Category Archives: lifeandstyle

Ban on junk food ads: What is the point?

As childhood obesity levels skyrocket, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is proposing that junk food advertisements are banned from all London public transport — buses, tube and trains.

So will we no longer see fast food chains advertising everywhere?

No. Well, not as they are today. Instead of advertising burgers, chips and ice creams, we will see carrot sticks and salads making their way on to the tube.

Carl W Jones, senior lecturer for PR and Advertising at the University of Westminster, told the university’s radio station that the new advertising campaign will help to battle childhood obesity within the city.

“If TFL don’t advertise those brands, the organisations have to adapt” so they’ll have to come up with new products or find other ways to reach the same audience. As TFL tube alone reaches 4.8 million commuters each day, companies do not want to lose their advertising spot.

Advertising healthier options rather than junk food will help to reduce the amount of junk food seen across the capital as the publics “opinions will be influenced” as at the moment it is all we see. It will seem as though there is a wider range of choice of food that is available to the public.

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Graphic by Tabitha Durrant     Statistics from: gov.uk/health 

Jones also mentioned the companies targeted will have to be seen as though they are “caring about children”. Children are easily influenced and as society becomes more health conscience we need to give children a range of choice, without only advertising unhealthy foods and drinks.

The ban on junk food advertisements comes shortly after the sugar tax, which all companies, aside from Coca Cola, which will help reduce the intake of sugar. Now, if you wanted to buy a full fat Coca Cola, you need to pay an extra 12 pence.

A quarter of children aged between two and 10 being classed as overweight. In 2014/15, the NHS spent £6.1 billion treating patients suffering from the condition.

See what you can do for National Eat What You Want Day

Cycling in London: how is it going?

Cover photo by Roman Koester on Unsplash.

“It’s as easy as riding a bike” is a common phrase used to say that, well, something is easy. But just how easy is it to do it in London, one of the most congested cities in the world? Transport for London’s 2017 Analysis estimated that 730,000 journeys are made daily with bicycles in the capital.

The Mayor of London recently announced a commitment of an average of £169m per year over the next five years to improve London’s cycling conditions, contributing to its target of 70 per cent of Londoners living within 400m of the cycle network by 2041.

Cyclists and campaign groups, however, want more than that. Yes, appropriate infrastructure is needed, but that also requires a transition of established societal and institutional ways. A study done by the Portland State University showed that changing cycling infrastructure won’t change culture.

Having blue lanes segregated from cars and other motorised vehicles won’t do anything if people don’t know how to use them. Bruce Lynn, from the London Cycling Campaign, says the infrastructure is there but people won’t use it.

There are bigger issues TfL and the Mayor of London have to consider to make cycling a possibility for every Londoner. Today, there is a common idea of the typical cyclist in London: young white men, environmentally-friendly and mostly liberal. This is supported by various studies that argue people who don’t identify as any of the above, feel less inclined to try cycling.

Who is cycling today

Who is cycling in london today_

Graphics by author

In TfL’s 2016 report, the fact that people are highly against changing their routines was assumed to be one of the main reasons they don’t try it. Their 2015 Attitudes towards cycling report also showed that safety concerns, fear of collisions, too much traffic, bad weather, lack of time, health reasons and lack of confidence and accessibility are some of the most common deterrents that put Londoners off using bikes.

Just last Saturday, around 4,000 riders took the streets of London for the #BikesUpKnivesDown demonstration led by the #BikeStormz movement to raise awareness to the rise of knife crime and murder rates in the city. They rode from London Bridge to Oxford Street in one of the biggest youth-led rides against knife crime, showing that the use of bikes has turned their lives around.

Current cycling network

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Central London’s cycling paths mapped by Route Plan Roll.

The current cycling network is made up of quietways and cycle superhighways for the most part. TfL defines them as “cycle routes running from outer London into and across central London. They give you safer, faster and more direct journeys into the city and could be your best and quickest way to get to work.”

