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Forum Foods – a Hackney feast

4 Sep

Wednesday 28th August saw Forest Road Youth Hub transformed into a food fest!

IMG_5670 IMG_5666 IMG_5669    IMG_5664   IMG_5663 IMG_2787

We called up Ife, Youth Forum member who planned the event.

Why food?

” one of the things i’ve always loved about Hackney is the diversity and cultures. One thing that really shows off different cultures is food! We felt everyone could benefit from it but we wanted to focus it at young people because they were on holiday and looking for things to do and that it was productive use of time. It also painted young people in a really positive light by getting them to providing food they’d cooked themselves”

So what was your vision?  ” through eating and sharing food people could understand and appreciate each other – understanding different cultures and appreciating their food is a great universal starting point! “

What next? ” dance and music festivals next!”

Who paid for all this? ” We won funding through YOF ( Youth Opportunity Fund ) –  it’s a great idea offering young people empowerment by winning funding and running their own projects. We’d love to connect more young people and encourage them to apply for funding to run their own projects”

So thanks to Ife from Shoreditch Youth Forum – Young Hackney

If you have a good project that you find interesting apply for YOF! There’s a deadline coming up!

ife.grillo@gmail.com

Reasons why you should go to the British Museum

19 Jul

Yesterday, we went to visit the British Museum and saw spectacular pieces of history. In particular we found the Ancient Egypt and Japanese areas to be the most intriguing and exciting (and not just because of the air conditioning!).

Here are a few reasons why you should to the British Museum over the summer:

  • You get to see a real live mummies

Need I say more? It’s crazy to think that the artifacts that you see are thousands of years old and contain a dead body inside.

The mummy of Cleopatra- Cleopatra was only seventeen years old when she died.

The mummy of Cleopatra- Cleopatra was only seventeen years old when she died.

Some of the tombs that the mummies are in have spells inscribed to “activate” the mummies.

Some of the tombs that the mummies are in have spells inscribed to “activate” the mummies.

 

  • You learn things that you wouldn’t normally learn in history at school

In the Japan area there was a reconstructed teahouse that was made to look like one from Japan. It was beautifully designed; it had a great structure and looked really authentic.

Tea ceremonies were conducted in teahouses like this one. There were schools dedicated to learning the art of the ea ceremony.

Tea ceremonies were conducted in teahouses like this one. There were schools dedicated to learning the art of the ea ceremony.

  • You can also find out more about things that are popular today

You don’t just learn about history, but also about current information on the different countries, that you probably wouldn’t know about. There was a section about the origins of manga, which is extremely popular in today’s society. It was fascinating to find out more about a subject that attracts many people.

Here is a volume of manga from 1928

Here is a volume of manga from 1928

Overall, if you are free this summer, have no money to do anything eccentric and want to learn more; the British Museum is the perfect place to visit.

By Louisa, Rubel & Steffi

 

Aside

A few things to know: The Bechdel Test

18 Jul

What is it?

The Bechdel test was first introduced in Allison Bechdel’s comic Dykes to watch out for, in a 1985 strip called “The Rule”. In order for a film to pass the Bechdel test it has to meet the following requirements:

  1. It has to have at least two women in it
  2. Who talk to each other
  3. About something besides a man

There have been variations to the criteria of the test, for example the female characters have to be named.

So …..

pan's labyrinthThink about a movie that you watched recently, or any movie at all. Does it have two female characters, who have a conversation about something besides a man? Can you try and name more than 3 films that pass the Bechdel test?  I actually found it kind of difficult…

And that’s where the problem lies…

The problem isn’t about the lack of female characters in films (the movie Avatar, which features the character of Neytiri, fails the test) but the lack of depth to female characters.

  • If passing the test were mandatory it would have jeopardised half of 2009’s Best Picture Nominees
  • It would also have cut the length of the annual Comic-Con to 45 minutes,

It can also be noted that the only reason a lot of these films do pass the test is because the women only talk about marriage or babies.

Why do so few films pass the Bechdel test?

One reason so few films pass the Bechdel test is that the majority of scriptwriters are male; therefore they are less likely to write about female characters.  As a female writer, I’m more likely to write a story where female characters are central to the storyline.

Another reason is the assumption about what an audience would prefer to see in a film. You are unlikely to here a female talking about her problems to her colleague in an action packed Vin diesel film. Even if it was a cliché romcom, nine out of ten times the conversation will be about a male love interest.

To restore your faith in humanity here are some films that do pass the Bechdel test:

1. Legally Blonde

There are several instances where Elle talks to females on other topics beside men.  Elle gets Brooke to tell her her alibi; Vivian lies to Elle about the party being a costume party, and Elle interviews chutney on the witness stand. Legally_blonde

2.Black Swan

The main character regularly talks to her mother; there is also a lot of discussion between the other ballet dancers about the challenges of the profession.

3.Coraline

Women in the film include: Coraline and her mother, her other mother, Mrs Spink, and Mrs Forcible to name a few.  All of them at some point have a conversation with another female character that is not about a man.

4.Juno

Juno has plenty of arguments with her mother, and a discussion about prenatal stuff. Fails the anti-Bechdel test – no two men talk to anything other than a woman.

 5. Pan’s Labyrinth

Mercedes and Ofelia talk about believing in fairies and Ofelia’s dress; the both manage not to talk about a man while Mercedes is getting Ofelia milk. If it is easy for a dark fairytale like this one to pass the test, why does it seem so difficult for a simple romcom to do the same thing?

