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Hipnotic Summer Fest 2013 – An evening of music

3 Sep

Last Saturday (24/08/13) saw the epic conclusion to the Hipnotic Summer Fest in Hoxton Hall with a spectacular evening of music. A vast range of talent was on show, from drummers, to amazing singers, guitarists to saxophone players. The young talent were supported by Glastonbury performers, The Soothsayers. Soothsayer member Robin explained his reasons for partaking in the project. He told me that he believed that music is fundamental in creating a sense of society within a group of young people, so his aim was to create a reflection of society through music to teach young people about togetherness and teamwork. His aim was proven a success after I spoke to 15 year old Aaron who “thoroughly enjoyed the programme”, as he thought it gave him a life changing  experience that enabled him to continue perusing his dream to make it big in the music industry. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

All in all, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the event was a huge success, and a huge congratulations to all who took part! It was definitely a night to remember!Image

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.


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:


‘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

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

Wrath of the Titans – 3D IMAX

9 May

What to do in rainy May? I had the urge to  watch an epic movie and what could be more epic than a massive war between the gods, flying horses and the father of time? Throw a couple of Cyclops and some good looking warriors ( both sexes ) and you’ve got Wrath of the Titans. So i knew what movie i wanted to watch now i just needed to decide where to watch it.

I’d never been to the IMAX although I’d walked past it enough times and in fact i don’t remember ever seeing a movie in 3d ( although i do have some 3D glasses on my desk – they don’t work! ). With an epic movie you need an epic cinema and you can’t get more epic than IMAX.

You get handed your glasses and sit down to to watch the trailers it already feels like your in outer space! The rest of the movie was full of clever tricks to make it feel like boulders were flying towards you or soldiers attacking and if I’m honest the film was so / so but the experience was awesome.

If you’ve never been to see a 3D movie at IMAX go, Tim Burton is up next. It’s about £16 for standard adult but there are concessions see here whilst Leicester sq cinemas are £12 – 16 depending on where you sit but the whole layout of the building is designed to get you into the 3D aspects of the film.

What are you waiting for?


Hi my name is AG

29 Mar

Hi my name is AG. I’m 17 years old and I was born Portugal.I lived in London for 6 years. I would like to tell you my experience with the police in London.

When I arrived to London I was a non English speaker and I had no friends at the time.Then after a few weeks at school I made friends,I was excited and happy but everything changed they way I behaved on the streets.When I was stopped and searched by the police .I was playing around with my friends on the park and we spotted 8 police officers coming out of a police van. One of the police officers approched me and grabbed my hand very tight for a while.During all of that time he asked me questions such as what are you doing why are you here and where are you going. I was scared and confused because the officer was very angry and I didn’t know what was going on so I was quiet for all of that time, then the officer ungrabbed my hand and  and went inside the van. desperately I asked my friends what was going on and what have we done?They told me that they always get stopped and searched because they were black and because of their clothes. I wasn’t quite sure why did this happen even thou we were stopped. 2 years later I moved to Hackney because my mother moved from Portugal to London and desperately they gave her a house in Hackney,So I moved to hackney as well. When I arrived to Hackney my English Improved so I could speak quite good.The second time I was stopped and searched was when I was walking on the pavement and a group of police officers came out of a car and asked me what was I up to? I didn’t say nothing at all. they pushed me against the wall and started to search me. I felt angry because I was simply walking and got stopped.Then I realized that If I change my appearance then probably I would not be stopped again.But things carried on and on until now. All I can say is prepare for the unexpected.

I Predict A Riot

16 Aug

Glenn Mcmahon has reported from countries in conflict including Palestine, Libya, Egypt & now Hackney! He came into the office to give us some advice on reporting from the front line :

When it’s kicking off how do you find out what’s going on?

  • Twitter – live updates, good way to meet up with people, follow up stories and find contacts to interview
  • Get down there  – don’t just believe what your hearing, get down there and assess the situation yourself
  • Speak to demonstrators or community leaders beforehand if possible – find out whether there is a plan and whether this is something they’ve done before ( what happened last time? )

Where should you stand?

