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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Go Green!

Fashion and Ethical Conference, Rich Mix

Written by Jennifer Ballie

Monday 16th.

Name The Pet and Micron63 supply full-frontal, this remedy hard-hitting electro vogueing tunage at Madame Jojos in Soho, cialis 40mg London.
Madame Jojo’s, Brewer Street, Soho, London.

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Name The Pet.

Tuesday 17th.

Betty Frances launches her spooky new bluesy folk EP at The Electroacoustic Club, with support from The Johnny Parry Trio. Get there by 8, though, to catch the amazing, 6’9”, delicate-fingered story-crooner The Black Maria Memorial Fund – this chap is a mild-mannered superhero of the first order.
The Slaughtered Lamb 34-35 Great Sutton St, Barbican EC1V 0DX

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The Black Maria Memorial Fund.

Televised Crimewave are playing an Instore at Pure Groove.
6-7 West Smithfield, London EC1A 9JX

Wednesday 18th.

The Long Lost play at Prick Your Finger on Wednesday 18th March at 7.30pm. A band on Ninja Tune that sound like Astrid Gilberto dropped into a bubblebath with Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Belle, and Sebastian. http://www.ninjatune.net/thelonglost – London, There is a password for the resourceful with pricked fingers.
Prick Your Finger, 250 Globe Rd, Bethnal Green.

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The Long Lost.

Thursday 19th.

Gold Teeth and Crystal Fighters, two bands from the Amelia’s Intray are sure to pack a lively night with afrobeat rubbing up against dark pervertronic shocks.
The Paradise, 19 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Green W10 4AE

Friday 20th.

Sparks, the band that cannot die, will be fondling their keyboards for their hardcore devotee fanbase. Infiltrate, if you dare. Is Kentish Town big enough for the both of you?
HMV Forum, 9 – 17 Highgate RD, Kentish Town

Meanwhile, Piano Magic perform their sugary wisdom. For fans of classically trained Warp records.
Barden’s Boudoir, 36 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ

There’s also a warehouse party at the Busey Building.
133 Rye Lane, SE15

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Piano Magic.

Saturday 21st.

Upload Alldayer Festival. Trek out to Grays, near Thurrock for a loutish slobfest hosted by Front magazine. Highpoint will probably be Kunt And The Gang with his Bontempi synthpop ditties about unspeakably rude things. Did you spill my pint?
In a field.

A bit more relaxing and central, on the other hand, you could see Perunika performing their all-girl acapella Bulgarian Folk music.
The Cross Kings, 126 York Way, King’s Cross N1 0AX.

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Perunika

Sunday 22nd.

Nadja, Cappilary Action and DJs in your dream-local.
Barden’s Boudoir, 36 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 7XJ.
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Maybe I have become a bit blase after so much rushing, ask but for some reason the brilliantly termed “swoop” didn’t phase me. To the point that I decided that I had time to visit the G20 Meltdown goings on with a mere half hour to spare before the swoop at 12.30 on the 1st of April outside the European Climate Exchange. Attempting to locate the Climate Action march, viagra approved led by a green horse, approved I headed down Threadneedle Street towards the Bank of England. A friendly female officer ushered me onwards as I sauntered past police lines and I decided that there was no chance of a kettle here, at least not just yet. Ahead of me was the most amazingly constructed dead canary, held aloft to symbolize the death of Canary Wharf.

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Increasingly aware of the clock ticking I darted further into the morass of people spilling into the junction from all sides, snapping as I went.

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In ten minutes I was ready to leave, but by now the atmosphere had changed and the kettle was on. Trying my best not to panic I asked a second police officer if I could please please leave. To my utmost surprise – having ascertained that I was on my own —he let me past the cordon where other journalists had failed.

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With minutes to spare I grabbed my bike and sped off to Bishopsgate, noting the preponderance of people with trays of food, backpacks, pop-up tents and even great wreaths of flowers en route, apparently unhassled by the police. The road seemed already closed to traffic, as if we were expected!

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Suddenly there was a commotion at the north end of the street, and a flurry of people clustered together in the road. Someone yelled “not yet!” to which I retorted “too late!” I mean, once you’ve started pitching your tent on a major thoroughfare in central London you’re hardly going to stop politely and wait a minute more to meet GMT time are you?! The police tried half-heartedly to drag people off, as they hastily climbed inside their tents, with one joker popping out the top of his kids’ tent in full hunting gear.

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By the time I had glanced up again the whole street was a bustle of people and tents as far as the eye could see. A Carbon Casino with ghetto blaster sound system was hoisted up onto a carefully scouted bus shelter.

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Bunting was unfurled and strung up between lampposts, food was trundled in on trailers, a toilet gazebo hosting the compost loos arrived and a vegetable stall was set up beneath a banner emblazoned Farmers Markets Not Carbon Markets. Vivienne Westwood walked past. All so surreal, all so very good.

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Gradually the infrastructure took shape, with a kitchen sited near the centre of the site and three separate workshop spaces successfully set up at intervals along the road.

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Here people could learn everything from the latest climate science to effective self defence, and of course the more intricate ins and outs of Carbon Trading and why it is such a bad idea. Perhaps now would be a good time to mention more on why Climate Camp decided to focus on Carbon Trading.

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Our previous targets have included Heathrow and Kingsnorth, where huge new projects will put in peril our ability to rapidly cut carbon as quickly as we need to if we are to keep Climate Change in check. The government and big business justify their plans for a third runway and a new coal fired power station with Carbon Trading, whereby carbon is bought and sold as if it were any other commodity. The trouble with this concept is that it encourages growth which is simply not possible if we are trying to cut carbon emissions, as any sane person realises.

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So by picking out the European Climate Exchange (which is a worldwide hub for this activity) Climate Camp hoped to highlight a problem that very few people talk about. We chose to swoop on the day before the G20 because this meeting of leaders from the top 20 richest countries was intended to sort out the world’s financial problems. They intend to do this with the same failed economic system that has dreamt up Carbon Trading as a solution to Climate Change. By setting up Climate Camp at the heart of the problem we sent a clear signal to our leaders that we cannot continue putting our faith in the current financial system when it so clearly doesn’t work. Needless to say, the outcome of the G20 has been as ill-considered as expected.

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Over $1 trillion dollars will be magiked out of thin air to push into our failing economic systems. Hurrah, all is well!

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But back to the street that I so often cycle down, now so transformed. Guerilla gardeners wandered past with mini barrows of primula and spray cans in hand – a nod to the guerilla gardening movement which aims to reclaim our common land, planting useful plants on public spaces.

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Ironically, April 1st was also the 360th anniversary – to the day – of the moment when the Diggers reclaimed Saint George’s Hill as common land, and on which they planted parsnips, carrots and beans. The area is now a gated community for the rich and a sad indictment of the way that land has been parcelled off for the elite across the world. We later sang, en masse, the famous Digger’s Song – A World Turned Upside Down, by Leon Rosselson.

