Author Archives: othesea

Loving Brick Lane

East London is the hype for young Londoners, in the centre of this hype is Brick Lane, a place where you find a bit of everything. There’s culture, art, diversity, food, stores, clubs, music, pop-ups, tattoo shops, literary everything. But why it become such a place to go? What is so special about Brick Lane?
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coffee car

“Brick Lane is just

a fun place to be

where good

stuff happens”

Sam, 22 Years old

Well, the story of Brick Lane starts way before I was born, and it’s messy and complicated, like a good book. It all start on the 19th century when the first breweries, and one of the first markets outside of central London, and still happens every Sunday; it was after that when the area started to grow.

In the beginning, it was an area of immigrants; it began to be a place where Irish and Jews people used to live in, back at the start of the 20th century. As the years went on, the Irish and the Jews moved away from the area, and the people from Bangladesh start to get in around the 70’s,  mostly because of the house prices.

“When I came to

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Rainbow baggels original store

brick Lane I feel alive

and connected with the city”

Charlotte, 27 Years Old

Because of that nowadays is one of the places that you can find the best Bangladesh curry in, is the place where are the most houses of curry in London. And is one of the only places where the street table is in Arabic, it even had the name of Bangla town, it was a form of ghettoization at that time, but nowadays we see it as an inclusion symbol, showing that in that area they are welcome and that everything is fine.

As the years pass by East London start to become the area of the arts people, it was not too expensive, and it was close to the centre of London. At that time till nowadays the artists explore the street as a form of art, one of the things that made Brick Lane famous was the street art.

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By that time, Brick Lane started to evolve to what it is today, becoming one of the places that you can find a bit of everything.

“It’s funny how Brick Lane

IMG_3412 2is always changing but

it never losses

the essence of it”

John, 54 years old

This mix of everything was what made this place famous. The fact that different things, religions, points of view, communities living in peace in one small area show the essence of London. The diversity is the fame of this place, and it is what people get from London and hope for the world.

Posted by WNOL on Wednesday, April 5, 2017

This tiny place in the world show’s how diversity can bring happiness and be peaceful; we need more Brick lane’s around the world.

From words to activism

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Marta Guerreiro, is a Portuguese writer that came to London three years ago, “I wanted to study abroad, in a place where I would have more opportunities, where I could have my freedom and my independence.” She is studying journalism at the University of East London, but her career started way before that.

How did that the book started?
I had a lot of free time; I was finishing the second year of high school in Portug226045_109673569131279_8215099_nal. Instead of going out I decide to stay home during the summer. I never harsh about it as a book, but just a story. But when I finish I realise it was big enough, and that was good, I send it to publishers, and one of them wanted to publish the book, and some days later it was on sale in bookstores.

How was it deal with fame at such a young age?
It was weird. I never thought that something that I wrote would become so famous in my country. After the interview that I did for a Portuguese channel, everyone knew who I was, but not for a long time. It was strange because by the time I was just 15, and my book was related to the subject of cerebral palsy and depression. For me, at that age, it was hard to answer questions related to this topic, just because I was not able to give them the right answer at that time because I was so young.

Can you tell me a little more about the questions? What was the hardest question that someone asked you, or the one that you remember the most?
Well, the one that I remember the most was this lady that accused me of using my sister to get money, what is wrong, because or you are already a successful writer, or is hard to get money from your first book. About the questions once there was this email from a lovely lady, that her mother had a disability, her husband tries to commit suicide she was desperate asking me for help, help that I didn’t know how to give. That was the time that I said to my mum that I had to stop to receive this kind of emails, it was not healthy, at least not for me. I was not the person to ask this kind of things; I didn’t know anything at the time, I was just a kid. But there was one that I really could help; it was a lady, with two children, one with cerebral palsy and the other one healthy, she asked me If I could talk to the healthy one to help him out on how to deal with the situation. That moment gave me straights because it shows that my book could and can help people, I just felt such a bliss.