Existing ones go from the City to Tottenham, Stratford to Aldgate, Barking to Tower Gateway, Oval to Pimlico, Merton to the City, and Wandsworth to Westminster. The east-west and north-south ones are the newest additions with proposed ones to go from Tower Bridge to Greenwich, Kensington Olympia to Brentford, and Swiss Cottage to the West End.

 

 

repared by the students from (1)

Graphic by author

 

Safety

Safety concerns is probably what discourages people from riding the most. A study done recently by Cambridge academics found that changes in behaviour and policies is what is needed to keep the system moving, and tackle these concerns. A change in work hours, in the number of cycleways and docking stations, and in how people cycle together are factors that will contribute to that.

Another study done by Injury Prevention found that the more number of cyclists and pedestrians, the less likely motorists are to collide with them. This is partly because they are more visible, but also because the so called “safety in numbers” makes riders feel more comfortable.

14.6 per cent of casualties in Greater London while travelling were of cyclists in 2016, according to TfL. However, only eight, out of 4,424, were fatal, a decrease of 11 per cent from the year before. It certainly shows how, compared to the car, the transport mode responsible for 39.3 per cent of the casualties, cycling is less likely to get people injured. The study by Cambridge academics, however, also points out that an increase in cycling traffic also means an increased risk for cycle coalitions.

Not every rider has the same experience levels, specially in urban area conditions. ‘Bikeability’ is something most of the campaign groups advocate for, because they know that is where it starts. The London Cycling Campaign offers free ‘bikeability’ training to anyone interested and the have regular group sessions. Everyone, not only cyclists, should know how to share a public road.

How is London doing compared to the rest of the world?

 

Not good. It isn’t even on the top 20 of bike-friendly cities in the world. Infrastructure, safety and diversity (or lack of) are some of the reasons why the British capital is not considered in the 2017 Copenhagenize Design Company Index.

Tokyo, Munich, Helsinki and Oslo are new to the list because they have worked to fix issues that didn’t allow their cycling levels to grow. Closing the center to private cars, bike sharing systems, growth of network, parking facilities, and the creation of the Cycling Embassy (Tokio) and the Cycling Federation (Helsinki) are some of the things that are on place in this cities to improve the levels of cycling urbanism.

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As much as it is common thinking that more and better infrastructure will make London a top bike-friendly city, if Londoners don’t learn (or don’t want to learn) about ‘bikeability’ and cycling urbanism, the city won’t see any major changes in the years to come. The Mayor of London is committed to increase the use of bicycles in the city as it has been demonstrated that not only will it help with air pollution, but will also provide better quality public spaces.

 

Does a perfect success formula exist for Music Industry?

What do Justin Bieber, Zayn Malik and Adele have in common? They are what every musician dreams to be like one day. Fame, success, power, money and music, they are the complete golden package.

Every year the Music industry sees many new artists flock from all over the world in hope to score their one sweet chance to be the next musical sensation. Some of them grow up listening music and dream of becoming like their idols, some wish to live the life of fame and have their moment in limelight, some feel it is their calling because music is the way they want to express their life’s story. They spend most of their life training for music, learning their instruments, performing, some even pursue music in their college degrees in hopes of improving their success chances. Seven in every 10 children (69%) in the UK say that they currently play a musical instrument with adults at 74%.

And these people come in all shapes and sizes with vast diversity in their ideologies. Yet the one thing they profess that unites them is their passion, inclination and inherent talent for music.

But then why is it that when we observe the working lives of these people, only a very few manage to break big in the industry? What is the difference between the artists who become famous and those who don’t? Are they more talented? Or did they have any special connections that most don’t? Or were they just plain-and-simple lucky?

The answer is as simple as it is frustrating, for all of the above reasons are true, but one. For people who do manage to climb their way to the top of the pyramid, being talented is a given thing. Because really without talent why would they even consider pursuing this career. This super competitive industry with more supply than demand for new musicians. It’s not like the musicians have the ‘fake it till they make it’ kind of liberties. Nowadays big record labels mostly want those artists who already have established themselves up to a certain level, who have their fan base, have already performed many gigs, and even better if they can write their own songs too. They practically want people who already have their plans figured out down to the last detail and are halfway done in executing it.