The media centre was busy fielding journos, and a welcome group coalesced to meet and greet newcomers, which by now numbered many badly dressed down bankers who were easily spotted a mile off.

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If you got closer they could generally be heard saying something moronic, but I think they found it hard to find fault with our actions and we may even have educated some of the more open-minded ones.

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However, I think it’s worth noting the sad truth is that some people will never care about any issue unless it directly affects themselves or their family. Happy in their comfortable lives they remain content to consume far more than their fair share of resources, whilst others across the world starve because of their activities.

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Faces were painted, samosas were sold, guitars were strummed. A giant game, an adaption of snakes and ladders – runways and windmills – was played, complete with oversize dice. The police seemed to be leaving us alone.

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As the day wore on more and more people drifted in from the surrounding protests to see what was going on. On the northern perimeter the legal observers for Climate Camp got stuck in a strange sandwich between police lines and black block.

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When I returned later the mood had altered dramatically – a group of 5-Rhythms dancers dressed in orange and gold had organised themselves into a self-named gold block. They were dancing frantically, periodically dragging others into their merriment, sweating in enlightened ecstasy.

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Gingerbread bankers were handed out to passersby, and everywhere I looked people were sharing their food. I bumped into a bunch of schoolgirls still in uniform from the morning’s classes. One of them recognized me – I looked after her as a small child on a camp. Legal observers sat in a row sketching the police in front of them.

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Occasionally I would bump into another Climate Camper from our London neighbourhood, looking similarly frazzled to how I was starting to feel. And I bumped into Robots in Disguise, and half of Tatty Devine.

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The atmosphere was still up, jovial, but I was worried that my camera battery was getting low and decided to head home to download photos and recharge batteries before the mood changed, as I suspected it would when dusk fell. On my return twilight was approaching rapidly between the tower blocks and the atmosphere had turned still more carnivalesque, with people really getting into the stop-start nature of human powered bike pedal sound systems. Limboing was all the rage and some cheeky girls got on top of a police van to boogie.

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Many more people were joining us from a day at work, but the police were also increasing rapidly in number as they were called off duty elsewhere. Suddenly (at about 7.30pm) and without warning, they pushed forcefully into the site from the south end, beating people out of their way as they did so with riot shields and battons, even as surprised protesters raised their hands in the air and chanted the now familiar refrain “this is not a riot.”

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Up until now everything had seemed so relaxed, but I for one knew that it was only a matter of time before the police decided to use more force. They may have stood by mildly amused as we entertained and educated each other in the hot sunshine of the afternoon, but by nightfall it was clear that things were about to get significantly more messy. We were now in a kettle, with people unable to get in or out, a state that remained for the next 5 hours. Those who had just arrived were utterly bemused as to the reasons for this, but there wasn’t any reasoning to do. A big consensus meeting was held at the north end to decide what we should do, and hundreds of people took part in hand wiggling to confirm that they would be staying the night. (I had my doubts about this outcome – those there to party no doubt mistook the implications of this, ie. that it would mean standing our ground and keeping the police out, not more dancing and getting drunk.)

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Now seemed a good time to hold the much hyped celidh, so I located our new Climate Camp celidh band, the Carbon Raiders, and we put into practice the music we’ve been practicing over the past few weeks. Soon enough there in front of me was the familiar sight of hundreds of smiling people dancing together.

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We only managed to follow a few steps correctly, but it didn’t matter; freestyling joy was the order of the day. It was as if the lines of riot cops were a million miles away, rather than 2 metres over my shoulder. For awhile afterwards much carried on as before, with many enjoying the fluffy baked potatoes for tea that remained warm to the touch – despite having been cooked the day before – many in my very own oven.

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Towards midnight many were getting anxious – they’d been planning to get home, to get to work the next day. We started to become aware that there were hundreds of people outside trying to get in and those sitting on the bus shelter could see people being violently beaten back from our perimeter.

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It wasn’t until yesterday that I found out the full extent of the surrounding kettles – one friend was caught in a mini kettle of 25 people for 2 hours in a narrow and claustrophobic alley, some beaten to the ground before finally being released. Marina had come down from the Meltdown and, finding herself unable to get in set up camp in the middle of Broadgate with her kettle and teacups. She showed me the bruises from the police the next day – huge great welts down her arm, but she was proud that her fine china remained unscathed throughout the ordeal. Why were these people kept away from us? Many of my friends were unable to get into the camp, despite having travelled long distances to protest. Still others were trying to retrieve belongings left inside the camp, which have since vanished – the police sent in cleaning crews at the end that apparently sent everything straight to landfill. Is this lawful? To keep someone from their belongings and then consign them to oblivion?

Once the police had beaten everyone away from our perimeters they drafted in huge amounts of riot cops (10 deep in places) to drive us off the road. There was clearly no way they were going to let us stay there for the full 24 hours and risk having us block the road for another day of commuter traffic. I believe their orders were something along the lines of needing to keep the streets clear in case a world leader wanted to get past. Most people, tired and intimidated, left as soon as they were able to, with just a dedicated few left to guard the lines. The police surged forward with no advance warning once more, picking up and tossing carelessly aside our beloved Pedals bike powered sound system. A great cry of dismay went up from the crowd – this was willful destruction of property for no discernible reason.

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Police, jaws set in aggressive grimaces, were flailing out at cowering protestors who sat on the floor with their hands in the air. Is this what democracy looks like? When the right to protest is treated with such disdain? Despite promises to the contrary, no attempt at communication was made. The same old story seems to be repeating itself time and time again.

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As a camper climbed a traffic light to retrieve a banner I overheard a policeman sneering that he hoped he slipped and fell. Is this what we pay our taxes for? The police are not here to protect the interest of the ruling elite, they are here to facilitate lawful protest and protect the welfare of all citizens. Yet this attitude is sadly lacking. For every friendly humane copper there are 50 behind him or her who revel in the carnage that provoking a riot ensures.

My friend was snatched from the front line and so I retreated from my position inches from the police to retrieve his belongings and take them out to him. I was also concerned by this point about my camera being taken and the photos erased – there were already reports of this having happened to other photographers earlier in the day. It seemed increasingly obvious how things were going to end, and sure enough when I made it back around the block ten minutes later the street was clear, apart from a dreadful mess of abandoned tents and bedraggled bunting. It was very sad to see the state of the street, when Climate Camp is so committed to clearing up so that no trace remains. But what choice did we have? We just didn’t have the resources to clear up more than those individuals left behind could personally manage. We stuffed as much bunting as we could into a backpack and trundled home, feeling emotionally bruised and battered.

