artists or illustrators do you most admire?

I don’t think I would have done a degree in graphic design if my ever-encouraging parents hadn’t taken me to a Peter Saville exhibition at the Urbis in Manchester many moons ago. Made me see the ideas process at its very best and the crucial-ness (that’s not even a word!) of initial doodles and sketchbooks.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Where would any of us be if it weren’t for Dr Seuss?
I really love a bit of Russian Constructivism, in particular Alexander Rodchenko and Varvara Stepanova, bloody genius.
Mr Vaughan Oliver, for making us all think differently about where to crop the image, for being an ongoing influence and for that opportunity.
Harry Beck, Robert Doisneau and most recently Philippe Petit.

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If we visited you in your hometown, where would you take us?

Stroll down to Seaburn beach because when you don’t live next to the sea anymore you really miss it, and it has really nice sand. Then to my very best friend Sarah Bowman’s house, to play with Peggy Sue the kitten, have mental vegetarian sandwiches off a cake stand, and a glass of red wine, ice cubes and coke. We should pop to an art shop in Darlington and then to The Borough, the best pub for tunes, a pint of cider and a Jaeger bomb.

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Who would most love to collaborate with creatively?

Mike Perry and YES art studio please. Thank you.

When did you realise you had creative talent?

When some hippy artist came into my junior school to create banners for some event at the local library with us. I was told after five minutes of colouring it in that I had to go away and read because I couldn’t keep within the lines.

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If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

A teenage Mam or an actress, haven’t decided which yet.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

I’d like to be the designer than graphic design students hate because their tutors always tell them to get their book out of the Uni library. And I’d quite like to have my own shop in London, Brighton or maybe Newcastle (or all three, and maybe Paris then if we’re going crazy) selling things made by me!

What advice would you give up and coming artists such as yourself?

Take other peoples advice but make your own mistakes, don’t be a dick and always colour outside of the lines.

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How would you describe your art in five words?

Hand made/ typography/ narrative/ personal/ I’d like to say idiosyncratic too but don’t want to sound like a twat.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Seeing people fall over.
(and cake)

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If you could time travel back or forward to any era, where would you go?

It was horrific enough moving away to University and into London and trying to find a job and start my life up. I think if I had to go backward or forward to another era I would probably just straight up die. Having said that though I would like to be a highwayman’s assistant.

Tell us something about Rosie Upright that we didn’t know already.

I can’t wait till I’m an old lady so I can wear those lacy nighties from Marks & Sparks and I love animals in clothes.

What are you up to next?

Going to make a cuppa tea, kill this wasp and then take over the world.
While most of us at the tender age of 19 rooted our existence in smacking down vodka jelly shots at the bar with kebabs at four in the morning and the Hollyoaks omnibus on a Sunday, pilule some people, of course, are born to shine in different ways. Take, for instance, London College of Fashion student Millie Cockton, somebody who has already had their work featured in a shoot for Dazed and Confused, styled by Robbie Spencer.

As a lover of clean lines and beautiful silhouettes, Millie looks for the wearer to bring their own identity to her gender non-specific pieces. At the moment under new label Euphemia, with her AW09/10 about to be stocked in London boutique and gallery space Digitaria, after being chosen to be the first guest designer at the Soho store. Check out the Dazed piece to see some brilliant Shakespearian-style ruffs that Millie has also created working with paper (a material proving popular as with Petra Storrs, who I featured last week).

Each to their own, mind you. I could totally do all that, if I wanted to.

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At the age of 19 you’ve already received quite a lot of attention – how has that been?

It’s been great so far! It’s very flattering but its also very daunting! I am on a constant learning curve and my work is developing all the time so although the attention is great it creates a lot of pressure!

Describe your design aesthetic in three words.

Clean, sculptural, understated.

Who do you see wearing your designs? Are they reflective of your own personality?

I like to think of a real mixture of people wearing my designs. I love the way that the same garment can look completely different on different people- for me its all about the individual and how they carry themselves, bringing their own identity to the piece.

I don’t think that my designs are necessarily a true representation of my personality and personal style. I feel that my designs are more of a reflection of the aesthetic that i find desirable and aspirational.

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Thinking about the ruffs featured in Dazed, people have touched on the theatrical nature of your designs – is the idea of performance important to you in fashion?

The idea of performance within fashion is something that interests me but I wouldn’t say that it’s a key element within my own designs. I like the notion of a performative element within a piece or a collection as i think that it helps gain a further understanding and insight of the designers thought process and inspiration.

What else do you respond to?

I am constantly discovering new sources of inspiration, being so young I know that I still have so much to learn!

Who are your fashion icons?

Yves Saint Laurent, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Jones.

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Is craft something else you’re interested in too?

I like to use elements of craft within my designs, such as origami style folding. Craft elements can add interesting details to simple pieces.

What are your plans for the future? Who would you like to work for?

I am about to launch my new collection which will be stocked in Digitaria, recently opened on Berwick St, Soho. I have just started to work with Digitaria’s creative director , Stavros Karelis and stylist Paul Joyce on some future projects which are really exciting and I am thoroughly enjoying. I want to continue learning and developing my ideas, challenging myself and most importantly keep having fun!

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‘Having fun’ of course might well translate to ‘becoming future fashion empress of the galaxy’. This is a talent to watch out for.

Photographs:George Mavrikos
Styling: Paul Joyce
Model: Antonia @ FM models

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Image by Mia Overgaard

The Camp for Climate Action 2009 is almost upon us – now’s the time to gather ourselves and prepare to swoop. Convinced that the response to climate change needs more? Ready to share skills, stomach knowledge and experiences? To be part of the grassroots swell of people demanding a difference? To get out there and do something?

Climate Camp is for you.

Be ready next Wednesday, 12th August, from noon, in London. We’re going to swoop on the camp location together. The more people the better. Secret until the last moment, you can sign up for text alerts and join one of the groups meeting scattered about central London before moving together to the camp.

Why Camp? We can all meet each other and learn stuff – reason enough? – I mean, an enormous, public, activist-friendly child-friendly student-friendly climate-friendly gathering with an ambitious and well-prepared programme of workshops covering all things from Tai Chi for those of us up early enough, through histories student activism, DIY radio, pedal-powered sound systems, legal briefings, stepping into direct action, singing, dancing, jumping and waving.

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Why London? Climate Campers have listed ten reasons to focus on London – right up the top of that list is : tall buildings and low flood plains. London is big corporate central, the City square mile itself accounting for a huge proportion of the UK economy, that FTSE100-flavoured slice of barely accountable, shareholder driven pie. And yet, as the Thames Barrier should always remind us, the whole city sits low on the ground. Just check out what the centre looks like with a few metres rise in sea level.

So what’s first? The Climate Camp Benefit party/shindig/jamboree/palooza/knee’s-up/gala ball/discotheque/rave/soiree at RampART, 9pm-3am this Friday 21st August. Consisting of fun/revelry/ribaldry/tomfoolery/jocularity/jive/merriment/high kinks, low jinks, jinks of all stature/cheer/gambol/horseplay & frolic. With bands & DJ’s including Rob the Rub & Sarah Bear & those amazing skiffle kids ‘The Severed Limb’. That’s at:

9pm-3am
rampART, 15 -17 Rampart Street,
London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd)
Donations on the door much appreciated (and needed!) – all going straight to Climate Camp

And then? The Swoop – Night Before – Londoners and out-of-town visitors are welcome to ‘the night before the swoop’ – near the bandstand in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, 7-8.30pm, Tuesday 25th August – for any last minute info, a legal briefing and an opportunity to join an affinity group and get excited. Lincoln’s Inn Fields is just behind Holborn tube station – this map here might help.

Awesome. See you soon.

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Ctrl.Alt.Shift dropped us a line to let us know about a comics-making competition so get your promarkers and layout pads at the ready. Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmarks Corruption is giving you the opportunity to design a unique comic style story. Ctrl.Alt.Shift is the experimental youth initiative politicising a new generation of activists for social justice and global change. The competition hopes to raise awareness of the Ctrl.Alt.Shift and Lightspeed Champion goals and views by inspiring this generation of designers to work together.

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Oscar nominated Marjane Satrapi, medical V V Brown and Lightspeed Champion are amongst the judges for the Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption competition launched today. Corruption is both a cause of poverty, and a barrier to overcoming it. It is one of the most serious obstacles to eradicate.

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Entrants to the competition will be in with the chance to create a unique comic style story in collaboration with acclaimed musician and writer Dev Hynes aka Lightspeed Champion. After the first round of judging at the end of September, shortlisted entrants will be given Lightspeed Champion’s comic script as inspiration and asked to create a visual adaptation of the story.

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The winning commission will be published in a comic alongside new work exploring the issue of Corruption by some of comic’s greatest talents. The work will also be showcased as part of a new exhibition, Ctrl.Alt.Shift Unmasks Corruption, later this year at Lazarides Gallery, Soho.
To enter the competition please send relevant examples of your visual work along with your contact details to Ctrl.Alt.Shift by Friday 25th September by visiting www.ctrlaltshift.co.uk/unmaskscorruption.

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Five short listed artists will then be given a comic brief to respond to and a winner chosen by a panel of judges including: Marjane Satrapi (Writer and Director of Academy Award Nominated Animated Film Persepolis) Paul Gravett (Comica founder), V V Brown and David Allain (Musician and Comic Book Writer/Artist duo), Lightspeed Champion and Ctrl.Alt.Shift.

The competition is restricted to UK Residents only
For further information about the competition please contact John Doe on 020 7749 7530 or Hannah@johndoehub.com / Jo.bartlett@johndoehub.com
Brooke Roberts is my favourite new designer. Why? Well, more about after exchanging several emails with her over the last few weeks, for sale for a young designer making such waves in the industry, her witty and playful personality has impressed even via my inbox! Having worked with such characters such as Louise Goldin and Giles, her avant- garde aesthetic really shines through in her highly tailored and retro-feel designs. Miss Roberts is going places, and she’s more than willing to take us along with her!

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What made you want to be a designer? What’s your design background?

I’m definitely not one of those designers who always knew that’s what they wanted to do. I did a degree in Applied Science at Sydney University (I’m from Australia) and worked as a radiographer for a year before moving to London to find out what I wanted to do. I did some work as a stylist with a fashion photographer (random hook-up). I knew his girlfriend and she knew my massive extensive collection of vintage clothes and shoes. My mum had a boutique when I was growing up and I loved clothes – I just never knew it was going to be my career.

I did a few jobs in London (pub, bank – more randomness) before realising I wanted to study fashion. I went to London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins (graduated 2005) wanting to be a pattern-cutter or tailor. I really wanted to create, rather than design. I get most satisfaction from making beautiful things and being involved in the whole process. I have a close working relationship with my suppliers, and go to the factories to develop my garments. I cut them all myself, which is probably bordering on control freakery, but I feel it shows in the final product and I can realise my designs exactly as I imagine them.

I’m waffling. I worked for Giles for two seasons after I left Uni, and started with Louise Goldin when she launched her label. We worked together for three years (until last October when I launched my label).

What are your inspirations for your collections?

I get lots of inspiration from my radiography job (I do that part-time to fund my label). So I’m running between the hospital and my studio all the time. I have used CT (cat) brain scans this season to create knit fabrics and digital prints. My obsession with reptile skins never seems to go away, and I have worked with Anwen Jenkins (awesome print designer) to create skull slice python skin prints. Basically, the python scales are replaced with multi-dimensional skull slices.

Apart from that, I research at museums and LCF Library. This season went to the British Museum and discovered Yoruba sculpture and traditional costumes. I researched these for silhouette and style lines. I also looked at Niger garments. They’re beautifully colourful, vibrant and flamboyant.

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What are your favourite pieces from your latest collection?

Umm. I wear the cat suit most. I actually met my boyfriend the first time I wore it. So I’m renaming it Lucky cat suit. I also love the Flex jacket in red snakeskin. The razor sharp points make me feel like I am ready for world domination!

What was it like working with Giles Deacon and Louise Goldin? What did you learn from them?

I learnt that I hate taking orders from others! I’m really not one to toe-the-line. I am a perfectionist and this drives other people mad sometimes. I was a pattern-cutter at Giles, doing mostly tailoring, which suited me fine. Most people wanted to do the showpieces, but I was most happy cutting jackets. Giles is a really lovely bloke. Working with him was really my first experience of doing shows and the pressure and stress of getting everything done.

With Louise, my job was broader because in the beginning it was just the two of us. I learnt so much, I can’t even write it down. I worked in the London studio and the knitwear factory in Italy. I had the opportunity to learn knitwear programming, selecting yarns and cutting and constructing knit. I still work in the factory for my own label and really love it. The other big thing was learning about running a business and starting from scratch. The hoops you have to jump through, the process of getting sponsorship, doing shows, sales and production… It’s a massive undertaking starting your own label. And I still chose to do it! Bonkers.

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Who do you think are the most important designers of your generation?

Hmm. Well, I like the work of Tina Kalivas and Gareth Pugh. If we’re talking most important, it has to be Gareth.

I’m really a lover of 80′s and 90′s designers. I find the work of Gianni Versace, Thierry Mugler and Rifat Ozbek most relevant to my style and most exciting.

What do you think are the problems facing young designers at the moment?

The biggest problems are funding and dealing with suppliers, particularly for production. Creating a beautiful product that you can reproduce is actually really difficult! You need to understand the technicalities of fabrics and construction (or hire someone who does) otherwise it all goes wrong.

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What’s next for Brooke Roberts?

In fantasy land, what’s next for Brooke Roberts is a holiday. In reality, I’m working hard on marketing and sales for London Fashion Week. I’m collaborating with jewellery designer Chris Edwards and shoe and bag designer Laura Villasenin on side projects for the label. Look out for skull slice stacked rings and metal bone-fixation embellished super-soft bags for SS10!!

Find Brooke stocked at the King and Queen of Bethnal Green.

Not slim tomatoes, viagra dosage narrow cucumbers or squashed, um, squashes – no, we’re talking about digging for victory in our own meagre abodes. With allotment waiting lists stretching beyond a century in Hackney and not many of us owning the half-county some how-to books seem to assume, options on grow-your-own approaches might look limited. But before you get the howling fantods at the piling impossibilities. As those of you who read the Amelia’s Magazine review of Growing Stuff (an Alternative Guide to Gardening) will know well, even the meagrest city apartment can burst forth in cornucopic life.

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Illustrations by Maxime Francout

And but so then it seems the thing to do is simply to get a pack of seeds and a container and get growing, no hesitation about it. If a brief pause in favour of screenreading sounds like it could lead to better inspiration, I entreat you, read on. There’s a glut of blogs and enthusiasts all over the place to speak to or read up upon. Here are just a few of our favourites.

Life on the Balcony tells Fern Richardson’s encounters with gardens small and smaller, great for fresh faces and old hands alike, with an awesome friendly dirt cheap ways to garden.

Carrie, of Concrete Gardening blogging fame (true in a juster world), digs organic urban gardening, and has gotten into gardening without the erm, garden, since buying a house in the city (Philadelphia) and sees all the possibilities of planting up, sideways and over – just recently blogging about taking things to the next level and climbing up on her roof to plant out veggies, seedlings to sit and soak up sun.

