Amisha Ghadiali is an associate director of the Ethical Fashion Foundation, and an ethical jewellery designer and the brains behind Think Act Vote. Amisha studied politics at University subsequently working for both the US Congress and Westminster. Amelia’s Magazine talks to Amisha about the ideas and the inspiration behind Think Act Vote.
Firstly for those that might be unaware of the campaign – How did Think Act Vote come about?
I started the campaign in mid February because of a frustration about the negative view of politics held by so many people in the UK today, page and an ambition to do something about it – to create a community around our relationship with the political system and the choices we make for our future. An election was looming and unlike in previous years, I just wasn’t interested. I realised that if I felt that way, there would be loads of people out there with the same feeling.
Like lots of ideas, it started in the pub – I recognised how despondent I was and decided to do something about it. I ran the idea past a few friends, then pretty quickly built the website and got going, with a bit of help from people, like Given London and Anti-Apathy along the way. Since then it has grown and grown – we’ve had over 9000 hits to the website, which makes me think it must be something that people want. Even though there now seems to be a lot more hype about the election than a couple of months ago, the way people talk about it is still generally negative, and it all comes down to personalities rather than about real change or progression.
I wanted to turn the election on its head, and when you boil it down, an election is all about our future. So the point of this campaign is to focus on that – a positive view of the future.’’
What was it about the 2010 election that spurred you into action?
It’s a really interesting time in British politics. I think our generation has been let down a lot by politics. We are in a global recession, and climate change is becoming a reality. Despite the limitations of politics, we need to get involved and understand that we have a huge part to play. Politics is really about making decisions to make our world, our country and where we live a better place. I think we forget this in amongst all the madness, but effectively that is what it is all about, and no matter what your personal agenda, doesn’t everyone want a better life and better opportunities for themselves and their family? Politics is the vehicle for this. But politics is more than voting in the election, it is being aware of how everything we do on a daily basis shapes our world.
We need to be positive, dig deep, test ourselves and do something about it, together. I think it is about being a proactive member of society, being prepared to confront truths and getting ourselves as a community to care about things, not being led by hatred or fear.
Democracy by its very nature puts the power back in the hands of the individual. Great things happen when people extend themselves out of their comfort zones and discover new things. And although we can do great things to prove a point, or acting in reaction, I think that what you can achieve through inspiration and positivity is greater and happens on a personal level and a collective level.
Where did the idea for the Think Act Vote Poetry Competition and it’s subject the Future You Choose come from?
The question “What is The Future You Choose” came about because I think it is better to think about what’s good about change rather than what’s bad about politics.
Not everyone knows what they think about different policies, and issues. It is easy to feel intimidated by thinking that you don’t know enough, and be put off political engagement and debate that way. But everyone can connect with a personal vision of the future, which is why the question is simple, but important.
By thinking about the world you want to live in, it allows you to inspire yourself and start living in a way that could create that future. Think Act Vote is a creative campaign, so I thought it would be interesting to see how people created that vision through poetry as well as through prose.
What future would you choose and how did you come to this conclusion?
I choose a future that is driven by love and respect not fear and greed. We’ll all be on the same side and working together in support of each other. We’ll be using our creative energy to solve the world’s problems and we’ll be having fun whilst we’re doing it. The future I choose is one where it is sexy and cool to care about the planet and its people.
It seems like a hard question to answer at first, but it is actually really fun when you do it. It’s just about thinking of what an ideal world looks like to you, what is important to you.
What events have you lined up for Amelia’s Magazine readers to get involved in?
The next main event is happening on Wedneday and you are all invited:
The Future I Choose with Live Music, Poetry, Fashion, Photography ??Date: Wednesday 5th May ?Time: 5.30pm til 9pm ?Location: The City and Arts Music Project, 70-74 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ
Come back tomorrow for the second part of Amelia’s Magazine interview with Amisha Ghadial.
- Think Act Vote Interview Part Two
- Environmental Justice Foundation’s Pop Up Store hosts Ethical Fashion Social Network Event
- An interview with Think Act Vote
- Voting Reform: An interview with Amisha Ghadiali
- Think Act Vote presents The Future We Choose \ Pop Up Radical Think Tank and Book Launch Party