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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


Bauhaus – fresh ideas from the past

9 Jul

I LOVED this exhibition. GO. I’d heard of the Bauhaus as a super German art school who’d produced Kandinsky, Klee and influenced generation but I never expected to be so blown away by the FRESHNESS of the ideas 80 years on.

In essence Bauhaus were brilliant because the teaching was designed to help artists get into the right frame of mind to be really, genuinely, creative. Initially ( early 1920’s after the 1st WW ) they focused on craft but built relaxation, and exercise into their teaching model. They mixed students with expert technicians and set them briefs like ” rhythm ” and ” contrast ” as well as making sure they knew how to draw and paint to a high standard.

They saw play as a way of helping people find their creative ideas and experimentation was encouraged.

Fabric, architecture, fonts and furniture were seen through the same lens as more traditionally fine art disciplines like sculpture and painting and they made some ‘Zines that look so good it’s mind blowing.

In the 30’s as The Bauhaus got bigger, selling fabrics and furniture to the public and after received funding they set up in a bespoke modernist building, in itself a work of art. Students and masters worked, played and partied together and there are some beautiful, relaxed photos of tutors taken by students that would of been un heard of during my degree ( you were SCARED of tutors ). The parties sound AWESOME, the metal party involved everyone covering themselves in im foil and entering the party down a metal shute… and when i say everyone i mean experimental performance artists, architects and artists… can you imagine the costumes?

What strikes me int he lower rooms is the genuine sense of excitement at being part of this amazing institution at this incredible point in time. There were women in the college too and not just as models… i wonder how many women went to art college in England in the 30s’?

As you come to the end of the downstairs exhibition ( and the 30’s ) advertising and more commerical briefs have been introduced to the students work and there’s more re invention with collages using magazines ( Think Metropolis ), experimental photography and prints.

With the country’s finances in tatters and war on the horizon the school finally breaks up with founding teachers leaving the Bauhaus as an architectural institute with little or no government funding. As I exit the gallery I can’t help thinking what would of happened if Bauhaus had continued at the heady peak of it’s heyday? What would the world look like……

Where : Barbican

When : till 12th August

How much : 2 – 4 -1 with Barbican Freeb

Gallery Admission Prices & Opening Hours
Art Gallery
Standard: £10 online/ £12 on the door
Concessions: £7 online/ £8 on the door
School groups of 10 or more (primary, secondary and sixth form up to age 19): £6
13 – 17s yrs: £6 online/ £7 on the door
Children aged 12 and under: Free

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.

Morning! Morning!

25 Mar

Howdy Y’all,

Check out my Flickr account:

leave comments and let me know what you think!

Much love!


Siana. Over and out.