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 | Wake Up Freak Out then Get a Grip

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.

Categories ,Aniboom Awards, ,Climate, ,Earth, ,Leo Murray, ,Video

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Amelia’s Magazine | Witness

Amelia’s brother Sam Gregory is the Program Director of a human rights group Witness, and this inspiring collective are front page YouTube news today, 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.

Categories ,Earth, ,Human Rights, ,Sam Gregory, ,Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ,Witness

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Amelia’s Magazine | Love London Green Festival

A Saturday night in downtown Kilburn saw the long awaited (and, case decease considering it was recorded about 18 months ago, treat long overdue) launch of Horses for Courses, more about the debut album from Teesside trio Das Wanderlust. Taking the stage after sterling support from the ever wonderful Bobby McGees, the place of lead singer and keyboard player Laura Simmons was taken by the mysterious “Rock Wizard”, decked out like some prog-tastic spawn of the mid-70′s Rick Wakeman. But – lo and behold! – ‘twas indeed that cheeky scamp Laura underneath (the cape and false beard were in fact discarded because it was bloomin’ hot)!

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Das Wanderlust are one of those bands that can be guaranteed to divide opinion. So much so that, confusingly, the NME decided to produce a schizophrenic review which on the one hand raves about the album, whilst on the other describes one track (Sea Shanty) as “literally the worst song we’ve ever heard and annoying on an almost nuclear level” (guitarist Andy Elliott ruefully reminded the audience of this). Personally, I think they’re great.

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Musically, they are very reminiscent of X-Ray Spex, particularly Simmons’distinct vocal delivery, and late-70′s Fall. Crunchy guitars, buzzy 20p second hand Casio-style keyboards and melodies that don’t go quite where you expect, it’s a style that Das Wanderlust describe as “wrong pop”. The single Puzzle is what Elastica might have sounded like if they hadn’t spent all their time transcribing Wire and Stranglers albums whilst, conversely, the piano-based Turn to Grey has a very nursery-esque quality.

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One thing to say about Das Wanderlust is that in no way do they take themselves seriously on stage. After a little dig at the archetypal Shoreditch gig crowd, there is much onstage banter (which apparently led to a bit of a rebuke from a rather sniffy reviewer in Cardiff recently) and they appeared to be having so much fun that they didn’t realise they’d reached the end of their set.
Heading back to the distant north, I’m sure their hearts were gladdened by the response to their set and the generally positive reviews to Horses for Courses suggest that hopefully we shall be seeing much more of Das Wanderlust soon.

Live photos appear courtesy of Richard Pearmain
For the next few weeks, purchase London will be transformed under an umbrella of environmentalism and sustainability. Which ever corner of London is your turf, treatment you will find something to watch, shop learn, listen to or take part in. Love London: The Green Festival is the biggest green festival in Europe, and will be running from June 4th – June 28th. It will encompass hundreds of cheap and free events in and around the capital that will be categorised under three themes: Green Places, Green Living and Green Innovations. There will also be an onus on Eco – Thrift, a topical theme given the current climate that we are all facing. From a Love London Recycled Sculpture Show at the Wetland Centre in Barnes, Community Garden Open Days, London Farmers Markets Picnic on The Green, Eco-Cultural Festival…. the list seems almost infinite. That is before we include the talks aimed on sharing tips and ideas on how to live a more sustainable and green lifestyle.

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I spoke with the people behind Love London and asked a little bit more about what we can expect in the next few weeks.

What is the purpose of the Love London festival?
The purpose of the festival is to empower Londoners to build a more sustainable future for the Capital. The festival achieves this by bringing communities together to share ideas and celebrate innovations. It supports and promotes grass roots action.

What types of events take place during the Love London festival?
A huge range of events take place during the festival – all have an environmental /
sustainable focus. Events are organised by themes. The 2009 main theme is Green Places. Sample events: Culpeper Community Garden (growing veg in small spaces) Love London Recycled Sculpture Show, WWT London Wetland Centre, Waste Free Picnics Tour the Greenwich Eco-House.

Sister themes + sample events include Green Living Green Innovations, The Art of Green Cleaning Eco-Vehicle Rally (Brighton– London), Energy Doctor Surgeries Insider London – Eco Tours, There is also a cross-theme focus on Eco-Thrift this year – many events will teach Londoners how they can save money and save the environment eg Swap Shops and Energy Use surgeries.

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Illustration by Jessica Pemberton


Sustainability is a very topical subject matter isn’t it?

Very much so, obviously sustainability is always on the agenda, and this year we have a large aspect around eco-thrift. People think that sustainability will cost them more more but it will actually save them money.

How long has Love London been running?
The festival is now in its seventh year. Over the years it has grown from a weekend event to one week, then two and is now three weeks long. It has evolved from London Sustainability Weeks to Love London Green Festival. Starting with less than ten events it now offers hundreds.

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Events from previous Love London Green Festivals. Note the Naked Bike Ride of 2006!

How can Love London benefit the city and the lives of Londoners?
Love London events give Londoners the knowledge and inspiration to do their bit to make the Capital cleaner and greener. As the festival spreads the word and people take action the city will become a more pleasant place for all.
The main theme for 2009 encourages Londoners to celebrate and protect the city’s vital Green Places. Londoners will get out cleaning up rivers and carrying out conservation work as well as enjoying the space with picnics in the park and nature craft workshops. The Love London Recycled Sculpture Show is a highlight event.

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The Heron is the focal piece in the Recycled
Sculpture Show. It is by the artist Ptolemy Elrington and has been
made from old shopping trolleys dragged out of a canal.

Who organises the festival?
It’s a partnership of like minded charities such as London 21 Sustainability Network,
The London Environment Co-ordinators Forum, London Community Recycling
Network
, London Sustainability Exchange, The Federation of City Farms and
Community Gardens, London Civic Forum, Sponge, Government Office for London,
Open House, Global Action Plan and The Mayor of London.

Click here to find out more about Love London Green Festival.

Categories ,Earth, ,Ecology, ,Economy, ,Environment, ,Festivals

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Amelia’s Magazine | The ballot box calls all the boys to the yard…

Election Night Womens representation – jenny robins

Illustration by Jenny Robins

I didn’t plan on staying up so late on Election night. I had well-meaning plans involving a cup of tea, dosage my pajamas and being tucked up in bed with a book by 10pm. But like many people, hospital as soon as the exit polls rolled in, I was hooked. My emotions swung from disbelief to elation, despair to complete confusion, the latter being the prevailing feeling.

I am not sure if there is any other point in the year where this is the case, but all eyes were on Sunderland. Initially I was baffled by the focus on rushing to count the votes. I would rather it was accurate than rushed, it isn’t Total Wipeout (although how I wish it was! Imagine – the party leaders racing round the course, being pounded with mechanical fists and squaring up to the Big Balls?!) But as the first, second and third result came in, I realized that for a brief, bizarre moment, we had a 100% female government. Imagine that. And bloomin bizarre it was. But why? Why is it so hard to imagine an all female government?

The sad reality is that women are still dramatically under-represented in key areas of public, political and economic life: In the last British Parliament of 646 there were only 126 female MPs. This is abysmal. We lag far far behind countries like Afghanistan, Rwanda, Senegal and Latvia when it comes to women’s representation. The majority of UK senior civil servants, directors of FTSE 100 companies, senior lawyers, and key figures in the media are men. No wonder so many teenage girls cite Katie Price as their role model, though that does make me want to eat my own face. If women are excluded from the top jobs, half the talent of the nation is wasted.


llustration by Jenny Robins

I went to bed around 2.30am unable to keep my eyes open any more, with an excited, but admittedly naïve, confidence that this election would see a significant increase In women in parliament. According to the Centre for Women and Democracy and the Fawcett Society, Thursday’s General Election resulted in… wait for it….. drum roll…… 142 women MPs. Yes! That’s an extra 16! Oh- no, wait a minute… 142 female MP’s in a parliament of 649…. that’s only 22% of parliament. On a positive note, this included Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party, and the election of Britain’s first ever female Asian MPs. A tiny bit better, but overall its pathetic, quite frankly. Fuck.

As I write this, there is speculation about the leader of the labour party. Oh, more white men? Déjà vu anyone? Will a women even stand? But more alarmingly, Cameron is currently forming his new cabinet, and according to the BBC, not a single women has been appointed to the cabinet yet, and I’m pretty sure that not a single woman has even been mentioned. Sweet mercy. From bad to dire.

UPDATE: 4 women were appointed to the cabinet, none in the top jobs. This still puts us far behind our European counterparts. Theresa May is the new Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities, who, according to theyworkforyou voted against rights for gay people. Go figure.

This has to change. If women’s representation continues to creep up in 1 or 2 percentage points like it has done up until now it will literally take decades before women are fairly represented in our country. Women only shortlists may sound drastic to some but when you consider the state of women’s representation nationally, you realize that it’s drastically needed.

And then there is proportional representation. Oh sweet, fair, idolized proportional representation! How we long for you! It is a clear olive branch standing out from the mushy confused mess of the election result. (Lib-lab, lab-con, Con-dem anyone?) The case for voter reform is more convincing than ever.

There are apparently gazilillions of different proportional representation systems, but roughly it means that if a party receives 10% of the vote, they receive 10% representation, which is hundreds of miles better than the system we have now when a party receives 51% of the vote but 100% of the influence in parliament. The Electoral Reform Society explains one system thus; “At present, constituencies are represented in parliament by just one MP. Under a Single Transferable Vote system, each constituency is represented by a small group of representatives…This makes it possible for representatives of different parties to be elected in each ward, thus allowing more people to have representatives of the parties of their choice.” Having a group of representatives in each constituency will mean that it will be even more blindingly obvious if women are not represented there (same for other minority groups too). In other countries that operate proportional representation more women are nominated, and the more women are nominated the more they are elected. Proportional representation also means that people can vote according to what they actually believe in (like, for example, electing more women to parliament, amongst other things) rather than tactically to keep certain parties in or out.


