Loose ends

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

I've been pretty busy over the past week or so, but I haven't neglected the world of the blog, no no. Many photos taken at (some not so) poignant moments, enjoy.....

So we had a Masquerade Ball t'other day and I got all dressed up and stuff, don't usually get my hair done for this sort of thing but I thought it was worth making the effort... and the quiff stayed in for about three days!! Defo got me money's worth there.

My excitement at buying a new notebook and ten chunky fat marker pens was a tad on the geeked-up side but I do very much love a new notebook, this actually made my day better.

I had a little potter around the Cornerhouse bookshop after I finished work today and couldn't resist these beauties... The Independent Cinema book looked pretty interesting, and may be something that I base my dissertation on, good to read on the train. The Little White Lies mag is a must for any film buff, with excellent graphics on every page and quirky little interviews and quotes from directors and actors, really witty, honest film reviews, right up my street. And the final magazine is a present for my bruv's birthday, a bit pricey but it has that 'special' feel to it, like every page was hand crafted by a wise old woman from the depths of Peru then flown to the moon for a while so it glows all shimmery like.

My friend Dan looking a little bit silly in Pizza Hut. (My shades) (His beard)

I went to Alton Towers the other day. We stopped at a random car sales place on the way so my friend could be sick and I laid eyes on the most beautiful thing crafted by man.... drink it up guys...

The other day in my lunch break I wandered down the road from Cornerhouse, avoiding Sainsbury's and their meal deals, and I bought a sandwich from the most posh sandwich shop ever, on the corner of Oxford St in Manchester. I kept the packet as a memory of the amazing sandwich. (Brie and Bacon Baguette for all you sandwich fans out there)


Amazing Grace

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Recently I've been made aware of the incredible work of the 'Invisible Children' charity. The charity was founded by three young filmmakers from California who visited Uganda in 2003 and were appalled by the situation they found surrounding the northern part of the country's children. They discovered the tragedy that is the Lord's Resistance Army, a terror organization fronted by Joseph Kony who kidnap children and train them to be killing machines. The three young men have since become involved in a global campaign to create awareness of the so-called 'Invisible Children', in an attempt to gain political support and raise funds to care for the children and put a stop to the injustices that are happening in the country.

Their marketing campaign is driven by people's personal stories, stories which us in the Western world can empathize with and that may lead us to make a stand for these desperate children. The story that came to my attention is that of a young woman called Grace. I bought a bracelet from the website and received with it a DVD of her story, which is tragic but also signifies a new hope despite the terrible situation.

Here is an extract from the booklet...

"Grace, the story of a child mother... Abducted from her home at 10 years old and forced to fight as a soldier, Grace was beaten repeatedly for three years, and at 13 was forced to become a sex slave to a 40 year old commander in the L.R.A, After her narrow escape from the bush, with a gunshot wound to the leg, she discovered she was pregnant with the commander's child.

Once rescued, girls like Grace are taken to a rehabilitation centre where they are given just three months of psychosocial therapy, before they are returned to the family they may or may not have.

Due to the severity of Grace's medical condition (a shattered tibia, and her approaching birth), she remained at the centre for over a year.

But returning home will not be easy. With an absent father, she will live with her uncle, left to care not only for her own child, but for her own disabled mother as well. Grace is a child, but she is a mother.

The idea of Grace is about choosing to forgive when others have done nothing but hurt and let you down. Grace has a smile bigger than the size of her pain."

The question I ask, is this. How can we sit back in our comfortable, over indulgent lives, and hear these children's stories and not do anything to help them? It disgusts me that we are so stinking rich and stupidly ignorant in the 'better' part of the world while our fellow human beings, our fellow brothers and sisters are being treated horrifically and we do nothing about it.

Buy a bracelet, make a difference....


Jeremy Deller

I feel a bit smug writing this post, as I do believe I have landed the best work placement that exists (well, in Manchester anyway). For those of you who don't know, I work at the independent arthouse cinema at Cornerhouse in Manchester, as a marketing intern, as part of my film course. Yesterday I trotted down to the Whitworth art gallery - beneath the stormy Manc skies - with a few of my colleagues to listen to a talk given by Turner prize winning artist, Jeremy Deller.

He was speaking in a lecture theatre at the gallery, and was introduced by some arty geezer with a German accent and long hair in a ponytail, who announced that Deller's work partner, Anne, had given her presentation in high heels but that Deller was going to give his barefoot. Outlandish, I know. The young London born artist sat on the stage, pushing his floppy hair back from his face, behind his Mac and a desk littered with discs and bits of paper, and began to speak with an air of sophistication that told us he was from 'That London...'.

He is responsible for such works as 'Memory Box' - a documentary about George Bush's hometown in Texas, but as a rule tends to make 'rock-umentaries' such as the coverage of Depeche Mode fans in Eastern Europe (definitely watch this if only for the opportunity to see loads of Russians dressed like a young Dave Gahan). He told us that he was highly inspired by the Baroque art movement and especially its tendency to encourage audience participation (mostly religiously motivated) and that his break in the industry came when in 1986 he met Andy Warhol in a bar in London who offered him the chance to go and work in his factory in New York for two weeks.

Deller seemed most proud of the documentary about a brass band who played acid house music to an audience at a trendy London gig venue in 1997. We were shown an extract from the film, which was genuinely fascinating, and as Deller pointed out, was especially focused on the people, both in the band and in the audience. He took a back seat as the documenter, and let the action happen without intervention. Jeremy claimed that he was doubtful whether he would be able to achieve success with this piece as he was taking a huge risk in shaking up two very separate genres in such a way, but admitted that it turned out to be one of his best pieces of work.

Oozing with charm but also capable of appearing to have his feet firmly on the ground, he expressed his passion for northern cities and the people who make them so interesting. He told us of the plans for an international procession that will take place in the summer throughout the streets of Manchester, in which he hopes to create a memorable occasion, which will really draw people in and generate a lively new atmosphere in the city.

For a chance to take a little nosey into the creative mind of Jeremy Deller, click your mouse on this part here > http://www.jeremydeller.org/


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