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…But what a day! We swooped, we camped, and we raised the issue of Carbon Trading higher up the political agenda than it has ever been before. I feel certain that many people came away feeling much more empowered and assured that it is possible to create another world. Now we start work on ideas for the Climate Camp this summer, August 26th – September 2nd. Throughout 2009 we will be focusing on the failures of our current economic system, for the same principles of free markets cannot possibly save us from Climate Chaos. The only solution is to decrease consumption, increase efficiency, and find alternatives to fossil fuels, fast. Put the dates in your diary now. And follow us on the main Camp Twitter and Twitter for London-based campers.

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Coming from a rural upbringing the staple jumble sale was as much engrained into the infrastructure of village life as the Women’s Institute’s flower arranging classes and the humble church cake sale. It sounds decidedly twee but I still recollect as if yesterday the village hall brimming with ornate table clothes, viagra approved wooden chairs, price the bric and brac stands, the tombola, the fairy cakes and the strangely gratifying musty scent of hand me downs.Alas since flying the nest from my pastoral abode in favour of the city hustle. I feared the modest jumble sale would be cast aside as a mere nostalgic whim I would recall fondly in childhood anecdotes .

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However recently fortune led me to unearth a hidden organisation seeking to rekindle this quintessential past time. With the pretence of transforming the jumble sale into the new cultural phenomena, the group aptly entitled “jumble” have set up a monthly event at the Amersham Arms in the depths of New Cross, South London. Jumble has targeted their cliental with outstanding precision, supplying all any fashion-focused individual could ever ask for under one rooftop. Who could scorn at vintage clothing, crafts, records, bric and brac, alcohol and scrabble tournaments, oh and I nearly forgot the cakes! I hope I am not fuelling a stereotype but jumble appear to have catered for every kooky shopping habit of most 18-25 year olds.I am not ashamed to admit I fall right into that category myself!

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The 300 capacity venue every month transforms into a sea of eager revellers on the prowl for bargains. Watching people transcend from idle window shoppers to style scavenging primitives is a rather refreshing change. With a bar to quench your thirst amidst your hunt jumble provide you all the sustenance you require for a healthy afternoon of hunting.

If the prospect of heading to the uncharted terrain of South London fills you with dread then never fear. If you’re Shoreditch born and bred you don’t have to egress the comfort zone. Emily Morris’s Extraordinary Dancing Bazaar is held at the Old Blue Last, however its on a sporadic basis so this is one you have to really keep your ears pricked up for. The former DJ at Ministry and Turnmills turns her hands to fashion in this hip haven on the second floor. Perfect for those fashion forerunners, but be warned this is not for the fainted hearted, expect some zany finds in this haunt.

There is also the Bi- annual jumble sale at the art gallery Studio 1-1, run by Uscha Pohl publisher and editor of the VERY style guide, a self professed “ store phobia” she hates the concept of hoarding. Artists use this as an outlet to shed everything from kooky furniture to vintage treasures and some odd bits and pieces thrown in their for good measure.

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Unlike my school years of the 90′s we have now become akin to second hand clothing, society now fully embraces the jumble sale aesthetic. When I was in secondary school you would not only be scorned at but faced intolerable mockery if someone unearthed you bought from Oxfam. I was profusely laughed at once for giving out Oxfam christmas cards. But in my college years it was deemed highly innovative to shop in charity shops. Second hand clothing now symbolizes a complete rejection of the ubiquity of todays global fashion sphere. Now there is hierachical obscurity, style no longer denotes class it serves in conveying personality and not financial privilege. Even the vintage market is utterly oversaturated and so consciously scouted and merchandised the joy of unearthing a diamond is eradicated. The real exhilarant comes from resorting to our primitive psychological make up, our “hunter, gather” instinct. So go on get hunting those jumble sales and reel in some prize catches!
Monday 16th March – March 23rd

Sustainability and Conservation Lecture
6.30pm, check
Room B04, information pills 43 Gordon Square, tadalafil
Birkbeck, London University, WC1

?The Ecology and Conservation Studies Society/Birkbeck is hosting free lectures on Monday evenings on the topic of living within our environmental limits.?For more information, call 020 7485 7903

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illustration provided by http://www.kerrylemon.co.uk/

Tuesday 17th March
7pm
Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7
The Future Shape of Capitalism, Vince Cable MP, Andrew Neil. £10/£7, Info: 0207 591 310

RICH MIX
35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
Tibet Film Festival, 13 March-5 April Programme includes:
17 March, Unmistaken Child, documentary on the search for the reincarnation of a revered religious master who spent 26 years in meditation in a mountain hermitage.

Contact BOX OFFICE:
020 7613 7498

http://www.richmix.org.uk/

Wed 18th March

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(illustration provided by Faye Katerai) http://faye-katirai.blogspot.com/.

Sustainable Haringey Monthly Co-ordination Meeting
?@ Big Green Bookshop, Brampton Park Rd, N8??6pm – Co-ordination Meeting: All those active in the SH network and working groups etc are invited to attend. New people also welcome. Further details below.?7.30pm – Film Show and discussion: The inspirational ‘Power of Community‘ film about how the people of Cuba survived the loss of access to oil imports after the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. They had to become predominantly self-sufficient in food and other products, and change their economy and lifestyles quickly – yet this was an opportunity for a remarkable re-birth of community spirit. Could it happen here? [Part of a week of films put on at the bookshop as a 'fringe' venue during the Wood Green Film Festival].
Check http://www.london21.org/page/36/show/2125 for more details.

* Can the World Meet The Energy Needs Of The Poorest?, Saleemul Huq, Tony Juniper, Dr Victoria Johnson, 7pm, £8, St James’s Church, Piccadilly, W1. Info: Global Development Forum/ Ethical Events

Thursday 19 March,

‘What Remains Of Us‘, a Tibetan-Canadian born in exile travels to Tibet with a video recorded message of hope from the Dalai Lama to the people of Tibet and records the reactions of Tibetans on hearing his message, 7.30pm
RICH MIX
35 – 47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA

BOX OFFICE:
020 7613 7498

www.richmix.org.uk

Friday 20th March

Remnants of a War + Q&A

20 March 2009

6.30 pm

ICA,
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH. Box Office: 020 7930 3647 / Switchboard: 020 7930 0493

In Lebanon, hundreds of thousands of unexploded cluster munitions are scattered across tobacco fields, orange groves, roads and backyards after the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah; this film looks at the men and women of southern Lebanon who work to clear their land of these deadly objects. Followed by Q&A with the film-maker and Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst, Human Rights Watch.

Check www.ica.org.uk

Sat 21 March

WDM Speaker tour:?Europe’s Trade deals – Who Benefit
2.30pm

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(Illustration provided byhttp://www.kerrylemon.co.uk/

Dragon Hall, 17 Stukeley Street?