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Herbs and Dragonflies is written by a group set up by Kathy Marshall back in 2008 for the Pudsey Carnival and have been creatively, craftily planting since, encouraging others to get their green fingers dirty – doing activities with children and volunteering about the place. Most recently, they encouraged us blog-readers to leave the comfort of plastic planters and terracotta pots – most anything can sit with some soil in it. They suggest novelty Cadbury’s Fingers tins, I’ve used fancy jamjars, and seen anything from skips to wellington boots enlisted in the service of greenery.

Emma Cooper (I’m cribbing now from the ‘Growing Stuff’ contributor biogs page) lives in Oxfordshire with two pet chickens – Hen Solo and Princess Layer – and six compost bins. She has written an ‘Alternative A-Z of Kitchen Gardening’, which Karen Cannard The Rubbish Diet reckons is ‘an inspirational tour of an edible garden that can be recreated in the smallest of backyards. An essential guide for a new generation of gardeners who are keen to join the kitchen garden revolution.’And she blogs about anything from compost to pod plants to the future of food…

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Madeleine Giddens loves herbs, which I guess you’d guess from the name of her blog – Mad About Herbs. But there’s nothing off the wall about any of it, she’s plunged into an obsession and come out smelling of roses and lavender, buzzing about bees too, recently, and their favourite flowers.

So there you have it, just a few spots and pointers. Good evening, and wishes for a fruitful weekend from Amelia’s Magazine.
The Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS. Formally known with pride as the “oil and gas bank” due to their close alliance with the fossil fuel industries. What on earth would I have to do with them? They may have lost the unfortunate moniker, treat partly due to a hugely successful campaign by People and Planet student activists who launched a spoof ad campaign and website named the Oyal Bank of Scotland before delivering a host of greenwashing awards – but they’re certainly not due for any special ethical mentions yet.

Not yet.

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There was of course a massive £33 billion bank bailout from the taxpayer for RBS last year. But RBS didn’t spend the money on anything worthwhile. Oh no, the truth is that RBS still has oily blackened hands. Most people will remember the Fred Goodwin debacle, he who managed to retire at the age of 50 on a £16 million pension funded by taxpayers. But that’s not the whole of it – since the bailout some of our money has been used to arrange loans for the fossil fuel industries worth a staggering £10 billion, including a substantial sum for E.ON, the company that wants to build a new coal fired power station at Kingsnorth. Despite the best efforts of activists –  there was an impromptu snowball fight during the winter, Climate Rush held a luncheon dance and Climate Camp set up camp down the road at BishopsgateRBS continues to invest in unsustainable resources.

But the good news is there is hope for change!

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As I’ve got more and more involved with activism I’ve got to know members of PLATFORM, who together with People and Planet and the World Development Movement have launched a legal challenge against our government to make sure that public money used for bailouts is put towards building sustainability. PLATFORM is an organisation that combines art with activism, research and campaigning, so in many ways we are perfect partners and I was really excited when they recently approached me to collaborate on an exciting new project at the Arnolfini gallery in Bristol.

As part of a wider festival named 100 Days, PLATFORM will be co-producing over 50 events, installations, performances, actions, walks, discussions and skill shares over a period of two months. This season is called “C words: Carbon, Climate, Capital, Culture” and is intended to highlight what needs to be done to change the world in the run-up to the incredibly important (but unlikely to solve anything) COP 15 conference (think Kyoto 2 – it failed first time around so why would it succeed now?) in Copenhagen in December.

Your part in this audacious experiment?

We’re going to re-envision RBS as a bastion of sustainability – the Royal Bank of Sustainability in fact. And it will be down to you to create the artwork… once more I will be running one of my becoming-somewhat-regular open briefs. We would like you to submit either a logo or a poster (or both) that will suggest a swing in the direction of all things sustainable in the most imaginative way possible. Around ten of the best artworks will be shown for a week at the prestigious Arnolfini gallery in Bristol as part of the whole shebang, culminating with a public judging and prize-giving overseen by yours truly and helped out by the folk at PLATFORM and no less than the Marketing Manager of the Arnolfini, Rob Webster, and Fiona Hamilton of Soma Gallery (Bristol), a woman with great taste in the arts who runs a cult art shop that has been a long standing supplier of my print magazine. We might even invite someone powerful from RBS! (invite being the operative word) After the event PLATFORM will profile you on their website with links to yours, and prior to the actual event I’ll be posting the best entries onto my website – one good reason to get your artwork in as quickly as possible.

If you are interested read on:

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What you need to know:

Ideas:
Yeah yeah – we all know wind turbines are great news and polar bears are having a terrible time, but for this brief we’d like you to think a bit outside the box. We’ll be looking for the most refreshing ways of thinking about how we can live in the most sustainable way possible, and most importantly how RBS could play a possible role in aiding this transition to a low carbon world. Don’t forget that we, the taxpayers, own 70% of RBS – why not make it into the people’s bank? You should make clear in your chosen design the re-imagining of the old RBS into the new. Instead of investing in carbon-intensive industries the new RBS will serve the public interest by investing only in socially conscious, ethically driven, and environmentally sound projects.

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Style:
Think serious or earnest, kitsch or ironic, warm and fluffy, abstract or illustrative; whatever best communicates the concept and appeals to the broader public, the press and perhaps even people in government. It should engage and inspire. You can collage photography on your computer or paint with your fingers and toes – what matters is the outcome. We want to see imagery that speaks of something new, radical and POSSIBLE. Think positive social force. We love the Obama image that was used in the run up to his election – the reworking of his image in a simple pop art style somehow speaks volumes about new, positive change – and has fast become an iconic piece of graphic design, so we thought we’d use it here to demonstrate that you don’t have to be too literal in your interpretation of the brief to create a successful image. If you choose to create a poster remember that it could be made as an advert.

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Technical specifications:
your image should be created to these sizes and scannable or put together on a computer:
A1 for the poster.
A2 or squared off A2 for the logo.
Please send me a lo resolution version but make sure you work to these sizes. We will arrange for the printing of your image should it be chosen.

Deadline:
We need your submissions to reach me by Monday 2nd November. Please send lo res versions of your design to info@ameliasmagazine.com

Future projects:
Please bear in mind that if we really love your work we might want to use it in further literature and exhibitions. Just think, your work really could persuade RBS to change course at a pivotal point in our history. What a fabulous idea!

Join the facebook event here to stay in touch with updates
And join the “Stop RBS using public money to finance climate change” facebook group here

Below is a list of links you might want to peruse for inspiration:

PLATFORM’s website
Transition Towns
Centre for Alternative Technology
Zero Carbon Britain
Post Carbon Institute
the Oyal Bank of Scotland
Capitalists Anonymous
Britain Unplugged
Climate Friendly Banking
Banca Etica
GLS Bank

Get scribbling folks! Any queries please contact me directly via email rather than on the comments below.
If you have been to a UK festival in the last few years, pharm chances are that at some point you found yourself dancing in the OneTaste tent. Having residency at Glastonbury, sickness Big Chill and Secret Garden Party to name but a mere few, OneTaste have acquired a devoted fan base of festival goers who want a guarantee that when they walk into a tent they will get the following components; top quality live music, an high-spirited and friendly crowd, and twenty four hour revelry.

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OneTaste in Hyde Park, London

Yet their festival appearances are just one aspect of the multifaceted music troupe. When they are appearing at say, SGP or Glasto, they perform as a collective of musicians, poets and artists who, for many of the festivals, break bread and share space with Chai Wallahs. When they put on events in Greater London and Brighton, (where every night is different from the last), their roots run deep, towards diverse and innovative singers, performers and spoken word artists. They are fiercely proud of their reputation of facilitating and nurturing emerging talent; promoting, not exploiting it, connecting with the audience and creating a true OneTaste family, both onstage and off.

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I have known of OneTaste for years, being friends with some of the artists who have performed with them. Having shamelessly utalised their tent at this years Secret Garden Party to dance, drink, chill, detox and then re-tox, I felt it was time to get to know them a little better. The perfect opportunity came at the recent OneTaste night at the Bedford in Balham which I attended recently on a balmy Thursday night. The vaudeville past of the Globe Theatre within the Bedford was an apposite setting for the style of event that OneTaste puts on. As the preparation for the evenings entertainment began in this deeply historical building, I managed to catch a quick chat with the creator of OneTaste, Dannii Evans, where we talked about the rhymes, reasons and the meaning behind this unique and innovative event.

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photograph by Kim Leng Hills

When I saw OneTaste’s excellent night in the Jazz Cafe a while back, I saw a lot of different styles of music and spoken word. What would you say is the one common thread that unites everyone?

We’ve always been trying to find out what the thread is! It is definitely not genre, we do every single style and welcome every style, probably the only genre we haven’t booked yet is heavy metal! The thing that links us all together .. (pauses)… is that everyone has got a massive social conscience; it is not always explicit, but it is implicit within a person, it’s in their art. It’s something that holds us all together, everyone at OneTaste has that in mind – that there is a bigger picture and that we need to better ourselves in everything that we do.

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Charlie Dark performs at OneTaste Bedford

How did OneTaste begin?

The OneTaste music and spoken word night, started four and a half years ago by myself, and Jamie Woon. We basically started it in order that these musicians can do something where they could get paid.

You pay the performers? That’s so rare!

Definitely. We wanted to put on a night where the quality of every single act was really high and it could be where musicians could start their career, so that was the premise. Also the concept is that the event is always half music, half spoken word.

So is it a collective, a record label, an event? I’m kind of confused!

It started off as an event, with us meeting a number of artists and acts that we got on really well and gelled with, who we took on tour around festivals, and then out of spending three months together we formed the OneTaste collective. It started becoming an artist run collective where people would help with the actual event production and then it ended with them all collaborating on material together.

Who are some of the artists involved?
Portico Quartet, Stac, Inua Ellams, Gideon Conn, Kate Tempest, Newton Faulkner, to name just a few!

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How do artists become part of OneTaste? Is it something that they can dip in and out of?

Absolutely, it’s not exclusive. It grew organically, it’s not an in or out thing – it happens more naturally than that.

Do you have to audition to get in?

To take part in the OneTaste night, either myself or someone running it have to have seen them live. Audience engagement is very important to us, to reach out and to be able to communicate with the audience is really vital. The live aspect and their live dynamic with the crowd is so important, so while they don’t audition, we do need to see how they will perform.

So it seems to have grown hugely in the last four years; Can you give me an idea of the numbers of acts that you have worked with?

In the collective, we have around 30 acts that we are currently championing, but in the last four years we have worked with around 300 artists. The audiences have grown from 40 people to 300 here at the Bedford, 500 at the Jazz Cafe, and 5,000 at the recent gig we did in Hyde Park.

How does OneTaste promote its artists?

It has always been very grass roots, we’ve never done an advert, it’s always just been people coming down and then telling their friends and from that it grew really quickly.

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Are there many of the artists signed to labels, and do you help them along their way?

We do, we give them industry advice – we develop their music, or spoken word, we try to help where we can. Some of the artists like Jamie Woon or Portico Quartet have gone on to get more media attention and they kind of carry the OneTaste name with them and still do gigs for us.

What is the direction that OneTaste is heading in?

Potentially, we might have our own venue at festivals next year, which is really exciting. We have a digital compilation coming out, the first one will be coming out in September, and eventually we may form a OneTaste record label.

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Gideon Conn performs at OneTaste Bedford.

Dannii and I continue chatting for a short while, and after this she has tasks to do. The audience is filling up, and the night is about to start. Sitting on a bench in the back with a big glass of red wine, I watch the event unfold. The performers are electric, and completely different from one another, yet equally complimentary. Most appear to be old friends, and loudly cheer each others performances. The atmosphere is infectious, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed myself so much at a gig (and it’s not because of the wine!). I’m quite au fait with the open mic nights and acoustic gigs of London, but I haven’t been to a night which is as cohesive and inclusive as OneTaste. If you want to experience it for yourself, OneTaste are easy to find. Check out their Facebook, MySpace, YouTube and Flickr for images, articles, and dates about upcoming shows, which include a September 8th gig at The Distillers in Hammersmith and 27th September at The Hanbury Club in Brighton.
This week Climate Camp 2009 swoops on London, this site aiming to pressure politicians ahead of the Copenhagen climate change summit in December. Climate Camp will achieve this by encouraging individuals to think about lifestyle changes possible both collectively and personally to prevent climate change.

Sharing these sensibilities, the French Collective Andrea Crews encourage a new life philosophy outside the corporate rat race so often associated with London and other major cities. Being introduced to the fashion/art/activist collective Andrea Crews felt like a breath of fresh air often associated with Amelia’s magazine, a long time supporter of sustainable fashion, craft, activism and individual design.

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Andrea Crews Collective express their desire for economic and social change through “the use and the reinterpretation of the second-hand garment” calling it “a social, economic and ethical choice.” A choice displayed by the sheer volume of abandoned second hand garments used throughout the catwalk shows, art exhibitions and activist events. The group criticise the relentless waste of modern consumption, fast fashion has helped to create, through visualising the stress on land fill sites around the world in their staged events. Subsequently by ignoring market pressures: mass seduction and seasonal calendars, Andrea Crews re-introduces a slower, more individual fashion culture through the processes of sorting and recycling.

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The Crews Collective march to the same tune as Climate Camp, not only by caring for the environment but in their dedication towards an alternative developed sustainable economy. Andrea Crews encourages mass involvement stating that the project “answers to a current request for creative energy and social engagement. Recycling, Salvaging, Sorting out, are civic models of behaviour we assert.” Thus the power of low-level activism or grass roots activism becomes apparent, if enough people participated with Climate Camp or The Andrea Crews Collective. The pressure on governments to look for an alternative way of living would be undeniable.

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The ever-expanding coverage of ethical, eco fashion on the internet plays testimony to the idea that the individual is changing. The Andreas Collective through their exquisite catwalks –particularly the Marevee show with the appearance of clothes mountains which the models scrambled over to reach the runway- draw attention to the powerful position regarding sustainability, fashion can occupy if it so chooses.

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All quotes and images are from the Andrea Crews website.

Categories ,activism, ,French Fashion, ,Recycled Fashion, ,Sustainable Fashion

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Amelia’s Magazine | Introducing The Rodnik Band: S/S 2012 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ Diffusion Line for ASOS

The Rodnik Band SS12 Cod Save The Sea by Helena Maratheftis

The Rodnik Band SS12 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ by Helena Maratheftis

On a fine London morning in early June – I know, hard to believe – I had the privilege of visiting the colourful studio where the witty designs by The Rodnik Band come to life to interview the man behind them, Philip Colbert. I cannot remember exactly how this brand entered my radar a couple of years ago, but I recall browsing The Rodnik Band website for the first time and feeling really excited that such fun, stimulating, cleverly filled with references – if a little inaccessible – clothes existed out there. Later, during the private view of an exhibition organised by The Stitch Project, I suddenly saw in front of me a girl wearing an exquisitely delicately sequined long gown whose main body had the shape of a fish, while chips were adorning the lower area near the floor. It was delightful. The girl was holding a banner with the slogan ‘Cod Save The Sea’.