  • Behind the police can be a safe place to stand unless people are throwing things
  • Get a vantage point but be prepared to move with the trouble.
  • Stay on the peripheries, stay on the edge so you can observe the activists, police and authorities. See as much as you can.

Writing good content

  • Quotes add colour to a story – shop keepers, looters, police as many people as possible
  • Meet people, be outgoing and chatty. Find out as much as you can from as many sources
  • Research well with 2/3 sources and understand the issues
  • What you lead with will dictate the tone and ultimately express your opinion
  • Look for an angle – There’s not much point writing something from the same perspective as everyone else so try to offer some new insight

You can ask your local MP or councilor. Call the press office. There are other useful sites like : what do you know ( freedom of information – you can put a request in to the information officer in the council )  / they work for you ( what are your councilors up to )

You ARE legally allowed to film policemen. The individuals can say no but legally you can.

Being safe / are you a journalist?
Press card – you can get a press card from the NUJ even if your not with a newspaper. That can get you behind the police lines.

Be in groups and watch each others backs. Make sure someone knows where you are.

Remember – you have no special rights as a journalist

When you’re talking to people on the street sometimes it helps to make it clear your a journalist rather than a spy / police – at least they know where you stand with you and can decide whether they want to talk to you or not – You have to use your judgment as to whether it’s better to explain this or keep quiet.

How to get your story seen :  News is only news for a day or two so get it up quickly. Build a list of contacts or Independence news websites that you can publish your stories on ie Indy Media or Demonix . Follow big hitters on Twitter and hope they share your stories. Use Twitter # tags. Comment on other people blogs.

Hackney -what was our experience?

The rioters didn’t want to be filmed. It’s better to witness and write about it than lose your camera and get beaten up

Jenkins : me and Tom went down Dalston @ 8. There were 80 to 90 people and a lot of people form the Turkish community trying to protect their shops. Turkish were chasing the rioters out of Dalston, then the police started to question the Turkish community, which created  lot of tension. There were old grey men with machetes from the Turkish community

Liz : I went to the top of Clarence Rd, it felt like a party that had got out of hand. Everyone was drinking and seemed to be having a good time.

I can feel your smile

21 Jul

Firstly a retrospective in the Hayward is a big deal, but then Tracey has been up for a Turner and had a leading role in Saatchi’s  Brit Art movement so it shouldn’t be a surprise.

“the girl went out like a 40 watt light bulb”

Then again Emin has always seemed to be an outsider, from her dirty bed and tent ‘everyone i have ever slept with’ to her pissed up performance on TV commentating on the Tate she always seemed to be making a scene.

What’s a whole gallery of her work going to be like?

Firstly let me say I used to HATE Tracey Emin I just didn’t get how she used her sexuality, calling herself a slag and talking about her abortions.  I wasn’t a slag, I hadn’t had gonorrhea, i didn’t think that having a c*nt was the most interesting thing about me and i thought that art should be, well, visually appealing. I also loved painting. I still love painting but i now love Tracey Emin too so what changed?

” I never liked school i was always late ”

Me probably. Where before i only saw the hate, anger and negativity in her work ( and her work is anchored in the most negative, human, dark spots of her life that seem to force her creativity ) I started to notice the love love love and the humor and the detail. She hand stitched hard words into her patchwork quilts.

“there’s no one in the room who hasn’t thought about killing”

She makes etchings ( a laborious process ) of rough masturbating line drawings and she tells beautiful stories. God she uses words with such beauty I will forgive her for making me look at her used tampons.

Emin do’s and don’ts

Do look for the beauty and the detail in her work

Do watch ALL the videos. Just do it. Wait because she takes you on a journey and one of them ( The reason i never became a dancer ) made me cry

Don’t expect to look at beautiful art objects or great paintings ( although I do really like some of her paintings )

Don’t be freaked out by all the abortion stuff or the fact that it’s £12 to get in – it’s worth it

Do go straight to the book shop and buy her book ‘Strangeland’

So, an acquired taste – definitely, but if you can get over the surface sense of annoyance that you’re not served good looking art objects the beautiful raw humanness of her work and the emotional  integrity will make you want to find her and buy her a drink or 4.