London  WC2B 5LT

Trade can help poorer countries to overcome poverty, by generating jobs and supporting livelihoods. But the European Union is currently negotiating trade deals with over 100 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America which will secure big profits for European companies at the expense of development.
These trade deals will particularly harm the poorest and most vulnerable people in developing countries, destroying jobs, local industries and the livelihoods of small-scale farmers.
Hear from Mary Lou Malig, trade campaigner from the Philippines, and learn what you can do to stop these disastrous trade deals. 
Check http://www.wdm.org.uk/news/events/speakertour16032009.htm
for further details

Sat 21-22nd March

Climate Camp London Trading Ed Development

CLIMATE CAMP 2009:?CARBON TRADING AND ACTION PLANNING WEEKEND,
?LONDON, 21/22 MARCH
ARCOLA THEATRE
27 ARCOLA STREET
DALSTON, HACKNEY
E8 2DJ

Sunday will now start at 12 noon. Saturday will still take place from 10am to 6pm.

Day 1: ?Workshops and discussions on the problems with carbon trading, with speakers from the Cornerhouse, FERN, Carbon Trade Watch and the World Development Movement. Subjects will include the basics of carbon trading, similarities with the financial crisis, carbon markets and forestry and how emissions trading in the EU paves the way for Kingsnorth and the 3rd Runway.
Day 2?Action planning and trainings. A big chunk of this will be devoted to the Climate Camp in the City on the 1st of April, but it will also deal with our plans for the Summer and Copenhagen, and will include options like speaker training, media training and action planning.
07534 598 733

WE CAN postcards to Ed Miliband and MPs: Monday 23rd March

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On Monday 23rd March, hundreds of children dressed as endangered animals will write postcards to Secretary of State Ed Miliband and to their MPs, in an effort to make the government call a halt to plans to build a third runway at Heathrow and a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth.
 
According to NASA scientist James Hansen, who is now advising President Obama, up to 400 species of animals are threatened with extinction by the emissions from Kingsnorth.
 
Filmmaker, mother of three and founding member of WE CAN, Rebecca Frayn said, ‘The children are horrified that so many animals could be wiped out. Ed Miliband has said that carbon capture and storage will be introduced to clean up the emissions, but nobody knows when, or if the technology is even practical.’
 
The postcards will be coloured in and presented after a gathering in Old Palace Yard at 5pm on Monday 23rd March. Several MPs including Andy Slaughter and John McDonnell have agreed to meet children in the lobby of the House of Commons

Nikki Pinder is a freelance multi media artist based in Cheshire, capsule her style is boldly experimental and modern. She was previously featured in Amelia’s Magazine and has been invited back for a more indepth interview.

What inspires you to be creative?

Music is a huge inspiration for me. I listen to it almost all day as it helps me to focus and also allows me to escape into different worlds when I listen to certain sounds and lyrics. Films are also a huge inspiration for me and I admire the work created by directors such as David Lynch, Tim Burton and Alfred Hitchcock. A few other inspirations are antiques shops and curiosities, photography, travelling around, being spontaneous, grandfather clocks, pocket watches and time, top hats and bowlers, true love, fresh air and open spaces, riding my bike, honesty, beautiful places in the countryside, poetry, confident people, museums, beautiful women, amazing architecture which makes me stop and stare, galleries, inventions, dreams, aliens, robots, birds, and trees.

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How did you get into Art and what attracted you to the medium you use?

I’ve always drawn and made things with my hands ever since I can remember as I just love to make and invent stuff. Also I lived with my gran for a while when I was a kid and she loved art too so she was a big influence on me as she taught me how to hold a pen properly and bought me my first watercolour set (which I still use)!

I use many different mediums as I love to experiment, but I fell in love with dipping pen and ink several years ago as it’s so freeing and allows you to create beautiful fluid marks with no limitations. I also love to create and utilise textures as they allow me to build up layers and depth in the surfaces of canvases and even within my digital artwork.

Who do you aspire to be like and who inspires you at present?

I don’t really aspire to be like anybody as I’m happy being myself, but I aspire to be the best artist and thinker that I can be in my life. The people who inspire me most are those who push the boundaries, those who are brave in what they say creatively and do, and those who actually contribute positively to the world in some way. The following people are a huge inspiration for me: Amanda Palmer, Tim Burton, Robert Smith, Billy Corgan, Josh Homme, Trent Reznor, Thom York, Vermillion Lies, and my friend Catherine AD as she’s one of the cleverest and talented people I know.

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Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

I would like to have several books published, I want to have travelled around the world at least once, I would like to have lived in Paris for at least 6 months, I want to have written a film script, established my own publishing company, figured out a way to help people through my work, and there are hundreds of other things I want to achieve in the next five years.

What advice would you give to someone trying to get into the Arts?
Be honest in what you say through what you create, work hard, experiment, don’t get put off by anything negative anyone says to you – allow it to motivate you more, don’t be afraid to draw as skills can be developed over time and also confidence through practice helps you to develop good drawing skills. Think outside the box, write your ideas down so take a note-book with you everywhere, and don’t ever look at someone and think…I could never be like them or do what they’ve achieved as you can do and be anything you want to be.

Do you have a muse?

I don’t really know what a muse is, but if it’s the thing that drives me to create then I’d say life, happiness and making the world a better place is my muse.

If you could invite any two artists (dead or alive) to diner, who would it be and why?

Ummmm…that’s such a hard question but I’d like to invite Robert Smith as I think he’s so talented and fascinating, and also Josh Homme as he’s really strong, powerful and I think I would feel really enlightened after talking to them both for an evening.