The Rodnik Band SS12 by Miss Fay Myers

The Rodnik Band SS12 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ by Miss Fay Myers

The Rodnik Band 'Cod Save the Sea' SS12 collection

‘Cod Save The Sea’ was the theme of The Rodnik Band’s S/S 2012 collection in collaboration with the Environmental Justice Foundation and inspired by EJF’s work to end illegal ‘pirate’ fishing. The reason behind my scheduled interview was the launch of a diffusion line from this S/S 2012 Sea inspired collection for ASOS this June. This is really exciting not only because now The Rodnik Band’s refreshing designs will be available to a wider audience in a more accessible form, but also because this kind of fun, subtle activism – which I think can be very effective – will hopefully catch on.

The Rodnik Band SS12 ASOS diffusion line looks 1+2
The Rodnik Band SS12 ASOS diffusion by Helena Maratheftis

The Rodnik Band S/S12 ‘Cod Save The Sea’ diffusion line for ASOS by Helena Maratheftis

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The Rodnik Band studio 2012 Giulia wearing the 'Fashion is Activism' book dress by Phil Colbert photo by Maria Papadimitriou.jpg

During my visit I was lucky to witness the making – fittings and alterations were made in between questions – of a dress in the shape of a book which Philip Colbert was making for his appearance the next day at the Hay Festival, where he would be talking along with Safia Minney, founder of People Tree about fashion activism. Of course, visiting a studio also means that one gets to see all those behind the scenes bits, drawings and processes which I find fascinating. I particularly enjoyed seeing some drawings of funny imaginary scenarios featuring designs from the ‘Cod Save The Sea’ collection, which Philip explained he does when creating the mood for the collections, but which otherwise remain unseen.

The Rodnik Band studio 2012 'Cod Save the Sea' boat scenario sketch by Phil Colbert photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Having watched a few videos by The Rodnik Band before the interview I already had the impression that Philip Colbert was a very charming and vivacious person. Indeed this was the case and I am very grateful to him that he chatted to me in such a friendly, relaxed manner about his work, what excites him and the spirit of his brand – even if he seemed to have quite a bit of work to do… read my interview with Philip Colbert here.

The Rodnik Band studio 2012 'Cod Save the Sea' sailor sketch by Phil Colbert photo by Maria Papadimitriou

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou.

Categories ,activism, ,Alison Jackson, ,ASOS, ,Claire Jones, ,Claire Jones Art, ,Cod Save The Sea, ,Diffusion Line, ,Duchamp, ,Duchamp’s Fountain, ,EJF, ,Environmental Justice Foundation, ,fashion, ,Fay Myers, ,Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Mondrian, ,Nicola O’prey, ,People Tree, ,Performance Art, ,Philip Colbert, ,Piet Mondrian, ,Pirate Fishing, ,S/S 2012, ,Safia Minney, ,Sea, ,The Rodnik Band, ,video, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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Amelia’s Magazine | Yes Men partner with Richard Branson to save the planet

Watching their electric performance at The Garage, information pills I immediately understood why all the major music publications are getting their knickers in a twist over The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. With the recent release of their debut album, more about The Pains have quickly amassed a devoted fan base and garnered raptuous reviews for their perfectly pitched shoe gazing dream pop. If I hadn’t met them, I might have assumed that they were the sort of band who believed their own hype – and why wouldn’t they? Having sat down with Kip and Peggy earlier in the day I instantly realised that while they weren’t oblivious to the attention, they were unfettered by it. Letting the press get on with their excitable reactions, the band just want to play the music that they love.

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The new album has practically been lauded as the second coming by heavy weights like The NY Times and NME, did you expect such an immediate and positive reaction?

Peggy – Definitely not, I just think about the bands that play music like us that we have always admired, and most of them were were not that comercially well known, and not always that critically received either, so playing the kind of music we play… we didn’t have our hopes up high. But we were really happy with the record though, we really enjoyed making it, but we had no sense that anything beyond us being happy would happen. I always liked bands that I discovered on my own, I wouldn’t hear them on commercial radio or MTV.

Kip- There are a couple of bands that reached a bigger audience like Sonic Youth or Nirvana, but most of the indie pop bands of the 90′s were limited to a narrow community.

So you were expecting that the album would spread by word of mouth, and instead you were plunged straight into a media frenzy. Were you ready for this?

Peggy- It wasn’t the goal of the band. You know, “everyone is going to love us!” We were just friends that started playing music and this is the kind of music that we like and have bonded over. I think if we had set out to get commercial success we wouldn’t sound the way that we do.

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Kip- Where we come from, our backrounds in music, there is not really a strong tradition of bands expecting good things to happen. Perhaps American bands are more self depricating (laugh) but there is this built in expectation that if you do something that you love, it might not be well received by others, but you’ll be happy because you will be proud of it.

Peggy – And you’re happy with the five people that appreciated it! (laughs) I feel like I was that person that would always appreciate a certain band and I would have been totally satisfied with that kind of response for us.

Kip- Growing up, most of the bands that I liked, I didn’t know anyone else who liked them.

Did that give it a special resonance – liking a band, and knowing that no-one else knows them?

Peggy – I wouldn’t admit that…… but I secretly enjoy it!

Kip – I would have liked to have known other people who were into the same bands as me growing up. I felt quite isolated that way; I would sit at home playing computer solitaire, listening to an album over and over again, but it’s cool now that we are travelling more and meeting people who had similar backrounds.

What is the Pains’ backround?

Peggy – I’ve been in bands since I was 13, but none of them that ever went on tour. This is the first band where I’ve got to travel.

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Kip – I was in a similar situation, but none of them had graduated above playing in a basement. So this is very different from anything I’ve ever been in – one band that I was in, our goal was to play at this house we knew that had really cool house parties! (laughs)

Can you account for the reasons why the Pains have become so successful?

Kip – We started small, we were playing together for a while before anything happened, it’s easy to lose sight of that because once the album came out things changed a bit, but we were around for a couple of years and met with plenty of challenges, so it doesn’t feel to us like it is an overnight thing, but it may seem that way from an outsiders perspective. I’m grateful for the way that it turned out because it allowed us to mess up for a bit without other people watching! (laughs) We had a relatively decent period of obscurity while we refined what we do….. and also, the reason is luck!

Peggy – And being in the right place at the right time.

Peggy, Is it true that the band formed in part to play at your birthday party?

Peggy – Yes! I remember it was my birthday and I had only invited like, four people; because I only have four friends! (laughs).

Kip – It was at this big warehouse and it was basically an elaborate plot to try and get Manhattan Love Suicides to play, and so if we threw the party, we could play first and then we could say that we played with them. So we had a month to get ready.

It sounds like it was a natural way in which the band came together….

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Kip- It was the best way. If the last seven months have taught us anything; we are always together, and if there were people that didn’t get along, it would be hellish, but we were friends for a long time before we picked up an instrument. This made the whole experience fun and much less stressful then for bands who get formed by putting ads in a paper saying ‘drummer needed’.

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Peggy – The fact that we are friends and the fact that we have stayed friends is almost more lucky than anything else.

So there haven’t been any falling outs on tour then?

Peggy (emphatically) No!

Kip – This is our first experience of doing this, we don’t have a glut of expectations, we’re just appreciative of the opportunity and are excited by it all; and when you are excited and enjoying it, it’s hard to get upset about things.

Peggy – Touring can be really hard and gruelling, and I feel like if it were with any other people it would really suck, but it ends up being fun anyway.

What have been some highlights for you in the last few months?

Peggy – Playing Primavera was really amazing, that was the first big festival we ever played, and I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I don’t like crowds (laughs) so I thought, today might be weird or awkward, but it ended up being really life affirming and it was the biggest adrenalin rush ever.

Kip- ABC news showed up at our practice place to hear us play. The fellow who does the news is on TV saying (in deep, authoratative voice), “And now, a report from Brooklyn” (laughs), and him saying our band name on televsion… I sent that to my grandparents, I think that this was the moment where my family realised that even though they didn’t quite understand what was going on with us, we were doing something worthwhile.

Which country has had the best crowds at your gigs? Apart from Britain obviously!

Kip – Obviously!

Peggy – I thought Germany was really positive, we played three shows in Germany and they were really enthusiastic.

Kip – Sweden was pretty amazing, that country has a strong tradition of appreciating bands like ours and even though Swedes are normally really reserved, the enthusiasm we saw there predated even us having a record out – we had released our EP and if we had played in New York, maybe 40 people would have come, and we would know 37 of them, and then we went to Sweden and all of a sudden we were playing really big shows and I had no idea that a band like ours could find an audience like that. But most of the places that we have travelled to have been positive experiences.

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You’ve got some more touring to do, and then what do you have planned?

Kip- We have an EP coming out this fall, we recorded four songs before we went to Europe in May, and after the tour we are going back to practicing and working on the new record. But every step of the process is exciting and I try not to think too far into the future, because then you miss out on what is happening in the present.

After this I get Kip and Peggy to take part in my game of Lucky Dip, which involves picking questions out of the bag (my handbag, actually) Peggy picks the “What is the first record that you ever brought?” and proudly tells me that it was Madonna’s “Like A Prayer”, and then with less confidence, quietly adds that a purchase of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” was also made. “I was really into female performers at the time!” she cried. Kip gets the “What is on your rider?” question, and true to form, the down to earth bands requests are not unicorns, dwarfs and mounds of Class A’s, but bread, hummus, water and beer. ” We just need to make sure that we get fed around 5pm or we get a bit grumpy” Kip ventures, although I don’t think any explanation is needed when the sum contents of your rider can be placed in a Tesco’s 5 items or less basket.

“The Pains of Being Pure At Heart” is out now.
Monday 10th August

UN Climate Change Talks

The U.N. Climate Change Talks in Bonn, recipe Germany begin a series of informal intersessional consultations today. These are part of the run-up to Copenhagen in December, search and this particular series can be found webcast live here

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Illustration by Sergio Membrillas

Tuesday 11th August

The Yes Men

The Yes Men film shows the hoaxes perpetrated by two US political pranksters. The promotion team describe the film as “so stupidly entertaining” that it will reach and motivate thousands of people, this thus “adding even more juice into a movement that is trying to save civilization itself, among other modest goals.

Tuesday is the satellite event – live from Sheffield, it’s a simulcast event screening of THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD and live q&a with the Yes Men beamed via satellites from Sheffield Showroom. Cinema-goers will have the opportunity to put their questions live and direct to the film’s stars from their respective cinema locations.

20.30, at the following London cinemas:
Odeon Panton Street, Clapham Picture House, The Gate Notting Hill, Greenwich Cinema, Ritzy Brixton, Screen-on-the-Green
More cinemas on the screenings page of their website.

Wednesday 12th August

Green Spaces & Sticky Feet

A creative exploration of the nature beneath our feet as we roam around the gardens – to help us understand why green spaces are important and how we can make our buildings greener. This is a workshop for children of all ages, who must be accompanied at all times by an adult.

2.30-4.30pm
St John-at-Hackney Churchyard Gardens

Contact – The Building Exploratory – 020 7729 2011 – mail@buildingexploratory.org.uk
www.buildingexploratory.org.uk

VESTAS : National Day of Action

On Friday the 7th August the bailiffs went in and the occupation of the Vestas wind turbine plant on the Isle of Wight ended.

In response to this a National Day of Action in support of the Vestas workers and to keep the factory open, for Green Jobs and a Green Energy Revolution, was declared. There will be actions all around the country organised by a diverse range of groups.

Or contact your local CCC group, or Union – or if you want to organise something in your area there is some advice from Jonathan Neale, of the CCC Trade Union group

The campaign to Save Vestas has not finished, it has just started and with it comes a campaign for a step change in the creation of Green Jobs and the Green Energy Revolution !

6.30pm
Outside the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC)

Contact – info@campaigncc.org – savevestas.wordpress.com

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Illustration by Jeffrey Bowman

Thursday 13th August

Journey Deep Into the Heart of Remembrance

A spiritual celebration and experience, honouring our regal beauty with sacred song and dance. Dances of universal peace, Taize singing, Bhajans & Kirtan, native American sweat lodge, Zikr & Sufi practice, Breton dancing, Tibetan sound meditation, yoga, tribal dance, ancient ways of the British Isles, chant wave and more…

You can find more details www.hounslow.info

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Illustration by Faye Katirai

Saturday 15th August

Fly by Night at Totteridge Fields Nature Reserve

Let the London Wildlife Trust take you out trapping, identifying and recording moths on the Totteridge Fields Nature Reserve. Come and see how many species of moths visit the fields at night. Please wear warm clothes and sensible footwear. Bring a Torch, Notebook and pen. You may also want to bring a flask.

Free car parking in sports ground car park adjacent to the Hendon Wood Lane entrance.
Nearest tube is Totteridge & Whetstone
251 bus stops on Totteridge Common near the junction with Hendon Wood Lane.

8.30-10.30pm
Hendon wood Lane entrance to totteridge Fields Nature Reserve
Contact – Clive Cohen – 07973 825 165 – notinbooks.conservation@btinternet.com

Monday 10th August
The National at Southbank Centre, order London

The National are one of my favourite all time bands. Their music full of deep seductive murmuring and soaring strings, The National build a beautiful soundscape full of urban discontent and lost loves.

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Tuesday 11th August
Devotchka at Cargo, London

I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Devotchka have wandered straight out an Eastern European shtetl with their romani/ klezmer-tastic music. In fact they’re from Colorado and you probably recognise their orchestral treats from Everything is Illuminated and Little Miss Sunshine.

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Wednesday 12th August
Woodpigeon at Borderline, London

Woodpigeon is whispery folk with beautiful strings and brass. Perfect for a summer evening.

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Thursday 13th August
Circulus at The Lexington, London

Tired of the ins and outs of modern life? Do you want to return to a simpler time? A medieval time? Go see Circulus then! They’re quite obviously as mad as a bag of prog listening cats but they sing about fairies and have lutes- what couldn’t be awesome about that?

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Friday 14th August
Forest Fire and Broadcast 2000 at The Luminaire, London

Lovely country folk from Brooklyn’s Forest Fire and tinkly electronica from Broadcast 2000 are set to make this night special!

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Saturday 15th August
Spaghetti Anywhere and Colours at Barfly, London

Here at Amelia’s HQ we often find ourselves listening to Spaghetti Anywhere‘s myspace selection of pretty indie pop, and it never fails to brighten up a dreary office day.
Also playing are Colours the South Coast’s answer to My Bloody Valentine, offering up a delicious slice of Shoegaze with Pavement-y undertones. Brilliant stuff all round!

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William Cobbing: Thoughts From the Bottom of a Well

Gymnasium Art Gallery
Berwick Barracks
The Parade
Berwick-upon-Tweed TD15 1DG

Until 13th September
Wednesday – Sunday 11am – 5pm
Free

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Sculpture, ampoule video and installation from London based artist William Cobbing, drawing on inspiration from Andrei Tarkovsky and Robert Smithson.