Now imagine the kind of distress a newbie but a wannabe feels when he first decides to go down this path. All the planning, making the right connections, discovering their ‘unique’ style and finding a way to sell it as ‘new and original’ to their audience, putting themselves out in the open and creating a fan base, finding the right people to help in the PR and production of their music and connecting with other artists to get a chance to perform in big gigs. So much work to do in so little time, because if we are being real, the music industry is notoriously ageist when it comes to accepting new artists. And unless you are an already established celebrity or a super-rich individual trying your hand at music, there is not much room for entry in the music industry at a ‘late’ age.

But still every year the music industry sees more and more artists coming into it. It is a huge business, with it contributing £4.4 billion to the UK’s economy as recorded in the UK Music “Measuring Music 2017” report with about 142,208 jobs sustained by the music industry. And now with the growth in the online streaming platforms, the industry is experiencing a resurgence in its profits.

And one such newbie artist, looking to make it big in this industry, is Leonard Nedelcu. There are many things that he shares with other talented musicians, like his love for romantic songs, playing the piano, penning his own songs, and being born with the looks of a superstar. But the things that make him stand out in the crowd are his deep appreciation of music by John Legend, Shawn Mendes and Sam Smith, his approach to music as his way to include the LGBTQ+ communities and share his story in a way that is relatable to all.

In this interview of his confessional musings, he shares his story, aims, and the beginning of his musical journey. He talks about how a person, a child of two economist parents gets into music, his struggles. And how despite them all he managed to create and release his first single, “Start with you”, while working on an extended playlist which he hopes to release by end of this years’ summer. All the while being a student at the University of Westminster, pursuing a Commercial Music bachelors’ degree.

Here’s a snippet of ‘Start with you’

He seems to have tapped into the ‘success formula’ of pursuing formal musical education to work on his talents, learn to create his music, find and make industry contacts and finally get discovered. It’s almost like he is trying to pull an Adele (success story) here.

You see, even though every artists’ success story is different, the basic formula of approach to things remains the same. And the six main success formulas are:

  1. Using YouTube to break big
  2. Performing at the biggest, most popular music clubs to get discovered
  3. Participating in Musical Contest show, and with any luck, winning it
  4. Becoming a part of a band, and when/if it goes big, using that exposure and experience to fuel solo act
  5. Formally studying music and training to be the best through schools
  6. Self-releasing music until discovered by big record labels or celebs to endorse music deals

Some of the very well-known celebs got their starts using these very formulas.

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Justin Bieber – the YouTube star before becoming the Global star

Like most things relating to him, even his start in music has a story. Even from a young age, Bieber had an affinity for music, and he narrates himself that when his mom gifted him his first set of drums he was “basically banging on everything I could get my hands on.” But it was an obscure talent contest in his hometown, in which the 12-year-old Bieber finished second that put him on the road to superstardom. Although, his YouTube journey did not begin with the purpose of becoming the next pop sensation. As a way to share his singing with family, Justin and his mom began posting clips of Bieber performing covers of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Ne-Yo on YouTube. And the next thing you know, Justin was an Internet sensation, with a large following of fans and an eager manager arranging for the teenager to fly to Atlanta to consider a record deal. There, Bieber had a chance meeting with Usher, who eventually signed the young singer to a contract.