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London-based, discount twice awarded Fashion Designer of the Year Hussein Chalayan’s first major solo exhibition is halfway through its run at the Design Museum and it is soon approaching the eve of a sold out talk with the masterful rogue as he looks back over 15 years of groundbreaking fashion and collaborations…although he cautions us not to call it a retrospective, this because as he points out, ambulance he is neither dead nor approaching it. Never one to be bound by the clumsy dog collars of definitions, Chalayan and curator Donna Loveday presented a powerful sampling of amuse-bouches, bite-sized bursts of the fashion maverick’s best. With a marked lack of belabored and lengthy wall texts, it was an edited and approachable introduction to the work of this architect-philosopher-scientist-fashion designer. The only dialogue becomes the one I’m having with the environment, the cleverly orchestrated mannequins and the clothes themselves as I revel in the fact that I can finally get up close to these pieces and get some answers. How does it work? What’s it made of? It makes me feel like I’m sneaking around backstage at a magician’s show!
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The exhibition snaked up the stairs starting with paper dresses which fold up into postable air mail envelopes. Further along, hanging flat against the wall is a stunning floor length dress covered in oxidized iron filings which, just as he famously did with his diploma from St. Martins, the designer had buried and exhumed months later. This is where we both enter and exit the exhibit. Glimpsing into the future I see Chalayan’s latest creations, windblown triplets wearing what looks like taffy dresses being blown right off them. It’s his latest collection and one of my favorites yet. Images of car crashes are hand painted onto foam with shards of safety glass protruding here and there. It’s a shrewd observation of the precarious speed at which our lives are accelerating at. chalayancrashsingle.jpg
Rather than being mere clothes hangers, the mannequins were cleverly posed, some of them wiping the inside of their vitrine with cloths while others white washed the gallery walls with long rollers. Others had little travel kit scissors and were trimming away at the tulle dresses they were wearing.
The show triggered questions about displacement, genetics, technology and cultural identity. I could hardly wait to get to Shoreditch Town Hall where Chalayan would be joining playwrights, curators , journalists and architects in a panel discussion about their experiences living and creating in London. The panel discussed the unique composition of London’s East End and how living its grit, aggression and cultural diversity was the unique pressure cooker from which to create. For many the husks of their developmental years are something to be shed but this group believes it is the struggle itself that is at the core of the creative process. Nobody wants to read about the kid with the silver spoon, they want to cheer the underdog. It is also true that the successes we all strive for become our gilded cage. If its tension and struggle you desire London is happy to oblige. The talk had barely ended when a plague of fashion students inelegantly rushed the stage to elbow out the other speakers and shove cameras in Chalayan’s face as he tried to carry on a conversation I believe I could hear him rattling the clunky bars of his own uncomfortable celebrity.
When Fashion Designer Ingrid Hass graduated in 2008 from Central St Martins, stomach she was shrouded with accolades, website like this dubbed the “one to watch” by both Vogue and Marie Claire, ambulance a compliment that should not be shrugged off as mere flattery, it means serious business in the fashion sphere. However Ingrid’s success was perceptible, she won a hand full of internships on the run up to her degree collection. The first being with Luxury Knitwear company Ballantyne, she then teamed that with a grant from Pan Uk, a sponsorship from Bora and to top it all off she received backing from none other then the backbone of British print Liberty itself! So with the backing of some of the most fundamental companies within the fashion sphere Hass had a solid financial platform to create her sumptuous collection.






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Deriving from the leafy terrains of Wiltshire, Hass has defiant rural roots, which play a significant part in her working ethos. Hass’s collection is a pastiche of rural England, evoking all the whimsy and romanticism of our British heritage. Inspired by our rich textile traditions in tapestry and embroidery, Ingrid creates exclusive pieces utilising the technique hand intarsia, a method used for centuries by artisans. Hass strives to revive this quintessential past time which regrettably is on the decline due to mass over seas production.






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Inspired by the wistful and quixotic works of photographer Tim Walker. Hass evokes a candid naivety to her pieces, luring you into a state of reverie. Everything from the subdued pastel palette, the delicate floral head pieces, the dungarees to the ethereal cloud prints all exude imaginative thought.



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I caught up with Ingrid to see what she had been getting up to since graduating last year.






So, tell me a little bit about yourself Ingrid? ?






I am 25 years old , originally from the English countryside where I was brought up. I then moved to London where I completed my foundation course at London College of Fashion, and then progressed to Central St Martins where I studied Fashion Design with Knitwear. I graduated in Summer 2008 and am currently living in Milan where I work for Ballantyne.






?What have you been doing since graduating at central st martins last year? ?






I have been working on a freelance basis for a high street company whereby I am going to have my own line which will go into the stores this Autumn, and most recently I was winner of the Ballantyne Design initiative. As such, I am now living in Milan and working at their head offices here.






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?How have you found the progression from university to the daunting world of ?the fashion industry? ?






I was fortunate in that after a nice relaxing and much needed break after final year I went to New York to meet with someone who approached me with regard to my final collection. It was this that led to the formation of my freelance label and work began quickly once again. Following this, I later found out I was a finalist for the Ballantyne Design Initiative and was flown out to Milan for the interview. I then moved here in January and it has been two months now! But, yes it is undoubtedly daunting but I think you just need to be open minded, hard working and forward about approaching companies.






?Would you have any advice for budding designers? ?






I still feel a budding designer myself, and not sure if I really have the experience or right to offer advice yet!






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?Your work evokes a rather nostalgic feel, did you have a rural up bringing? ?






Yes, I was brought up on a farm in the Wiltshire countryside, where my parents still live. It has undoubtedly inspired the aesthetic I like and the way in which I work.






?What leads your thought processes when your designing? ?






An amalgamation of lots of things…people I meet, my books, old fashioned knitting journals and magazines, places I visit, photographs I take. I think most importantly though I love to learn and use traditional techniques that in this day and age are no longer utilized any longer, like needlepoint, tapestry and embroidery. I love the challenge of adapting these in a modern and contemporary way.






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?Are you inspired by any other artists or designers?
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Yes, of course. I love art and fashion and so it is a natural element of my work. My final collection looked particularly towards the romanticism of Tim Walker’s photographs and the colours of Henri Matisse’s paintings.







?How would you say your artistic style has progressed since your graduate ?collection?







Well, I think making the transition from producing my own work on a small scale to helping towards the creation of a larger scale collection has meant I have learnt the opposite side of the spectrum in the industry. As such this I suppose has meant my artistic style has not been compromised but now I can see how complimentary elements, textures and materials work together in a larger context.






So keep your eyes peeled, you might be seeing an original Ingrid Hass on your local high street in the foreseeable future!
It was immediately clear to us upon arrival that Antwerp is city that oozes class and modernism. Artistic intelligence is literally everywhere you look, viagra buy even Antwerp’s central station is a truly amazing architectural feat. Kings Cross seems like a poor imitation in comparison to the beautiful modernist belgian levels of trains on top of trains.

Suffciently in awe of the city not to mention delighted by its thousands of varieties of beer we decided some culture was in order and headed through streets of wonderful shops, viagra including those of the Antwerp six, buy and this amazing dvd rental shop to MoMu, the fashion museum to see the Martin Margiela exhibition.

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On walking in to the exhibition after getting our tickets at the caravan reception we are greeted by a strange white pop-up Styrofoam audience. It transpires that this is in fact a group portrait of the Martin Margiela team of Paris. Margiela’s own silhouette is however not included. No fashion designer works alone and in shunning any kind of personal publicity (he has never been publicly photographed and you certainly won’t see him take a bow after a catwalk show) Margiela is one of the only designers to make this fact clear, separating him from others who are anxious to take credit and ownership of work that has been created by many people. It is obvious that Margiela isn’t in fashion for glory or fame, rather to set about the wonderful business of creation.
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The exhibition goes to great lengths to recreate the artists working space and ideas. This white cotton covered furniture can be found both in Margiela’s Paris offices and In the exhibition where the chairs form a circle facing outwards in the middle of a room with walls full of films. We sat for over an hour in them completely absorbed in watching videos of catwalk shows, milk bottles, lamps, eggs and whiter than white object montages.

