To us, creative people

‘Right now the world is locked up in its own cage. There is no sincerity, no true emotions. If we keep doing this… What is going to be of us?’ – A few days ago I met up with some young professionals. These are their views towards creative people, life and opportunities.

Danny is a filmmaker and also photographer. He works as a freelancer.

‘Every one of us has their own lie, and more or less we turn it into our day-to-day truth. To some of us, the thirst for freedom keeps us alive.’ Pablo has just finished his degree. His experience as an intern was ‘awful.’ He tells us the struggle he went through as a person who is not meant to be at an office.

He describes people there as worried, overwhelmed and in general, dissatisfied. ‘They were so unhappy doing that. The office was an open cubicle and we were all meaningless – just numbers chasing profits.’ With his statement he is not judging them, he says, but he understands some people will have their reasons to stay there. Some others might not have found a way to get out, or to do what they really want.

‘Imagine yourself playing at a gig for a large audience. It isn’t impossible. Stay focused and follow every single path that will lead you to it.’ Pablo plays the guitar since he was a child. He is ambitious and perseverant ­– a key to chase his career dreams.

‘Personal development is something that nowadays schools don’t work on. From my perspective, it is really unfair on young people. We are given a choice, but it’s not the choice we want.’

‘You might be lucky enough to like doing something that fits within. Otherwise life becomes a fight. Life is about dreaming and persuading what you dream of, what your passion is, what you feel you need in your life.’ Says Danny.

And he is right. We all have something inside, something really strong, and if we listen to it and try to hold on to it, at some point, the doors will open for us.

Look inside and try to chase whatever that is telling you to go. And never, ever stop – they tell me.

Who hasn’t dreamed of being a ballerina, or a singer, or a famous author? Pablo has just started playing at bars in Madrid. Danny has done dozens of photo-shoots and is completing an important portfolio.

‘Maybe pursuing our dreams is how we get to stay young, and maybe that’s how we will never die inside.’ They just showed me a lesson to be learned. Just keep doing it. At some point, it will pay off, it will become the reality and eventually you will have that what you’ve worked for so hard. Just keep trying.

To all the creative people that have chosen career dreams over a more accessible future.

Best sewing courses in London

Situation: You show up at a party and there is someone wearing the same dress/shirt as you. How annoying. Unless you can afford super exclusive designers’ clothes, Why not design them yourself? Sewing is back! –And we will bring you the best options to start learning to sew in London.

College courses such as one evening a week are normally for independent learners. They show the theory and the students can start their designs which they will get help with. The programmes are not intensive although some people find they have lost interest in the long run as they lack on perseverance to practice on their own.

Now if you are a bad independent learner and need a push every now and then like me, I recommend a few intensive courses that I absolutely loved.

Saturday Sewing Sessions: Located in Chelsea SW10 0NS, these classes are designed to make you learn and practice at the same time. From making a cushion, to a pyjama pants or a bag, the beginner ones are easy enough and at the end of the day you take your garments home with you.

Sew Over It: A very complete session. They are friendly and they don’t mind going over things quite a few times for clumsy or slow learners. They have a fabric shop as well so there is no need to panic over getting the materials ready the day before the class –you can do it just before the lesson. There are two locations, one in North London (N12BD) and the other one in Clapham (SW99PH)

Tilly and the Buttons: How about a bag of goodies, a finished piece to take home with you and glass of wine at the end? Friendly staff and enthusiastic teachers in South East London (SE21).

Sew it with Love: Located in Central London this is a fabric shop as well and offers classes and one to one tutorials. Also, they have levels from beginners to intermediate only, however they offer a wide variety of classes and a flexible timetable.
The sewing community grows bigger by the day and most of these shops have their own blog and offer online videos to help. Most of these shops have their own blog and even online classes. The sewing community is growing bigger each day.

Prices vary from £35 (to show you how to use a showing machine) to £150 for a full intensive-day sewing. Now you won’t have an excuse not to try it! Be sure to check on each shop’s website to book in advance and get the course best suited to your level, especially if you are a beginner.

Happy sewing!

Exploring winter wonderland

The magical combination of winter and Christmas takes place in London for its 10th year. Of course we are talking about Winter Wonderland.

What to expect this year: It’s much bigger than last year and has new attractions for the bravest ones. We recommend you to spend the whole day there, as there are so many things to see and do. These are main ones:

  • Ice Rink. The biggest one in London but also one of the busiest ones! Book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
  • Magical Ice Kingdom. Easy to miss. Keep an eye on the map –it’s definitely worth it.
  • Giant wheel. Amazing views of London. Also available to book online and skip the queue.
  • Bavarian village. Bratwurst sausages, German beer and live music.

