Politics

Bodies and entitlement

CW- non-sexual nudity in photos, body fascism, misogyny, sexual harassment, sexual assault. Don't even think about leaving a creepy comment. I’ve been thinking a fair amount lately about bodies and entitlement to them. Mostly fuelled by a combination of being cat-called on the street a lot lately, and meaning to start going to life drawing class again but not being able to afford it/getting round to it.... Read More...

Craft as radical?

I’ve split the article up into four sections- my criticisms of radical spaces and scenes I’ve known, of the fashion industry, and of the current commercial craft revival, and then at the end explaining the ways I think doing textile crafts can be radical. In writing the article, I was specifically thinking of crafts such as sewing and knitting, both because they are things I do, and also because they are stereotypically done by women and often dismissed as silly and frivolous, but a lot of the points can apply to any handicraft. As well as dealing with the topic of crafts, it’s really more of a kind of wander round my thoughts about “radical”. The section on crafts is actually the shortest, but I’ve used it as the overall framing device. I’ll probably manage to piss off both the cliquey punx and the craft blogger people with this, but never mind. ... Read More...

Well that was depressing

So Donald Trump just about won the US election, continuing the exhausting and depressing downwards trajectory of 2016, and the continual rise of the far right to power. Brexit and the election of Trump show how good the Right are at times of economic hardship in convincing people their problems are caused by foreigners and the Other, rather than that they're living in a system designd to make the rich become richer, and keep a permanent pool of people desperate for work to drive down wages and conditions. Saying "oh it won't make much difference" after events like Brexit or Trump winning is something you can only say if you and everyone you know and care about don't fall under the categories of people such as POC, Muslims, women, poor people or immigrants whose lives are about to become so much more difficult. People always think "oh that doesn't mean my friend/wife/neighbour/workmate, they're talking about those weird threatening strangers, not those nice people I know". It does mean those nice people you know.... Read More...

This must be the place

The past few weeks haven't really given me time for blogging. I've been helping with house-clearances, writing a proposal for some freelance work I really wanted but didn't get, and undergoing major dental work. I now have the next 10 weeks house-sitting in a small town at least an hour's travel from anyone I know.... Read More...

Where I’ve been

I haven't written here for a while. Life has been very busy, and apart from a holiday to Italy, generally stressful and a little depressing, and I've very rarely had access to the internet other than on my phone, which doesn't encourage updating a blog (although I've got lots of things I'd like to put on here). On a personal level, I moved out of London at the end of April. I was supposed to go down to Sussex to take care of my mum's new flat until the Autumn. She inherited some money before Christmas, and moved house and bought a holiday cottage in France with it. The plan was she'd have some things done to the new flat and then spend the whole summer in France sorting out the holiday cottage how she wanted. "Some things" turned into "rip out all the electrics because they turned out to be illegal and unsafe, have all the walls replastered and replace the kitchen and bathroom". Coupled with a builder with a very elastic sense of time, it's only just being finished at the end of this week. That means I've been living out of a suitcase since April. I've been to Italy and Sheffield in that time (very nice), visited relatives (very stressful) and spent a very claustrophobic two weeks in a caravan in France with my mum where we couldn't go anywhere or do anything because there was a fuel strike and then floods (I didn't murder her).... Read More...

Save Waterloo Library

I made these posters to help a friend campaign to stop Waterloo Library being closed down and sold off (there is definitely no resemblance intended to a certain range of paperback books . . ). Lambeth council is making devastating cuts to their libraries after having their budget cut. This government have been slowly and deliberately destroying every public service they can, if it doesn't make their rich business friends richer, they don't care. Libraries are incredibly important, and the poorer the area the more vital they are. Even with my family, who did have books at home, there is no way I would have the education I have now if I hadn't have been constantly reading books from the public library growing up.... Read More...

How to design and make a skirt in any size

I wanted to learn how to make things for ipads, so I've rejigged an old zine of mine with improved instructions and colour diagrams. It has step by step instructions and diagrams for drafting a skirt pattern to your own personal size, whatever that may be, and then making the skirt. For anyone really who would like to have skirts, but struggles to find any they like or that fit, and who would like some help with sewing.... Read More...

Pinup Payback- Anti sexual harassment campaign

I recently made this poster for Pinup Payback, a feminist/anti-sexism organisation in Medway run by a friend. I was given the theme of  "girls just want to have fun" without creeps, so here are some gooey, sticky creeps. My hometown has a really disproportionate rate of sexual assault for the population, and a lot of people whose attitudes are stuck far, far in the past. Growing up there, and also going back to visit, I have had men say the most appalling and disgusting things to me and my friends, far more than any other place I know. This poster (along with training for staff) will be going up in the pubs and bars in town that sign up to the campaign to show customers that if someone if harassing you, the venue promises to take it seriously, a campaign also being run in London by Hollaback. To find out more about the campaigns, phone app and to donate, visit the website. (and yes, girls in this instance does include anyone who feels they fall into that category)... Read More...

Don’t Put Out

The other week I was in Brighton to see Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, a forgotten film from the 80s about a fictional all-girl punk band with Diane Lane, Ray Winstone (yes, really), Paul Simonon and half of the Sex Pistols. They've started doing a cinema club at the West Hill Hall showing cult films with bands playing afterwards. This time the bands were Trash Kit and Woolf. I found out about it when I was at the copiers and the guy in front of me was copying flyers and we got chatting and swapped zines and flyers. I wish that kind of thing happened to me more often. A good evening filled with friends and good feelings. Bands and film recommended. I want to be back in Brighton. ( I decided to go not via London to see if the cheaper ticket was worth the bother- it wasn't, it took me 4 hours and between 4-7 trains each way)... Read More...

I don’t wanna join yr club, I don’t want yr kind of love (Typical Grrls v2)

So we had the second Typical Girls last week. It was more successful than the first, we had 20-25 people there. They were all people we didn't know as well, which was surprising. I made 50 lurid pink cakes covered in edible glitter, and played some Patti Smith and Comet Gain this time. Tukru brought a table full of zines and fundraising stuff for her roller derby team and played some Nicki Minaj and slipped in a bit of Lady Gaga, which made me pull a face. All the cakes got eaten, and even the old men who lurk down the end of the bar had a good time. Hopefully more people and more dancing next time.... Read More...