For Sama

FOR SAMA is both an intimate and epic journey into the female experience of war. A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice–whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which … Continue reading For Sama

Fantabulosa

I visited the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival in June and had the amazing luck to catch Fantabulosa performing as part of Greenwich Fair. Fantabulosa! is a suite of public space performance, participation and games created by an ensemble of drag queens, kings and other drag artists to showcase the imagination and inclusivity of drag and queer culture to children. The show aims to challenge gender assumptions, occupy heteronormative city spaces, showcasing a wide spectrum of drag culture, welcome audiences new to drag and create for the next generation the kind of work that the artists themselves wished they had … Continue reading Fantabulosa

News from Nowhere

One o the best bookshop I’ve ever visited. News from Nowhere is a not-for-profit radical bookshop run collectively by a women worker’s cooperative. We’re passionate about the value of books to change the world and further people’s knowledge. Mandy Vere, who has worked at the radical bookshop all of her working life. Shelves and shelves of books are separated into categories including ‘Disability’, ‘Surviving Abuse’, ‘Ireland History and Politics’, ‘Feminism’ and ‘LGBT+’. (X) “But we know what we’re about, We’re about social justice, we’re about peace, we’re about internationalism, countering the power imbalance in society that means one per cent … Continue reading News from Nowhere

“Stay afraid but do it anyway.”

So today I’ve done one of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life… I went to a primary school with a fellow Human Rights Speaker and we taught 6 classes on refugees and Human Rights. It was a very scary thought to stand in front of 30 young people (aged 5-11) & teach them in a language that’s not my native. Mentally it was a challenging task to prepare but as Carrie Fisher once said;  “Stay afraid but do it anyway.” And I’m so happy that I did. I’m very grateful for the school, for inviting us & for … Continue reading “Stay afraid but do it anyway.”

A Rohingya girl’s journey from refugee camps to college

Formin was 18. She was sitting on a plastic stool in a bamboo shelter at a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Like the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees around her, she and her family had fled a campaign of mass murder, rapes and arson in Myanmar the previous year. But Formin wanted to talk about Keller, the deaf and blind American author she considered an inspiration. She wanted to talk about Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, another hero. She wanted to talk about her books ravaged in the burning of her house amid deadly violence in … Continue reading A Rohingya girl’s journey from refugee camps to college