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Jake and Dinos Chapman: My Giant Colouring Book

Winchester Discovery Centre
Jewry Street
Winchester SO23 8RX

Until 6th September
Monday to Friday 9am – 7pm
Saturday 9am – 5pm
Sunday 10am – 4pm
Free

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Controversial siblings Jake and Dinos Chapman strike again, with this Hayward Gallery exhibition on tour around the country, based on children’s dot-to-dot drawings but a whole lot more dark, chaotic and macabre.

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The 2009 Vice Magazine Photography Exhibition

The Printspace
74 Kingsland Road
Shoreditch
London E2 8DL

13th August – 26th August
Monday – Friday 9am – 7pm

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Artists include: Richard Kern, Maggie Lee, Peter Sutherland, Dana Goldstein, Tim Barber, Martynka Wawrzyniak, Angela Boatwright, Jamie Taete, Alex Sturrock, Jonnie Craig, Ben Rayner.

Exhibit X is pleased to announce an exhibition examining the blurred vision between photojournalism and raw photography, using images from Vice magazine and it’s photographers.’

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Stitching Time

The Town Hall Galleries
Cornhill
Ipswich IP1 1DH

15th August 26th September
Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 5pm
Free

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‘Stitching Time is a partnership project with Suffolk Artlink’s Culture Club and Colchester and Ipswich Museums. Older members of the community used a variety of sewing methods to create work in response to the collections.’

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The Kiss of a Lifetime (Part 2)

Vane
Kings House
Forth Banks
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 3PA

Until 22nd August
Wednesday – Saturday 12-5pm
Free

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‘Our second presentation as part of the Northern Print Biennale, ‘The Kiss of a Lifetime (Part 2)’ is curated by Manchester-based artist and curator, Mike Chavez-Dawson. The exhibition features the work of over 100 artists, both internationally renowned and emerging, from the UK and abroad and examines what ‘the kiss’ signifies within contemporary culture – from the romantic to the lifesaving, from the prosaic to the violent.’

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Scottie Wilson

Pallant House Gallery
9 North Pallant
Chichester PO19 1TJ

Until11th October
Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm
Thursday 10am – 8pm
Sundays/ Bank Holidays 12.30 – 5pm
Free

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‘An exhibition featuring the highly distinctive drawings of the Scottish outsider artist Scottie Wilson (1891-1972). Starting his artistic career at the age of 44, his work was admired and collected by the likes of Jean Dubuffet and Pablo Picasso and he is considered to be one of the most celebrated outsider artists of the twentieth century.’

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Last week I attended the preview screening of The Yes Men Fix The World at the Odeon Panton in London’s West End. Narrated by Andy and Mike, story the self-styled Yes Men, it followed their highly creative protests against corporations and governments guilty of humanitarian and environmental misdemeanours. It’s a laugh-out-loud romp across the continents that you absolutely must see if you’ve ever dreamed of changing the world, but being an indie film unencumbered by distribution or advertising budgets you only get a couple of days to view it.

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You can read more about the exploits of the Yes Men in Cari’s excellent preview blog here and find details of where to see it here.

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In the meantime, if you live in London you might be more familiar with the Yes Men from their front page appearance in the Evening Standard yesterday, photographed in a joint stunt with Climate Rush to highlight the hypocrisy of Mandelson’s leadership as he takes over from the prime minister whilst Brown goes on holiday. Not only is Mandelson a non-elected politician (democracy?! is this really what it looks like?!) but he is also completely corrupt: Leila Deen from Plane Stupid threw custard over Mandelson in February in order to draw attention to his part in hob-nobbing with BAA execs and then lobbying for the third runway at Heathrow. He is well known for pushing the demands of big business over concerns about Climate Change.

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It was indeed a slightly surreal sight to see the unmistakable inflatable shapes of the Yes Men in their Halliburton SurvivaBalls – patented ways of escaping the worst effects of Climate Change if you’ve got enough cash – blocking the entrance to Mandelson’s residence in Regent’s Park together with two girls dressed daintily as suffragettes. Surrounded by mini windmills in plant pots they held aloft a banner which read Mandy Put The Wind In Vestas’ Sales, a timely message as the rooftop protest continues at the Vestas factory in Cowes.

And yet, the Yes Men were not content with a fiendishly early start to pull off the prank with Climate Rush, and were also determined to pay Richard Branson a visit yesterday atfternoon. Why? you might ask…

In a spoof film released onto YouTube yesterday Branson is seen posing astride The World, the huge fake island development constructed in the shape of, yes you guessed it, the world, in Dubai. He’s wearing an amazingly garish Union Jack suit as he cuddles up to some generic pretty girls in red sashes not unlike those favoured by Climate Rush (the sashes, that is.) As Branson states that “we’re just popping people into space and popping them straight back down again,” SurvivaBalls tumble across the screen.

This week it was announced that an Arab investment company has invested in Branson’s Virgin Galactic venture, which plans to take rich people into space on short jaunts to gawp at the wonder of our little planet. The specialist travel company Kuoni are quoted in The Independent as saying that “there will always be super-explorers with the financial ability… to marvel at the Earth from afar. If this is someone’s interest and desire, you can’t put a price on it.” The cost of these trips to the super-rich? A mere $200,000 for two hours. Already 85,000 have registered an interest, with a proportion paying up front. The cost to the earth? Well, Branson is master of greenwash, and he’d have you believe that this vanity project of his will be as eco-friendly as they come. Now I wonder how anyone can imagine that flying into space can come without a cost to the environment? But it seems that if you fuel your jets with biofuel all will be well.

Ah, biofuels, the biggest lie of them all and the subject of the July Climate Rush, where we blocked the street outside an agri-investment conference in Grovesnor Square in order to draw attention to the devastating effects of the rise in the use of palm oil across the globe.

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Not only do the monoculture plantations of this “wonder” oil cause massive tropical deforestation and an attendant rise in CO2 emissions, but they result in a 90% loss in wildlife diversity. Did you know that we have lost 90% of the orangutans in the past 100 years?

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In many parts of the world biofuels such as jatropha are grown on “marginal wasteland” which isn’t actually marginal at all – it’s common land that provides a living for the people who live nearby. Food Not Fuel, seen below at the Palm Oil Climate Rush, campaign on issues around the increasing use of land to create biofuel for cars, planes and soon apparently, space rockets. All this instead of using land to encourage biodiversity and feed the planet.

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How can a man who backs the creation of large scale monocultures to fly rich people into space purport to have any interest in the environment at all? Branson helped to found The Elders, a group of influential rich people who think they can save the world. “Could a small, dedicated group of independent elders help to resolve global problems and ease human suffering?” asks their website. Brilliant! How about space travel for the rich? That ought to do it.

And so, with this in mind, I met Andy, Mike and an assorted gaggle of helpers outside Green Park tube station, not far from where Richard Branson has set up his Galatic shop on an unassuming terraced street (albeit a posh one of course). We’d just bought the Evening Standard and the Yes Men were fairly incredulous with their front page status until I pointed out that if you team up with Climate Rush on an auspicious date that’s the kind of coverage you can expect to get.

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Across the road in Green Park out came the SurvivaBall suits and we watched with amusement as Mike and Andy climbed inside, and cunningly inflated themselves through the use of two fans mounted on helmets, before we all tripped across the road, moving slowly to accommodate a ripped SurvivaBall and a broken fan poking professionally out of the top of Mike’s head. Squeezing up the narrow steps the Yes Men pushed the buzzer to gain entrance to the Galactic offices.

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Alas the Yes Men didn’t get in (not unsurprisingly given their attire) and they seemed content to instead plant themselves on the doorstep and chant “Branson’s Stooopid”, which of course sounds much better in an American accent. Alex in the third SurvivaBall looked more like an overripe pumpkin than a bastion of “survival technology” but the beauty of the SurvivaBalls is that they look so utterly ridiculous.

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“How dumb is space travel for the rich?” chanted the Yes Men, faces squooshed into awkward angles. “This dumb!” they exclaimed before continuing, “What do we want? Space travel for the rich. When do we want it? Never!”

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Despite stating through the intercom that they would stay on the stoop until Branson “stops his ‘green’ hypocrisy and Virgin stops flying planes”, the uncomfortable suits were soon shaken off and the action completed. It may not have garnered the press attention of their early morning stunt, but it was filmed by their entourage, and will surely set the scene for many a further protest. Spaceships and astronauts call to mind the possibility of so many creative actions… The cogs in my mind are already turning. Are yours?

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Categories ,activism, ,climate rush, ,direct action, ,Mandelson, ,space travel, ,Vestas, ,Yes Men

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentines oh Valentines…

Lili Vanili Valentines Cake

Illustration by Daria Hlazatova

It’s February. Which means, sale you know, stuff Valentines day. I have a tourettes-like response to it’s mere mention. A gag reflex and an overwhelming desire to shout obscenities at strangers.

I don’t know why this is. Perhaps it has its roots in the hell that was secondary school love angst. (Will I get a card?.. Shall I send a card… Will somebody post dog poo through my letter box?.. OMG I GOT A CARD *phones all friends*… Oh. Its from my Dad…I HATE MY DAD….*sits on inflatable chair and cries into Leonardo DiCaprio poster*)


Illustration by Ellie Sutton

This aversion to all things Valentines is odd for me because at any other time of year I’ll use any excuse to celebrate. Passed an exam? Brunch! Had a shit week? Fry up! St whatsists day? Party! Commiseratory dinners, cialis 40mg congratulatory afternoon tea’s, pity parties and apologetic lunches; whatever the occasion (or lack thereof) I’m there with balloons. But for some reason, Valentines grates on me.

The traditional options are not great. If you’re single; you could get hammered alone or with other single friends. Or watch a Richard Curtis film whilst curled up in the fetal position in flannel pyjamas. Or if you are in a relationship; try and book a table in a restaurant only to find that they are ALL booked and/or extortionately expensive. Then spend the evening looking around at the other couples who are sat within spitting distance whilst the staff incessantly sell you expensive wine and champagne with James Blunt warbling away at you in the background.


Illustration by Alison Day

Sound good? Thought not. (I sound like a love Scrooge, I definitely have issues)

I banned my mister from engaging in any form of commercial Valentines celebration right at the start of our relationship, and we’ve ended up with a fish and chips dinner tradition instead, which I am actually quite fond of.

But if you MUST release your inner schmaltz, here are some alternatives to cheap chocolates and teddybears. Don’t get me started on teddybears.


Illustration by Ellie Sutton

Firstly, if you are in a relationship, probably best not too buy a card from the supermarket. Or the corner shop down the road. Or the petrol station. It takes very little effort to make something and its much more thoughtful. How about writing a letter? It doesn’t have to be a love letter, and its nicer than a brief scrawl in a card. Or what about a stick man comic strip or a flip book? We can all draw stick men. See? No excuse.

If you hate the idea of making something yourself, there are a whole host of talented illustrators and makers out there who will happily fulfill all of your home spun looking Valentines needs. Check out some ideas in Amelia’s article over here.

I discovered via Twitter that Abby Illustrator and her boy are having a living room picnic, which sounds lovely to me and much nicer than the aforementioned Blunt-warbling-restaurant-nightmare.

If you are planning on buying flowers for a loved one (it could be a friend, your lover, your mum..) then … think again. Sorry for the eco rant but growing and transporting flowers uses a huge amount of carbon, especially if they are from overseas. If you must indulge in some floristry delights then look up British grown flowers.

Or, heres a wee crafty idea; give someone a pack of wildflower seeds. Decant into an attractive envelope, sew (or glue) on to a piece of card and illustrate with an appropriately cheesy message. (as this grows it’ll be a symbol of my love. PUKE. My love is like this red red rose. VOM. etc etc)

And for a healthy alternative/addition to a box of chocolates, pretty up a punnet of red fruit and decorate with little flags.

Cook a pink dinner. Beetroot soup to start. Rare steak with a tomato salsa dressing. Kir Royals or Rose wine. Red velvet cake for pudding, or pink macarons or strawberry angel delight… This would be lovely for one, two or twenty two.

Make cookies. Just for the hell of it. Give to colleagues, friends, family members. Or, of course, your loved one. Dust with icing sugar for a chic minimalist finish or get into an e- number frenzy with coloured icing. Home made and cheap.

Go to see Grayson Perry talk about kinky sex. Hold on to your hats.

Send a You’re rad/I like you/love note to your friends and family. Last year I sent mini valentines cards to the female members of my family just to tell them that I think they are rad, and the reasons why.

Illustration by Alison Day

Visit Love from Darkroom, an exhibition raising money for the brilliant charity Kids Company. All of the art pieces are under £150 and it runs till 14th February. Read Amelia’s full listing here.

Host a horror night. My mister and I are planning on spending the Saturday before Valentines working through some early horror films (Nosferatu, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Birds, Night of the Living Dead…) Nothing like a bit of flesh eating Zombie action to get you in that Valentines mood.

Join the Craftivist Collective in hijacking Valentines day and show some love for your global neighbour. Write letters to strangers and make a Tatty Devine key ring then leave them for strangers to pick up. (see separate listing here)

Keyring

Why not send your loved one an anatomically correct bleeding heart cake by Lilli Vanilli; the creator of the fabulous ACOFI launch party masterpiece? They are made from red velvet sponge, cream cheese frosting and blackcurrant & cherry ‘blood’. I love them and they are a steal at £7.


Image via Lili Vanilli’s blog

Watch Fuck. Not the real thing, gracious no, unless that’s your thing. I’m talking about the documentary which features interviews with the world’s best swearers including Billy Connolly and Ice-T. Hurrah for obscenities!

Visit the Valentines exhibition at the wonderful Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising. This is one of my favourite London museums and this exhibition is all about the culture and history of valentines cards.

Take your loved one on a ‘haunted london’ ghost tour instead, and see the grizzlier side of Londons history…

Go on a night safari with the Natural History museum: You can choose either one of 2 experiences, depending on whether you think Valentine Day is a pleasure or a pain. Both look at the different aspects of Love in the Natural World.

See? Valentines doesn’t have to be a pile of sick. There’s lots of fun stuff to do whether you are in a relationship or not. Or there’s always the pyjama option too…

And so, even I, say to you Happy Valentines day!

