Showing posts from January, 2012

Event: Everything Must Go, Oxo Tower London

Last weekend saw the short but powerful exhibition, Everything Must Go, which followed our unwanted clothes on its journey around the world, sold for use in the second hand clothing trade.
Curated by Lucy Norris and Clare Patey, Everything Must Go was both visually simulating and interactive with screened documentaries, workshops set up in collaboration with ReMade and the various talks and panel discussions taken by academics, journalists and industry folk all of whom specialise in this field.

The truth is not many off us actually know the second life most of our donated clothing will really take.
From our charitable clothing donations only 10-20% will actually be sold in UK charity shops, making the image of a young fashionista finding a bargain in something you donated highly unlikely! In fact our clothes will take on 1 of 2 destiny's, being sold in Africa and other third world nations as salaula (Southern African term for second hand clothing) or taken to shoddy factories in…

Event: Gender and Men's Studies: Peril or Promise? at London's School of Economics

This week I attended a witty, intelligent and captivating public lecture at the LSE (London School of Economics) taken by guest lecturer Michael Kimmel, Sociology Professor at State University of New York and author of the books Guyland: The perilous World Where Boys Become Men, The Gendered Society and few other titles.
The lecture entitled 'Gender and Men's Studies: Peril or Promise?' discussed the importance of feminism in the campaign of a gender equal society and highlighted the importance of men's or masculinity studies as the brother subject to women's studies. 

At the very beginning of the lecture Kimmel explained that feminism made gender visible and that 50-60 years ago there were sociology papers written or university courses dedicated to identifiy the conditions of gender in our society.
Kimmel very animated and at times a comedic speaker explained how the issue of gender inequality has a damaging affect on the lives of both men and women, and that add…

In Remembrance of the 1981 New Cross Fire victims

30 years ago on this day, lies an important historical event in black British history the New Cross Fire also know as the New Cross Massacre, for the senseless mass murders of 13 all black victims.

On  Sunday 18th January 1981, 2 young black teens celebrated their 16th birthday in a house on New Cross Road in Deptford when a fire was started on the ground floor which quickly spread trapping many of the guests upstairs. Thirteen of the guests (all black) were killed in the fire and those that survived where forced to jump out of the windows.

To the local black community it was strongly believed that the incident was racially motivated, considering that the area was hot spot for racial tensions. Though unsurprisingly the Met Police ruled out a racial motive, to much criticism.  No one has ever been prosecuted for the murders, due to said lack of sufficient evidence and witnesses.
On the 2nd March to same year 20,000 people marched the streets of London in protest of the mish…

Book Review: Chavs The Demonization Of The Working Class

My first introduction to Owen Jones was with his appearances on the infamous BBC2's Newsnight were David Starkey declared "whites have become black". I had naive expectations the book would discuss Chav culture and its symbolism of multicultural Britain and the conditions of classism, though to my surprise the focus of the book was 'exactly what it says on the tin' a political (not anthropological) discussion of the demonisation of the white working class, whom are being caricatured as Chavs.

Jones begins by identifying the origins of the phrase 'Chav' and the social hatred directed at them, he also points out that these hostile opinions are dreamt up in the white middle class psyche and dissipated through white middle class media and politics with damaging effect. Such as the belief that benifit fraud is pandemic in working class communities where as the reality Britain only looses £1billion a year to benifit fraud where as £7billion a year is lost thro…

Justice For One But Not For All

After a wait of 18 years the family and close friends of Stephen Lawrence can breathe a sigh of relief as two of the five original suspects were found guilty of his murder and sentenced to up to 15 years imprisonment without early release.

A major triumph for the Lawrence family who have for the last 18 years been on a dignified crusade for the justice of their sons racially motivated murder.
Though in the frenzy of all this media coverage these last 2 days on the high profile race relation case of Stephen Lawrence, it is becoming apparent that the justice received was more about repairing the tarnished reputation of institutionally racist Britain then actually working on improving race relationships in Britain.

Much of the talk now is of the job well done by the Metropolitan Police for finally securing a conviction in the murder case, many of our politicians have agreed on this and even the Met Police have publicly given themselves a pat on the back.
I don't dispute the effort i…

BBC Faces Of The Year 2011: The Degradation Of Female Achivements ByThe Media

Happy 2012 - We may have rung in a new year though as the saying goes 'old habits die hard'! 

While the media churns out reviews on the year past, one review by the BBC is causing international controversy, 'Faces of the year 2011'. People have taken to twitter to vent their disapproval of the list and an online complaint campaign is under way.

The list is separated by gender, with the BBC recognising the men and women who made the news headline each month of the last year.
Where the men's list acknowledges saddened events, deaths, scandal and acting, army and sports achievements the women's list is not so dignified. Instead the BBC opted to acknowledge high profile rape victims, a murder, a gunned down politician and a female panda! - Was this seriously the best they could do?!
Only two female achievements were recognised and that was for music and fashion; that is if you don't count the two marriages on the list (sarcasm!).

The list exemplifies the deva…