In the water where the city ends

11 Mar

One year since the tsunami and Fukushima. This beautiful video is a collaboration between singer Simone White and animator Hideyuki Katsumata. You can read an interview with them here.

hanna ♥

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Super Sunday

11 Mar

1. Love this video by artist Shishi Yamazaki. I’m going to Japan this week for family stuff. It’s not necessarily a happy visit, but I will definitely try and find the time to follow this lady’s example and do some shimmying through the streets of Tokyo.

2. I went out on a brilliant photography expedition yesterday with my friend DC around Abney Park Cemetary. I’ve been meaning to get to grips with my DSLR for ages and get off just shooting on auto, and I think I made some big steps yesterday with DC’s expert help! Looking forward to experimenting more.

3. I dip dyed my hair! How very Caroline Flack of me. I know it’s like, soooo 2011, but hell I wanted to try it and I like it!

4. Discovered these gals recently and love them. They’re playing May 1st in London. I wanna go!

5. General Friday Kahlo inspiration this week. What a cool mama. I want her on my jacket too.

“And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.”

6. John Steinbeck wrote a letter to his son in 1958 with advice on falling in love. It’s very good.

7. My friend Anna went to Brazil at the beginning of the year and came back with these wish bracelets for her girlfriends. We had to tie them in three knots around our wrists, making three wishes at the same time. By the time the bracelet falls off our wishes are supposed to have come true. Mine is perilously close to falling off now, and with any luck….

hanna ♥

Super International Women’s Day!

5 Mar

In honour of International Women’s Day on Thursday, I have to tell you about the coolest discovery I made last week. It’s a total nightmare working just off Brick Lane, because I tend to suffer from these weird black outs where I SOMEHOW end up in a vintage clothing store. Anyway, last week, I ended up purchasing this very beautiful black dress. You can’t really tell what it’s like here, but it fits like a glove, is made of the softest linen, and has that really nipped-in fifties shape that I lurve. It was only after I bought it that I looked at the label:

It says Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union. OMG I WAS SO EXCITED. I suspected that my dress had been made by totally badass women in the fifties. And I was right.

Here is some info about the International Ladies Garment Workers Union from Wikipedia:

The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union was once one of the largest labor unions in the United States, one of the first U.S. unions to have a primarily female membership, and a key player in the labor history of the 1920s and 1930s. The union, generally referred to as the “ILGWU” or the “ILG,” merged with the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union in 1995 to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). UNITE merged with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) in 2004 to create a new union known as UNITE HERE. The two unions that formed UNITE in 1995 represented only 250,000 workers between them, down from the ILGWU’s peak membership of 450,000 in 1969.

Having done some research on the kind of label my dress has, I know that it was made sometime between 1955 – 1963. This is what ILGWU workers looked like then.

Members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union on strike gather in a meeting hall, March 15, 1958.

ILGWU parade float bearing the union label, December 7, 1960

i.e. BLOODY AWESOME.

I love thinking that maybe one of these women made the dress that I own now, in the time she had spare when she wasn’t standing up for her rights. I love thinking that in a small, small way, I might be continuing their tradition by campaigning for green and decent jobs.

There is much, much more brilliant and inspiring history around the ILGWU, especially the part they played in the strikes at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York in 1909, where 20,000 workers walked out in protest against working conditions. During that year, Clara Lemlich, a shirtwaist employee and union activist spoke up at a Town Hall meeting and asked that she and her co-workers receive fair wages and safe working conditions. “We’re human, all of us girls, and we’re young. We like new hats as well as any other women. Why shouldn’t we?” (source). This is what 1909 looked like.

And this is what they looked like marching in 1911 after the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which burned 146 workers to death, who had been locked inside the factory to prevent them from taking breaks (click on the picture to see the non-negative).

And in 1935 during the Great Depression.

I find it really heartening to see these images, and remind myself that women have been on the front lines of these battles for a long, long time. It is easy for us to think that women were just stuck at home, playing housewife, when in actual fact many women were going out to work every day, participating in public life and fighting for those rights that we have either achieved, or are still fighting for today.

It also reminds me of the millions of women around the world who are still in almost exactly the same situation (or worse) that these women were, making clothes under extremely poor working conditions, for very little pay. 76% of the global sweatshop workforce are women.

That’s why I’m going to be celebrating International Women’s Day this week, in solidarity with working women past and present, and why I’m pretty happy to have a piece of this amazing, incredible, inspirational history hanging in my closet.