Categories ,activism, ,Alison Day, ,Baking, ,craft, ,Craftivists, ,Daria Hlazatova, ,Darkroom, ,earth, ,Ellie Sutton, ,Fruit, ,Fuck, ,Grayson Perry, ,Hannah Bullivant, ,Haunted London, ,Horror Films, ,Josie Long, ,Lili Vanilli, ,Museum of Brands Packaging and Advertising, ,natural history museum, ,Tatty Devine, ,Valentines

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vestas: a tale of life on the magic roundabout

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On our way out of an informative but visually underwhelming lingerie exhibit in south bank’s Fashion and Textiles Museum, this site all was soon forgiven when a well deserved browse through the museum shop led us to surface designer Jason Cheng’s bouncy bangles. This clever designer elevates the humble rubber band to where it shares the shelf with metalsmithed jewlelry.
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Accomplished with tight little knots and a muted monochromatic palette, these bangles begged to be touched, plucked and donned.
Jason Cheng’s accessories were apparently inspired by maps, geographical references, board games and sports themes. Although in our imaginations they conjured more organic visions of snipped veins (is that all I got from my biology textbooks?) underwater life (maybe because we know what a snorkel tastes like) and braces (those damn little rubber bands we had to attach, drooling, to our teeth’s hardware).
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A surging theme of associations points to the lowly rubber band’s first appearance on our scene in grade school. Manifesting itself as a hand held projectile mechanism capable of launching anything from bent paper clips to entirely-too-sharp pencils, the rubber band ignited the weaponry engineer in legions of boys.
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Whilst among the girls it became the emergency hair tie (taking with it most of my ponytail when removed) or the inspiration for the-more-the-better bracelets. Jason Cheng’s innovative application for the meager office supply has caused this accessory collector to make some room in her jewelry box.
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Best thing about them, they won’t break when you drop them, pack them or smash them during a particularly vigorous night on the dancefloor. All a girl could ask for from an accessory. That, and you could always take a cue from the boys in class…keep a pocket full of pebbles on your walk home at night. Just in case.
Monday 3rd August

Camp for Climate Action – Scotland

Climate Camp hits Scotland this week – there is no time to act but now! Come to the Camp for Climate Action in Scotland 3-10 August

For a week of low-impact living and high-impact direct action, story keep 3-10 August free and join us in Scotland to take direct action against the root causes of climate change and ecological collapse. This summer the struggle against a capitalist system intent on extinguishing life on the planet will hit the Firth of Forth!

Location to be confirmed.
3rd-10th August

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Illustrations by Sachiko

Tuesday 4th August

Forest Gardens, sickness Geoff Lawton Talk

Renowned international Permaculture teacher Geoff Lawton outlines the methods of designing and building your own food forest from conception to completion, drug demonstrating the evolution of a food forest from day one through to a living 2,000 year old example still flourishing in the Middle East.

7pm – 8pm – Passing Clouds, Dalston
(440 Kingsland Road, Dalston, London E8 – Corner of Kingsland Road and Richmond Road, behind Uncle Sam’s pub now called the Haggerston)

Wednesday 5th August

Terribly Tall Towers

Learn more about the oldest building in Hackney, St Augustine’s Tower, and be inspired to create your own towering construction! This is a workshop run by The Building Exploratory for children of all ages, who must be accompanied at all times by an adult.

14:30-16:30 – St John-at-Hackney Churchyard Gardens

Contact: The Building Exploratory – 020 7729 2011 – mail@buildingexploratory.org.uk

Thursday 6th August

Vestas Rally

Campaign Against Climate Change continue the struggle to save Vestas wind turbine factory. Hit the streets.

8pm
outside Dept of Energy and Climate Change, 3 Whitehall Place.

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Friday 7th August

I think, I see

Join Sally Booth for a large-scale outdoor drawing project : interact with the built environment on the Southbank. More details here.

Drop-in, 12noon – 5pm
Southbank, outdoors.

Saturday 8th August

Introduction to Permaculture

A lively and dynamic weekend, run by Naturewise, looking at the foundations of permaculture and some of the practical tools it offers. Can be considered a stand alone introduction to ethics, principles and design, or a lead-in to the more in depth full 72 hour Design Course.

Contact: Marianne – londoncourses@naturewise.org.uk
Saturday and Sunday, 9am-5pm – Hornsey Rise Gardens, N19
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Yesterday morning seven climate change activists from Workers Climate Action glued themselves together across the entrance to the Department of Energy and Climate Change. They were wearing black, remedy green and red to symbolise the diversity of their political opinions, but one thing unites them all and that is their belief that the closure of the Vestas wind turbine blade factory on the Isle of Wight is madness. At a time when our government is publically promoting the need for green jobs how on earth can this be allowed to happen? Sounds like a lot of hot air to us. Millions is used to bail out the banks whilst the future of our renewable energy sector is allowed to falter at the first hurdle of NIMBYism, which is preventing the construction of large scale onshore wind power in the UK. Strung around the necks of the activists were the simple words Take Back the Wind Power.

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Last week the Big Green Gathering was cancelled for extremely spurious reasons, as highlighted by good old Monbiot in today’s Guardian. Could it be that there is a political desire to keep green activists from gathering together and raising money, some of which might go towards funding actions? Are we becoming too powerful as a movement? It seems somewhat crazy, given that the BGG is predominantly known as a relaxed family festival with a hippie vibe, but there you go.

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I had been looking forward to going for the first time and playing a daily celidh as part of the houseband in the Last Chance Saloon, which was already fully erected on site when the plug was pulled (our friends have lost £6000 in the process). But instead and given the circumstances, why not go on a holidarity to the Vestas “Vestival” down on the Isle of Wight, where workers have been staging a sit in occupation since the 22nd of July.

So we, Green Kite Midnight, packed all our instruments and amps into the back of a large car which suddenly seemed very small, and pootled on down to the dock at Portsmouth. The sun shone as we sailed (expensively – book online first ladies and gents) across the Solent, smiling at the beautiful blue sea in the breeze.

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Shortly after we landed our spirits were elevated still further by the sight of the Bicycology crew, travelling in convoy towards the Vestas plant, tucked away at the back of a new and half empty light industrial estate.

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In front of the factory a roundabout has been turned into a temporary camp – a place to gather for people from all different political backgrounds, all of whom have come to fight for the future of the workers at Vestas.

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Marooned together on the “magic roundabout”, as it has affectionately come to be called, there are members of various trade unions (no Vestas workers were members of a union before the sit-in) as well as activists from slightly differing factions of the Socialist movement and members of Climate Camp and Workers Climate Action (the latter having born out of the former) If you’re already confused imagine how I felt. I’ve never been particularly politically active until my involvement with Climate Camp, and I feel as though a whole strange new world has opened up to me – where the most unlikeliest of friendships are forged over shared causes.

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Down at Vestas everyone wants a slice of the pie, but all for slightly different reasons. And in the process something really quite beautiful is happening – all these little groups are rubbing along quite happily together and coming to learn about each other and how we can work together to create a better future, because ultimately there can be no climate action without climate justice at the same time. We may be looking at the situation from different angles, but for the most part we’re interested in similar outcomes.

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Mind you, there was a burger van set up in the adjacent carpark (run by a lovely man – he was happy to post Climate Camp posters on the outside!) from which union members would habitually return bearing meaty burgers stuffed into those horrible landfill-bound-on-a-fast-train polystyrene containers whilst we munched on our latest vegan meal.

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In a dance of food-offering decorum the burger would be offered to us and politely declined, our yummy vegan soup or salad refused in return by a bloke (invariably) more used to fast food than fresh roundabout ‘plat du jour’.

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Spirits were high as we arrived in the late afternoon sunshine and an impromptu conga snaked its way around the roundabout. Food had been successfully delivered by Climate Camp activists earlier in the day – having finally despaired of the manager’s efforts to starve the workers into submission they staged a rush of the factory, organising the operation with precision via mobile phone calls with the workers who were ready and waiting with equipment to haul the booty in as soon as it arrived.

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As the evening rally kicked off Bicycology where able to provide a bike-powered soundsystem, much to the bemusement of the attendant locals and workers’ families.

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Freshly-cooked Welsh cakes made on the miniature children’s oven set were served and the workers on the balcony cheered.

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Evenings on the roundabout are where friendships are cemented – gathered around an oil drum full of palettes in the sodium moonlight. The next day was spent getting together an impressive new Climate Camp banner and taping the prayer flag banners I printed onto the hoardings.

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The banners turned out to make good headscarves as stencils were created and bunting sewn as we sat in the blazing sunshine.

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Mini pastel bunting to be precise – a good foil for the huge bright RMT flags flying above our heads. Due to a lack of loo facilities (as well as local council recycling, though of course we had put a system in place) we had to make frequent treks down to the B&Q at the end of the industrial estate and en route I found a cherry plum tree laden with fruit as well as abundant fat juicy blackberries. After a successful trip into town to visit the local charity shops (great craft magazines) I returned with a bag full of tasty fruit to be shared around. Locals also baked cakes, brought fresh water and in the case of Sue – a local Catholic lady of a certain age – hot fish and chips for the boys on the balcony. These had to be delivered before they went cold – obviously – so a plan was hatched to get them into the precinct as the rally happened on day two of our visit. Once again a group of activists was coralled, and with Sue at the helm they made a dash for the Vestas factory, as the police (always two of them standing around, with very big metal badges on their helmet, must be a real strain on the neck for the Isle of Wight constabulary!) slowly cottoned on.

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A farcical chase and grab ensued with the privately employed security guards inside, but we had decoys in place and the food was successfully delivered as Sue turned around and walked calmly through the maelstorm and back out through the Harris fencing with maximum confidence.

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What a lady! We later heard that the management, largely due to our actions, had agreed to feed the workers on demand instead of at sporadic intervals with small amounts of unnutritious food (although this has since to happen as they appear to have reneged on the deal).

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After the rally protest band Seize the Day played their newly recorded Vestas song with a bit of backing vocal help from some Vestas WAGS. We all sang along with the chorus which I thought was pretty darn rousing, and they tried to bluetooth it out to the crowd. The plan is to get it out as soon as possible so that it can raise money and awareness for the cause.

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I’m not sure they’re impressed though.

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Next up it was the turn of my new celidh band Green Kite Midnight to put on a dance. I managed to persuade a mixed bunch of folk, including a local morris dancing lady in full traditional gear, to dance along with us in the middle of the road. We didn’t get many takers – clearly celidhs are not that cool in the Isle of Wight – but we did thoroughly entertain the workers, who cheered us on through the whole affair.

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The next day we took most of the day to get off the island – it’s a very hard place to leave when the ferries are all booked up and you haven’t got your wetsuit. But we got to paddle in the sea in the drizzle and I got to eat a fresh crab sandwich. The Big Green it wasn’t, but our holidarity was a whole other affair that I was extremely glad to have taken part in. Today Vestas is in court as the management once more seek an injunction to evict the workers. Who knows what will happen? But one thing is sure, new allegiances have been formed and lessons learnt. Vestas workers will tell their story at this year’s Climate Camp, and the need for a just transition to a green economy has never been more high on the agenda. Interesting times indeed.

…And as I complete this blog news has just come in of an occupation at the second Vestas factory on the Isle of Wight, where Climate Camp activists and members of the trade union have together scaled the roof, vowing to stay there until their demands are met. Long live direct action…

Categories ,activism, ,capitalism, ,Climate Camp, ,direct action, ,energy, ,environment, ,wind

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Amelia’s Magazine | Whose City? The G20 Protesters Come To Town

IDIOT SON OF STELLA AND GEORGE

An eclectic mix of art work by a group of like minded people exploring expressionism through art.
Peckham Square, tadalafil page 28th of March 2- 6pm

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In the Pines

Jack Strange
Limoncello 2 Hoxton St London, rx opening 27th of March 6.30 – 8.30pm, case exhibition: 26th – 28th of March 11am – 6pm and by appointment until 2nd May 2009.

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Order and Disorder

Wilhelmina Barns-Graham
A look at a very unique collection of paintings and prints, several have never been publicly exhibited before.
Art first in Cork street, 24th March – 23rd April

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One or Several Wolves

Priya Chohan, Coral Churchill, Annelie Fawke, Kwang-Sung Hong, Heidi Locher and Anne E Wilson.
A group of artists look at conceptual motivations within Art, using a variety of media each artist explores the relationship between concept, material and final work created.
Kingsgate Gallery, 20th March – 5th April Free

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Bandits present

New installation work from Glaswegian artists littlewhitehead.
The Bun House Bandits, 96 Peckham High Street London. Preview: 15th March 2009, 4pm. Exhibition: 16th March 2009 – 29 March 2009, 11am–11pm

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Being and nothing-ness

Youngmi Kim, Kiwoun Shin and Seunghyun Woo
Three Korean artists explore the notion of “being” through various multi media methods, the exhibition includes paintings, videos and sculptures.
Nolias Gallery, 60 Great Suffolk St SE1. Private view: 26thMarch at 6pm- 9pm, exhibition: 27th March- 7TH April 200 10:30Am-6pm,

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We are his body

installation art work inspired by the artist’s exploration of the cross in today’s society.
Viewing at Christ Church URC 663 Barking rd Plaistow E13 9EX, 25th March 6pm

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Kate Marshall: Live Painting.

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This dextrous figurative painter will be doing a live drawing and painting gig at Movida, Argyll Street on April 2nd. Arrive at 9.30pm, you might get a free drinky. She’ll be starting work at 10pm. Check out the event on facebook.
I just woke up from the best nightmare I ever had, store at least I think it was a nightmare. I mean, side effects I’ve heard of mutton dressed as lamb and a wolf in sheep’s clothing, health but last night I saw a couple of ladies, dressed as a wolf and a sheep respectively, among other things.

But what was this, what had I stepped into? Well I found the best person to ask, Annie Oldfield. A lovely young lady from Leeds, dressed as a wolf! I thought it would be fun to create a one-off themed party where you can listen to music all night that`s in some way related to animals: Animal Collective (Panda Bear), Deerhunter, Modest Mouse (the list is endless), eat crackers and, of course, what themed party is complete without fancy dresses. Shark, tiger, zebra, duck, crab, swan, cat (there were lots of cats) all had turned out.

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After Annie along with friend Bonnie Wan came up with the idea they went to
DJ/Promoter friend Dave Bassinder (Underachievers) and Filthy animals! was born.

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Not one for getting down on the dance floor, that was no problem here, you could keep yourself occupied by making animal balloons or watching films played on a big screen, obviously starring our fantastic furry friends. Or grab a piece of paper and give origami a go, make some sort of flapping pterodactyl. Of course the term filthy suggests more than balloon modeling so a few cheap drinks and many tunes later and the dance floor got the attention it deserved, well you spend all day making a costume you gotta show it off, right?

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It`s a real shame it had to end as there are no plans for further repercussions. If you read this Underachievers “BRING BACK THE ANIMALS and KEEP EM FILTHY”!
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I have something to admit, viagra sale I am a warehouse party virgin. By warehouse parties I mean not-really legal parties, treat which announce their locations via facebook messages about five minute before they start and you quickly have to get yourself to some remote north London spot in Zone 4. For me there is nothing fun about the obvious issue of trekking all the way out there just for the police to shut it down at twelve. Or 11.30 PM on New Years Eve, rx which is what happened to one of my friends!

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After one of our writers posted about their last exhibition I decided i couldn’t miss the LuckyPDF warehouse party, even better it was all above board and legal. There were rather fancy gold flyers promoting the event and they even hired their own bouncers, who were at the door all night checking ID. While this might take some of the thrill away for regular warehouse party goers I rather enjoyed being somewhere with plumbing and electricity. My favourite part was not having to trail across London to a Saw-esk industrial park, because the event was just off Peckham high street. As the LuckyPDF people boldly proclaimed before the event, “The people of South London shalt need to travel to East London any longer for their Huge Party needs.”