Illustration by Sandra Dieckmann

So yes. Women are still dismally under represented. Yes, teenage girls are growing up saving for boob jobs. Yes, we heard more about the dresses of the leaders wives than we did the policies of the female candidates. But it is time to say no. We wont stand for our outdated, old fashioned, unfair voting system any more… Takebackparliament , a coalition of a range of different voter reform groups have organised a demonstration calling for voter reform on Saturday. When you’re talking to your kids and grandkids in years to come about this bonkers election, don’t say you watched it on facebook and TV. Say you got involved and made a difference.

Join them this Saturday At 2pm at Parliament Sq.

*climbs down off soap box and sneaks away quietly….*

Categories ,activism, ,Cabinet office, ,David Cameron, ,earth, ,fashion, ,General Election, ,Jenny Robins, ,london, ,Nick Clegg, ,Theresa May, ,women’s rights, ,Womens representation

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Amelia’s Magazine | Earth Listings

Monday 12th Jan
Starting today: The Voice and Nothing More is a week-long festival at the Slade Research Centre that explores the voice as both medium and subject matter in contemporary arts practices. Established artists and emerging talent will work with leading vocal performers in an exploration of the voice outside language. On Wednesday the festival culminates in a presentation of objects, pilule generic performances, order and installations that are open to the public. There will also be performances on Thursday and Friday from 6 pm.

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Wednesday 14th Jan

Now in it’s 21st year, recipe the London Art Fair begins at the Design Centre in Islington. A hundred galleries are selected to show work from the last few hundred years. This immense exhibition will encompass sculpture, photography, prints, video and installation art. It ends on the 18th of January.
There is a talk this evening at the ICA entitled Can Art make us Happy? where artists Zoë Walker and Michael Pinsky explore the notions of art as a social cure-all in times of economic and social gloom.
A new solo show from Josephine Flynn begins today at Limoncello on Hoxton Square. The Mexican was bought off a patient who was in hospital with mental health problems. When the patient talked about The Mexican she described how the process of making him had helped her – ‘healing through making’ was how she put it.

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Thursday 15th Jan
Feierabend is a collaborative installation between artists Francis Upritchard, Martino Gamper, and Karl Fritsche, bringing together a shared aesthetic in their distinctive approaches to jewellery, furniture design, and sculpture. The exhibition plays with the boundaries of art and real life – looking like a workshop abandoned at the end of a day’s work, or a sitting room left in abstracted dissary, it’s only inhabitants a set of sculpted figures who seem lost in their own meditations.
Gimpel Fils opens a new photographic exhbition from Peter Lanyon and Emily-Jo Sargent, 100 Pictures of Coney Island.
The Asphalt World is a new solo show at Studio Voltaire from Simon Bedwell. Drip paintings are made from advertising posters in an ironic twist or corporate seduction.

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Feierabend


Friday 16th

There are two exhibitions starting today at Wilkinson on Vyner Street. In Upper Gallery a, Episode III, Enjoy Poverty, is the second in a series of three films by Renzo Martens in which he raises issues surrounding contemporary image making, challenging ideas about the role of film makers and viewers in the construction of documentaries. In the Lower Gallery, there will be the fourth exhibiton from German artist, Silke Schatz. Through the conjunction of video, sculpture, drawing and found objects, Schahtz composes a personal portrait of the city of Agsburg.

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Saturday 17th Jan

We featured David Cotterrell in issue ten, where in the picturesque surroundings of Tatton Park, he explained how his visit to Afghanistan, where he was invited by the Wellcome Trust, would be likely to have a lasting effect on his future work. Aesthetic Distance is David Cotterrell’s third solo exhibition with Danielle Arnaud, and focuses on the experiences and inevitable aftermath of a flight he took in November 2007 in a RAF C17, from Brize Norton to Kandahar. He was the sole passenger in a plane loaded with half a million rounds of palletised munitions and medical supplies to join Operation Herrick 7, a strange irony not lost on the artist.

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Earth Listings

Monday 12th January, viagra 60mg 7pm

Climate Rush hits Heathrow

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To whomsoever concerned by the biggest threat faced by humanity today-that of climate change,

You are cordially invited to Dinner at Domestic Departures. Join us for an evening of peaceful civil(ised) disobedience ahead of the government’s decision over a third runway at Heathrow. Inspired by the actions of the suffragettes, we will be calling for DEEDS NOT WORDS. The government acknowledges the huge problems we face from Climate Change but they continue with business as usual. This jolly evening is intended to produce much-needed positive change and we do hope that you would join us.

Location: Domestic Departures, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport.

Time: 7pm (when the string quartet plays their first note).

Dress Code: Edwardian Suffragette: high collars, long skirts, fitted jackets, puffed sleeves, think Mary Poppins. Sashes will be provided. * Although advisable, it is not compulsory to arrive in Edwardian dress, the most important thing is that you your friends and family join us for dinner. To add the element of surprise, it is suggested that you arrive in a large coat to conceal your costume until the stroke of 7.

Bring: Jam tarts, scones, cucumber sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, tea cakes. Picnic blankets and table cloths. Tea and elderflower cordial. No alcohol please.

Entertainment: String quartet, art tricks from ArtPort, polite conversation.

We look forward to seeing you,

The Misbehaved Ladies from Climate Rush x

Tuesday 13th January, 6pm

Art, Activism and the legacy of Chico Mendes
RSA
8 John Adam Street
London
WC2N 6EZ

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Tonight will explore the ways in which the arts can help shift society’s attitudes in the face of unprecedented climate change. Elenira Mendes, daughter of environmental activist Chico Mendes, will talk alongside panelists Jonathan Dove (award-winning composer), Greenpeace’s senior climate adviser, Charlie Kronick and fasion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Wednesday 14th January

Wednesdays Do Matter
InSpiral Lounge, 250 Camden High Street NW1 8QS

A night of music, comedy, poetry and film (and really good vegan smoothies!) in aid of global justice campaigners, the World Development Movement. Remind yourselves why everyday matters, even Wednesdays.

Trouble the Water
ICA
The Mall
London
SW1Y 5AH

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Winner of this year’s Grand Jury prize at Sundance and announced as a finalist in 2009 Accademy Awards for Best Documentary. This is one New Orleans’ resident’s depiction of the catastrophic tragedy of Hurricaine Katrina. Shot with a (shakily) handheld camera, Kimberely Roberts’ footage starts from the weekend before the hurricaine and covers a period of a year. Michael Moore collaborators Tia Lessin and Carl Deal edit and append the tapes with their own film of the post-Katrina clean-up effort.An astounding portrayal of resilience and bravery.

Showing at the ICA 12th-15th January

Turning The Season
at The Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Wapping Wall
London
E1W 3SG

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Recent crisp bright skies have been a welcome respite from the usual drab January weather. But who knows what tomorrow may bring. Turning the Season explores the social and cultural phenomenon of the British Season. It would be fair to say that the increasingly visible effects of Climate Change have further fuelled our national fascination with the weather.
Expect 100 bird houses, a roof-top lily pond and a photo story showing the break-up of a relationship against the backdrop of seasonal events shot by fashion photographer Thomas Zanon-Larcher.

Until 28th Febuary

Amazonia at the Young Vic

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Although aimed at swarms of roaring key stage 3 schoolchildren as an educational piece on the issue of deforestation, this production from Palace People’s Projects is a true delight. Set in a traditional village in the Amazon that is eventually swayed by the ghost of Chico Mendes to not fall under the developers’ bulldozers. But not until some devastation has been wreaked first. A socio-political depiction of destruction of the Amazon with a mythical slant. All set to the music and dancing of Forro. An inventive stage (a mammoth man-made tree rather resembling an electrical pole, and pools of water seperating the audience) and brilliantly gaudy costumes by Gringo Cardia.

Until 24th January
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Monday 12th January

Dead Kids, cost O Children, erectile The Lexington, London

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Seriously energetic post-punk, sequinned and LOUD live act Dead Kids headline. No matter what you think of them on record, they’re sure to grab you live. Continuing the infant name-theme, as well as the intense post-punk sounds are support O Children.

Comanechi, Durrr at The End, London

With the ever-winning combo of Japanese girl singing drummer (also to be found as frontwoman for London band Pre) and jangular guitars, this is your best bet for a trendy sceney night out in London.

Tuesday 13th January


Banjo or Freakout
single launch party, White Heat @ Madame JoJos, London

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Part of the new-wave of ultra-hip, genre-smashing music sweeping the artier corners of the globe at the moment. Should be a celebratory atmosphere as it is his single launch party.

Wednesday 14th January

Goldie Lookin Chain, Metro, London

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Ho ho ho, GLC are sooooo funny. Free entry is promised to the gig but don’t leave your purse at home as you’ll have to pay to leave.

The Virgins, Rough Trade East, London

American New Wave tinged indie-rock.

Thursday 15th January

Wet Paint, Rough Trade East, London

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Playing this gig in anticipation of the release of their new album, they’ll be supporting Bloc Party later in the year.

Emmy the Great, 12 Bar Club, London

Intimate solo acoustic performance of debut album First Love in full, ahead of its release in February.

Push, Astoria 2, London

A massive farewell party for the Astoria 2 which will be finally demolished on Friday. Catch Cajun Dance Party live as well as DJ sets from Mystery Jets, Lightspeed Champion, Good Shoes and Neon Gold among many others and mourn the demise of the sticky-floored dingy music venue in central London.

Friday 16th January

Cats in Paris, Brassica, Braindead Improv Ensemble, The Woe Betides, George Tavern, London

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Massively hyped, bonkers 70s-ish glam-electro from Manchester.

The Golden Silvers, The Macbeth, London

Dreamy indie-pop from these regulars of the London gig circuit.

