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Her name is Rio and she dances on the sand…

14 Jun

I´m alive! Even though I haven´t checked in for a while. Although, I have to say I am SURPRISED that I am alive, considering that I am in Rio, Brazil, and in the past 3 days have had ALL my worldly goods stolen from me (wallet, phone, computer, camera, ipod, glasses, diary, yada yada yada), been physically threatened by a taxi driver, and cut my knee and twisted my ankle with the result that I am hobbling around various conference centres with a crazed and zombified look in my eyes.

But no matter! I just popped in to tell you that the reason that I am in Rio is that I am tracking the UN Rio+20 Earth Summit negotiations along with the Adopt a Negotiator team. Please pop on over and see what we´re up to! I wrote a very cathartic first post which linked the stealing of my bag to climate change, so you can sneak a peek at that as well.

And apart from all the rubbishness, things are very nice. I am currently sitting in a hippy dream of a hostel in a lovely part of Rio called Santa Teresa. One of the hotel staff is playing a samba instrument called a cavaquinho (not unlike a ukelele…) while I tap away, and there are solar showers and beautiful, inventive things like this:

Well look at that. I think I just cheered myself up.

hanna ♥

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Super Sunday

26 Feb

1. WINTER IS OVER! Right? ….right?? I, for one, refuse to go backwards, for I have seen the light. My weekend has been absolutely glorious, eating breakfast in the garden with the sun shining on my face and the radio playing. The future’s bright. (image from pinterest)

2. I’ve had my eye on this banner from Etsy for about a year, so I finally ordered it and it arrived yesterday! You can’t really see from the photo, but it’s a really pretty pink colour with glittery gold lettering. I am really pleased with it, and it reminds me of this Stevie Nicks song I posted a while ago.

3. I don’t think I’ve posted about the Slow Club gig I went to a couple of weeks ago. It was brilliant brilliant brilliant. They are one of those bands that are even better live than they are recorded. The front girl, Rebecca, is an incredible performer (and plays the DRUMS), and the boys are all very dreamy which does. not. hurt. Sign me up.

3. Good ukelele jam session with my friend Anna today. My ukelele playing seems to be seeping out into my social circle like osmosis which I am very pleased about. (images from weheartit)

4. We also talked to the chickens this afternoon in Clissold Park in the sunshine. Lovely lovely lovely. I tried talking to the deer but they were having none of it.

5. My friend Guppi has gone to India today, for we don’t know how long! Massive sad faces. But her goodbye celebrations were super indeed.

6. Check out the amazing Protect Our Winters campaign (POW for short… bada boom), which is ‘mobilizing and engaging the winter sports community in the fight against climate change’. I’m not sure you can get much more right on than that. They have come up with a 7-step game plan for individuals to fight climate change, and it sounds like a pretty good plan to me. They are:

  1. Get Political
  2. Educate Yourself
  3. Find Your Biggest Lever
  4. Be Vocal, Bug Your Friends
  5. Talk To Business
  6. Change Your Life And Save Money
  7. Join POW

Although, as Grist said, you can substitute the last point to read as ‘Join A Group – Any Group – That Will Amplify Your Voice’.

7. Lastly, isn’t this amazing? By artist Leandro Erlich, this is on show in Paris (at Le 104). A giant mirror reflects a full scale house model, which gallery visitors can climb on. I want a go!

hanna ♥

Super Monday

13 Dec

It’s been a while it’s true, and one of my new year’s resolutions is to figure out what to do with this blog and which features I want to keep / start / ditch / tweak etc. But in the meantime.. well, there is just so much superness to reflect on!


1. I went to Papered Parlour over the weekend for their DIY Couture Make a Cloak workshop and it was great! A race against time admittedly, but I was very happy with the finished product, plus we got tea and cake. And now I can pretend to be from the 50s, or that I’m a BAT. Because capes are versatile like that.

2. Bento boxes are super. The BBC actually did a report on them, so it’s official.

3. I was interviewed for the Think Act Vote Futures series a while back, which was really nice.

4. You’ve seen Feminist Ryan Gosling. Now brace yourself for Handmade Ryan Gosling. It’s the future of swoon.

5. Talking of handmade, remember these that I made back in the spring? Well they have been selling like hotcakes! I have had orders and requests without expecting any, and I have done so much panic sewing that my left hand is all claw-like. Worth it though to think of these slogans adorning a few christmas trees this year. Haha.