I can’t wait to wear it.

hanna ♥

Music Monday

27 Feb

Well. This is exciting. You can stream the new Magnetic Fields album a week before its release here. Enjoy!

hanna ♥

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 ♥

Inspiration stations

20 Feb

The blog is sparse, it is it is. And I think it’s because I’ve been lacking inspiration the last few weeks, getting bogged down in the details of trying to organise a community-based project, losing sight of the bigger picture and why I’m choosing to live the life I do. So, you know, I need to rev myself up! Buck up Hanna etc etc! Incidentally, my friend sent me this really good article today about how, especially when we’re freelance or self-directed, or have a weird patchwork of a career, we need to take some time to be our own mentors.

So, I’m going to share with you some things that ARE inspiring me at the moment and reminding me why I do what I do and why I am what I am.

 

1. First up, this lady, Azealia Banks. I am super late to this party, but woooow. She is fierce. She reminds me why I like being a girl. Lyrics are, like, totally rude though so probs not suitable for work (or my parents…).

2. Finally I’m getting round to reading that organising bible, Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky. I don’t know what took me so long. It’s already making me feel ridiculously productive, just nodding my head and turning down the corners of the pages I like. These bits from the prologue are my turned-down-corners:

Remember: once you organize people around something as commonly agreed upon as pollution, then an organized people is on the move. From there it’s a short and natural step to political pollution, to Pentagon pollution. 

Here we are desperately concerned with the vast mass of our people who, thwarted through lack of interest or opportunity, or both, do not participate in the endless responsibilities of citizenship and are resigned to lives determined by others. To lose your ‘identity’ as a citizen of democracy is but a step from losing your identity as a person. People react to this frustration by not acting at all. The separation of the people from the routine daily functions of citizenship is heartbreak in a democracy. 

3. I bought a rahlly nice ukelele. And I’m enjoying it SO much it’s ridiculous. Obviously, I’m no maestro, but it is fun seeing myself improve little by little, day by day.

4. This might be the only time I quote a banker, so hold on to your hats. This is a response to the question ‘What is your favourite deep, elegant, or beautiful explanation?’, posed to a number of important-sounding people over at Edge. I liked this one because it reminded me to sleep, and that life is a loan.

God, it’s all getting a bit deep round here isn’t it? Where are all the posts about lipstick I came here for?

5. Lastly, when I’m feeling in need of a inspirational boost, all I have to do is take a look around. My sister is writing a feminist play (am I allowed to have a girl crush on my own sister, or is that weird? Yeah okay), my friend Emma is taking a Harvard course in community organising in the little spare time she has, Char has a new food blog, Jo’s taking a leap of faith in a new job, as is Dan. Guppi is off to a foreign land for 3 months, and I am surrounded by so many people who are doing their own thing, committed to what they do, and it is crazy inspiring. It’s also comforting, that if you need a time out or a break, that there are all these other people out there, carrying on regardless, doing cool stuff, who will welcome you back when you’re ready.

hanna ♥

Super Sunday

5 Feb

1. First things. I must tell you about the Otesha cycle tours coming up this summer, partly because I am under orders, but mostly because they are one of the funnest adventures you will ever have.

If you like cycling, being green (figuratively, not literally), and the chance to be free and silly then hop on your bike and join us! I cycled 700 miles around the hilly South West for 6 weeks in 2008 and have been on bits of many of our tours since. They are crazy crazy, but you make friends for life and you’ll never forget it.

2. Second things. SNOW. Obviously. Tottenham never looked so pretty.

3. I saw this poster on the wall behind the bar of The Lexington at a friend’s birthday last night, and I managed to persuade the barman to sell it to me for two pounds!! Is it not the best thing YOU HAVE EVER SEEN? Winona forever *crosses heart*.

4. Saw the film Bombay Beach at the ICA on Friday night, which was fantastic. It’s a documentary about one of the poorest communities in Southern California, with a soundtrack by Beirut and Bob Dylan. The result makes you feel like you woke up in some suburban American teenager’s dystopian dream.

5. Spent Wednesday evening driving round East London in a van with my old friend Jonny, moving sofas and eating vietnamese food while listening to 90s r&b. Was so fun, just like old times.

6. This is lahvely. Learning it on the ukelele. (I might have also taught myself how to drum with a margarine tub. OH YES.)

7. Badass! Can I be this when I grow up?

hanna ♥

p.s.

That is all.