Saturday 17th January

The Bookhouse Boys, Empire, Middlesborough

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Catch this 9 piece mini-orchestra, complete with mariachi brass, duelling drummers and girl-boy vocals, for their Ennio Morricone-style soundscapes.

I Love Boxie: a web-based business in London that tailors a t-shirt especially for you based on the story you tell them. The most astute of the fashion-conscious clan know that style should reflect your spirit and not merely robotic trends. In light of this; don’t wear your heart on your sleeve– instead wear it on a t-shirt; a Boxie t-shirt.
Here, cure founder of Boxie, troche Moxie shares her views on what fashion is truly about, how her brand works and what she hopes to achieve through her t-shirts:

Tell us the story of I Love Boxie.?

Each t-shirt tells a piece of the way – a place we have been, a person we have seen. We have many lines that fit many situations and could tell a piece of your story too. If not, we offer t-spoke. You call us, tell us a story and we turn it into a line on a t-shirt. We believe everyone in the world should have an unbranded, authentic tee that sings a line of where they have been and what they have seen. We are the opposite of any company who just put a logo on a t-shirt.

?Where does the inspiration for your t-shirts come from?

?From the people who write and call in everyday with their stories. The stories are wild, heartfelt, quiet, poignant and are better than anything we could make up.

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What’s the idea behind the “half a conversation” concept?

If you think about branding for the last 30 years it’s been about distillation, reducing everything to a line eg: ‘just do it’ or ‘impossible is nothing’.
Our lines are about provoking expansion. It’s just the first line of the story, or the chapter heading. We want people to come up to someone wearing a Boxie tee – and go ‘wow, what the hell happened to you??’
?
Why do you make it purposefully hard for people to purchase your t-shirts, without contacting you directly first??

The tees are written about stupid, funny, weird, deep moments in people’s lives. All of them from the heart. They feel like they need more exchange than a credit card transaction. T-spoke especially. This is a creative collaboration that begins with the customer telling us their story. It is a strange and wonderful one off encounter between them and us. The t-shirt is their battle scar of that personal story.

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Is all your business Internet based? ?

As far as being web based goes, our tees are obviously a form of self expression and there is no greater arena for that than the web. This taps into what a tee originally was – a piece of underwear, something that wasn’t supposed to be seen but kept close to the chest and hidden like a secret.

These days, the web is a place where secrets can step out of the shade, where people can talk about things they wouldn’t usually talk about in real life. Most times, you can learn more about someone from reading their status report than talking to them for an hour in reality, because the web has taught us the language of openness and sharing.

Boxie exists in the ether as part of that fluency. More importantly those web values – openness, sharing, community – are overflowing back into real life now. So, yes, soon we’ll be on the streets in some form, although the tees will never ever be in a retail space, hanging limply on a rack.

Your favourite Boxie T-Shirt to date??

So High and Solo

How would you describe Boxie in one word??
Gonzo

Any advice for the penniless fashionista?
Everything great creatively comes from being up against it and with no cash. You can’t ever see it when you’re in it but, as far as imagination goes, you are in an infinitely better position than someone with a million dollars. Do something great with this time. And then call us to get the t-shirt. ?

Advice for those wanting to purchase something Boxie??

Write to us directly at moxie@iloveboxie.com
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New York is spawning many a catchy-tuned electro based band at the moment – meet The Discoghosts, more about firstly they have a brilliant name, look secondly, approved they do what they say on the tin, this is a disco fest. Their ethos is nicely summed up in their lyrics, “We love ladies and they love us, cos we’re cool and disco plus.”

Otherwise known as M-Boy and Tracky, they meant their album title – BAD – literally it seems, rather than a tribute to the King of 80′s pop, as they are apparently, “trying to break the taboos of “good” music, while playing with clichés of club sound like repetition, climax, stupidity, autofilter, and sound fetishism.” I see.

This album could be the OST to many an 80′s movie – it’s true, it may be the decade that taste forgot but it produced some pretty good tunes – there are obvious Ghostbusters references ie: track 2 being called Ghostbusters Busters and there’s also hints of the Beverley Hills Cop riffs in there, along with and slinky soul beats, electro voices, rubbish rapping and a guy that sounds suspiciously like the chef from South Park

That’s not to say they’re stuck in the past, their mellower synthetic beats, such as Jellyfish, track 9, have a Hot Chip vibe and that’s not a bad thing at all.

If their aim was to produce an awful album – they failed, maybe it’s just that I have a soft spot/great love for the 80′s but I very much enjoyed this, catchy, listenable songs that don’t take themselves seriously. My favourite line, from Straight but Gayish (sung by a high electro voice), “your boyfriend’s hetro but he looks homo.”

And they dress like this to perform:

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How could you not love them?
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It was legitimate for us to feel nervous. With indiscreet bullying from BAA and no knowledge as to how the police were planning to receive us, sick we tucked our dresses beneath our over-coats and shuffled through the throngs of intimidating fluorescent jackets at Heathrow Departures, illness passports at the ready and an impromptu conversation about flight times – very subtle. I wish I could have seen the briefing, look out for pretty girls in dresses and large jackets.

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Once in, all subtleties were abandoned, a charming sight when the order of the day was Edwardian dress and dinner, an evening of very civil (ised) disobedience. Instruments, top hats, high collars and puffy sleeves – all were revealed as the clock struck seven, the string quartet took to its first note and picnic blankets were unfurled for the beginning of the Climate Rush organized party, Dinner at Domestic Departures.

Music played, food passed cordially from plate to plate, and sashes were handed out. It was not long before currents rippled through the crowd into cheers, claps, and chants, “Deeds Not Words”, “Trains not Planes” and, “No Third Runway”, with a contingency singing to the tune of 90′s classic There’s no Limit. The complete transformation of Zone C was helped along by Artport, a collective of artists working in collaboration with Cilimate Rush to redefine the space as we know it. Green all-in-one clad waiters weaved through the crowd with a planet for a cake and planes for spoons, whilst a parachute game bounced a blow-up earth from edge to edge.

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In amidst this electric and elevating atmosphere, it was a spectacular delivery of a serious message. Climate Change is a very real threat and many people feel let down by the powers that be to address this threat.

We don’t want a third runway and call for cheaper train fares and better transport hubs instead of domestic short-haul flights. It is of course just part of a bigger picture: the greater threat of Climate Change of which aviation expansion is just a part, and the wider feelings of concern and dissatisfaction amongst citizens for whom civil disobedience is also, just a part.

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Describing herself as an ex-Camden townie, link the self-taught illustrator, Zarina Liew, has thrown her arms up at the big smoke and a career in marketing; and has chosen instead the serenity of the Cambridgeshire countryside, pencils, watercolours, and strange lonely creatures ridden by lust and self-ruin.
Her Hunter Series, eight inked paintings which exhibited at the Shoreditch Shuffle Festival, started life as a 24-page graphic novel. It tells the story of a gramaphone and a lonely creature, who forms an unlikely friendship with three musicians. She is driven by a need for company and music, they are captured by her beauty and seduced by her authority. The musicians fall into her charm and into her gramophone where they are trapped and eventually perish, singing songs of solidarity and love.

Over a virtual cup if Green Tea, we ask Liew a bit more about her curious creatures of emotional turmoil, her illustrative inspiration and whether or not she misses Camden.

Tell us about the Hunter Series.

I wanted The Hunter Series to be an extension of the original story both visually and metaphorically – a story within a story. You get a sense of the narrative from the different pieces, but as a whole, you see the Hunter for who she is – a hungry, lonely and melancholic being. It’s an illustration of lust and self-ruin; both the musicians and the Hunter are acting on impulse, blind to their terrible fates. Even though she is the one to end the men’s lives, the Hunter does not get what she wants. With no one to listen or play with, she’s alone again.

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Where do you draw information for your characters from?

I draw most of my information from observing the people around me. I never assume that what you see in someone is what you get – everyone has a hidden interior of ambition and desire. Music plays a large part as well. I found the musicians for The Hunter listening to an unsigned band playing at the Dublin Castle in Camden – the Parallel Animals. After falling in love with them – and the front man! – I offered to sketch them during rehearsals and help out at their gigs. Seeing how hard local bands work at this music business, and how ruthless the whole industry is, gave me a sense of direction in depicting the musician’s fate in my artwork.

The emotional context of the characters is strong; the nature of lust and self-ruin… is this an expression of your own emotional turmoil?

I suppose yes – in a sense that all of my work is an expression of myself, my feelings and thoughts. I wouldn’t say that I am strongly affected by the nature of lust and self-ruin though, let’s just say that I am extremely aware of it in myself, and all too conscious of letting myself go, or losing control of who I am. As I mentioned earlier we all have a hidden interior of ambition and desire – acting on lust however (whatever the desire – money, sex, fame) can only lead to self-ruin. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making the right choices, I question why I did certain things and what is behind my motivations. It’s a constant cycle of self-reflection.

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And finally, Camden vs Cambridge countryside… who wins?

This is a real toughie. Can I be wayward and say that weekdays are for Camden and weekends are for Cambridge?
During the week I get a lot of inspiration from the Camden kids, lovely hidden-away galleries and sweaty underpriced indie nights. By the weekend though it’s full of puffy tourists and very long queues for nothing.
That’s when I retreat to the gentle Cambridge countryside. It’s perfect for lethargic country strolls and relaxing afternoon teas; this is also where I get a lot of my inspiration down onto paper and start to paint. All the week’s bustle leaves my mind ready to draw in peace and quiet!

You can see more of her work here, or catch her at the Alternative Press Fair on Sunday 1st February where she will be featuring the Hunter Storybook alongside other homemade creations, and apparently, lots of Green Tea.