 

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Dos and don’ts

Do bring cash, as the cash machines inside will charge you a £2.50 fee and most places don’t accept card payments.

Don’t come with your pet during the weekend –it will be uncomfortably crowded to walk with your dog.

Don’t even try the chips shop –they are cheap for a reason.

Do eat from any of the Bratwurst stalls. They serve affordable tasty food.

Do come prepared for cold temperatures. A hat and a scarf are a must if you want to stay there for quite a few hours, even though they have fire pits at some of the bars.

Do not bring any water bottles –they will take them at the entrance.

Do go on the giant wheel for spectacular views, but be aware of the waiting times in the queue. Best do it during the sunset but consider the 40 min waiting queue.

Do risk it at the fair games if you want to win a small teddy. We recommend the balloon darts. Easy and fun!

Top tip: Coming from Green Park tube station, go to the closest entrance to the festival, then towards the ice rink. See the attractions, then towards the circus and the Munich Looping, in the center. After that, at the back you’ll see the Artic Lodge Bar ideal for a snack. If you keep going right, –best at nighttime– you’ll find the pretty Angel’s market, full of stalls. When you are done, you can go to the Magical Kingdom and take great pictures of the undersea creatures. Finally, have dinner at the Bavarian Village and leave through the Knightsbridge exit for a complete visit.

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H&M sparks controversy again

Magazine articles By M.S.

It was over a month ago when Danish TV programme Operation X accused H&M of burning 60 tonnes of unsold clothing. H&M then denied the accusations and a spokesperson said ‘The clothes featured in the program are stopped orders that have been sent to incineration because of mould or not complying with our strict chemical restrictions.’

The Danish TV programme then took two garments from the incineration plant and tested them to find nothing. H&M published their own findings as well –high levels of lead and mould which the Danish did not test for.

Sweden’s Prime Minister for the Environment, Karolina Skog said ‘the first question that strikes me is why are there so high levels of chemicals in the product that they can not be sold.’

Unfortunately the incineration of harmful, dangerous or unwanted clothing is still common practice and not only H&M was found guilty. Vero Moda, Only and Jack & Jones were splashed with accusations too. H&M nevertheless has captured the media’s attention with their alleged interest and commitment to recycling.

H&M in a statement to FashionUnited responded ‘all products that are safe to use are sold in our stores or are reused and recycled. In addition, we want our customers to know that the clothes we have collected in our stores through our garment collecting initiative are directly sent for reuse and recycling.’

As well as burning 19 tonnes of new clothes in Västeras in 2016, the Swedish Company has now been found guilty of falsely claiming the donation of goods to charities.

H&M claimed on their website that Caritas, Red Cross and Oxfam have received clothing from them. This has been denied by the charities. Communications manager at Oxfam Sweden said ‘Of course it’s regrettable when the published information is wrong. It’s sad if our brand is used in this way’.

The Swedish company declared the information on their website to be out-dated, instead giving the name of another charity they donate to – Helping Hands. Yet this one stated to have terminated collaboration with H&M and having not received any clothes in a year and a half.
H&M then decided to remove any content from their website that involved charities.

The clothing brand has set up goals to remove all hazardous chemicals from its products by 2020. We’ll have to wait and see…

Project X: The Change

A quote from Malcom X says “The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent”. What if the media was an honest entity and was up for a better change?

I have just finished my journalism degree and it has been wonderful so far. I have realised investigative journalism is my passion; During my degree I have enjoyed all my assignments and I feel proud to say I tried my very best in every single one of them. I love investigative journalism but I think documentaries are much more effective when it comes to persuading people. An image can tell you much more than words.

I describe myself as an activist, a political citizen, a fighter for our rights -both people an animal’s rights. I’d like to be the voice for those who cannot speak and I’d love to serve my purpose on this life of being useful, being the person that helped to move towards a change.

I’m a dreamer, an idealist, a person who believes in democracy, equality, justice and honesty, and those are concepts that sound a bit old-fashioned because we are used to have dishonest politicians, unfair justice, inequality economy and an inexistent democracy that makes us believe we will not be able to make a change with our vote.

I see this sleeping society and I feel bad for the future generations that are about to come. What will they have? A very polluted environment, very powerful companies making profit of ridiculously low salaries in third world countries, animal exploitation in exchange of a few dollars a day, politicians robbing and buying justice, drug lords ruling entire communities including police in marginal areas. We need a change. This is not the world I want to live in, and I’ll do my very best to make a difference.