6. I’ve been back at work full time for 2 weeks now as Green Jobs Director at The Otesha Project UK, and it’s nice to be getting back into the swing of things. The coolest thing is that we are trialling a flat, non-hierarchical structure. You can read about how it’s going here. I’d really recommend it, as it’s going super well so far!

7. By far the superest thing this week was Occupy Cop 17 at the UN climate talks in Durban. The outcome of the negotiations was not perfect, and in no way puts us on track for mitigating climate change, but the fact that they came away with ANYTHING was largely down to this protest. The negotiators overran the talks by 36 hours after this public show of dissent. It proves that protest does and can work. To read more about what happened at the negotiations, read this overview.

hanna ♥

A Just Transition or Just a Transition?

8 Dec

This post originally featured on The Occupied Times last week. Let me know what you think!

A major criticism that has been levelled at Occupy LSX is that the movement has become an umbrella for too many issues. “What do they want?” our mainstream media asks, as a stroll through the camp makes it clear that democracy and corporate greed are not the only issues being debated. Linger around St. Pauls, or peek your head into the Tent City University, and you will soon find yourself debating and discussing issues of mental wellbeing, gender equality, class, the environment, parenting, and the role of religion, amongst many, many others. However, rather than betray a lack of focus, to me the diversity of topics being discussed means something quite different – that our movements for social and environmental justice are growing up, that we are seeing connections and joining the dots between issues, and that we recognise that we are most powerful when allied.

There is much that we can learn from each other, and the global Occupy / Indignados movement has provided us with the perfect opportunity to compare notes. What’s working, what isn’t? Are our demands aligned, and does that even matter? However, there is one area of discussion that certainly needs to be addressed by the environmental and Occupy movements together, and that is ‘what does transition look like’? We say that another way is possible, but what journey do we have to take to get there? How can we work together towards building a new low carbon economy, one that incorporates values of social justice, equity, and democracy? Of course this conversation is already well under way in many countries across the world, but different elements of our movement are in danger of pulling in very different directions. You might not think it, but transitioning away from a pollution-based economy and transitioning away from our current capitalist model do not necessarily have to have much in common.

Let’s not kid ourselves – the new, low-carbon economy could be one that retains all of the inequities and corporate greed of our current economic system. One where companies profit from the transition, while workers are stuck in green McJobs, doing the essential work of decarbonising our energy systems and retrofitting our homes but in a vicious circle of low pay and few opportunities for progression or training. Nor does the Anarcho-Marxist model of transition away from a capitalist state make any promises to those who are currently most underserved by our society. The end goal may be distribution of wealth and workers’ rights, but the requisite insurrection and ensuing chaos that it takes to get there may only end up harming those that need the most help. Indeed, members of our unions are concerned that significant periods of economic restructuring in the past have often happened in a chaotic fashion that has left ordinary workers, their families and communities, to bear the brunt. Indeed in the UK, many individuals and communities are still paying the price for the rapid shift away from industrial production over the last 30 years.

Perhaps there is a middle way, one that respects workers’ rights, the rights of the poor, and our planetary boundaries. This is where the idea of Just Transition may come in handy. Just Transition is a framework for a fair and sustainable shift to a low carbon economy, proposed by trades unions and supported by environmental NGOs, that seeks to prevent injustice becoming a feature of environmental transition. Just Transition recognises that support for environmental policies are conditional on a fair distribution of the costs and benefits of those policies across the economy, and on the creation of opportunities for active engagement by those affected in determining the future wellbeing of themselves and their families.

The framework is not fool-proof – it does not deal with the capitalism question, nor does it a build a comprehensive vision of a new world. Questions about growth, nuclear, and means of production go unanswered. However, it is the beginning of an essential conversation about how we can create a new system that is both economically and ecologically viable.

What is not questioned is the speed at which we must act. The need to transition away from our current economic and social model in this country and the rest of the developed world is an urgent one. We are experiencing rapidly rising levels of inequality and, according to the IEA, we have only an estimated 5 years before the fight to mitigate dangerous climate change becomes a fruitless one.