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Why is it no-one tells you that when you leave uni, approved your life will have a huge vacuum and those 3 years you spent studying illustration suddenly seem wasted when all the available jobs are in call centres? What to do? Give up the creative dream? Not if you’re Brighton girl Anna Wenger. She decided that if there was no jobs out there, adiposity she’d start her own business, viagra dosage and Sacred Stitches was born. Her idea of stitching classic tattoo designs onto clothes and homewares has really taken off in recent months, and she’s kindly chatted to us about it:

How did your business come about?
I needed to give my family and friends Christmas presents but without spending much money, so made everyone cushions. I got a lot of attention from these cushions and created more and more and now embroider onto everything I can lay my hands on!

Who are your favourite designers?
I love Angelique Houtkamp, her work mixes classic tattoo imagery with Hollywood romance and her eye for style is very inspirational.
Others include Inka Tattooist James Robinson, Alex Binnie, Jon Burgerman, Tara McPherson and Crush Design Studio.

How would you describe your personal style?

A very modern graphic twist on an old school tattoo style. I like to think that with my designs everyone can appreciate the art form of tattoos without having to get one.

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Do you wear your own designs?
Oh yes, and so does my boyfriend, his friends, my flatmates. My flat is completely covered in sacred stitches cushions!

Who or what inspires you? (i know the obvious answer here is tattoos –
but if there’s anything else!)

I live with a tattooist who influences my work; magazines and art exhibitions are good for getting new ideas. My boyfriend and friends are covered in tattoos and will come home with a new piece of art on their skin, so its hard not to be inspired when your surrounded by moving artwork.


Have you got any tattoos?

No, the design is still in progress.

Do you have a favourite tattoo design / what’s the best you’ve seen so
far?

My favourite so far is by Judd Ripley of an amazingly haunting pirate ship. (pictured below)

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Do you still love Brighton/can you see yourself living anywhere else?
I am originally from Brighton and moved back here after University, as it’s a creative city. I do love Brighton as it’s a very receptive place for my designs because people here like to buy from small businesses.

Can I have a t-shirt please?
Yes, what size are you, xxl?!?

How very dare you. A medium at the very most!
Thanks for your time Anna. Talent and ambition, the best combination.
Contact Anna about getting hold of your own personalised tattoo(ed piece of clothing) here.

So it may have looked like I was deserting my post last week, cheap swanning off to Paris to slide down hills on the ice and hibernate in nice restaurants. However, whilst my trip may have involved quite a lot of that sort of fun, I was not just being a bone-idle holiday-monger. Au contraire. I also had my ears opened to some great new music and had this excellent first EP by Hold Your Horses! thrust into my sweaty and eager palms (fine it was in a nice restaurant that this transaction took place but we were just following the model of most international business).

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Most recent French bands seem either to do an excellent line in electronica or a terrible one in punk rock – you just can’t do attitude if your beige converse match your cashmere v-neck and your hair is cleaner and shinier than a Pantene advert. Hold Your Horses! have most in common with the second school, essentially a guitar band augmented with some strings and wind. However, perhaps the fact that they are a motley crew of diplobrats and true Frenchies contributes to the broader and more interesting range of influences discernible in their music. Sure, The Strokes are probably in every single member of the band’s record collection and at moments on this record, if you were to replace singer Flo’s Chrissie Hinde delivery with a Casablancas drawl, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d stepped back to Strokes-fever 2003, but this is really just what provides the catchy backbone of these songs. There’s a pleasantly shambolic tone – perhaps a little too shambolic at times due to the slightly rough-around-the-edges self-done mix – and when the boy vocals kick in partway through track two, a vaguely Celtic edge emerges.

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Opener Cigarettes and Lies, the strongest song on the record, fanfares its arrival with a blast of trumpets before launching into a danceable meditation on youthful lust and confusion. After that, the titles get longer and the violins more prominent as they have a bit of an Irish-ska moment (fine that’s not like, an official genre but listen and you’ll know what I mean) before ending on the sultry Argue and the sweet Flo’s Folk. Although not perfect or polished, this EP is really promising and tips HYH! as a band it’s definitely worth catching live when they hopefully make it to this side of the Channel.

Click hereto get hold of a copy.

Now you see him now you…hang on, search is that? Yep a giant bunny in a smoking jacket who is theatrically drawing my portrait and grimacing at the fur collar of the girl standing next to me. ‘It’s mink!’ she frantically mimes through Wieden & Kennedy’s shop window on Hanbury Street. ‘Minks are bastards’ he mouths back.

I’m witnessing some of the day-to-day activity taking place outside Imaginary Friends, medicine a rather bizarre shop front exhibition that takes me back to long days spent in the airing cupboard as an only child. Back then, store my imaginary friend was a replica of the devilish dog that encouraged Tintin’s canine companion Snowy to do naughty things (don’t worry, no one else understood that either).

From now until Sunday your imagination takes the form of a wine glugging, abusive life size bunny rabbit (aka recent Central St. Martin’s graduate Jack Bishop).

I managed to catch him on a carrot break.

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LJ: I say ‘carrot’ you say?

IF: Parrot? Ok it is the main component of one’s diet but I much prefer Beef Wellington. I shall not be marginalised.

L.J. Can you be taken for walks?

I.F. Of course I can darling. I’m imaginary after all, I can go anywhere you chose. Usually down the local.

L.J. Do you get along with cats?

I.F. So-so. We have a mutual respect for one another.

L.J. Do you breed well with Holland Lops?

I.F. Most definitely. Although my ideal breeding partner would have to be Jessica Rabbit.

L.J. Of course what a babe, got any celebrity bunny mates or rabbits in high hutches?

I.F. Well Harvey is a dear friend as we’re very alike. I used to be drinking buddies with Bugs but…(he drifts) he said a few things about me…said I drank too much. Lightweight.

L.J. Oh dear, well hopefully you’ll settle your differences over a good carrot or a nice seed selection. What are your thoughts on the following high-profile bunnies?

L.J. Peter Rabbit?

I.F. Wet lad.

L.J. Easter Bunny?

I.F. Fatty boy (all that chocolate).

L.J. Energizer Bunny?

I.F. Nympho.

L.J. Thumper?

I.F. Good Kid.

L.J. Nesquick Bunny?

I.F. He’s sold out. Such a shame. Corporate bastard now.

L.J. Got any plans for Easter?

I.F. (He humphs dismissively) I’m not the religious type. I’ll most probably be alone listening to Smokey Robinson and Sam Cook, drinking fine wines.

L.J. That sounds fun, I’ll be your friend if you want.

I.F. You fool! I can’t chose to be someone’s friend, I’m imaginary, they decide what I am to them, it’s annoying. Sometimes I feel degraded. I’d much rather be on my own.

With that he lolloped back down Brick Lane.

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CarrotMobbing! No it’s not a bunny invasion in the run up to Easter, sick it’s the new consumerist activism from San Francisco. The idea is to sway more businesses to adopt greener habits. An alternative to boycotting, more about CarrotMobbing operates in a way that appeals to businesses by offering cash rewards.

In return for a percentage of a day’s takings to be spent on environmentally-friendly practises (e.g. better energy-efficient appliances, organic produce) a CarrotMob will descend on the establishment on a certain day and spend, spend, spend.

It is the brainchild of American environmentalist Brent Schulkin and it is unique in working alongside businesses that could be greener by offering them the ‘carrot’, as opposed to the ‘stick’ approach of boycotting or picketing.’We recognize that corporations must keep profit as their top priority.Historically, this fact has meant that the environment has suffered. We hope to change that by putting rewards in place that will make environmental responsibility the more profitable choice.’

The concept has already started to make an impact over here. The first UK Carrotmob was in September 2008 at the Redchurch bar in East London and since then carrotmobs have sprung up around the country including the restaurant La Ruca in Bristol.

When I proposed the idea to local cafe Yummy’s, Jason and his brother were really keen! Stay tuned for an Amelia’s Magazine CarrotMob expected to take place in a couple of weeks time.

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Bristol’s Thekla is a down-with-the-kids venue by anyone’s standards. The ship is moored in a floating harbour, approved featured in Skins, shop has been played by Massive Attack and was once graffitied by Banksy. To see a band there tipped as number two in the BBC’s ‘ones to watch 2009′ is incredible. White Lies quite literally rock the boat.

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Anticipation crackles in the air before they mount the stage. I’d fallen deeply in love with the singles months before: deathly, desperate melodies with the lyrics of a romantic poet born in the 80s set to gut-grinding electronica. And I’m praying they won’t let me down. In a swell of turbulence, the band storm on with Unfinished Business liquefying into To Lose My Life. Later, Farewell to the Fairground also stands out as a stark winner, perhaps a forthcoming single?

Harry McVeigh haunts his audience, both in voice and form. Recalling the two great Ian’s of post-punk, McCulloch and Curtis, he’s skinny with a voice that’s anything but. Glimpse him between the strobe lights and he’s a beautiful alien visitor. And the possessor of a truly spectral set of vocal chords.

Through White Lies’ unique ability to craft tangibly spooky scenes with their lyrics, as each new song rumbles into being, I’m by turns walking in an abandoned fairground at night, taking off in an aeroplane, wrestling a ghost in a dream. Captivating. Sound groans in the iron belly of the ship, the guitar rips through thundering drums and Harry wails into the watery deep. There’s no banter, no real movement and yet everyone’s rapt because they’re witnessing something really special.

A few technical hitches mar the proceedings and drown out the vocals, but not to worry, the finale is Death and we’re all singing along. White Lies have mesmerized their crowd good and proper and we pursue them from the boat like crazed rats into the night. Drunken fan’s yelps of ‘yes this fear’s got a hold on meeee’ follow me all along the dark waterfront home.