Margiela doesn’t do things by the book, par example le plate-invitation! And in his next collection he shattered the plates and made them into waistcoats.
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In a dark room bodices were lit up one by one, cleverly focusing your attention on one garment at a time, including this one adorned with square mirror tiles.
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Printed below the outfits are the length of time it took to make them, the emphasis on the working processes behind the clothes makes the exhibition that bit more interesting and different to others on designers that focus purely on final outcomes. Margiela is interested in the ‘life history’ of garments and this exhibition was superb in showing his interest in making the production processes public, thereby showing that the true value of the pieces can be found in the time and energy it took to make them.
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This amazingly comfy duvet-coat had different bedspread patterns projected onto it.
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In short I heart Antwerp, I heart belgian beer, and I heart Martin Margiela.

Now if someone comes along and blows your head off, healing splattering your t-shirt with cerebral fluid with their debut album as soon as the follow up comes along, information pills you can’t help but fear that it’ll fall somewhat shy of the original mark. However, Bromst is just as powerful as the first album in fact more so. Its like recording the sound of a police car, with sirens wailing, crashing into the microphone.

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What with the closure of Wham City and other heartbreaks over the last year, its hardly surprising that Bromst has taken a more serious tone; Bromst has a wider range of emotion and direction than the previous album.It’s an embodiment of Deacon and Wham city ethos to bring people together, something that Deacon doesn’t take lightly.

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Whilst retaining the essence of Spiderman of the rings, offering a little more in the way of heart; Bromst is much warmer with more instrumentation than computerisation which seeps through the pores and infuses itself into your veins following the blood cells on a path to your heart. It’s a much more organic album and not as plastic as Deacon says.

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Give it a chance and Bromst will become a part of you, a beautiful fusion of man and music. Be afraid, be very afraid!
Here at Amelia’s Magazine, doctor we were first introduced to French trainer label Veja during Fashion Week last year. They aren’t your average trainer label, though – they are pioneers of ecological trainers, with no compromise on style. From materials to distribution, each pair has a minimal impact on the environment.

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Their organic cotton is grown by agro-ecological producers in Brazil, avoiding chemical manures and pesticides, and producers are paid fairly. Their wild rubber, sourced in the Amazon, increases the rain-forest’s economic value, therefore reducing deforestation. Each pair is assembled by Brazilian workers who are respected and provided with good working conditions, and the footwear is distributed by a social enterprise in France which seeks to get unemployed and underprivileged people into work.

The photographer Florent Demarchez was granted the opportunity to follow the two founders of Veja in Brazil as they source their fairtrade and environmentally friendly materials and met some of the Brazilian workforce. The result is a stunning and thought provoking temporary exhibition at hip East End haunt Favella Chic, until 30th March.

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Photographs by Matt Bramford

The bar’s decor and atmosphere are of Latin influence, and the warming tones of the frameless prints compliment this perfectly. It’s a bit like a game of hide and seek – each photograph is placed in a different location, some obscured by the haphazard objet which forms the decor (the portrait of the old man, for example, part concealed by a tree branch).

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The photographs themselves are stunning – some portraiture, some still life, some room interiors with nothing but a sole person’s effects. Glancing around the bar, you’d be forgiven for mistaking the photographs as simple imagery depicting Brazilian life commissioned for the bar itself. After half a dozen of the bar’s free Caipirinhas, you’d be forgiven for mistaking where you even were. Look a little deeper though, and the images carry a deeper, solid message. The portrait of Dignidade, lit effortlessly from behind is a worker who is paid fairly and is given the opportunity to take pride in himself. The same man in a different shot offers you, with his hand, the opportunity to see the produce. The shot of those bags there contain agro-ecological crop rather than GMOs. The shot of those two children are the children of families supported by fairtrade employers.

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Novos Mundo(s) (New Worlds) aims to reveal ‘arising new initiatives, fighting for a different world’ through thought-provoking imagery. We’re given a glimpse of the people at the epicentre of the fight for fairtrade worldwide, the people who, thanks to these initiatives, are building lives, or worlds, that they can enjoy. The exhibition runs until the end of this month, so pop along, have a Caipirinha (or something else from Favella’s extensive cocktail list), admire the imagery, and have a think.

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When you contemplate the word rebellion, visit web the mind conjures images of banks- esque graffiti, what is ed or abrasive and provocative painting. However one group adopt rather unorthodox methods to convey their ideas to the unsuspecting public. Disregard the spray can, this group have a more deadly tool at their disposal, the knitting needle.

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So cast aside your preconceptions of knitting as a hobby confined to the slipper clad over 60s slowly declining into senility. Half casting an eye on the latest instalment of Eastenders and the other on knitting your garish christmas jumper. The Guerrilla movement have injected an edger side to our quintessential pastime, it’s no longer confined to the pastoral suburbs and rural towns.

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Knitting hits urban London, taking a myriad of forms Guerrilla knitting is attacking the aethethetics of the city, be warned no object is safe. Recently the Southbank was hit in orchestrated attack, the rather dull obtrusive posts on the riverbank had never experienced such dashing ensembles. Giving the architecture of London an entirely new lease of life, the knitters tackle everything from bike locks to railings, also providing a snug extra layer of insulation to some of London’s infamous statues.

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London has a deep underground network of Guerrilla Knitters .From Group Glitty Knitty Kitty,Knitta Please, Stitch and Bitch and the infamous Prick Your Finger to list but a few. All combining the same ethos, they even have their own bible to swear too “we, the knitted terrorists, are committed to knittivism through the systematic and systemic use of knitted accessories”

It’s all about usurping the line between gallery and habitat. No longer do you need to awkwardly shuffle around a clinical white gallery in silence. The Guerrilla Knitting movement is accessible art in the public domain!

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Gone are the days of the passive knitter. It’s a politicised move; the age of consumerism is dwindling. Now its time to join the movement, in the words of the iconic Morrissey “the devil makes work for idle hands to do”.So go on make your grandma proud, dig your knitting needles out. Our knitting disciples of London are spreading the teachings of the knittivism bible, so if your in search of enlightenment these are your ladies. Head on down and get yarn bombing!
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Having waited years before finally getting the chance to see Animal Collective in the flesh, visit web I’ll tell you the anticipation was more than un(panda)bearable (sorry, couldn’t resist, probably should’ a tried harder). I couldn’t even see 2ft in front of me; the anticipation had formed clouds over my eyes. If I could explain meteorologically, the thought of the upcoming gig caused a violent storm and rain around my brain, which on the inside was burning up with excitement causing a condensation to form over the lens of my eyeball. It took some heavy breathing and sage like wisdom from a good friend to calm myself down to a rational state.

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First on the bill is new Paw Track signing Dent May. Paw track incidentally being the Animal Collective’s own label. Vocals are so diverse, ranging from tenor to bass in notes, and ever mellifluous, with his beautiful sun-kissed harmonies and excruciatingly affable ukulele melodies we are, as an audience, helpless but to be charmed into submission. Drifting away on a coconut raft, miles from dry land. What a wonderful place to be.
Startled briefly back into reality we find ourselves swept into another world of equally fantastic shapes and colours. While my companion tried to get her first glimpse of Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear), who remained in predominant darkness for the entire set (to my amusement) I stormed to the front to get right into the action. Emerging periodically for air, and light refreshment.
Before the finale we were all encouraged into a round of Happy Birthday to Brian (The Geologist) as a cake was paraded onto the stage.