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I arrived at eleven and the queue to get in was absolutely insane, luckly i’d sent a RSVP email, but I still had to wait a good fifteen minutes to get into the rooms even once I was through the main gate. This was no thrown together event, they had obviously put a lot of effort into sound and lighting, which was refreshing and very welcome. As I entered the bottom room floor I was immediately hit with throbbing lights and heavy bass. There were hoards of people, I couldn’t even begin to count how many attended the event, but nothing was too serious. I think something about the fact it was in a warehouse just made the whole event more relaxed, there was a lot less people there just to smoke and be seen than there were people just wanting to have fun. No “this is the dance floor, this is the bar” locations usually explicit in gig venues meant people were just doing what they wanted where they wanted.
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The LuckyPDF warehouse party aimed to be “a rampant music/art extravaganza that will continue til the early morn..” The music was definitely there with the order of the day being, “Bass, Bass, Garage, Electro, Bass, Drum n Bass, Swing, Tango, Nintendocore and Bass”. There were Dj sets from 10 PM – 4AM from South London party circuit favourites, XXX, My Panda Shall Fly and Tomb Crew, plus many, many more. These Dj’s were well selected and well received (apart from whoever kept cutting tracks short in the top room!) effortlessly mixing cutting edge bass tracks with forgotten classics.

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However, I was completely perplexed about the other bit, you know the art. Unless really, really small (microscopic) art has come in fashion since the last exhibition I went to I would swear that there wasn’t any. It could have been hidden by the hoards of people there, but still if you’re going to advertise art it would be helpful if people could see it. Previously this would have annoyed me, but I feel i’m just starting to get the point of collectives such as LuckyPDF and it’s peers. Although these guys are artists, they’re not together to try and promote a certain type of art or medium over any other. With the exception perhaps being Off Modern who have a whole Off Modern manifesto on their website. As far as I know there is no particular theme or common interests in the work of the organisers of these events and if there were it would be purely incidental. It’s more a case of getting people excited about South London. Which something that hasn’t happened since (dare i say it) the YBA’s, and they all rushed off to live in the East End or houses in the country as soon as they could anyway.

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I will forgive the LuckyPDF guys just this once having an event light of the art and heavy on the music (which draws people in and allows them to charge entry fee), because they have stated that they’re a not for profit organisation, and I hope the money they made will be going into more exhibitions. And when they do I’ll be there, pen in hand, because I can’t wait to see what they’re going to do next.
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Photography by Ted Williams

Monday 23th

The Rakes
release their third album, symptoms KLANG, buy information pills today and to celebrate the band will play a special gig at London’s Rough Trade East at 6pm tonight.
The follow up to ‘Ten New Messages’ is pure and the best of The Rakes as you can check out on lead track ‘1989‘.
Wristband collection 1 hour prior to gig, first-come-first-served basis-one per person.

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The Rakes

Tuesday 24th

It`s crunch time at The Social and the venue welcomes Kid Carpet to promote his new single, followed by Moonfish Rhumba with their electro beats and peculiar lyrics.
If great music is not enough to take your mind of recession, this month the venue provides the Crunch Time Rant where you can take your anger to the stage, step on to a soapbox and speak out your thoughts.
Doors 6pm, 99p.

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Moonfish Rhumba

Wednesday 25th

Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen receives Joseph Mount, aka Metronomy and DJs, including the opulent pop of Your Twenties (whose harmonious frontman is Metronomy’s former bassist).
8pm, £7, adv £6.

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Metronomy

Thursday 26th

Plugs, My Tiger My Timing and Shock Defeat at the Paradise By Way Of Kensal Green for a bit of electro/disco rock.
7:30, £7, adv £5.

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My Tiger My Timing

Friday 27th

The three new yorkers forming The Virgins land in town for some dance rock at Koko London.
9:30pm, £7, £5 before 11pm, concs £4.

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The Virgins

Saturday 28th
Up for some healthy girlie pop? Betty and the Werewolves bring their female fronted indie-ditty-pop vocals (they do count with one boy on the drums!) to Bardens Boudoir next Saturday.
8pm, £6.

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Betty and the Werewolves

Sunday 29th
Close (or begin?) your week with the Society of New Music – an avant garde event featuring Wet Dog live at The Social.
7pm, £2.

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Wet Dog

To all you vintage addicts I bring you salvation!

On April the 4th a vintage bonanza will be hitting the streets of Bethnal Green to bombard you with their scandalously cheap vintage, viagra 40mg so prepare yourself Shoreditch! I understand if you are dubious, case “what makes it unique in comparison to the endless array of oversaturated vintage fairs and markets in London” I hear you say? Well, the differentiation is that at this event you won’t be leaving empty handed if you left the house with a mere twenty pounds. This is vintage on an extremely tight shoestring, for any savvy shopper the affordable vintage fair is akin to the sensation of being a child in a sweet shop again!

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Heralded as the largest vintage fair in north England, the organizers have delved the nation with their noble quest for affordable vintage, leaving no stone unturned. Our loyal travellers have unearthed hidden gems and want to bring you the fruits of their labour! So cast aside the idle and banal window shopper, let your hair down and embrace your style hungry primordial urges. The fair is an emporium of vintage wonderment; there are style advisors, a customisation and alternations area, swapping area as well as bundles of vintage clothes and furniture.

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But the most exciting element of the fair has to be the pay by kilo vintage stall. This really is vintage paradise; trawl to your heart’s content safe in the knowledge it’s not going to cost you much more then your weekly grocery shop. The phenomena is commonplace with our European counterparts, but kilo shopping will be making its debut here in the UK. So get trawling and scout some hidden gems, this might just be your chance to revive your wardrobe from the brink of darkness and inject a whole new burst of life. What other chances would you get to weigh out your clothes, just like you would weigh out your sugar?

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They have catered for your every whim feeding your ears and taste buds with a nostalgic trip down memory lane. With music spanning the decades from the bohemian 60s to the energetic 80s, not forgetting a whole host of cake stalls and beverages to whet your appetite.

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So don’t miss out, get down there 11am pronto on the 4th of April, I for one will be installing my vintage bargain radar and heading down myself!
Everyday at the office here, treatment while we`re writing our articles and drinking our teas, we try to go through the many cd`s we receive daily and now and then there`s one that catches everybody`s attention, making everyone in the room ask “who`s this”?
That`s exactly what happened when Cari put on the single from up and coming group My Tiger My Timing. In less than 30 seconds heads were bopping and legs were shaking unanimously. This Is Not The Fire is so catchy that I`ve been listening to it non stop since Tuesday.

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They play a delightful, totally danceable afro beat, electro-pop and still they compare themselves with bands like Metronomy and Casio Kids. While most of the groups desperately run away from extreme pop and commercial tracks, MTMT does exactly the opposite, recognizing their will for creating easy listening and fluid beats.

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The foursome was formed in 2008 in south east London and their debut single was produced by Andy Spence of New Young Pony Club and will be released April 6th 2009 downloadable through Silver Music Machine.

Tuesday I had the chance to see them live at Cargo and I`m definitely looking forward to the entire album, it was quite an electrifying performance. Here`s a little video of the last song:


Yesterday, buy a few of the Amelia’s Magazine girls went along to witness the G20 protests in the City of London. The day had dawned to brilliant sunshine, and clear blue skies, which meant that the sight and sound of the police helicopters hovering overhead was even more pronounced. The events which were due to unfold promised to be extraordinary, and I was keen to see what was going to happen. It was hard to know what to expect, but here was the run down. Four different carnival parades, were to converge around the Bank Of England, and protest the current economic and environmental climate. We were guided there by the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, leading the processions from four rail stations. We were setting off from Liverpool Street, led by the Green Horse – representing climate chaos. Walking from Brick Lane to the station, I was struck at how different the city seemed. Spitalfields Market, and all the restaurants around it were closed. There were not many city workers around, but those who were out and about were dressed down. I didn’t see a single suit around me.

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G20protests4.jpgThe Barbican towards The Bank of England. It was enjoyable to be part of such a good natured crowd and it was fun to watch all the shop owners standing outside their establishments, watching with fascination at the colourful carnival proceeding past them.

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As we walked towards Bank we passed Northern Rock. Some clever jokers had hung a sign inside their office entitled ‘We Love Money”. As I went to take a picture they hastily pulled the sign down. I could only marvel at the thoughtlessness of that statement, wasn’t it hundreds of thousands of pensioners money that they had lost – was that the money in question that they loved so much? After a brief stop, we marched into the space around The Bank Of England. I was shocked by the amount of people who were here. Estimates at 4,000 are not an exaggeration. The place was packed. Having only ever seen this section in London as a thoroughfare for busy, frantic city workers, and crammed to the gills with buses, it was surreal to see it filled with so many protesters. No cars, just people.

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After about 45 minutes, we were ready to head back to the office. I went to walk past a row of police and quickly found that I couldn’t get through. Not quite understanding the situation I was unconcerned, thinking that they were guarding just one exit. Knowing there were plenty more exits around Bank station we wandered back to the road that we had come in on. Again, we were met with a throng of police. They stood arms locked. Still assuming that this was something that would be resolved soon, we sat down and scrounged some crisps off a girl sat next to us. (Not expecting to be there for long, we didn’t take any food, and not much water.)

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Then some of the police vans next to us started to move through the police and drive away. We thought that this was our cue to leave as well, and strode towards the police. They immediately closed ranks. It was at this moment that I took in the situation. They had cordoned us all in; we had unwittingly become kettled. (This word now chills me to the bone). No one was going anywhere without their say so. the crowds started to fill up and began asking questions. As I was nearest the front I asked how long this situation would last for. “Don’t know” came the response. Many people started asking why this was happening, but the police would not respond. Our crowd was large, and there was not an ‘anarchist’ in sight. Many tried to squeeze towards the police and told them that this was violating their human rights, and was against the law. Again, no response.

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We were soon packed so tightly that it was like being at the front of a gig, but instead of watching a band, we were staring into the hard faces of men who refused to talk to us, and would sooner beat and arrest us then let us get past them. At this point the crowd surged and we fell into each other. The police shouted at us “Get back!” a woman shouted “Where to?!” We were trapped in a scrum, and the police were pushing us back while we were being pushed forward. I saw riot police walk towards us and I felt a surge of panic. We had been trapped by the police and there was nothing that we could do. I pleaded with the officer in front of me to let us go (I can now see how futile that was). I said that we were scared, and asked if a riot were to kick off, who are they going to protect? “I can’t answer that” was the response. Women started shouting that they had children from school to pick up, jobs to get to. The most common cry to the police was “Why won’t you speak to us?” I got so fed up from this feeling of powerlessness that I phoned the news desk at BBC News. I shared my feelings of worry to the reporter on the other end of the phone; and told her the scenario. I relayed what the officers had told one girl to do who said that she needed the toilet – “you can go in the street”; what they told one boy who said that he wasn’t even part of the protest – “You are now”. The BBC reporter told us that this situation was happening at every exit of the march. She said, “You are all being tarred with the same anarchist brush, this is their tactic”.

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Around an hour later, still in the same position, a man passed out in front of me. He had been standing quietly, not trying to defy the police, and his only movement for the two hours that we were held was to quietly read a peace of paper that he had in his hands. I had looked at it at one point and could see that it was a Psalm. Thankfully, the officers took him away and led him to an ambulance. Just as I started to feel that it was going to be an all night cordon, my friends phone rang. A friend of hers told her that they had just opened one of the exits round the corner and we bolted for it. Walking to the tube, we were jumping up and down with exhilaration. We began receiving updates that the RBS building was being stormed, and that the police were beating protesters. What had started off as a peaceful and well meaning protest was quickly turning into something much darker, but who was at fault? If you asked anyone in the 4,000 strong crowd they would have no trouble telling you. The police’s tactic of kettling us, purposely providing us with no information and locking us in for two and half hours was easily going to generate the mayhem that they had predicted. Nonetheless, I am so pleased that I attended. It was always going to be an interesting day, I just wish that the peaceful protesters would have been treated better and not denied their basic human rights.

Categories ,activism, ,Direct Action, ,Environment, ,G20, ,Kettled, ,Police, ,Protest

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Amelia’s Magazine | Nine Miles

Between January and April 1996 approximately 360 acres of land including 120 acres of woodland were cleared to make way for the building of a new road, the Newbury bypass. The demolition was met by one of the largest anti-road protests in history with over 7000 people directly demonstrating on the site. From July 1995 protesters began to occupy the land, living in tree houses and tents. It was a long hard fight and a momentous period of social history that is all the more relevant today with the increasing disparity between environmental legislation and climate deterioration, and the growth of environmental activism. Jim Hindle was in the thick of things and has written a book about his experience, Nine Miles.

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What are your intentions for the book and what do you think it’s
relevance is in our present state of climactic urgency?

On the most basic level I wanted to tell the story of what happened; for history’s sake but also due to the relevance that story has now, in terms of the amount of roads being built today and also for the wider
climatic situation. Road transport in the UK accounts for more than 21% of our total CO2 emmision and is set to rise pretty fiercely without efforts to reign it in. But also, I wanted to convey something of the feeling of those times, of the sense of inspiration that was so strong in the campaigns I’ve described;
there’s a sense that that spirit can inform us now however we choose to act or the environment, or changing the world in general, or even simply how we live our lives.

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How does your life now relate to your life in the 90′s? Are you still involved in activism?

I’ve had to knock activism on the head these days, for reasons that are clearer when you read the book. I did go to the first climate camp and while it was amazingly inspiring it was also pretty stressful, the kind of situation that I’m meant to be avoiding. So I limit myself to talking and writing as a way to influence the world now. I don’t live outdoors but camp and walk as much as I can in the summer. Right now I live on the edge of a small town in a converted outhouse with a firepit outdoors but can see myself back in a house or a flat before too long. Living outdoors isn’t made easy in this country but I am at least gravitating away from the middle of cities as places to be in full time.

I‘m quite interested to find out what everyone is doing now-are you still in touch?

Sarah is in the mountains in Wales with a young child. Badger is living in the West Country working as a carpenter with his wife and three kids. Tami studied maths, got a scholarship to Oxford and is now working as a website designer. Many folks are still activists in one way or another but I think everyone holds precious the memory of what happened. There’s kind of an unspoken bond.

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What are your thoughts on the current wave of climate action?

I think it’s really inspiring. I’ve always felt that to be most effective direct action needs to be as intelligent and discriminating as possible and all the signs are that those involved with Plane Stupid, for instance, share this approach. It carries a big responsibility too. Certainly to see direct action as some kind of cure-all or the way to go about things in the first instance doesn’t seem like the way forward. Martin Luther King said it should only be undertaken as a last resort and it takes it’s place within a bigger picture. There’s many ways to campaign for things but I do think direct action has a vital place.