It’s half way through January – a long way from pay day and you want some new clothes. It’s the only thing that can cheer you up in this depressing month. Visiting an actual shop is out of the question, decease you can barely afford the bus fare there, visit this let alone any of the goods for sale inside the shop.
So here’s an idea – acquiring new clothes without having to actually spend a penny (on the clothes) – via the medium of clothes swapping.
This can be done in many ways, buy more about the first is attending this event:

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However, if the idea of not having complete control over what you actually end up with isn’t exactly what you had in mind, then try this, a swishing event – yes it is £5 entry but for countless amounts of clothes, well worth it. It’s a similar idea to the flyered event above but you can choose what you pick.

If you don’t fancy actually leaving your house, then Bigwardrobe.com is an online swapping platform which is similar to e-bay in that you put your unwanted clothes online and people buy them off you – it’s better than eBay as it has a swap function and it gets even better than that! – you can get actual cash for your unwanted xmas goodies or fashion mistakes of the past. You can use a combination of money and swapping to barter for goods, eg:, “ I’ll give you this blouse and £3 for your skirt,” or something along those lines.

In these lean times, clothes recycling is the best way to update your wardrobe.

St Davids, website on the far south-western tip of Wales, viagra approved is a city of contradictions. Being the smallest city in the UK, it is really more of a village with a great big cathedral plonked down at one end. It is a tranquil little place but alongside the tea-and-scones brigade is a growing community of surfers who ride the waves on the beautiful beaches nearby all year round. Beyond the shoppers rummaging through baskets of souvenir tea-towels are legions of walkers and nature-lovers who explore the coast paths, the sea and the cliffs in between in search of puffins, seals and the delicate, beautiful Manx Shearwater birds that migrate past the headland every summer. Even the visitor centre (known as Oriel Y Parc, which means ‘the park gallery’) is an odd mixture, for if you walk through the coffee shop and past the leaflets on local attractions you will find yourself in a world-class gallery.

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The gallery, a recent addition to the visitor centre, is itself beautifully harmonious in form and content. The environmentally sustainable building that houses it heralds what we can expect from a gallery in the 21st century. The graceful arc shape of the building catches the sun all day, keeping heating costs to a minimum. The ceilings are insulated with lamb’s wool and a green roof with its swaying grasses also brings warmth and helps to regulate the demand on the drainage system. Rainwater is used for the toilet cisterns and solar energy panels heat water for the kitchen. Recycled and second-hand materials have been used wherever possible – much of the stone for the walls comes from old derelict buildings.

Perhaps it is when you see what is on display inside the gallery that you truly understand the importance of all this low-impact building and energy conservation: to preserve the precious Pembrokeshire landscape that has inspired so many artists including London-born painter Graham Sutherland. Sutherland loved the landscape around St Davids, painting it again and again, and when he died in 1980 he left a great body of work to the people of Pembrokeshire.

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Sutherland’s work will form the permanent central focus of the gallery’s exhibitions. For those used to gentle water-colour scenes of the Welsh coast, Sutherland’s paintings are a hand grenade assault on the senses – fierce, energy-filled evocations of the landscape, both challenging and fascinating.
For Oriel Y Parc to be given permission to exhibit the bequest it had to meet a stringent list of standards, including careful regulation of the humidity and temperature in the air and a complex and highly sophisticated security system. Meeting this criteria has meant that the gallery has been awarded ‘Class A’ status, which means that the work by Picasso and Rembrandt that is displayed alongside Sutherland’s paintings in the current exhibition will be the first in a long line of world-class international art to be shown at the centre.

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Prompted by Sutherland’s extraordinary visions of the surrounding countryside, the gallery plans to use future exhibitions to investigate art’s relationship with the landscape and with nature. Brendan Burns a Cardiff-based painter has been making paintings of the Pembrokeshire coastline for about fifteen years. Being the first artist-in-residence at Oriel Y Parc is, he says, ‘so exciting because everything is new. It feels important, like you’re part of something major.’ He is thrilled by his proximity to his subject, as until now he has had to make the 100-mile journey home before he began to paint. He is also pleased to have Sutherland’s work in the next room, where he can pop in and refer to it whenever he pleases, and says he particularly draws inspiration from the photographs, drawings and writing in the bequest.
He can’t predict how the residency will affect his work, but says he is starting out by ‘taking walks on new beaches’.

• The work produced by Brendan Burns during his residency at Oriel Y Parc will be shown at Oriel Y Parc or the National Museum in Cardiff, towards the end of 2009.

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This week’s environmental hero award goes to Dame Vivienne Westwood. Not only has she created unashamedly fabulous clothes for the last four decades, more about she also wears her heart on her sleeve. Quite literally, viagra buy in the form of a badge with the ubiquitous image of a rebel in a beret. But this is not Che Guevara, but Rembrandt who, according to Viv, was as much a freedom fighter as the Argentine revolutionary.
She explained this at the Art, Activism and the Legacy of Chico Mendes talk at the RSA a couple of nights ago. We were there to find out how art can be used to promote environmental causes. Unfortunately we left none the wiser, other than to have our suspicions confirmed that Dame Viv is slightly bonkers but an extraordinary creative mind (even if she did refer to the president of Guatemala as the ‘boss of the jungle’).
Amongst mutterings on plumbers and the evils of watching too much TV were moments of clarity; ‘Activists and art lovers are the same thing, through active pursuit of art and resistance to propaganda, they stop becoming consumers and start becoming thinkers.’
She seemed to address the point of the discussion more than any of the other panellists who struggled to reach a conclusion as to how the art world can break through the cloud of elitism that surrounds it and communicate social issues, such as environmentalism, to the average Tom, Dick and Harry.
The most striking thing about Viv (apart from the neon hair) was her honest and heartfelt concern for the state of the world. At times this came across as cringingly naïve; ‘we need to get Gordon Brown to pool all the money and buy the jungle.’ But she’s a wise woman who has campaigned for social causes for several years with the same unashamed eccentricity as her clothes. Read how Pinocchio finds art (among other tales) in her manifesto.
Monday January 19th

The link between altered states and creative activity is not a novel one, buy more about but altered states is the order of the day for the next few months at Riflemaker. Voodoo “Hoochie Coochie and the Creative Spirit” is an exhibition that draws its artists, writers, and musicians on the common ground that they each recognise the need for altered states to in order to create their work. It begins today and goes through to April. Expect to see the non-doing before the doing …?

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Tuesday January 20th

Get Müllerd And Dance – separately known as Jessica Dance and Robert Muller – are a multidisciplinary creative duo who featured in issue 10 with their ‘Crafty Scraves’. Jessica describes their work as, “ playful and using several different mediums, that often experiment with typography and play with the realms of scale and proportion – combining 2D traditional methods with more experimental 3D techniques.”

Their ethos is to have fun with ideas and not worry about the troubles that reality can bring. Creating a moment of escape whilst still communicating a message – evidence of this is in Topshop, Oxford Street, where an installation can be found on the lower ground floor for the next 2 weeks.

Check out a video of the piece being installed here.


Head in the Clouds by Get Müllerd & Dance (TOPSHOP, OXFORD STREET) from Robert Francis Muller on Vimeo.

Wednesday January 21st

The Universal Now, the first London show from Abigail Reynolds, is the new exhibition starting today at Seventeen on Kingsland Road. The work features a series of collages using imagery sourced from publications such as guide books and atlases, combining photographs of landscapes or monuments, and enmeshing them together. What you get is a three dimensional object, a grid-like construction that changes and moves with your perspective, underlining your presence as viewer.

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Thursday January 22nd

Transition Gallery continues along the theme music and obsession in their new exhibition Too Much is Not Enough. Four artists deal with the delerium of fandom and the darker underbelly of the worn out and deprived celebrity.

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Saturday January 24th

In or near Manchester? Today begins Interspecies at the Art Catalyst. All the artists question the one-sided manipulation of non-human life forms for art. They instead try to absorb the animal’s point of view as a fundamental part of their work and practice … I myself have been talking to my cat for years.

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Sunday January 25th
Indian Highway at the Serpentine has been going for some time now, a multi-media circus of Indian art old and new, with a strong emphasis on film. This Sunday at the Gate cinema they are showing A River Called Titas, an epic depiction of the tragic lives of a small fishing community living on the River Titas. “a raw and powerful tale of a drying river and with it a dying civilisation” says the BFI.
Last Thursday the transportation secretary Geoff Hoons approved BAA’s plans for a third runway at Heathrow. John McDonnell hurled a mace (some sort of ancient hammer) and the villagers of Sipson put their heads in their hands, yet again.

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Over the past few months, viagra this ordinary post-war village- that happens to be nestled in the armpit of one of Europe’s largest airports- has had the attention of the world’s media. Thursday’s decision marked a major step towards the expansion of Heathrow Airport. All BAA needs to do now is meet EU standards next year and cross their fingers for a Labour victory at the 2010 election. The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Green Party all promise to scrap plans if elected.

If BAA’s wishes are actualised then the entire village of Sipson and part of neighbouring Harmondsworth will be demolished and replaced with a runway that would increase the airport’s flight capacity by 222, 000 per year. It is estimated that 700 homes will be bulldozed evicting some 2000 people. Undoubtedly it would also flatten the government’s legal commitment to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.

Three days after Sky News covered the commons’ decision from the George IV pub, the anti-expansion placards remained clung to lampposts and front doors weather-beaten and worn. One of the more decorated front gardens along the otherwise modest row of houses that runs through the village belongs to Lynn Davies. She kindly invited me in for a cup of tea in between cooking Sunday lunch and what she admitted was ‘long-over-due ironing’.

She apologised for the clutter then, partly out of defiance and partly out of what struck me as exhaustion, explained how she has become less and less concerned about maintaining the house as while the kitchen flooring may need replacing, she thinks ‘why bother? If BAA are going to take my home away from me, which looks likely, it would just be a waste of time and money.’

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Mrs Davies lives with her 16- year -old grandson Daryl in the house she bought with her ex-husband 39 years ago. For eleven years previous to this she lived in another house in the village. Her son lives in nearby Eastcote. Her story is not unusual in a village she describes as ‘a community united.’