Happy National Day

So today is the National Day in Spain. We (they) commemorate the anniversary of Columbus arriving in America in 1492, a day like today, 12th of October.

Even tho there is a massive economic crisis, we proudly spend thousands of euros getting all our military out and about. Planes do an aerial show making a Spanish flag in the sky.

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Tanks, soldiers, more useless military walk around and people go out on the streets to greet them. Well done! You are protecting us from no one. We are wasting money on having you working to invade other people’s countries.

You do as you are told, no matter if that includes destroying people’s homes in Irak (2003-2011) where we supported Bush’s USA government, or supporting a our own despotic government whose actions go against their own people.

Another good reason to celebrate this day is not only to show off our military, but to celebrate the slaughter of native Americans when Spanish people got to a continent that they thought they had just discovered, even though it had already people living there. Let’s just commemorate the massacre of all the native population of Cuba, in which there are ONLY descendants of slaves who were forced to immigrate from Africa. There is no natives left.

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By Joos van Winghe – Brevisima Relacion De La Destruycion De Las Indias; by: Bartolome De Las Casas;, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1831551

Yes, we should be very proud to have found innocent people and forced them to work, when not kill them, ridicule their religion, traditions, and steal and exploit their gold.

Of course those are reasons enough to feel proud of ourselves when it wasn’t even us ourselves who did it, but people in Spain 524 years ago. Such barbaric acts made disappear entire populations but we feel the need to celebrate it in 2016. Makes total sense.

Happy National Day.

Million Mask March

Thousands of people take the streets in London for the 5th of November March.

On the 5th of November 2015 I had the pleasure to assist and report the Million Mask March that had place in London as well as many other cities in the world. It is an anticapitalist movement, anti system, against human oppression, and, as they say ‘people that use their wealth for evil, the warmongers, the slumlords, the polluters, the abusers, the corrupt politicians…’

It was my first protest in the UK so I was quite excited and ready to take lots of pictures for my article in our university magazine called Politricks. I went there with Jack, ‘my editor’, and another classmate calle Shingarai, responsible for the interviews.

Jack arrived earlier than us and managed to get to the very first front of the march. Shingarai and I were trying to catch up but the people were moving fast. It seemed like a peaceful protest, really disorganised as there were small groups of people all over the place not knowing where to go.
Just outside the Buckingham Palace mounted police were blocking the way. Protesters were scaring the horses by throwing at them fireworks so they would step back and we would move forward.
Every time this happened it was like a victory, everyone was shouting and celebrating it, I was proud of it as well even tho I really felt sorry for the animals. I do believe that police should not take animals to a protest, especially a protest famous for its violence at the end. But then again, Shouldn’t they stop using animals at all? It’s medieval.

I found my mate Jack taking some pictures there. At some point I nearly got run over by a horse. Police were moving forward towards us and there was no space to step back because of the amount of people.
I was getting frustrated because my pictures were all blurry due the light conditions and the speed of the march.
Finally, they let us carry on. They stayed there, guarding the doors and we went through Green Park to Piccadilly.  People were stopping traffic by walking on the roads while singing ‘Whose street? Our street!’. Even though it was scary I was having a great time. I really missed going to protests, I used to do it in Madrid a lot.

Someone broke a shopwindow and the alarm went on. Only a few people were being violent trying to destroy things on their way, mainly kicking bins and taking traffic cones. Others were hitting bus and taxi windows on the road, scaring and angering both passengers and drivers.
We followed the crowd to Mayfair, where police were trying to dissolve the protest as we were not allowed to continue after 9. Police were closing the roads and blocking the access in many places. They were trying to surround us but there were too many of us. They went for smaller groups instead. I got kettled at the church in Langham Place with around 15 other people. I kept asking different police officers if I could go, but the answer was always no. They started to explain us that they would take us with them, would take all our personal details and we would have to fill out some form. I was getting desperate. I texted my other classmates and asked for help. I was constantly thinking of a way to try to run away and the consequences. Maybe one or two would run after me and if they catch me it would be much worse.

Jack got there and tried to speak to a police officer but got the same answer. Then the officer said ‘try to speak to the guys with the forms’ so I did. And they sent me to the other police officers at the left. And these ones sent me to the first guy I spoke to. I was explaining everyone that I was just working for the uni magazine, not actually participating, but everyone was just dragging their feet over it and not giving me a final answer. When I went to the first guy again he said ‘Right… Where is your boyfriend? tell him you can go’. I said ‘He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my editor!’ And we happily left.

What an exciting day, full of adrenaline and fun moments. We might have not changed the world but I guess it’s still the beginning of it.