Tag Archives: otesha

Mic check

27 Aug

My friend texted me the other day to say that she missed reading my blog. And I miss blogging! So, I’m back. It’s going to take me a while to figure things out, and work out what I want to blog about on a regular basis, but I’m sure things will percolate to the surface the more that I write. I can’t really explain my absence, except to say that life has been really off-balance this year, in ways both marvellous and not so marvellous. There have been trips, and people, that have made life feel very full, but also other life events and the daily grind that have pulled things in the other direction. Hey, sounds like everyone’s life, right?

Anyway, I am not afraid to put my hands up and admit that there has been an element of burn-out, especially after the Rio conference when it all got very ‘what is the POINT‘?? And I think I’m still working through that and what I think it all means and how I think, or want, change to happen. I read this burn-out article on Rookie while I was out in Rio, and I thought it was right on point. Especially this bit:

Sometimes it seems like girls are never allowed to feel good about themselves physically. So the idea of “taking care of yourself” often turns into this rigid routine of doing yoga for three hours a day, drinking only decaf tea, and eating raw leafy greens harvested by witches that chant passages from The Feminine Mystique at the plants to increase their womyn moon powers, which can become a stressful regimen all its own.

Having said that, I have taken up yoga recently, and dudes, it’s great. I am such an amateur, but I have big aspirations of being some amazingly honed, toned, and centred bendy 40 year old in ten years when I’ve got all the moves down. AND, speaking of Rookie, here is an article with my twin heroes Tavi Gevinson and Ira Glass.

AND, speaking of Rio, it wasn’t all existential crises. I managed to take some good photos inside and outside the conference, before my camera got stolen.

I just love that one of Nick Clegg. I definitely got all up in his grill.

And since then, I’ve been finding joy and motivation in a few choice things. This song.


Making this tshirt.

And yes, doing hippy dippy things like yoga and reading up on what goes into our bodies. I’ve been really inspired by the Tastetastic cycle tour we ran over at The Otesha Project UK and meeting all kinds of people who are clued up on food, where it comes from and how it’s produced. I learnt so much from tour members, as well as the people over at Bread Matters where we stayed for part of it. I’m currently reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. His manifesto is simple – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

And I will be implementing that manifesto just as soon as I finish that tub of ice cream that’s in my freezer. Ah, people, we are but works in progress.

hanna ♥

 

Advertisements

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.

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 ♥

Super Sunday

2 Oct

1. Super Sunday is back! I have really missed being able to sit and look back over the nice things that I’ve done or come across during the week, it’s like the fun version of a diary. So to begin, we have some pictures I took from my little hols to Paris. I’m quite proud of the one with the guys in tshirts, I really like it.

2. The launch event for the East London Green Jobs Alliance was a real success! Read more about it here. The picture is from some of us at Otesha mucking around and taking a photo for our annual report. Aren’t we cute?

3. What Girls Need – yes yes yes to everything on this list.

4. Mindy Kaling from the American Office is in this month’s Bust magazine and comes across so well, I might have a new girl crush. She’s also written a brilliant piece in The New Yorker on romantic comedies. Perfection.

5. I’m really feeling the girl love at the moment, and just feel so much appreciation and admiration for all the girls in my life. I’m coming over all Spice Girls. I also really want this tote bag! Meant to be available soon from girlgangzine.com.

6. Marilyn Monroe as silent film actress Clara Bow.

7. If you’re a child of the 80s I hope you’ve seen Teen Witch and I hope this truly EXCELLENT clip transports you back to what should rightly be one of the most brilliant moments of your life! I was literally weeping with laughter this afternoon.

hanna  ♥

Super Sunday

17 Jul

1. I am quite enjoying this tumblr – hippie kitchen. The pictures kind of remind me of an Otesha cycle tour! It’s debatable if that’s a good thing, ha.

2. I saw Harry Potter! Great. I also read this fab Ms. Magazine post on Hermione Granger and the fight for equal rights.

3. I had my first Spanish class this week which was very exciting. I can’t really say anything yet to wow you with my abilities, but I am having fun looking at my illustrator friend Jack Noel’s blog, Spanish in Sketches (he’s learning it too).