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All photographs by Jonathan Olley

I think the climate camps have maybe been a bit gung-ho in declaring intentions to shut down power stations and the like; it kind of guarantees a full on police response but I think to be fair there are many folks involved who would agree. And they’re amazing testimonies to how far everything has come, the organization that goes into the camps is truly something else. And it carries the torch of DIY culture, to be involved; people realizing that it’s not enough to wait for someone else to do something, that we all carry responsibilty for our actions and the actions of our culture.

I do sometimes feel too that it shouldn’t be neccessary, that people shouldn’t have to put themselves through it but it raises the stakes and shakes people out of their apathy and there’s as much need for that as ever; steering society to something more sustainable is like steering some massive tanker and when
change is not apparent there’s the danger of inertia creeping in. So it’s important, if nothing else, to raise our voices on the issue, to remind the politicians that there’s everything to fight for, to help give them license perhaps to act for the climate and certainly to hold them to their responsibilities. And there’s a new generation now getting involved, which is amazing, the whole thing has evolved and there’s a freshness and an urgency, which is what we need in copious amounts…

Jim will be reading extracts from his book on 17th March at 7.30pm at The Hornbeam Centre in London and on 28th March for the Climate Camp benefit at Westhill Music Club in Brighton.

Categories ,activism, ,Jim Hindle, ,Jonathan Olley, ,Newbury Bypass

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Amelia’s Magazine | No New Coal Please

If you try to describe this to someone (which you shouldn’t, this web sales don’t give anything away), doctor medications you will sound like you are conjuring from memory a nonsensical and fantastical dream; not something remotely tangible that actually happened in a 25-minute journey through a Shorditch warehouse.

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Enter the ride and find yourself wheeled through 15 distinct scenarios with over 70 artists acting out micro-performances. “Designed to mentally and visually astound”, check; “leaving you overwhelmed and exhilarated’, check and check; and finishing the ride “in a totally different emotional state from the one you were in when you embarked on the journey”, most definitely true: utterly elated, mesmerised, and psychologically discombobulated.

The You Me Bum Bum train represents a new branch of experimental live art where the line between performer and audience is not just blurred, but utterly turned on it’s head; interaction is integral to the experience, and how far you take this is up to you. It’s creators Kate Bond and Morgan Lloyd, intend to strip individuals of decision-making, giving passengers the would-be ordinary experience of somebody else’s shoes. You are left with fleeting slices of alternate realities, one moment you might be a drummer, the next a translator (I really don’t want to say much!). It’s real human experience through the prism of the utterly surreal, and it will take you some time to reclaim your grasp on the two, a most marvellous and novel experience.

The venue is essential to the experience, and they describe Cordy House as their dream venue, lending itself to the most ambitious event they’ve held yet.
There isn’t much time to go, and I whole-heartedly recommend it as an unforgettable experience. It runs every Saturday from now until the 20th of December between 7pm and 11pm.

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Hip Parisian fahion and electro label, buy Kitsuné, what is ed are fast becoming as well known for their associated music as they are for their fashion. In fact, there is a clear cut three-way divide at Heaven tonight: scenesters, dressed for the fashion blog photographers collide en masse with those who know Kitsuné for the music and are quite unprepared for the additional rooms full of said scenesters, and with the regular Heaven clubbers, used to G-A-Y Camp Attack on Friday nights and probably the most bemused of everyone here.

Within the four rooms there’s a frustrating mix of real djs and acts like Autokratz, whose Pet Shop Boys go big beat set was a joy to behold and left me humming ‘Stay The Same’ for the rest of the night. Hearts Revolution, Punks Jump Up and Kitsuné house band Digitalism all turned out in force to impress and did so, although at times the acts felt a little repetitive. Alas, alongside these quality acts, we also got a number of vanity djs, including various models and boutique owners, which all blurred into the same set as the night progressed and seemed to play to rooms full of people aiming to get to the bar and move on.

It transpired that the ‘Don’t Panic’ room was the place to be. Inspired by K-Tron, blasting bass heavy No-Wave, they held me and the room in near divine rapture. The highlight of the night however, was Matthew Stone who dragged us back to 1985 via The KLF, his effortlessly sublime musical compass taking us on a seemingly random adventure, fitting perfectly with the tone of the night. There were some true high points tonight, but Kitsuné are probably best enjoyed via one of their compilations than live, based on tonight’s evidence.

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Global Day of Action is a direct action environmentalism initiative that started in 2005 Global Climate Campaign to focus world attention on the anthropogenic effect that humans are having on global warming.
Actions take place on this day to coincide with a Climate Change convention; a meeting of world leaders from 189 nations, viagra dosage that meet every year to discuss climate change.
We have the listings for the actions taking place on the 6th in London, viagra 100mg for a list of other cities actions click here.

Global Day of Action
6th December 2008

This will be the Saturday midway through the next round of UN Climate Talks and our best chance to influence the decisions of delegates ahead of the critical UN talks in 2009 at which a post-Kyoto treaty agreement will be decided.

LONDON

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Climate Bike Ride 2008
Assemble 10.30 am Lincolns Inn Fields for a mass bike ride around Central London joining up with the National Climate March at Grosvenor Square (see next listing for National Climate March info)
The three stops on the route are:
-Outside Greenergy, 198 High Holborn – for an agrofuels protest organised by Biofuelswatch
-Outside E.On 100 Pall Mall – for a speaker on NO NEW COAL
-Outside the Department of Transport – for a speaker on sustainable transport
Everyone welcome; decorate your bikes, bring whistles, bring music!
Want to help out for this action? Contact Jeremy Hill on 07816 839883 or jeremy.hill1@btopenworld.com

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National Climate March and Global Day of Action on Climate
The march starts at 12noon at Grosvenor Square and will move via Carlos Place and Mount Street to Berkley Square and Berkley street to Picacadily, Picadilly Circus, Lower Regent street, Pall Mall and Cockspur street to Trafalgar Square and Whitehall to Parliament Square.
We will bring the UK issues of Aviation, New coal and Biofuels to the streets of London, along with a call for more investment in renewable energy, more energy efficiency and more green jobs.
Speakers will include Nick Clegg (leader Liberal Democrat Party), Caroline Lucas (leader, Green party), Michael Meacher (ex-Environment Minister) and George Monbiot (Honorary President, Campaign against Climate Change).
Contact: 020 7833 9311
www.campaigncc.org

There will also be an After-Party in the Synergy Centre from 5.00 pm till late.

The March on Parliament has four main themes –
1) NO to a 3rd runway at Heathrow and the runaway expansion in aviation expansion.
2) NO new coal – no new coal-fired power stations as planned at eg Kingsnorth in Kent
3) NO to the expansion of agrofuels – with negative impacts on forests, the climate and world food supply.
4) YES to a renewable energy revolution and green jobs – a “Green new Deal”
Come with your own banners, costumes on one of these themes and join up with others pushing that theme……

The March on Parliament for the Climate marks the Saturday midway through the UN Climate Talks in Poznan, Poland and we make our demands on the UK government in solidarity with the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities that will suffer worst and most immediately from climate change caused overwhelmingly by the rich long-industrialised countries.

We need the government to act now on climate, to stop building coal-fired power stations and new runways – and to begin the renewable energy revolution. We need a tidal wave of people outside parliament to make them act to stop climate catastrophe now! Be part of that tidal wave, be there! Next year may be too late.

for more information:
http://www.globalclimatecampaign.org/ – for a list of cities and actions!
www.campaigncc.org

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BUST Magazine Christmas Craftacular
6th – 7th December, St Aloysius Social Club, 20 Phoenix Road, Euston, NW1 1TA
craftacular-uk@bust.com

BUST is a magazine devoted to the female. Providing an unapologetic view of life in the female lane, they break down stereotypes! Based in the US and established in 1993, the magazine addresses a variety of different issues within pop sulture, including music, fashion, art & crafts and news.
Editor-in-Chief, Debbie Stoller, decided to call the magazine BUST, because it was “aggressive and sexy and funny… It was a title that could belong to a men’s porn magazine.”
For Women With Something To Get Off Their Chests!
Click here for the Christmas Craftacular’s Facebook Page


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Jumble Fever
Under the bridge on Beck Road, E8
Saturday 6th December
Midday-4pm, Entry £1
A fabulous jumble sale with a boogie twist! There will be a great deal to see and do and buy.. See you there!

ETSY
An online shopping bazaar; Etsy is a cross between eBay and Amazon with a humble handmade twist. Launched in June 2005 by Robert Kalin, for sale Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik, the site has grown to be incredibly popular, with tens of thousands of people selling their handmade goods (90% of whom are women!).
As Christmas draws nearer and greener, we have chosen our favorite handmade things to inspire your presents list.
www.etsy.com

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“The Kelsey”; a pleated clutch in paisley mocha
This handmade clutch is one of many adorable bags created by GraceyBags; get in touch through etsy.com to custom order a clutch and choose from a rainbow of fabrics.
Featured is ‘The Kelsey’ in a paisley mocha print on the outside in greens, blues, pinks, yellows and browns. The inside has been sewn from a silky brown fabric and the bag closes with a small magnet.

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Recycled Journal – handbound
Find a lovely selection of hand bound recycled books by Rhonda; bookbinder and book artist.
This particularly wonderful journal is made with a variety of recycled scrap papers ranging from large envelopes, posters, junk mail, blank paper, lined and graph paper, covers from old sketch books, old maps, discarded photocopies, misprints from the computer printer to paper bags.
Perfect as an art journal, the book is covered with an old map of the world, the one pictured above showing the islands of Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
There are 256 pages (when you count both sides of each sheet). The pages are handbound using green and brown linen threads, visible on the spine in 4 rows of chain stitches.
The book size is approximately 4″ x 4¼” and 1″ thick (or 10.5cm x 11cm x 2.5cm).

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French Bulldog cotton tote bag

This adorable cotton tote is the perfect carry-all for any occasion. BellaBlu Designs signature French Bulldog silhouette has been cut from Heather Bailey‘s ‘Sway in Brown’ Pop Garden print and appliquéd to this cotton canvas bag. It is 100% 10 oz. cotton, measures 15 x 13 x 3 inches and can be customized with most other dog breeds.

TREEFORT
http://treefortkids.myshopify.com

We’ve also had a browse round treefort.myshopify.com, for some gift ideas for those of you with little ones in your life!

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Dreamlets Dolls
These cute little creatures would make an adorable gift this season, and as a product that gives 1% back to Artworks, Bridges to Understanding, or Poncho, they’re doing a lot more than making a loved one happy! The dolls come in a variety of shapes and colours, each with their own quirky personality. You are also able to choose which organization will benefit from your gift by registering your doll online.

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Nikki McClure’s Mama & Baby Things
Treefort also sell many of Nikki Mcclure‘s prints, books, cards, and calendars. Nikki McClure creates complex, yet natural designs by cutting away from a single piece of black construction paper with an x-acto knife. Her works are printed on 100% Recycled, 100% Post-Consumer Waste, Processed Chlorine Free paper that was manufactured with electricity that is offset with Green-e® certified renewable energy. Her work is printed by a small family-owned press in Portland, Oregon, US- and uses soy-based inks.

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Kids On Roof “House”
is made of Eco friendly-100% recycled cardboard and is 100% biodegradable. These houses are the perfect gift for creative children, as they’re meant to be decorated and personalised! (see below for examples from treefort) Kidsonroof donates 5% of its profits to specific Unicef projects; €24,000 has now been collected for the Unicef project for building better, small-scale housing for HIV/Aids inflicted orphans in Russia.
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Beyond Retro Christmas Party!

This evening Beyond Retro is throwing it’s annual seasonal gathering – in both it’s shops, viagra buy the original Cheshire St warehouse and new sibling store in Soho – from 6pm – 8pm, there’ll be lots of exclusive goodies for you to browse through and they’ll even throw in some mulled wine and mince pies. Good times.

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Made In Clerkenwell

This evening and all weekend, the Clerkenwell Green Association open their studios for Made in Clerkenwell, an event that showcases the work of over 70 designers they support through providing them with studio space, mentoring and business advice to help them create their work.

The fruits of their labors are exhibited and available for purchase, so you can hunt out that unique Christmas gift and buy all kinds of original and creative wares – ranging from fashion designs to jewellery, accessories, textiles and even ceramics.
What makes this shopping experience so different is that you can mingle with and chat to the designers and find out about their craft, inspirations, working method, becoming a designer, anything you want to know! So pop down, get a great gift and support new designers.

Open 6pm to 8pm, Thursday 27th November 2008 and
12pm to 6pm on Friday 28th, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th November 2008.
£2.50 entrance – free to the under 16s.

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It’s no secret that Brooklyn’s the place to be for smart indie pop these days, view but look a little closer to home and you might be surprised. Take tonight’s superb support acts, advice for example. First up is Pens, erectile a cute lo-fi local trio who, despite playing to only a handful of people, put on a wonderfully frantic and ramshackle performance – think Karen O‘s kid sisters gleefully bashing at snare, guitar and synths.

Fellow Londoners Chew Lips are up next and are nothing short of a revelation. The threesome cater in captivatingly melancholy electronic music and boast a bona fide icon-in-waiting in singer Tigs; she prowls and creeps around the venue, all black bob and wide eyes, unleashing powerful vocals and jumping on the bar to serenade us, while the boys whip up a glitchy synth and bass storm in the background. ‘Solo’ is the band’s set-closer and an undeniable highlight – scuzzy and danceable yet strangely sad, it will be one of your anthems of 2009, no question.

This bunch are hard to follow, but Telepathe just about manage it. Dave Sitek-produced debut ‘Dance Mother’ is on the way in January, and recreating its majesty live is clearly still a tricky undertaking for the Brooklyn duo. They do their best, unleashing a stream of cluttered soundscapes, layered harmonies and clipped rhythms, and while the effect is hypnotic at times, barely a word is uttered between songs – resulting in a distinct lack of atmosphere. This could of course be due, in part, to the fact that they are playing to a room full of typically disinterested Shoreditch types. Whatever the reason the performance falls a little flat, until final effort ‘Chromes On It’ that is, its spine-tingling beats waking the crowd from its stupor and climaxing with speakers shaking and half the band hanging from the ceiling as the hysterical throng down the front excitedly punch the air. It’s just enough to convince us that we’re not quite prepared to give up on Telepathe as a live proposition yet. More like this please.
Nuclear: Art and Radioactivity
discount -4.064941&sspn=16.764146, visit this site 39.418945&ie=UTF8&ll=51.524712,-0.079694&spn=0.008598,0.019248&z=16&g=E1+6PG&iwloc=addr”target=”_blank”>Nicholls and Clarke Building, 3-10 Shoreditch High Street, Spitalfields, London E1.

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‘Half-life’
Chris Oakley, 2008
High-definition video, 15 minutes

‘The Nightwatchman’
Simon Hollington & Kypros Kyprianou, 2008
Installation

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The Nicholls and Clarke Building hosts an exhibition that explores the changing perceptions of nuclear power. In our rapidly deteriorating climate, the effects of nuclear development from the past have come to haunt us. ‘The Nightwatchman,’ by Simon Hollington and Kypros Kyprianou, captures this disturbing predicament.

