Media watch: Challenging the status quo

Beyond Borders Media, Community Focus Group

Hackney CVS is leading an application to the Big Lottery Reaching Communities Programme. The application is being developed in partnership with Refugee Women’s Association, Justice for Gay Africans, Hackney Unites, Mary Ward Centre, Aston Mansfield and Words of Colour Productions.
The proposal to the Big Lottery, Beyond Borders Media, has 2 main sections:
1) Media-watch: challenging discriminatory and/ or stereotypical representations of BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic, Refugee) communities in the media.
2) Community media/citizen journalism: through a series of media training workshops, delivered by media professionals, project participants will learn media production and journalism techniques. Overall the project aim is to equip participants with the skills to tell their own stories and therefore to challenge misrepresentations of their communities.
In order to evidence the need for the bid, essential to get lottery funding, we are conducting a community focus group. Please join us to give us your views.
Date: Thursday 6th November
Time: 5:45 pm – 7.00 pm

Senior soldiers

Today was the day Up Your Streeters formed the Cultural Archives training group  on a day trip to West Silvertown to fall in love with the Tate&Lyle syrup tin hoarding. That is the oldest brand advertising. On a beautiful sunny end of October day we straggled around the Lyle park to see the original Harland and Woolf factory gates. Amazing. Then we looked over the Thames and saw the barges going by and the working cranes as in new development building works’ cranes. By DLR we travelled to King George Vth station and had a good trek around the quiet back-of-beyond to work out where the Harland and Woolf sheds were. Walk, walk walk then finally split from the leader to explore the North Woolwich to Canning Town Woolwich Ferry. We ended up in South Woolwich or somewhere not inspiring.

All was wonderful. All was new.

Next time we’ll pay our respects to Soldier Rigby’s memorial by the Woolwich Arsenal and Barracks which is actually a memorial to all fallen service personnel from the Woolwich Barracks. Ah, Greenwich Council. Lee, our flowers will be for you, son.

In the afternoon we made it to Fabrications in posh Broadway Market to a free Brother sewing machine demonstration. Wow! Someone buy me that toy. Our hostess Barley is the most generous of business women. We were greeted with tea and biscuits and a seat at a machine. The place at No.7 Broadway Market is lovely. It’s bright and spacious. There are craft afternoons there every other Thursday. Sounds good. Next one for a fiver is on November 6th evening time. We’re at Patrick Vernon’s talk at Hackney Museum then.

Oh my Gawd

What a day! Does anyone really enjoy textile trade fairs?

Moving on.

This is how community engagement works. Yes. Let’s do that project. Got the funding. Let’s put out the advert. Done.

We attended three events today and of those we participated in one.

The Claremont Project in Islington pulled out all the stops for the opening evening of “Chapel”, an high-class photographic exhibition with the traders in Chapel Market, Islington as inspiration. Superb. Adjacent to it , up the stairs and in the corridor, is the under-played exhibition of prose, poetry and art submitted by Claremont members and fans who had drawn on their memories of the market. Really two launch nights would have been fairer.

You cannot put an artist’s work next to a scruffy overloaded notice-board. It’s like showing a stranger into your drawing room and not tidying up first.

Today I listened to the positive brigade talking about how hard project leaders/interns/whatevers work. Mmm. They’re on a mission. Sure they’re doing a job to engage the community so,… they should do it properly. Let me,  the participant, at least feel that you prepared the session. I got my eyes on you.

What a day with women sharing rolls and boiled eggs, tea and milk. It was pelting down and there was the New Hanbury Project filling our flasks for us. Next along the road at dark 3pm the chicken-shop man treated us simply because we came from ‘his manor’.

We participated in one project today and gawped in two others.


Land of the silver birch
Home of the beaver
Where still the mighty moose
Wanders at will

Blue lake and rocky shore
I will return once more
Boom diddy-ah da, boom diddy-ah da, boom diddy-ah da, eaa-aaa-aaa
High on a rocky edge
I’ll build my wigwam
Close to the water’s edge
Silent and still
My heart grows sick for thee
Here in the low lands
I will return to thee
Hills of the north
My paddle’s clean and bright,
Flashing like silver
Follow the wild goose flight,
dip, dip and swingDip dip and swing it back,
Flashing like silver,
Follow the wild goose track,
Dip dip and swing

Up Your Street did Iroko Theatre.

On a Monday some Up Your Street subscribers joined the rush hour throngs to get to the British Museum for cross-cultural story-telling techniques, and  ‘touch and be inspired’ ways into classroom lesson planning. Coincidentally it is Black History Month. The room with all its participants, apparently over-booked, was packed.Radha BMIrokoRadha Sue at IrokoSue and Radha

Marcella at IrokoMarcella

Sara at OrokoSara

All photos by Iroko Theatre Company

Iroko Theatre Company has Heritage Lottery funding to run such African-influenced and inspired workshops for teachers. How come those teachers weren’t at work?