4. I caught Hofesh Shecter’s show, Political Mother, at Sadler’s Wells this week. It’s been described as a hybrid between rock gig and dance show, but it’s incredibly hard to describe as I had simply not seen anything like it. It was fantastic. This Guardian review sums up the theme really well, “In Political Mother, Shechter returns to his most characteristic theme, puzzling over the mechanisms of state and society, but his focus here is on the ways in which ideals of camaraderie, duty and service can be annexed and brutalised by a repressive power.”

5. I had a delicious meal at Rasa in Brighton, which does the yummiest South Indian food around. I can’t even think about it, it was too good.

6. I came across the top image and I thought it was such a lovely sentiment, I googled the term and I found that Trust Your Struggle is actually/also an awesome collective of visual artists, educators, and cultural workers dedicated to social justice and community activism through the medium of art. As well as chalking their name across walls, they do other amazing stuff too – check them out. (Also… what a nice tattoo would this make…?)

7. Other cool stuff I came across this week was The Liberator Magazine, who started following me on twitter and I’m glad they did – I’m considering subscribing. Also, this great article on Grist about the relationship between green development in cities and gentrification. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about gentrification recently and I’ve love to explore it more. It is such a difficult issue and yet I can’t see a straightforward solution. Any ideas?

hanna  ♥

Goodbye Gear Up… Hello East London Green Jobs Alliance!

15 Mar

This is cross-posted from The Otesha UK blog.

How time flies. It is March already, and that means our Gear Up programme is wrapping up. As coordinator of the programme, I have had such a fun time meeting all the young people we have worked with, mentoring them, helping them to gain more experience and start their journey towards green and meaningful employment.

We have worked with 18 young people in total, connecting them in internships and training in ethical fashion, waste management, green woodwork, green enterprise, and bike mechanics. They have also received training in local food production, money management, cv-writing, and cycling proficiency – Ozlem (above) loved her cycling training at Bikeworks so much that she is planning on giving up her car and buying a bike! I said goodbye to Ozlem earlier this week, sending her off with a reusable coffee cup and a copy of the Otesha handbook. But this isn’t the last we’ll see of her, or any of our Gear Up participants, as they will all be added to our alumni network, and continue to hear of job and volunteer opportunities, and other exciting things, through our weekly update. You can’t get rid of us that easily! Once you’re in, you’re in.

We’d like to say a big, heartfelt thank you to the Youth of Today for supporting this project.

And now, to pastures new! Our Gear Up programme might be winding down, but we have been squirrelling away in the background making even bigger plans for the coming year. Last November, we held our first roundtable discussion for organisations interested in local green job creation in East London, and we’ve had two more since then. Some very exciting people have been a part of the conversation – TUC, Friends of the Earth, Hackney City Farm, Bikeworks, Friends of the Earth, IPPR, UK Youth Climate Coalition, Aspire, London Development Agency, Tower Hamlets council, Tower Hamlets College, Young Foundation, Capacity Global, Fairbridge – I get excited just writing it out! Together, we have established the East London Green Jobs Alliance.

We have looked to the example of projects in the States, who have successfully created pathways into green jobs for young, unemployed people. We want to take that model and see how to make it work here in the UK. It’s all still early days – our mission statement is getting final touches to it as we speak – but we will be very excited to make it public in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the alliance, and how we plan to learn from projects in the US, please look at my blog entry below and sign up for updates from my learning trip to San Francisco!

Lessons from California – want to be on a Green Jobs mailing list?

15 Mar

From 28th March – April 2nd, I will be joining IPPR on their West Coast Green Alliances learning exchange. We will be meeting with some incredibly inspirational organisations and alliances over there, including Green for All, the Ella Baker Center, and the Apollo Alliance, among many others, to learn from their challenges and successes in stimulating the creation of good-quality, local jobs in emerging green sectors.

From a personal point of view, I am incredibly keen to establish what worked and what didn’t for these organisations, and to take the lessons learned and start to understand how to apply them to a UK context. This will be crucial to inform my work at The Otesha Project, as anchor organisation of the East London Green Jobs Alliance. It will also be crucial for those other organisations and projects here that seek to be at the forefront of the green jobs movement, and that is why I would like to share what I learn with those who are interested.

If you would like to receive email updates on my meetings in San Francisco (which will be brief and to the point, I promise!), and to be a part of sharing best practices on local green job creation, please email me at hanna@otesha.org.uk and let me know. Please also feel free to suggest anyone else who you think might benefit from this, that I might not be in contact with.

I look forward to building this movement with you!