“I couldn’t handle the subjects that I was writing about”

Situations evolve, so where were you after all this?
After I write the book, I felt a lot of pressure from the editor, my friends and all the people525845_285509671547667_3114445_n that follow me on social media. So, I wrote the second one, not because I wanted but just because of the pressure. As a result, I never read that book because I don’t like it, I don’t even like to look at it. Is not something that I’m proud. After that experience I quite writing, I wanted nothing to do with that. I wanted to be as far as I could from writing because people always associated me with that young girl that wrote about something so mature. So, I spend about four years without writing, just writing some things on my blog but not in the same way that I use to write.

So how do you look at that girl now? And how you see yourself in the future?
Now, I look at that girl as a girl that had an amazing experience and a privilege for having something publish so young, but in my future projects, I don’t want to have the same experience the way I had before (like that girl). I want to do something that I’m proud of and about something that I can handle. At that time, I couldn’t handle the subjects that I was writing about; it was supposed to be something personal and become something famous. Right now, I’m back to writing, for magazines and blogs but is an activist kind of writing; now I’m different Marta.

You told before that you add a break of 4 years of writing, but was in that four years that you become an activist. How was that change?
When I stop writing, I felt that I should be something that I wanted to be, not the perfect child that write a book, and every parent want it. I was perfect for the other people eyes, that wasn’t the truth I had a lot of difficulties, as a person and people didn’t know that they were expecting something of me that was not me able to give. After that experience, I became an LGBT+ activist, because I want it to shout out loud that you can be a writer, do amazing projects and still have your voice. You don’t have to be the perfect person that society wants you to be and being activist an LGBT+ person, and still, do amazing things, so one thing does lien to another, you can be queer, have tattoos, pricings, whatever and still be a foreign student, a writer. I have the impression that people aren’t aware of that when I was writing the first book.

 

“If people are anti-feminism at least they heard about it”

 

How was your activism? Where you a part of any group or association?

I was a volunteer for a group of family planning since I was 12 till I was 16, mostly of what I did was go to school and events talk to young people the importance of protecting yourself, and offering condoms in the end. With that, I work with LGBT+ people, in events as the Pride where I had the contact with the community.

The LGBT+ society changes a lot since then till now. Does this society still rep17806996_697783313726269_1670027891_nresent what you believe?
I am a part of this community (LGBT+), but I understand that inside of the community there’s a lot of homophobia, racism, transphobia. I’m still part of the community, but I’m aware of the problems that exist inside of the community, it doesn’t mean that doesn’t represent me, but at the same time I want to be sure that I know the problems inside the community and I want to be able to deal when this kind of situations happen.

Talking about other activism that you do, being a feminist, you saw the evolution of this movement. How this affect you has a woman and as a writer?
I think feminism become so mainstream because the social network is a tool now that did exist back in the days, but this social network as a great importance because it makes you share information, reaching young people and reaching the right meaning of feminism. I don’t think it was awesome for the word to be an underdog, I don’t even know for real that it was that underdog because I was so young, but when I was 16, I saw a lot of grown up women fighting for feminism. Maybe it was mainstream for us as young people, but now that I’m aware that a lot of individuals are feminism and a lot of individuals are anti-feminism I find it more mainstream. It is essential that we talk about it, the fact that people think is a bad word it means that the word is out there, people are reading it, people know about it. If people are anti-feminism at least they heard about it, they are just misinformed or are just sexists, but at least they know it exists is not a taboo anymore.17807183_697783317059602_909501900_n

To finish, do think we live in a men’s world?
I don’t think I know for sure if you see politics is about them. For example, men can be described as good actors, but women normally are described as a hot actress, the pay gap is also a good example. But what show me that we live in a men’s world is the different way that we judge different genders, as the men are more likely to be judged by their character, the women are more judge by their looks. It hurts me because I see amazing women, that have fantastic ideas, but they are cut down because they aren’t man. There was a lot of women doing amazing thing for science, maths and other areas but they are not recognised in the same way as men, as you can see in the film High Figures for example. Women are still considered guilty for being rape; women are killed in some countries because they try to fight for their rights. So obviously is a men’s world and I end up suffering for being a woman. The politic situation now shows that the world is not a safe place for us and we still need to continue fighting.