Yes, the challenge ahead is immense, but so is our movement. Who would have thought, just one year ago, that the world would be engaged in a global conversation about corporate greed and the terms of democracy? A fair society that respects our earth may seem out of reach, but that is all the more reason to keep striving for it. As David Harvey has said, “Of course this is utopian!  But so what!  We cannot afford not to be.”

Super Sunday

13 Nov

1. I am quite a fan of this new band, Friends, partly because the name choice is hilarious and will reclaim the word from the decade-long sitcom, but mostly because the song is rahlly good.

2. The East London Green Jobs Alliance has funding for the next year! Woop!

3. I downloaded Summer Camp’s debut album, Welcome to Condale. It is brilliant, is inspired by 80s bratpack films and teenage angst, and has a song on it called Brian Krakow. WHAT COULD BE BETTER?

4. I am back in the saddle again. This morning I cycled in London for the first time in well over a year. Cycling and walking around Brighton has been a bit of a luxury this past year, so today I decided to investigate the quieter cycle paths around my new house and I reckon that I can piece together a nice long, chilled pootle to my offices. Image from weheartit.

5. Massive win this week for the No Keystone XL Pipeline campaign over in the states! The proposed pipeline would have been a huge boon to the very environmentally destructive Canadian tar sands industry. It was basically a done deal, but 3 months of incredible campaigning has resulted in Obama delaying the decision – yay! You can read more about it here.

“Yes, the Spice Girls were created to cash in on “feminism” and “girl power,” at a time when those things were popular. Yes, the “Girl Power” slogan ripped off Riot Grrrl—although, actually, the Spice Girls ripped off girl groups like Salt-N-Pepa or TLC far more than they did Pacific Northwestern indie culture. But do you know what it looks like when someone “rips off” girls being empowered? Well… it sort of looks like… girls being empowered.”

6. Great great great post – In Defense of the Spice Girls. Now I don’t feel so bad about going to see them when I was 14!

7. I am feeling a bit depressed about the fact that it looks like I’m intolerant not only to dairy, caffeine and alcohol, but also wheat. It’s hard to be a good baker when you can’t use wheat or dairy! It would be SUPER if anyone could point me to any good recipes / websites / or cookbooks that are friendly to a positively MONKish dietary requirement, and that actually taste good. Thank you!

hanna ♥

Super… Wednesday

9 Nov

hello! bit late and I don’t know what this means for this coming sunday when I’ll have already used up half the week’s superness…hmmm…

1. This is my friend Debs at the student demo today. It looked amazing, I wish I could have gone! Especially as it was my sister’s first demo as well! She loved it! Read more about what went down here.

2. I read a new blog post over at the East London Green Jobs Alliance on how to get started on your own green jobs programme.

3. Got my results, I am officially a master (mistress?) of science! Under the belt.

4. I love these style pics from Rookie Mag, which were taken at Salvation Mountain in the California desert, a crazy adobe monument built by ONE GUY called Leonard Knight. If you watch Into the Wild (great film) there’s a whole bit in it where he takes Kristen Stewart and Emile Hirsch on a tour around it. I’d love to see it one day.

5. The love affair with Mac lipsticks continues. This time it’s called New Temptation. Saucy.

6. On the 19th November (my birthday! more to come on that later… mwahaha) I’m going on the Fawcett Society march to protest against the dreadful impact the cuts are having on women. It’s a 50s dress-up theme as well, which is amazing. So come along!!! Or if you can’t, how about hosting your own Fawcett tea party instead? Watch the video above for instructions how!

7. And finally, yes, women’s rights, student fees, participatory democracy, the global financial system, and the keystone xl pipeline are all very important issues that have great campaigns surrounding them at the minute. But by far the best campaign out there is the one to get the Muppets hosting the 2012 Oscars. YES PLEASE OSCAR PEOPLE!

hanna ♥

Music Monday

24 Oct

It’s a bit shocking to start thinking about Christmas, I know, but I am very excited that She & Him are releasing their Christmas album tomorrow! I’ve pre-ordered it and everything. She & Him: Volume Two is one of my favourite albums in the world.

Since I’m not linking to any actual music today, I think we’ve got time for a boy swoon – Mark Ruffalo addressing Occupy Wall Street about the Keystone XL pipeline. I couldn’t be more in love with this guy.