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Once the whole affair was over I tried to imagine what this experience could be akin to and the best thing I could think of was a relentless and progressive train journey through an ‘experimental’ Tunnel of Love via Toy town, Toon-town and the enchanted forest, finally crashing through the teddy bears picnic and into the gingerbread house. This seems a little frenetic but it sums it up just the same.
My only advice? Stay calm, stay cool and stay collective.
Spring is finally here, unhealthy and we are feeling creative and productive at Amelia’s HQ. Like we want to plunge our hands into the soil and see what we can make. There are numerous ways in which to learn about, and lead a more sustainable lifestyle, and living in a built up urban landscape is no reason to stop us. I was determined to prove that you can live the good life amidst the sprawl of London, so when I saw that Hackney City Farm was offering a vegetable gardening course, with the promise that the course “covers everything you need to know organic gardening and urban food production” I knew I had to investigate. Not having much of a green thumb myself, but eager to learn, I was reassured to see that gardeners of all levels are welcome.

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The farm itself is fascinating on every level. First of all, a city farm is an intriguing concept in itself, but Hackney City Farm is so much more than a premise for barnyard animals. It prides itself on being a registered charity and Environmental Body. It is socially enterprising and caters for the needs of local communities. There are many courses on offer, but I was taken by the volunteering classes on a Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, so I dropped by to get a taste of what they have to offer. There were around eight people in the group, most in their twenties and early thirties. All had different reasons as to why they were standing in a farm on a mid week afternoon, but there were a few similar themes; redundancies, re-evaluations of careers and lifestyle choices. Whatever uncertainty or change of direction had led them here, all seemed happy to spend a couple of hours potting, watering plants and pushing a wheel barrow past the farmyard animals.

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We all agreed that there has never been a more pertinent time to learn how live a more sustainable lifestyle. While I was here, I asked about the other courses that Hackney City Farm facilitates, and was pleased to see that there is a course for practically every element of low impact living. Each course is a day long, and includes subjects like heating with wood,, sustainable energy for the home, learning how to make bio diesel and finding out more about bio-gas. There are also courses on slightly lighter subjects such as making your own skin care products,, herbal medicine, and my personal favourite, a course in keeping chickens. (Especially if they look as healthy as the ones running around my feet when I walked through the farm yard).

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I asked my supervisor for the volunteering session, Roisin, about the people who take part in the various courses offered, and their reasons for coming, and she explained that there is now much more of a mix of ages who take part. Those who take part in the grow your own vegetables course are often keen to be more involved with the process of how food is grown, and reaches their plate, rather than just be a helpless bystander in the food chain. During the afternoon we all took part in planting seeds, sifting compost, and watering the seeds that had just been planted. The actual 10 week course guides you through the basics, like soil preparation, composting, mixing your own potting mix, natural pest and disease management, and of course, harvesting.

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Standing in a vegetable patch in the middle of the city and chatting to my new gardening friends with a watering can in hand was a lovely and enjoyable experience. Learning how to grow your own veg may not seem like a top priority, but is actually a positive and enriching way to take your first few steps into living a more sustainable life.
Half way up Mare Street, viagra dosage in Hackney, website I walk through a rather non-descript entrance that leads me off the street and through to a series of bland corridors and wooden doors. Reassuringly I notice a personal touch to one door, a little sign, the letters DHP drawn by hand with distinctive brick lettering.

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DHP or Dan has Potential is the pseudonym of illustrator Daniel Brereton, who has invited me into his studio for a chat. Considering his drawings the studio is a lot tidier than I expected, just some felt tip pens and a desktop Mac perched on his desk and a few drawings on the walls. Curiously there is a ping-pong table in the middle of the room with some animal masks casually resting on it. When I enquire about there purpose Dan tells me that he wore them for a Vice Magazine photo shoot recently. “There were two journalists asking me questions and a photographer. They were very cool.” He adds, looking a bit scared.

Like a good Northern boy Dan offers me a cup of tea and while he brews up I get down to some questions. Firstly, why the name? “I think that I did a picture at college and it said Dave had potential or someone had potential and everyone laughed at it because it looked like some guy that had no hope. Sometimes at college I thought about students and how you’re not meant to do anything, but then you’ve got all these aspirations to be really amazing” He tells me before adding, “And it’s nice to have something that’s other than yourself. I think that’s more fun for people.”

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DHP drawings are colourful and deliberately trippy, “I just let everything come in. I also have subject matter that I congregate around, I really like triangles and triangles with eyes.” Perfect then for the young 80′s inspired bands of the moment Late of the Pier and Metronomy, both who DHP has recently made music videos for. “I was doing films at college. I was ripping off other films like what Gondry would do with Be Kind Rewind. I called them homages. Some really nice man Steven Bass, who managed Best Fwends, said “do you want to do a video for these guys?” I met Metronomy and Late of the Pier from him as well.”

In the Late of the Pier video for Bathroom Gurgle (which you can see on DHP’s Myspace page) the band stand in a darkened room, with the walls covered in cracked mirrors. They play their instruments topless; their bodies painted with triangles like Neanderthal cave painters with nu-rave artistic sensibilities. “I come up with the ideas and art direction, which is how it looks. Sometimes with Late of the Pier, they are just mad and interesting and exciting and they have lots of ideas themselves. So it would just be a question of getting those ideas into a video.” Dan tells me.

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Doing commercial work while still retaining his integrity is something that seems very important to DHP. “I tend to see my video work as more commercial in a sense because it’s selling a band. And also I’m trying to do stuff with bigger bands, but still people with some integrity and some ideas that I like. Where as I sort of see the illustration side as hopefully quite personal. I do, do lots of illustrations for people, but still I like to do it for people with good ideas.”

Some people he does consider to have good ideas are Swedish company T-Post whom DHP recently designed a t-shirt for. They gave him a newspaper story instead of a brief, which then gets included in with the t-shirts they sell. “It was a really interesting story. They’ve found somewhere on Google Earth that hasn’t been discovered yet. No one had ever been there before and I thought that was really amazing.”

One of Dan’s favourite illustrators at the moment is Masimilliano Bomba who, surprisingly, he found through Flickr. “I’ve been on Flickr a lot recently and I really like it because there are loads of really good illustrators. There are people on there from all over the world.” A look onto Dan’s own Flickr and http://danhaspotential.blogspot.com/“target=”_blank”>blogspot accounts, which he updates regularly, further shows his love for the sites. He also tells me about Colin Henderson whom he shares a studio with. “We work together sometimes on something called Yo!Festt which is a side project of mine.”