Ever since she can remember there have been threats to expand the airport whose presence shadows us with the constant hum of low-flying aircraft and the stream of imposing high-rise hotels that runs along the perimeter of the village. But plans were constantly deferred and new ones emplaced that it wasn’t always easy to keep up. Her ex-husband returned home once with a map detailing plans for a runway that would cut strait through their house. When she split from her husband she threw the map out with him. Unfortunately, this would come back to haunt her.

I approached Bryan Sobey’s house with hesitancy as I had heard he had been unwell. I was relieved to be greeted by a robust man in his seventies and his very friendly dog called Dev. I had been pointed in his direction because, as president of the resident’s association, he is a glossary of dates and calculations of the numerous plans for expansion that have been proposed over a 57-year time span.

‘The government don’t know what they are doing,’ he says. Aside from the 700 homes inside Sipson and Harmondsworth, a further 480 homes would need to be demolished in order for the project to be granted EU planning permission. These are the houses either situated so close to any new runway they would sit inside a Public Safety Zone, or in areas that would be subject to noise in the 69-decibel band, which is deemed intolerable. Mr Sobey also points out those houses that would have an airport fence or security wall yards from their front door, these could well number 500 homes. The government has offered no provision for compensation for what could be as many as 2000 people.

Mr Sobey moved to the area in 1951 with his late wife and their twelve-day-old baby. Their home was in one of many new housing developments built to accommodate the Nation’s growing number of young families. He remembers the first airport expansion took place during 1951 and 1952. The resident’s association was set up at the same time-it’s raison d’etre was to prevent airport expansion that would further impose on their new homes.

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In the late eighties, tentative expansion plans began to creep to the surface. Then in 1990, a major study was carried out to find out how an increase in flight capacity would impact on society at large as well as on the communities that reside in the expansion area. In 1995, after 5 years of research, the plan was rejected as it was deemed ‘too great a social upheaval’. Yet in 2000, BAA put forward a proposal for a ‘small’ runway. Mr Sobey hastened to add that a small runway would mean landing aircraft would be forced to use powered reverse thrust in order to stop in time. This would contribute to noise pollution and be a massive disturbance to 5000 homes.

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At this, he sunk back into his armchair weary and surrounded by small reminders of his late wife whom he ‘misses every minute.’ As I left for the George IV pub, I imagined what the village must have looked like to Mr Sobey and his wife when they first moved here just after The Second World War. Neat rows of bright houses radiating a newly instated optimism.

Over a bitter shandy and a packet of cheese and onion crisps at the pub, I overhead a motley circle of residents discussing Thursday’s decision. ‘Money-grabbers’ ‘liars’ and rather more offensive terms were used to describe Gordon Brown and Geoffrey Hoons.

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The future of Sipson is uncertain. Although encased in a cloud of bleak resignation, the village continues it’s fight with the support of numerous activist groups-some of whom are prepared to move into houses in the village if BAA’s expansion reaches the point of evicting people. Greenpeace have bought a patch of land behind the pub further complicating BAA’s plans to buy people out of their homes. There is talk of planting vegetables on the plot of land, which has cheered many villagers. Although it would be a jolly reminder of the countryside that once was, it strikes me that there is something anachronous about a vegetable patch in the midst of an increasingly concrete wilderness that has remained in limbo for over half a century.

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Now it’s time for the natural progression from clothes swapping – the great British tradition of the jumble sale; getting up at 4am on a weekend morning, visit usually in unsavoury weather to trawl through the tat other people don’t want in the hope of finding that hidden gem. There’s nothing quite like it.
Example, my last trip to one resulted in 4 board games (good ones like Scrabble and Cluedo) for £4 and a pair of cute black shoes for one English pound!

Get yourself down to one now! Here’s our pick of the best in the four corners of London town.

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Those in the north can enjoy the delights at Wood Green’s New River Sports Centre, White Hart Lane, N22, where there is a car boot/jumble event. The twist to this one is it’s on a Friday and is free entry. Rise early, it starts at 6am and the closest tube is Wood Green.

Head south to Battersea Tec College on Battersea Park Road (entrance in Dagnall St) SW11 on Sunday between 1.30pm and 5pm. It is a quaint 30p to get in.

If you’re in east london then pop down to this one:

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And the final point of the compass takes us west, well to Kilburn (it counts!), more specifically to a huge car boot sale, a brilliant mix of knick-knacks and vintage stuff at St Augustine’s C of E Primary School, Kilburn Park Rd, NW6. It’s £3 before 11am but a mere 50p afterwards. Get down there from 8am on Saturday.
Monday 19th January

‘Come lay out the black carpet for the Energy Minister of Alberta in Canada
who is holding a conference at one of the swankiest hotels in London to tell
investors and MPs that Tar Sands are sustainable..?!!

As it becomes economically feasibly to process tar sands, this web a heavy ground
crude mixed with sand clay and other contaminants, this site an area of ancient boreal
forest larger than England may be dug up releasing captured CO2 and locking us into MASSIVE emissions.

Meeting at 11:45 under Marble Arch. Just outside Hyde Park Tube.
This is a Climate Crime Scene so if you have boiler suits and goggles,
climate crime detectors and other necessaries bring them along and make some noise. We’ll have spare boiler suits for you.

These dirty swankers will be meeting at the Oriental Madarin Hotel on
Knightsbridge at 12.30. We’ll be there long enough to make an impact and get
a snappy snap for the Canadian Media and Greenpeace who have there eyes on
the event.’

Monday 19th January (deadline for entries 15th February)

Steady State Vision at EcoLab

Illustrate a steady state society as described here.
?
‘The Steady State project is one project within a series of projects to be exhibited as a ‘Climate Road Show’. We aim to use graphics to help investigate issues lying at the root of our ecological crisis. The Steady State Vision project will illustrate a world where we have evolved to sustainability. ??Timeline: Sketch/concept by February 15th. Three winning entries will be selected to submit final drawing. Final work by March 30th.??Budget: £350 pound prize money. ??Deliverables: Artwork deliverable as an A2 sized PDF. ?If the graphic is not a vector file, it must at least 200 dpi at A2 size.??Outcome: Illustration(s) will be printed A2 sized for the road show and also within a publication. ??Use of images: At the Climate Road Show 2009, a publication, publicity & the PDF magazine EcoMag. ??Target audience: Everyone. Sorry, the audience is vast. If we must narrow it down, we want youngish people (15-40), media savvy, clever (perhaps cynical).??Objectives: Graphically exciting illustration of a steady state society.’

Saturday 24th January

Friends of the Earth Regional Gathering for London, South East and the East of England

‘An opportunity for groups and activists in the East, South East and London regions of England to get together and learn about upcoming Friends of the Earth campaigns, meet staff, network with each other and develop skills for more effective campaigning.’

10.30am-5.30pm at Conway Hall, Holborn, London

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Categories ,activism, ,Climate Crime Scene, ,Earth, ,Friends of the Earth, ,Greenpeace, ,Listings

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Ethical Christmas Emporium

You know those rainy afternoons when you sit indoors, dosage information pills flicking through the pages of any number of trashy magazines and getting suddenly, order inexplicably excited at the idea of fashion? Or, try more accurately, at the idea of brilliant style. It’s enough to make you want to plunge head first into the glossy pages and never return. That’s the effect it has on me, anyway. I trace my fingers around the outline of a beautiful silk bolero, sigh wistfully over the idea of a chunky knotted belt and a chiffon dress. ‘If only,’ I think ‘if only I could own all of these things, perhaps then my life would be complete’ (did I mention that I also have a mild tendency towards hyperbolic exaggeration?)

In the cold light of day, of course, I would not be more complete with these things, what I would actually be is more like everybody else. It is so rare that I find something that isn’t run-of-the-mill, that when I do I feel it my duty to shout about it from the rooftops. Only I heard rooftops were dangerous, so I decided to use Amelia’s blog instead.

Projects Design Wear is a perfect little gem nestled in the heart of Nottingham city centre among the style-seekers and just left of the cool kids. For years this little boutique has been charming all and it’s not just because of the effervescent mixture of clothing. Walking into Projects is like being folded into an enormous bear-hug by a large and much-loved Uncle. Their staff are friendly, remember who you are and are always on hand to personal-shop for you until one of you drops.

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Settled in amongst the dark wood furnishings and lashings of vibrant paint is a sartorial feast for men and women alike. The first floor houses menswear. If you like bright colours and bold statements, ask for House of Gods and !Solid t-shirts. If casual with a twist is more your style, then you’ll be happy to pore over the offerings from Raygun. And an absolute must is their selection of denim. Now, I’m not a man, but I know some, and I have been shopping with a few. I know how maddening guys find it searching for individual jeans. Made out of proper denim, and in proper denim washes, Projects’ selection is perfect for boys who don’t want a tag on their arse, but still want their togs durable and fashionable. What more could you ask?

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Well, you could ask for another floor, laden with women’s clothing so pretty you could cry. Lovely changing rooms with real curtains (none of this fabric-not-quite-meeting-cubicle tosh) are waited on by lovely ladies. Stock ranges from cute cardigans to chic evening wear and takes in everything in between as well. There are printed t-shirts and slouchy knits from Numph and high-end gloss from Naughty (check out the black sheen dress). There are these things sitting happily alongside the sort of effortlessly elegant dresses that you always see on other people and can never actually find for yourself. I found them, and I am bequeathing them to you.

Not only this, but there is (be still my beating heart) a glorious range of jewellery. Not just any jewellery mind, but pieces from none other than her majesty; Vivienne Westwood. A rare find indeed among the usual gaggle of costume pieces, and a fine way to top an otherwise genius little store. Ladies must also be sure to check out the selection of men’s scarves downstairs. I have several, and I love them all, equally.

