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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



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

Students night out.

8 Feb

Alex Metric @ Scandalism

Alex MetricScandalism is hosting a big club night for the new year.

Booking high profile acts which will bring the house down. it is going to be a powerful clubbing experience. apparently their last event saw queues round the block all night so make sure you buy tickets in advance and make your way their early for the 18th of February 2011 for the ” Alex Matric ” event  featuring the massive line up, such as:

  • Alex Metric
  • Jacob Plant
  • Stripes

Westminster: One of My Favourite Places in London (amongst others).

21 Dec
The political hub

Here is a snippet of the reasons why Westminster is one of my favourite places in London...

Not only is it one of the most historic and beautiful places in the capital, it is home to Westminster Abbey and stands as the political hub of Britain. Parliament Square hosts protesters from far and wide who stand up and voice their anger over the many injustices of the global society next to statues of great figures such as Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Robert Peel, and Nelson Mandela. The stunning detail of the abbey make for great photographs. The area has also been the backdrop for the recent student protests against the dramatic rise in tuition fees – I was there in the thick of the action. I’m waiting and hoping that one of the photos I took on the day might one day become an iconic symbol of the continuing fight for justice for all. When my camera and I are not capturing moments of protest or admiring Gothic architecture, we like to hang out at the South Bank, which happens to be a five to ten minute walk from Westminster. There is always something to do, particularly in the evening/ night – and it’s often free. When I’m not in and around the centre of the capital, I enjoy being in Camden. It’s slighty edgier crowd, good music and good food, and the famous market make it a great place to be. If you fancy a bit of swing or Old Skool Hip-Hop then Barfly is the place to go – and entrance is free! So basically, our visitors have a treat in store for them (Yes, I do sound like a Thomas Cooke advertisment) in 2012. Now, just think, wouldn’t it be cool to lead the way and show off our city at its best? Become and ambassador for the games! I really can’t stress enough just how important it is that as many as you sign up BEFORE 31st DECEMBER to become London Ambassadors for 2012 . It’s YOUR time and this is YOUR chance to get involved and really be proud of being a Londonder 🙂 Go to:

Well actually, you now have until January 17th!!

Go on, you know you want to *winks*

As always, it’s the one and only, Siana Bangura over and out *salutes*


The Bestival Best 2010

15 Sep

A selection of great photos that sum up the fun and all out craziness that ocurred in a field in the Isle of Wight over the weekend!

Photos: Colin Friend

Hackney Hounds: a project born out of passion

13 Aug

Daniel Jamieson talks about his experience as part of the Hackney Hounds project.

Hackney Hounds was a special project with a clear mission. It gave a filmmaking opportunity to a group of young people not in education or employment; but with ideas, passion, and curiosity about the concept of moviemaking.

These elements, combined with professional input and guidance, gave Hackney Hounds the energy it needed to make it to the screen. The opportunity to use professional equipment and be taught by working professionals is one that seldom comes around – particularly for free.

Kayla Whiting, who had the initial idea for the film, is a passionate Staffordshire Bull Terrier owner who thinks so-called ‘dangerous’ dogs are made aggressive through the way their owners treat them. Through the film, she hoped to change opinions and open up a real debate on the matter.

The drive shown by Kayla and her fellow filmmakers is what the made project special. It wasn’t to showcase filmmaking talent or promote the names of its makers – it was made because these young people had a message that needed to be heard. I got involved to offer ideas and ensure the difficult, longsome filmmaking process didn’t diminish the young peoples’ desire to create something special.

This was my first year in London. I had been here before for events and competitions, but now I was here to live, work and study. I was looking for the opportunity to work on a film with young people from a complicated area like Hackney, so when I received a message from 4talent mentioning the project I thought ‘Well, you asked for it.’ Before I knew it I was at the Hackney Hounds headquarters discussing project ideas and goals with Kayla.

Hackney Hounds

We shared the same fundamental project idea: the mistreatment and misunderstanding of dogs leads to their aggressive and confused behaviour – a pattern also evident in many young people. That comparison was to be the basis of the film.

My role was to keep the good ideas on the table, to suggest some, and help provoke some. I could see the positive effect this project was having on our team of young, first time filmmakers. They believed in the project and themselves, and confidence on set was boosted tenfold each day.

Kayla, you did a great job. Geneika, you were crazy but awesome and you have a talent for that camera. Julie, your daughter’s now a star. And Zoe, you can really cut stuff together – keep it up. I hope people understand not only the significance of what’s on screen, but also what went on behind the scenes. I know you guys had fun, and so did I.

By Daniel Jamieson

Have you booked your ticket for the Hackney Hounds screening yet? Do it now!