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As we near the end of the cups of tea and our interview I ask Dan what his dream project would be. “To be ambitious I would say that I would like to do feature films. It would be a challenge, because it’s really difficult but it’s something that I would like to do. I’m with Warp Films and I did a pitch for one but the idea wasn’t strong enough.” He pauses for a minute, before finally adding. “I think I would like to be able to make stuff and then decorate it. I like the idea of not having to do it commercially so ideally I would be making my own work in the woods and then doing puppet shows for the kids or something out of the back of the van.”

So there we have it, Dan Has Potential. Illustrator, animator, Flickr enthusiast and maybe one-day filmmaker. Coming soon to a wood near you.

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Aleksandr Rodchenko and Liubov Popova were two of the most influential figures in creating what we know fondly call the Constructivist movement. Tate Modern currently explores their work, recipe from paintings to commercial pieces, discount and examines their place on the modern art timeline and their influence to art as a whole.

Constructivism was more of a mindset than an art movement. It originated in Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century, viagra 40mg and covered everything from art itself through architecture, theatre, fashion, graphic design and advertising. It considered art as a practice rather than something with a pretentious objective. Its concepts and properties have gradually filtered through art and still influence artists today.

Paintings
At the start of the exhibition, there are a number of rooms which include paintings by Rodchenko, Popova and others, from when Constructivism was in its infancy. Bold, abstract and geometrical shapes replace organic forms. Glancing around the room, there’s some attractive, aesthetically pleasing pieces, notably Rodchenko’s linear creations and Popova’s Six Prints. When presented together, however, the works are drowned and there’s a (dare-I-say-it) feeling of ‘sameness’. It’s only when you realise where these works fit into history, and how radical and revolutionary the work ethic was, that you start to appreciate there qualities.

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The paintings of Rodchenko and Popova, under the influence of Kandinksy, (when Kandinksy was involved with the Russian Constructivists) are smoother, and more pleasing to view. These paintings have the same compositions as the earlier, stricter works, but strokes are softer and shapes are allowed to integrate. Other than that, it’s easy to become fatigued by so many geometric compositions.

Architecture
As we wander through into Architecture (silently chanting ‘place in history, place in history’) we start to see how, as Constructivism developed, it fused into everyday life. Rodchenko and Popova began to apply their principles to interior and exterior design, as well as sculpture. Rodchenko’s gorgeous Design for an Air Terminal is a fluid, stylised illustration of how he envisaged the future through Constructivism and shows him as a natural and talented artist. There are some fascinating (but miniscule) prints of Popova’s set designs too, including the famed The City of the Future. Most of the exhibits in this room are discordant ideas – it’s easy to see why the pair became frustrated. On display are so many wonderful, groundbreaking ideas, yet sadly so few were realised.

Sculpture
Rodchenko, the devil, began to make free standing sculptures, working with the principles of Constructivism. His aim, I believe, was to bring the foundations of the movement to life – taking the same forms he had created with gouache and pencil and fashioning them as real objects that a viewer could interact with. Tate has a relatively small collection of these inspiring creations, but look out for the Hanging Spacial Creations which turn simple materials like wood into attractive mobile pieces.

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5X25
5X25 was an exhibition that Rodchenko, Popova and 3 other artists administered in 1921 in Moscow. It was intended as a ‘farewell to painting’. It’s pretty much the same as we’ve already seen as we pass through the galleries. Rodchenko’s colour block series work well together here – simple but effective tonal blocks of colour. More interestingly are the handmade programmes that the artists produced to accompany the exhibition – it’s the first glimpse we get of the revolutionary typefaces and forms for which the movement is so famous.

Advertising
Finally, as we enter the areas of advertising, film, theatre, and general culture, we begin to form a picture of what it would have been like living with Constructivism. From the simplest advertising posters for domestic products to more pretentious design, the dominant typefaces as angular compositions are prevalent. The exhibition documents some of the photography of the era too, which diverged from the norm and now chronicle the faces of the era. Rodchenko’s poster, The Union Member Thinks Nothing of the NEP from 1925, is a shining example of Constructivist advertising at its best.

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Rather disappointingly though, Rodchenko’s Plakat (perhaps the most famous piece of Constructivist graphic design) which features the archetypical Russian woman who appears to be calling the typography, isn’t featured in the exhibition. The Hayward Gallery for it’s Rodchenko bonanza managed to get a hold of it, so why can’t Tate?

Fashion and Textiles
Interestingly, Constructivism branched into textiles and fashion too. Popova in particular embraced the idea of infiltrating fashion and created hundreds of intricate fabric designs, taking one simple form (like herringbone, or a Russian emblem) and repeating it in sequence to create new, modern fabrics. There are plenty of examples of this at the exhibition, and you can even buy an apron (my, my) featuring one of the designs.

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Rodchenko and Popova took a handful of revolutionary ideas and threw them at mainstream Russia. Their legacy and influence has been abundant every since. From the paintings of Moholy-Nagy, through to the photography by Ella Bergmann-Michel, and more recently the graphic design of Neville Brody. Examples of their work might have been beneficial to the exhibition, but other than that, this romp through Russia’s history is definitely worth seeing.

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Last Wednesday I headed down to the Fashioning an Ethical Industry conference at The Rich Mix, stomach London – a rather fitting venue in light of its former use as a garment factory. As this was my first FEI event I didn’t really know what to expect. The conference was opened by director Hannah Higginson, who introduced the first theme of the day, global sourcing. Bringing together speakers from all areas of the supply chain the audience consisted of fashion, marketing and business students as well as industry experts and designers. You could feel the tension in the audience as these difficult issues were discussed and feel the genuine passion for fairer and more ethical approaches to be applied within the fashion industry.

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The speakers discussed difficulties surrounding production methods, working conditions and global sourcing. In attendance was a representative from ASDA to put forward their plans to become the forerunners in bringing ethical and affordable fashion to the high street.

A representative from People Tree addressed new grass roots approaches to re-skill workers. In particular the application of traditional and sustainable handicraft, eloquently referred to our hands being the oldest source of renewable energy.
One of the most inspiring talks of the day was by Dr Kate Fletcher, reader in sustainable fashion and textiles at London College of Fashion. She talked about systematic thinking and the complexity of the fashion industry. Kate advised that we should not look for one soul solution but instead seek out ways to inspire and initiate lots of small but effective changes, as this collectively can accumulate to change on a wider spectrum.

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The day closed with delegates being divided into three workshops focusing on design, marketing and business. In teams we were challenged to address an ethical fashion dilemma. I found this part of the day particularly stimulating, I got to meet inspiring people who were passionate about fashion but committed to finding ethical ways to make, consume and engage.

Overall this was a great day, I left feeling really inspired and more educated about ethical sourcing. The day offered a holistic view of the sustainable issues challenging the fashion industry, and I think it motivated delegates to find small ways to contribute towards making a difference.

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