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/207698266″>International Women’s Day</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user11314748″>Marta Guerreiro</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

The pride and joy of LGBTQ+

Olly Alexander goes beyond his singing, as one of the biggest influencers for this generation of LGBTQ+ people.

As an artist, he was always out of the closet, never hiding his sexual orientation from the music/film industry. In fact, he uses the industry to make a voice for the LGBTQ+ society.

Olly started his acting career when he was 16, and later on, he became a member of a band called Years and Years, begun in 2010 and goes till now. The group grow inside the pop industry even got nominated for the BRITS awards.

The Communion ( 2015) album, Years and Years first album, doesn’t come as  LGBTQ+ LP, but looking deeper he end ups talking about Alexander life, romances and how he was dished by another man. It was flows during the album as an under noted subject without identifying a gender one example is the song Take Shelter “Just tell me what I have to do/To keep myself apart from you/ All your colours start to burn /I know I wanted far too much,/Then I thought that wouldn’t be enough /All this talk is closing you.” Using the same technic as the XX use in their lyrics of not identifying a gender.

 

Besides of all, he’s still an activist, as he said to the Gay Times “I care about LGBT issues. I care about social change,”. He as a part of the community and he always had a message to share, like he did in Glastonbury “As a queer person, as queer people, we know what it’s like to be scared, and we know what’s it like to live in fear as part of our every day. But tonight, at Glastonbury, I would like to ask you to join me on Pride weekend and say, ‘no thank you fear. Bye fear bye.’”

 

Even that he’s not directly associated with any LGBTQ+ front, he continues the fight for equality. He defends that there is a lot of work to be done inside the community as an LGBTQ+ person in a Vogue interview, “We still mainly have male, white artists who are representing an incredibly diverse community. When we have most of the successful LGBTQ artists being white men, we tend to prioritise that narrative over trans people of colour or bisexual women or men or lesbian women.”

Even when people say that there are enough LGBTQ+ people in the music industry, Olly defends that is not enough if you just have two artists. He defends that even inside the community they should be more diverse, not just gay males representing the LGBTQ+ community as he explains in the Vogue interview

Now Olly Alexander is writing and producing the successor of his hit album Communion, but he’s still an activist for the LGBTQ+ community, being a part speeches, and movements for the community.

Muslim ban was just the beginning

Designate the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliates as terrorist groups it is the next step in Trump era.

Republican Ted Cruz introduced the muslin brotherhood terrorist designation Act bill in January, is in Congress waiting for approval.

In other terms, this bill is designed to make all the muslin political organization as terrorist organizations, from the US and worldwide. CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Is one of the largest Muslin groups in the US since 1985 they never had connections to any kind of terrorist organization, but if this bill pass they get consider like a terrorist organization. Sussan Siavoshi a Political Science Professor chair her concerns with The Independent ” If CAIR, a civil society group, becomes designated as a terrorist organization, what are people options if they want to get involved in politics? Some may become inactive, but others may start underground violence or movement”

This is not the first time that this bill is going to the Congress to the Republican party, but it never pass, but this year with the Muslin ban and the fact the most of the congress is republican the possibility of this bill pass is too high.

 

This bill would just aggravate the anti-Muslim situation that is already happening in the United States, with the Muslin ban that rejects refugees from 7 Muslin countries.

This bill would not just affect the people but the relationship between the US and other countries, mostly in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates where the Americans have business if this business fails it can have a big effect at the American economic, as is most of them oil business.

On the course of the next weeks, we should have a decision from the Congress and know if the bill passed or not.