Taylor Swift – from performing small gigs at the Country music capital to performing globally at her sold-out concerts

Inspired by her grandmother, a professional opera singer, Taylor Swift soon followed in her footsteps. By the age of 10, Taylor was singing at a variety of local events, including fairs and contests. She sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a Philadelphia (where she lived at the time) 76ers basketball game at the age of 11, and began writing her own songs and learning guitar at 12 years old. And to further pursue her music career, Taylor often visited Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital. There she co-wrote songs and tried to land a recording contract. Noting her dedication, Taylor and her family moved to nearby Hendersonville, Tennessee, in an attempt to further Taylor’s career. Then a stellar performance at The Bluebird Café in Nashville helped Swift score a contract with Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Records. She released her first single, “Tim McGraw,” in 2006, and the song went on to become one of the Top 10 hits on the country charts. It also appeared on her self-titled debut album in October in 2006, which went on to sell more than 5 million copies. With that, more popular singles soon followed, including “Our Song,” a No. 1 country music hit. “Teardrops on My Guitar,” “Picture to Burn” and “Should’ve Said No” were also successful tracks. And once she firmly established her roots in the music industry, the sky became her limit.

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04.12.18

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Zayn Malik – gone from contest show to being part of famous boy-band to finally becoming the solo music star

A triple threat of music in terms of utilizing the success formulas if you say so, he began as a teen taking performing arts courses and appearing in school productions. Then in year 2010, he auditioned for the seventh season of the reality TV music contest show The X Factor. He sang “Let Me Love You” by rhythm-and-blues vocalist Mario as his audition song and was accepted into the next round. Then he was eliminated before the final round of the competition, but judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell grouped him with fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form a new act for the remainder of the show. And thus, the global sensational boy-band One Direction was born. They finished the competition in third place and they were immediately signed to Cowell’s Syco music label. Then came the One Direction with their first single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” which topped the pop music charts with when it was released in September 2011 in the United Kingdom. And their debut album, Up All Night, proved a best-seller in both the United Kingdom and the United States in 2012. After that Malik toured extensively with One Direction, meeting the band’s young female fans around the world. But in March 2015, Malik surprised fans by dropping out of the group’s world tour. On March 25 then, Malik announced that he was leaving One Direction for good. And soon after leaving One Direction, Malik launched his solo music career with a demo version of “I Don’t Mind,” which was leaked online by producer Naughty Boy. Then official singles followed, including “Pillowtalk” and “It’s You.”  And both of these tracks were featured on his first album, Mind of Mine, which debuted in March 2016.

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Auckland / Mt Smart Stadium / Mar 25

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Adele – the modern-day champion of classical and old-school-style music

“There was no musical heritage in our family,” Adele told The Telegraph in a 2008 interview. “Chart music was all I ever knew. So, when I listened to the Ettas and the Ellas, it sounds so cheesy, but it was like an awakening. I was like, oh, right, some people have proper longevity and are legends. I was so inspired that as a 15-year-old I was listening to music that had been made in the ’40s.” And it soon became apparent that while clearly bright, Adele wasn’t oriented towards traditional classroom settings. So, her mother enrolled her in the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology, which has the likes of Amy Winehouse as its alum. Then while she was at school, Adele cut a three-track demo for a class project that was eventually posted on her MySpace page. And when executives at XL Recordings heard the tracks, they contacted the singer and, in November 2006, just four months after Adele had graduated school, signed her to a record deal.

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Thank god for factor 50 sunscreen – photo by Nic Minns

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Ed Sheeran – from street-smart artist to king of the global music charts