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As we entered the installation there was something immediately unsettling about it. A board-meeting table situated in the centre of a large dilapidated storeroom indicated recent activity, and as we crept further through the exhibition space there was more evidence of some night watchmen. But they are no where to be found…

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Together with the film ‘Half-life’ by Chris Oakley, there was a sense of being caught in a crossfire of two different eras: the naïvely optimistic 80′s and the knowledgeable cynicism of the present day.

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The film showed a series of paradoxical images of nature vs. technology, and through it we were reminded of how our idea of what is progressive has been turned on it’s head.

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If you’d like to have something of yours across the chests of music aficionados throughout the country, viagra you might like to apply for this. 100% music, cheap 100% recycled paper (well done), sildenafil Bearded Magazine is preparing for the re-launch of the printed magazine on January 29th, and they’re throwing in a t-shirt as well.

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When it came to deciding what should go on the front of said t-shirt, they mumbled gibberish into their beards and drew blanks, and so they’ve put the task out to you the reader to help them out. In fact, they might be so filled with indecision that there could be four winners, so better chances for you! Have a look at the criteria and send in a design soon, you have until the 15th of December.

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The Wellcome Collection’s new temporary exhibition is entitled ‘War and Medicine’ and focuses on the individual human consequences of war rather than the overall statistics of death and destruction that impersonalise and almost glorify military combat and which we are most often presented with. Soldiers are heroes when they die for their country but uncomfortable representatives of horror when they return wounded and disfigured.

Installation artist David Cotterrell‘s film, sales specially commissioned for the exhibition, salve attempts to rectify this. Covering three walls of a darkened room, more about the film shows wounded soldiers, with varying degrees of injury, being loaded onto a flight back to England from Helmand Province in Afghanistan. The only soundtrack is the constant hum of the plane’s engine, an eerie backdrop to the calm, efficient activity taking place on screen. There is an unsettling disjunction between our inclusion in the scene through the way it is presented to us and the alienness of the sight before our eyes. This slightly dreamlike atmosphere helps separate the artwork from the realms of documentary photography and helps us understand the confusion of this homeward flight, which we are told in the information outside, is often only partially remembered by the soldiers.

What is most striking about this piece is the individual humanity behind the uniforms of the men and women depicted. On the left are the walking wounded with a variety of arm slings and facial injuries being tended to by medical staff and waiting patiently for their journey to begin, on the right, more distressingly, a person is carried in on a stretcher, connected to breathing apparatus. It is heartbreaking to realise that although most of these people will probably survive, and so not register in the public consciousness, they will have been scarred for life both physically and emotionally. I began to see them as people beyond whatever my personal attitudes to their profession and the war they are fighting in was.
A harrowing counterpart to this work is Cotterrell’s written diary, where he describes with civilian horror, the daily minutiae of life amongst the medical staff in Camp Bastion. The exhibition’s mission statement is to explore the dichotomies in a society that is simultaneously developing ever more sophisticated means of destroying life and protecting it. The stalemate futility of this situation is given a human face by Cotterrell’s work.

David Cotterrell is featured in issue 10 of the magazine, out shortly.

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Hurrying through the lights and sounds of Soho, stuff the words ‘bloody hell it’s cold’ rattled my skull. I was heading to see the Canadian singer and illustrator Chad VanGaalen, this known for rarely leaving his basement. In this weather, who would blame him?
Once inside Borderline I was able to thaw out and to take in the cosy surroundings. Kindly folk in chequered shirts patiently waited as they sipped Guinness. But there was something odd about this fresh-faced crowd. Moustaches, I realised. There were loads of them.
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It’s Mo-vember, apparently. The time of year for all socially conscious gentlemen to grow out their fluff to raise money for testicular cancer. ‘That’s nice,’ I thought.
This playful and boyish act of sincerity seemed fitting for the night in store as there’s something of the fourteen-year-old boy about Chad VanGaalen. Deceptively awkward and immediately charming, he’ll break your heart.
Together with a hairy-faced accordionist he delivered a homemade and reflective sound. It was as if we had wandered into his basement, and he seemed a little surprised to see us there.
His hesitancy on stage draws you nearer, and his tight and masterful song-writing capabilities took a hold of my senses like a sedative.
That uneasy fluidity reminded me of Beach House and the unexpectedly punchier tunes provided an excitable energy that twanged some of those moustaches.
Listening to Chad is like putting on a pair of earmuffs and skate boarding down smooth suburban streets.
There’s a yearning to be free and limitless but it only slightly ventures out of the comfortable. A girl behind me whispered excitedly ‘It’s the kind of music I’d ride my bike to.’
It is difficult for any set at the Borderline to not feel intimate and Chad VanGaalen’s was by no means revolutionary.
But the evening was all together thoughtful and enchanting, and as I braved the bitter London streets once more, the words of Electric City wrapped me up like a duvet.

Soft Airplane is available on Flemish Eye.

Photographs by Ro Cemm
for more pictures of the night click here

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At 8am on Friday 28th November on a wet and grizzly morning, stuff the Greenwash Guerillas and a band of allies rallied together outside the E-On Head Office at 100 Pall Mall. We were there to protest against the planned government-approved scheme to build 7 new coal fired power stations. E-on will be responsible for the first of these havoc wreaking death chambers (no hyperbole here) at Kingsnorth, Kent. This power station alone will emit between 6 and 8 million tones of CO2 every year. If all 7 are built, treatment their collective emissions would be approximately 50 million tones of CO2 a year. This would make the Climate Change Committee’s proposal to cut back on CO2 emissions an average of 2% per annum so that by 2050 we’ll have an 80% reduction well… impossible.

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Browsing through E-on’s website, it might be easy to be fooled into thinking they are an environmentally conscientious company promoting ‘clean, green energy that never runs out.’ But it doesn’t take long to realize that their wind farms and claims of boosting local employment are cleverly marketed to cast a rosy sheen over more profitable projects that use coal.

Coal is the grimiest of fossil fuels. It’s carbon-intensity is higher than oil and double that of natural gas. Yet, as the driving force behind the industrial revolution, it has been the primary source of power for the electricity generation. Gathered outside the E-on head office, we are no longer in the 19th century but in the 21st century and in the midst of a climatic crisis. With sea ice disappearing at a never-before-seen rapidity now is the time to use new greener sources of power, not to revert to the practices of the past.

So why is the government supporting what seems a disastrously archaic project?
The government’s answer is that by increasing the cost of carbon, power stations will be forced to use a process of carbon capture and storage (CCS) whereby the harmful carbon dioxide produced by coal is extracted from the air and buried underground.
However, a presentation made by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee concluded that this reasoning is implausible. Voicing research from the U.K. Energy Research Centre and Climate Change Capital, it showed that using a process of CCS would in fact be the least cost effective option for power stations. The research they gathered predicted that CCS will cost power companies like E-On 70-100 or 90-155 Euros per ton of CO2, while the government estimates that the price of carbon between 2013 and 2020 will be less at approximately 39 Euros per ton.

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It’s fair to say that it is extremely unlikely that power companies will go for the more expensive option, especially when the margin is as large as it is. In short, the government’s criteria for approving E- On’s power station at Kingsnorth is worryingly unsatisfactory.

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If our government is failing to alleviate the catastrophic predicament of climate change that is costing lives then it is up to us as citizens to take action against the construction of Kingsnorth and others like it. For more information on what you can do please click here and please go to the national climate march on Saturday 6th December, bring your mates and make it fun. This is a serious issue and we need to get the message across but optimism is always the best the way of creating change, in my view anyway.

Categories ,activism, ,E-On, ,Earth, ,Greenwash Guerillas, ,Kingsnorth

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Amelia’s Magazine | Operation Bike Bloc: Designing the Resistance Machine!

page -2″ src=”http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Shaun-McDowell-Untitled-2.gif” alt=”Shaun-McDowell–Untitled, this web -2″ />Untitled 2 by Shaun Mc Dowell

To examine artists on display in regards to their own sense of what is intangible; what is the unbeknownst? Cecily Brown (one of the five artists displaying), once elucidated of her method; ‘Often, I find it really hard to see what I’m doing when I’m in the thick of things (painting).’ This seemed a resonant befall to take into the exhibition, and one that permeated throughout; the artist’s blindness filtering down to the viewers’ perception.

steve-white-installation-shAll photographs by Stephen White, courtesy of Parasol unit

On entering the chic industrial space of the Parasol Unit, the viewer is introduced to Katy Moran’s installations of small, yet expressively fueled paintings. Ambiguous and ethereal spaces, you are inserted into a void of instability. She is emphatically a cannon for the abstract. Sometimes unsettling, occasionally frustrating (primarily by the evasive titles), but most of all, her paintings are enchanting. Staring into a framed space of colour and shape, for example Daniel, the warped style within the pieces allude to envisions of nothingness that are quite remarkable.

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Shaun McDowell, renowned for his part in the Peckham art squats, uses colour and technique in a vast and expansive means. Glaringly bright and expansively detailed, what initially looks like a lot of fun swiftly augments to a somewhat dark and unnerving visage. Strolling slowly past his paintings, I became ever more hypnotised as the images took on a pseudo stereogram quality. In seeing what wasn’t there, McDowell emulates invisibility by somehow tricking his viewer into complacence, before revealing his true mien.

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Spotted throughout the gallery, Hans Josephsohn’s sculptures have a weird (for want of a better word) presence. Remindful of Easter Island Moai, the veteran sculptor’s cast brass creations have a transcendent quality. Although clearly based upon the human form, they seem to capture their own timeless space with an omnipresent earthliness.

Cecily Brown and Maaike Schoorel probably make for the biggest contrast within the exhibition. Feasibly the crux of the collective display, Brown’s paintings are entirely mesmerising. Sensual and figurative, each image draws the viewer in. A lieu of strokes, the paintings seem to shift with every glance, yielding an ever more desire to look. Saturated with existentialist sensibilities, her works exude human instinct. Counter to this, Maaike Schoorel seems to take a much more apathetic stance. Her bleached canvases denote a controlled and methodical temperament. Her works certainly evoke the invisible, and after forcefully adjusting to her palate, figures and landscapes subtlety emerge.

Katy-Moran,-Salters-Ridge,-Salters Ridge by Katy Moran

Visible Invisible invites the viewer into an uncomfortable world where a desired truth is obsolete. Each artist takes their own stance on how to barrage their audience with a distinctive underlay. Irritating the senses, the exhibition leaves you wanting for something that evades, and, insofar, wanting more.

Visible Invisible: Against the Security of the Real is at the Parasol unit, Foundation for Contemporary Art, 14 Wharf Road, London, N1 7RW from 25.11.09 – 07.02.10. Gallery opens Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 6 pm. Sunday is 12 to 5 pm. First Thursday of every month, open until 9 pm. Admission if free. Please note that from 6pm on Friday 18 December 2009 until Tuesday 5 January 2010 Parasol unit will be closed for the holidays.
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Last week at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol Climate Camp and the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination joined forces to become Operation Bike Bloc, prescription which will launch the Resistance Machine in Copenhagen on the 16th of December. First however the prototype had to be designed and built. So what on earth materialised when a bunch of volunteers and activists were let loose with a pile of old bikes and welding equipment? I called up JJ, one of the projects facilitators, to find out…

So how did the designing and building of the prototypes go in Bristol last week?

It was brilliant, the idea of the week in Bristol was about creating a collective culture, a lot of social engineering, a lot of the work was getting these people that had never really worked in this formation to build a lot of trust, and work fast and efficiently together, and something that is importantly fun. It was really successful. We then started to set out the design process, through working collectively together we’d already formed a merge of intelligence because the 2 groups that went off to do designs came up with exactly the same 2 ideas, that was really beautiful, it showed that we were really on the same page. There was a wall in the gallery with maybe 100 different designs, so we were looking at those and discussing. Then basically we had this big shipping container outside with this big poster on the side of it. People just welded, learnt to weld, there was a lot of skill sharing.

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What kind of ideas did every one come up with?

Well there are 3 prototypes; the first is ‘The Swarm’, which involves many bikes attached together so that anyone can become a part of the bike bloc. The ideas based on bees swarming, with many bodies communicating together. Then there is ‘Double Double Trouble’ that is 2 tall bikes, basically if you imagine 2 bike frames welded together, it’s got 2 wheels with the bike frames welded on top of each other to make a tall bike about 9/20 ft tall, with a chariot in the middle of those 2 to ride through the streets. That’ll be used for carrying people, things, lots of different uses, for getting up high and so on.The 3rd thing, prototype, ‘The Machine’, won’t actually be released, it’s a secret! That’ll actually be released on the 16th, the day of action in Copenhagen.

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Didn’t you stay on a boat while you were in Bristol?

We stayed on the boat every night, which was fantastic, we all worked collectively, cooking and cleaning together, for us one of the most important things is creating rebel friendships and really enabling people to trust each other and work together well. That is really important, building friendships and relationships really.

The project involves Climate Camp and the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination collaborating. How do these 2 work together?

Well the Lab is a collection of volunteers and activists that sets this project going and then we collaborated with Climate Camp,  for us it’s a bit like we’re trying to create this spark, with various bits of wood and if that catches then that’s  a project that happens. We’d try and keep the spark going till lots of other bits of wood and materials come in and it catches and the fire starts. It’s about losing control in the sense of starting off an idea and making it open. That’s a key part of what we do. Everyone owns it, which is very different from other ways artists work, quite the opposite.

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And finally how to you think things will pan-out in Copenhagen at Candy Factory? What are your hopes?

We like to create an idea that has its own sort of mythology or power behind it, I think that is beginning to happen already, it seems to have captured peoples imagination, it really is about designing new forms of civil disobedience and making it fun and adventurous, effective and  beautiful, that seems to be happening, we’ve already got about 150 bikes waiting for us in Copenhagen when we get there. We’re going to be based in the Candy Factory, in like a legalized squat. How is it going to go? Well I don’t want to make any predictions, I think it’s unexpected. Our dream is that on the 16th, the day of civil disobedience, the reclaim power day when the Climate Justice Action group which is the wider network we’re working within, the idea is to go and non violently push through… and not escalate to violence but get as near to the UN conference as possible and then to create a peoples summit for climate justice. I think what could happen and I think this would be a historically important moment if it did is that while we do that delegates from the inside would walk out and join to create a new space. It could be amazing. We’re hoping that the bike bloc would enable that to happen as we’re going to be this mobile swarm that’s constantly moving around, like a cavalry from one place to another, engaging and moving off. So hopefully we’ll be able to enable that to happen and also maybe to get people who haven’t done activism or who might feel like it feels safer to be on a bicycle. And also there’s nothing more fun, it’s like being kids, all in your bike gang and that’s what the project is, the title is put the fun between your legs and that’s super important for us that people just love doing it.

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Photography by Amy Scaife

More coming soon on the COP15 summit and the unveiling of ‘The Machine’!

A cool video incase you missed it first time around…

Vrooooom

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination
Climate Camp
Climate Justice Action

Categories ,activism, ,bikes, ,Climate Camp, ,Climate Change, ,Climate Justice Action, ,collaboration, ,copenhagen, ,earth, ,Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination

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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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