By Louisa Danquah

Why we love: The Fault in Our Stars

12 Jul

The fault in our stars” is a novel about love between two teenagers named Augustus Waters and Hazel Grace- but with a twist, the twist being they both suffer from cancer. It is not a typical story; even though the cancer is a big part of the story-line, the novel still manages to be humorous and uplifting despite the serious themes. “The fault in our stars” explores what it means to be alive and challenges the typical idea of a teenage romance.

TFIOS

So why is “The fault in our stars” a New York Times bestseller?

When searching through different reviews on the novel, we found that most people had a strong attachment to the characters of Hazel and Augustus. One person wrote:

 

‘I felt that when I was reading it I was friends with Hazel and Gus, and that I was with them, sorting out their problems, helping them’.

Another reader, similarly wrote:

‘this book was the total opposite of some sappy love story because of how realistic it is.’

 

Their strong and witty personalities make it easy for readers to relate and connect to them. Hazel and Augustus bring a realistic element to the novel, unlike most other teenage love stories. John Green is able to write in the voice of a teenage girl to create a story that isn’t just a

.bout ‘ordinary teenagers with teenage problems’ but about an extraordinary teenager who faces something much more than the ‘average teenage problems’.

If we could describe the novel in one word, it would be ‘powerful’; another reader shared our feelings:

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‘I loved it because of how powerful it was. How everything in Hazel Grace’s life, she questioned, even if it was something as simple as ‘Why should a person only have breakfast food for breakfast?’

 

The book is able to raise questions that normally wouldn’t even cross our minds. In this sense Hazel is able to present ideas that go beyond the surface and make the reader think outside of the box.  Hazel tells her mum the her t-shirt does not have a pipe on it:

‘It’s a drawing of a pipe. Get it? All representations of a thing are inherently abstract. It’s very clever’

 

Even though The Fault in Our Stars is fiction, the struggles of Augustus and Hazel, are in fact a reality in some people’s lives. The novel has inspired many people around the world, here is an example of just one:

By Louisa Danquah & Steffi Maranan

What makes a good rolemodel?

28 Jan

We asked Reachout UK’s year 11’s – what is a role model to you?

INSPIRE – Living a successful life, inspire to succeed, positive, ambitious, good image, take pride in their lives, self confident, leads by example, unique, charismatic, good sense of humor, believe in your dreams, turn your life around

Be STRONG – disciplined, courageous, hard working, principles, know right from wrong, honest, know how to deal with problems, morals, does what they say, out spoken, not care if people have negative perceptions of you

SUPPORTIVE – Loyal, selfless, understanding, you can relate to them, respects others, kindness, helps without charge

My Friend Ahmed ” used to be a bad boy, bad footballer, but then he began to focus and now he plays for West Ham, Charlton & Fulham”

” Ahmed chose to focus on football, gave up gangs and became more quiet and focused.  He was close to being locked up and now he stops fights when he used to start them.”

” He had two sides and one was very angry but now he’s changing other people and no one judges him any more and i still see him every day!”

Ahmed is Dylan’s rolemodel and he along with Sam from ReachOut is helping Dylan keep his focus up at school and particularly Math, English and Sports

Thanks to ReachOut and you’re lovely mentors

WATCH role model / anti gang videos by IAM a Staying Safe group of amazing young people from Acland Burghley

What is a rolemodel?

Finally – here’s an amazing role model in my eyes..

Ballgowns – a touch of class

18 Jun

Nothing to do on Friday and fancy some girly entertainment? Turn off TOWIE and head to the V&A’s newly renovated Fashion Galleries with an exhibition of beautiful ballgowns, red carpet evening dresses and catwalk showstoppers.

The exhibition covers British glamour, ballgowns and Eveningwear from classic old school designers including Norman Hartnell, seventies big gun Zandra Rhodes, and contemporaries like Alexander McQueen dressing Royalty and Red carpet royalty for sixty years.

The first thing you notice as you wander round is that we just don’t have enough OCCASIONS anymore. I don’t know about you but I don’t own any broaches, evening gloves or anything made of diaphanous chiffon and if I did I wouldn’t have anywhere to wear it. When you look at the beautiful dresses you long, just for a second to swish your way into a ballroom. In fact as we walked round I think I started to stand up straighter and walk with a more elegant gait.

The notion of owning a hand made, ball gown showing great craftsmanship and made of heavy, quality materials is a really alien in these days of Primark. Whilst there’s a big dose of elitism attached to these beautiful objects ( a years wages for the average Joe AT LEAST ) there is also an air of true elegance that makes you long for the poise and grace that must of gone with being corset-ted to the eye balls.

The new mezzanine level is beautiful and the gallery space is a great place to wonder round. Outside the exhibition The Stylist were camping out, there’s an awesome shop and a pop up bar with cocktails not to mention the rooms and rooms of free exhibitions ( including jewellery if you’ve got the stamina )

In conclusion I’m going to practice my air of feminine mystic and sign up to some of the awesome sounding summer program in the hope that if I can’t borrow one of the gowns, I could attempt to make one.

 

Where : V & A, Gloucester Rd is the nearest tube ( West London! )

When: Till Jan 2013

How much: £7 for students

Summer program : scroll down, you have to pay but it’s GOOD

Land of Kings

3 May

We all know Dalston is a happening place but now you can sample the best of the area over the bank holiday weekend thanks to Land Of Kings.

The topline : The Dalston double-header returns // Friday 4th – Saturday 5th May 2012 // 15 venues // 2 nights // 1 wristband

The highlights : When else can you access the Dalston Roof Garden, The Vortex & Alibi all with new and interesting bands / acts.

Oh and check out the trendy crowd of 20 somethings

Book your tickets HERE or turn up and try your luck on the door