Even from a very young age, Ed had been as quick and smart at learning things as he had been active at working on his dreams. He studied at Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. Then he also studied music with the help of ‘Access to Music’, a UK-based independent training provider. And he also joined the National Youth Theatre when he was a teenager. So, it was no surprise when he had started recording CDs and selling them from his teenage days. At the age of 14, he released songs ‘The Orange Room’ and also ‘Spinning Man’, both he regarded as important works of his early years. And it wasn’t long before Sheeran was recording CDs and selling them, and he soon put together his first official EP, The Orange Room. With that accomplishment and his abiding ambition driving him, at only 14 years of age, Sheeran headed to London for the summer. Thinking he could find gigs in the big city, Sheeran left home with his guitar and a backpack full of clothes, and his musical career took flight. And once in London, Sheeran got busy recording and playing the local singer/songwriter circuit and quickly released two albums: a self-titled record in 2006 and Want Some? in 2007. He also began opening for more established acts, such as Nizlopi, the Noisettes and Jay Sean and released another EP, You Need Me, in 2009, a year that found Sheeran playing more than 300 live shows. Then in 2010 Sheeran posted a video online that got the attention of Example, a rapper, and Sheeran was asked to go on the road with him as his opening act. This led to establishing an even larger online fan base and gaining inspiration for many more songs, which later ended up filling three new EPs, all in 2010. Next Sheeran headed to the U.S. that year and found a new fan in Jamie Foxx, who asked Sheeran to appear on his Sirius radio show. Soon after, in January 2011, Sheeran released yet another EP, his last as an independent artist. Without any promotion, the record reached No. 2 on the iTunes chart, and he signed on with Atlantic Records. With Atlantic, Sheeran released his major debut studio album, + (called Plus) which became an instant hit, and the album sold more than a million copies in the U.K. in the first six months alone. Then Sheeran began co-writing songs with bigger artists, such as One Direction and Taylor Swift and supported Swift on her 2013 arena tour. And quickly and steadily he became the huge global star that he is today.

 

Still out of all the artists who pursue music as their career, 95% of them fail to make a proper living out of it, let alone become huge successes (results from a survery of 200 musicians in UK). The artists we celebrate as our champions, as the main faces of the music industry are only a handful of people out of the millions that get into this industry with dreams of making it big.

And every person wanting to make a career in music looks for a success formula, but life doesn’t work that way, especially in music. For every successful artist following a set mould to enter music industry, there are thousands who failed at it. That is the harsh truth about this industry. And no amount of wishing, dreaming or googling for tips and tricks can change that. The only thing sure about a success formula is that it only works for a few people. At the end of the day, the only way one can make progress towards becoming a musical success is through genuine talent, unending hard work and determination, and with loads of luck and good timing.

Travel for free in London

London has been named the most expensive city to commute in. With an average of £135 per month, it beats Dublin and New York City in terms of travel.

Do you want to travel in the most expensive city in the world without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips and tricks about how to get the most out of your travel.

 

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  1. Do the London Shuffle: The london shuffle, also known as the commuter dance is when a person takes advantage of the busy tube stations and they shimmy their way behind you without having to pay a penny. For the more courageous people out there, you could go under the barriers and get in contact with disgusting London floors. I don’t know whats worse, paying £5 for a trip or crawling on Oxford Street Station to get out of it.
  2. Jump Jump Jump!: If you’re lucky and there is no tfl staff around, you could jump over the barrier and make your way to the promised land of sweaty arm pits and awful body odor without having your wallet feel lighter.

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  3. ‘Forget’ Your Ticket: This tip is for the extroverts out there. This easy hack includes talking to someone at the station and saying you forgot your card on the tube. Extra points if you bat your eyelashes and look frazzled as you search through your bag for your ‘lost’ card swearing you had it a second ago.

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  4. The 2-for-1: Being a student in London should classify as some sort of disability and thus, you can apply for the two for one. This means that a handicapped barrier could aid you in the fight of exorbitant prices in London. Just ask your friend to tap in as you dash through, just don’t get your bag, hand or leg caught in it if it closes.

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  5. The Bunker: A cliché, but a cliché for a reason. While on the rail, whenever you see a ticket conductor making their way down, you can slide your way into the nearest bathroom and hide like the hermit you are. This rule is slightly outdated as it is not 1995 anymore, but what is the harm in trying?
  6. The Lucky One: Some times, and only sometimes, the barriers at Tube stations are open without a soul in sight. This gives you full access to the tubes. Now all you need is a lot of confidence in what you’re doing, don’t stop or hesitate. You got this.

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  7. The Slip In: At a busy bus stop, whenever the bus driver opens the doors to exit from, you can easily enter without tapping in your oyster card. Extra points if you have a friend to distract the driver at the front of the bus, but it can easily be done without it.

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    Go out and live your cheapest life! Who knew living the life of rebellion is so rewarding?

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.

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

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>

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