Projects
is not only a clothes shop, it is also a platform for new talent, happily selling for local designers, like Bantum (the I Love Notts t-shirts continue to fly of the shelves). It is this commitment to innovation and this willingness to give a leg-up to emerging new talent that has planted the shop firmly in the hard hearts of all of us Midlanders. I offer wild applause to Projects for its unique take on fashion and for delivering what we all secretly want: simple, affordable, wonderful clothes that not everybody else will have. And when recession looms, it’s ever-more important to invest in the interesting, independent places.

Images courtesy of Projects Design Wear
Have a greener Christmas!

Thursday 20th – Sunday 23rd November

side effects +Bargehouse+Street%E2%80%A8+South+Bank, malady +%E2%80%A8London, this +SE1+9PH&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=44.60973,74.794922&ie=UTF8&z=16″target=”_blank”>Bargehouse, ?Oxo Tower Wharf?, Bargehouse Street? South Bank, ?London, SE1 9PH

11am – 7pm
?Entry £1: Kids go free!

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Not feeling particularly Christmassy just yet? A visit to the Bargehouse this weekend may change all that…With three floors boasting over forty stalls, the Ethical Christmas Emporium will include the likes of Divine Chocolate, RSPB, Shared Earth, Zaytoun, The World Music Network, Malika, Jump 4 Timbuktu, Earthscan Publishing, Pants to Poverty, Planet Silver Chilli, Manumit and The Hemp Trading Company. The event will bring together the very best in Fairtrade, ethical, sustainable and environmental gift ideas around!

Enjoying this magical time of year can be wonderfully eco-friendly; Shopping here not only provides an escape from the busy high streets, but the secure knowledge that every stall is working under a Fairtrade ethos, making sure producers around the world all have something to celebrate this Christmas.
The atmosphere is lovely, and everyone seems to be smiling as the event opens on the Thursday. Discounts are available as many stalls have cut their prices specially for this event.

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Shopping is not the only thing on the agenda at this event, a local Youth Club Choir from Ghana will be entertaining the crowds via live satellite link-up. Kids entry is free and while there they can enjoy lots of specially created activities- Green Santa will be there too to spread some ethical Christmas joy! Grown ups will also be able to delight in food tasting, films, informative talks, music and much more…

The Ethical Christmas Emporium is being hosted by Hand Up Media , the ethical publishing & media company which promotes Fair Trade and ethical lifestyle issues in a positive, stylish and empowering way to consumers across the UK and beyond.

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The Oxo Tower Wharf

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Categories ,Divine Chocolate, ,Earth, ,Earthscan Publishing, ,Ethic, ,Hand Up Media, ,Jump 4 Timbuktu, ,Malika, ,Manumit, ,Pants to Poverty, ,Planet Silver Chilli, ,RSPB, ,Shared Earth, ,The Hemp Trading Company, ,The World Music Network, ,Zaytoun

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Amelia’s Magazine | My Habbit is Not a Hobbit – How to Calculate Your Carbon Footprint


All photography by Maria Domican

I was nervous upon arriving at Vintage at Goodwood… Nervous because I had called in sick to work, sickness nervous because I had been hearing bad press about the event and mainly nervous because I had no idea what to expect.

I have to admit, cialis 40mg no matter how fashionable, arty and eco driven a festival is, a major emphasis has always been on being drunk and having a great, if somewhat crazy time… I couldn’t imagine myself getting wasted on ‘classic cocktails’ or ‘gin and tonics’, parading around campsites in my beloved vintage treasures and sleeping through bands in a dusty heap at Goodwood. Apparently that was exactly the crowd that organiser Wayne Hemingway was eager to discourage, not wanting those “out on the lash that leave a load of empty tins at their ripped tent”.

Goodwood was billed as ‘the first of what will be an annual music and fashion led celebration of creative British cool’ ‘The new festival of Britain’. But what was it? A vintage Fashion Fair? An exhibition? Or a festival? Featuring music, art, fashion, film and design I was puzzled as to how it would all come together.

None the less I was excited… I had packed a few of my 2nd favourite dresses (the dirt was still a worry!) far too many hats (and yes I carried them in a vintage hat box) and even two matching vintage parasols, for my friend and I to parade around with; in short, more than I would usually take on a week long holiday.

Upon arrival we were greeted by a red carpet and the famous British High Street. Made up like a spaghetti western, all wooden fronted shops, I felt like I had wandered onto a film set. The high street catered for the big brands: John Lewis, The Body Shop and Dr. Martins all had large stores with all the facilities of any other high street shop. It also was the home for the vintage cinema, a traditional British pub and even an Indian take away! The draw of the festival to many though – the vintage stalls – were down the two side streets in tents. These were much more bazaar-like in style; small cramped lines of tents exploding with clothes, accessories, and when it rained (which it did a lot) crammed in people unable to move.


Vintage shopping at Goodwood.

Bands such as The Faces, Buzzcocks, Heaven 17 and the Noisettes entertained the crowds but it was the fashion that was the main draw of the festival. Workshops taught sewing and knitting while Hardy Amies and Pearl and Daisy Lowe were among those with runway shows.


The Noisettes on the main stage.


Pearl and Daisy Lowe at their runway show.

Divided into eras, the festival celebrated five decades of British cool, with each area having a different ‘curator’ (supposed experts in that field).


The 1970s and 1980s zone curated by Greg Wilson featured a warehouse with interactive graffiti wall and a roller disco.

Also in the 1970s era was Eddie Miller’s Soul Casino nightclub – replicating a mid 70s ballroom and reminiscent of many a bad wedding reception, complete with 1970s swirly carpet, sprung dance floor, pool tables and low lighting – it was here that Wayne Hemingway performed his own DJ set on the Sunday.


Wayne Hemingway

The emphasis of the festival was definitely the 1940s and 1950s, however, with the majority of outfits being so themed and with one of the highlights being leading percussionist, producer and 1940s enthusiast Snowboy’s Tanqueray sponsored ‘Torch Club’: a 1940’s style supper club which served 3 course meals over the weekend, with waiter service and a full orchestra playing while you eat. Behind the club forties allotments and land girls held guess-the-weight-of-the-pumpkin competitions and the guys from The Chap held an Olympian event with cucumber sandwich tossing and tug-o-moustache.


Cucumber sandwich tossing at The Chap Olympiad


Moustache tug-o-war

Still in its first year, the festival organisers have room for improvement before next year’s. The website promised ‘an unparalleled attention to design and organisational detail’ which is a little optimistic considering the press pass debacle. Still, this was upheld in areas such as the attention to period detail in all shops and stages and that all events were first come first served and not fully booked up beforehand.
It’s possible the press pass debacle was a result of the PR company giving all 150 staff free weekend and camping tickets… of which apparently only 8 were used!

One stall holder also complained that they felt the festival had been miss-sold as they thought that the vintage stalls were going to be on the main high street not crammed into the side tents.

Whilst a lot of events over the weekend such as dance classes and the cinema were free, the main grumbles were still about the commercial emphasis of the festival, Bonham’s high profile auction, chain stores and a huge emphasis on shopping and spending money left a lot of people disgruntled, but apparently still willing to spend; Oxfam reportedly made £1000 in the first half hour of opening! Lily Allen‘s no-show to launch ‘Lucy in Disguise’ was probably a blessing in disguise as it prevented the focus of the weekend from being celebrity.

The ‘Glamping’ was on all accounts also seen to be a big disappointment. Situated at the bottom of the hill in the woods this area quickly became a muddy bog with the torrential rain and at £1200 for a tent with an airbed was seen as a complete rip off by many who didn’t even have hot showers. The same was true of the pods which had to move some people to tents due to complaints about size and not being able to stand up.


Glamorous campers.

For the regular campers, though, there were no problems. Many vintage tents, bunting strewn camps and campervans were on a chalk based slope which quickly drained and dressing rooms with full length mirrors and power points enabled everyone to dress up.


Dressing up rooms. Photography by Madeleine Lowry

…And dress up they did! Whilst the day trippers favoured fancy dress over true vintage and stuck to the high street, the weekend crowd were the highlight of the festival. A huge ego-boosting weekend, everyone went out of their way to compliment each other on their outfits and a general blitz spirit coupled with the friendly campsite and interactive nature of events ensured that everyone was quick to make new friends.

Overall the weekend offered an overwhelming range of activities to take part in or witness, and hopefully with the kinks ironed out before next year, things can only get better for Goodwood.



Fashion at Goodwood.


Shopping locally, abortion by Kayleigh Bluck

I have to honestly admit that I don’t really THINK about sustainability in my everyday life. I even recycle without thinking because it is such a natural process to me. You don’t consciously think about why you drink tea from a cup and not from a bowl or why you pee into the toilet and not into the basin.  
I think you’re only truly sustainable when it’s a part of your way of life, just like a diet is pointless unless you actually change your lifestyle and habits. In keeping with this, I came across a test with a perfectly relevant name: “My Habbit“. You can check out your own carbon footprint and you might be surprised at how easy it is to change really small habits. 

Whilst taking the test it visualises your carbon footprint in the form of a strange and creepy semi-alien computer-generated human body. Proportionally distorting a human’s body parts in order to visualise your disproportionate use, you work your way through the different stages of sustainability. For instance, if you use a lot of electricity, you head starts to look more and more like a skeleton. The more meat you eat, the fatter your belly gets. Electricity and gas expands your hands, travel expands your feet until it looks like an almost bursting balloon. Mine looked pretty normal at the end, but it still had suggestions for me to better myself. But how did I even come across this test? 

“So, a guy came into the office today to borrow some of our paper, which was recycled and said ‘So are you trying to save the world or summin?’ (sic) to which I wanted to start replying but by the time I said ‘Um..’ he said ‘Then stop driving!’ I obviously replied ‘I don’t drive’ and he said ‘Oh’ and walked off. What’s the dude hassling me for?” 
This is a snippet of a conversation I had during dinner today, where it transpired that me being a vegetarian and not having a car actually makes me “pretty green” according to a test my partner had taken during the workshop he held at the “Sustainable Futures” exhibition at the Design Museum. I was immediately intrigued. This may have been mainly due to the fact that I was fairly certain I was going to come out of the other end of the tunnel with a result to be proud of (aka something to show off about).  


Shopping locally for fabric, illustrated by Naomi Law

I already knew some of the reasons that were going to be to my advantage. I work from home, which means that in average, I use the underground only once a week for meetings or events in town. I have only travelled by plane once in the past year (last November, in fact), which is highly unusual and mainly down to the fact that work has happily consumed all my time. Either way, I knew it was going to make me look good in the test. I walk to the shops, and buy most of my food and fabric (I am a fashion designer) in the local market where things are mainly locally sourced. I’m very lazy when it comes to anything that is essential to life such as sleep, eating and washing. That’s only of advantage because I own a lot of clothes, which means I very rarely have to actually wash any of them. My washing machine is extremely underused.  

Furthermore, since we’re on the subject of big white goods, I don’t own a dishwasher or tumble dryer or any such machinery. I recycle everything from paper snippets to plastic to glass to fabric. I would say “tins” but I don’t really use them. As I mentioned before, most my food moves directly from the bowl of vegetables of the farmer’s table into my Longchamp shopping bag into my vegetable drawer. Another point that I knew was going to help me look good in this test was the fact that I’m a vegetarian. Apparently, that makes a difference although I’m still not quite sure why. Surely any food needs to be transported, worked on? Do feel free to enlighten me if you know. 

Returning to the subject of technical items, I don’t watch TV. I have a TV set for watching a DVD every now and then, but I usually prefer to work, and the TV is of course unplugged when I don’t use it because otherwise it makes a very annoying humming noise when it’s on standby. I unplug my printers, sewing machines, hair straighteners etc when I’m not using them.

People who don’t live with me would never believe it, but I’d rather look like a couch potato wearing three jackets (I’m at home, right?) than turn on the heating unnecessarily. In fact, the heating is completely switched off until the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius for more than a week, which doesn’t make me very popular with my housemates.  

We were given some free sustainable light bulbs when we last switched gas and electricity companies, which we use throughout the house and half of the fluorescent light bulbs we have in our office have burned out and we are too lazy to replace them.


Shopping for clothes, illustrated by Zarina Liew

This one is a big deal, but not a topic that gave me any extra credit during the test. About 80% of my wardrobe (including my shoes) is either second hand, vintage or passed on in some form or another through eBay, TK Maxx, in the form of presents from family and friends, inherited pieces, charity shops etc. This does not, however, mean that I don’t indulge my fashion sense, as a quick peek into the style section of my website will confirm. 

I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t have a CD player or stereo because I have all my music on my Mac and iPhone – who knew being this non-nostalgic about music, could turn into a blessing? 

We have an agreement with our landlord who sends round a gardener every two months. Officially, any carbon footprint they amass during their work is technically not mine, so I am not counting it. The grass is yellow from the few days of “heat” this lame English summer had, but I don’t really see that as my responsibility and as far as I can tell, I don’t think the gardeners ever water the grass – they simply cut it even shorter and dryer and pick up the leaves. 

Some of the questions in the test were difficult. For instance, I had to look up which type of light bulbs we actually use. They cleverly adjust the optimum “habit” you could have at the end and suggest ways in which you can better yourself, even if your carbon emission is as low as one could realistically imagine. 

However, there were aspects of importance that were not quite taken into consideration. A big issue, which could tip someone’s carbon print (especially among us fashionistas and fashionistos, eh?)  is our shopping and consumption habits beyond mere primary necessity (food). Do you buy online? Are your purchases shipped or flown from overseas or do you make sure buy locally? Do you shop in chain supermarkets or local markets? How much stuff do you own? Do you buy from Primark or second hand? Do you buy per trend and season or do you invest in pieces that you have worn for decades? Do you tend to consume actual objects such as electric equipment, decorative items, clothing or something altogether different? 


Using recycled paper, illustrated by Emma Block, using recycled paper!

There are also questions relating to your profession that are not taken into consideration at all. For instance, the test asks you whether you use a printer at home, but not whether you use a printer at work. How much paper do you use and waste, knowing you’re not paying for it? I’ll forgive them for not asking office-related questions, though, as this could get very detailed and complex. But what about mobile phones? No sign of their impact.

Having an iPhone, which I use for work, means I charge my phone up a lot more often than, say, someone who works in a shop and turns theirs off for most of the day. As anybody who owns an iPhone knows, as much as we love them – the battery of the iPhone is abysmal. It needs charging ALL the time. Surely the test should be asking about the different phones one has, the same way they asked about what type of TV I own? On the other hand, I charge my iPhone via my laptop – this means less electricity is used. You can see, the questions can be quite endless, but an essential acknowledgement of such basics would have improved the test. 
Many of my friends and colleagues are writers or need to write in some form or another. When you do your writing, do you do it online or offline? That sounds like it would make no difference, but it does. Here’s a good illustrating example, which has astounded quite a lot of people when I’ve mentioned it. 


Energy in the kitchen, illustrated by Gemma Randall

One of the questions in the questionnaire is how often you boil the kettle. Did you know that every time you do a search on google it uses as much electricity and power from the mighty google servers as it does to boil a full kettle? A question in the test, if I have had any say, should have been “Do you look up the tiniest question on google rather than trying to think that second longer in case you remember?” Do you maybe have a real life dictionary (oh wonder and glory), which can help you just as much? Yes, one should consider the production cost of making said book, but for the sake of the argument, let’s assume it’s a vintage book, which still holds perfectly updated descriptions of most words we know. If it doesn’t, you can STILL use Google, Wikipedia or an online dictionary. But not doing so would immediately reduce your carbon footprint more than you think… 

I am a great believer in the fact that until something is accepted as normal, it has not really been overcome. Until it is, the obstacle of integration is not complete. I feel this is the way with sustainability. I grew up with it, so it was quite strange for me to see what fuss people made about being sustainable – it was new to me. Once people embrace it as part of their lives, it will be a lot easier. You hear campaigns telling you to “be aware” and “do your part” as if most of these acts weren’t perfectly logical. I disagree. Sure, some people just don’t admit to perfectly basic knowledge being obvious, and need those hints and tips, and none of us are perfect and continue to be educated. However, the obsession of making recycling something to be conscious about is not going to help. Only once it’s truly and easily integrated into our lives in a manner that is natural to participate in will sustainability really be standard practice.

Categories ,Apple, ,campaigns, ,Changing Habbits, ,Clothing, ,Design Museum, ,Dictionary, ,earth, ,ebay, ,Electricity, ,Emma Block, ,Fabrics, ,fashion, ,Food, ,Gas, ,Gemma Randall, ,Google, ,Human Body, ,iPhone, ,Kayeligh Bluck, ,Light bulbs, ,Longchamp, ,Mac, ,Markets, ,My Habbit, ,Naomi Law, ,paper, ,Primark, ,Printing, ,Second-hand, ,sustainability, ,Sustainable Futures, ,TK Maxx, ,vintage, ,White goods, ,Wikipedia, ,Zarina Liew

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Amelia’s Magazine | Thoughts on the Falklands

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Let’s get out of here: Do the penguins know something we don’t?

You have to hand it to Desire Petroleum and Rockhopper Exploration, stomach choosing a rig named Ocean Guardian to carry out the much publicised second exploratory drilling off the coast of the Falkland Islands shows a great grasp of irony.

Much in the media over the last few days has been made of the diplomatic spat that’s broken out between the British and Argentine governments over who has the right to drill for oil off the islands, buy but that ignores the big issue in all this, ed surely – war is an enormously unlikely consequence; after the debacle that’s been Iraq and the ongoing Afghan conflict, UK politicians certainly have no taste for it and here’s especially why. No, the big issue is the toll that drilling will inevitably take on the Falklands’ environment – both social and natural.

Carcass_panoramic_0897__0896_1 Carcass island: will rugged beauty have to give way to downright ugly?

First the social side, the vast majority of the populations where the thirst for oil drilling has taken hold in recent decades have not got rich quick – or at all – as one or two Falklands residents interviewed in the media last week, with dollar signs seemingly lighting up in their eyes, seem not to have noticed. Take the Niger Delta, for instance, or Aberdeen. Indeed, while a fair proportion of the latter’s economy is driven by the oil industry’s presence in the area, it’s hardly helped it to become the British Abu Dhabi.

Second, the natural environment. The Falkland Islands are world-renowned for their natural beauty, especially their wildlife. Almost 300 species of flowering plants and an extensive number of bird species call the Falklands home, while seals, sealions, dolphins and whales count the islands’ coasts or their waters as their habitat. And already there’s a movement insisting that the islands’ penguin numbers – made up of five different breeds – are dying in their thousands due to over-fishing. What effect will the oil industry have on all that if it succeeds and sets up camp on the islands? Well, it certainly isn’t going to be pretty. All this, of course, is in addition to the general global damage that will be done by setting up yet more oil-driven energy resources for years to come on these islands, as opposed to investing in greener technology.

309_1Ocean Guardian rig: very black humour

And that leads me on to my final point – and here’s the real rub. Believe it or not the Falklands government, the same politicians who are only too happy to invite the oil people to their islands with open arms – presently aim to ensure 40 percent of the Falklands’ own energy is wind technology-based. Hypocritical much?

One or two of the islands’ residents may well be right in thinking they stand to make a mint out of oil coming to the Falklands, but it will be left to the rest of the 3,000-plus population to pick up the pieces – probably quite literally.

Categories ,Adam Bollard, ,earth, ,environment, ,Falkland Islands, ,Ocean Guardian, ,oil, ,Penguins, ,wildlife, ,wind technology

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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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