Monthly Archives

July 2016

SUNDAY PAPERS LIVE

July 31, 2016

Sunday Funday or Sunday Blues, it’s safe to say Sunday is the day of the week we’re less busy, or at least more inclined to take on ‘leisurely’ activities. This might be the time of the week to fold out the broadsheet, follow your nose through a cook book, begin an inventory of the back garden flower beds, or set a meeting point for friends at the park to go and soak up the sun. With such little time and so many possibilities, it’s natural to feel a bit like you’re missing out, or at least missing something: You want to relax in the garden, but you’ve been feeling a bit cut off recently. You want to enjoy yourself alongside friends, but you’ve also been meaning to dedicate a bit of solo time to catch up on things independently.

This is where Sunday Papers Live (SPL) comes in. Fresh out of a recently successful SPL Special at Citadel Festival, this novel idea doesn’t deliver the newspaper to your door. It doesn’t fit through the letterbox, neither is it brought to you by a panting dog, (although I’m sure they are on that one!)

John Hudson at Sunday Papers Live, Citadel Special

What’s the idea?

At Sunday Papers Live, each section of the Sunday Papers is presented by an expert speaker, performer or group. As part of the audience, you sit back without the need to turn a page, manage reader’s cramps, or suffer the inconvenience of inky handed lethargy. In this format, you kick back, relax and listen carefully as the paper is brought to life right in front of you. Normally the concept takes place in an over sized living room in central London, but at Citadel in Victoria Park, it was housed in a tent laden with sofas and intimacy. Sheltered from the sun, the performances of each section of the paper took place on a stage plonked right in the middle. Belting out the perfect balance of silly and serious, the experience is a positive one and you can’t help but feel connected to the fellow audience members who populate the vicinity.

From Olympian turned Comedian Eddie ‘The Eagle,’ that had the audience in stitches going over his experiences in both industries, to the UK Military’s very own Survival Instructor John Hudson heading up the Travel news, there were some fantastic opportunities to engage and be entertained concurrently. By far the best bit for us was the novel, section designed to give a voice to audience views, namely Talkaoke.

HIGHLIGHT – TALKAOKE

Talkaoke is a polo shaped pop-up talk-show that gets conversations going quickly and inspires open, candid expression to take place with ease and energy. Providing an answer to the comments section of the SPL newspaper, ‘Talkaoke’ facilitates freestyle chatter and creates a safe space for contributors to disclose uncertainty. At Citadel, festival goers were invited to take a seat around the table and encouraged by the host to speak their mind on chosen topics quite openly. We tuned into the edition just as they were on the subject of hair – a perfectly universal theme allowing contributors to get involved almost immediately. And quite magical were the results. A contributor with little hair is left empathetic to the challenges of the life full of dreadlocks experienced by the guy seated opposite. In a short space of time people are finding common ground and developing empathy in the parts of discussion where they may think differently.

Talkaoke hosting the Comments section of SPL at Citadel Festival 2016

Sunday Papers Live puts the love into Sundays, not just for its ability to present you with the norm unconventionally, but for the freshness of the concept to inspire you to engage in the news experientially. You’re no longer the passive reader of the newspaper after this experience, but warmly welcomed to contribute and develop with it enthusiastically and collectively.

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SWAP SHOP

July 10, 2016

Have you ever felt like you got dressed in the dark? The unfortunate pang that seems to kick in after you have left the house in the morning, as you catch a glimpse of yourself in a bus stop or a mirror. Your clothes don’t seem to fit you like they used to: you’re back to front and inside out, you’re blue and green without an in between and there’s a stain on your blouse blinking back at you. More sobering, is admitting to yourself that you left the light on that morning. That despite the mountains of garb available to you, (half of which you never got round to wearing) you can’t seem to find the inspiration and zing from it all that you used to.

 ‘EVERY YEAR, APPROXIMATELY 350,000 TONS OF CLOTHING GO INTO LANDFILL AND A QUARTER OF HOUSEHOLDS ADMIT TO OWNING MORE THAN THEY NEED.’

 

Jude Galea hosting her own Swap Shop this Spring.

 

Meet Jude Galea (Jan ‘15 & ’16 Retreater.) By day she’s a doctor, by night she’s a conscientious creative, searching for ways to revamp her wardrobe without the overspending and waste that she’s used to. Despite her overwhelming schedule, she recently made time to host a ‘Swap Shop’ at her home in Brixton and we caught up with her to hear more about it and provide some inspiration to remedy the clothes woes…

What’s a Swap Shop?

A Swap Shop puts people with articles to exchange or trade in touch with each other. In this case, it’s friends and clothes. Attendees bring what they don’t want anymore and leave with what inspires them. It’s a way to be creative about your wardrobe, without the usual waste, cost and to do – and it’s fun!

What inspired you to put on the Swap Shop?

I’d wanted to do one for ages. It’s a great way to revamp your wardrobe on a shoestring ready for summer, usually I would go and buy a whole new wardrobe and spend a fortune. The idea was that I could get the wardrobe, but this time it was free! It was also about making time for things I enjoyed and making things happen. So often it’s easy to schedule things in and then let work dominate.

What did you have to prepare in advance?

It was so easy! The only issue is that I only get my work rotas a month in advance, which isn’t enough notice for Londoners – so I had to ask work to take me off that weekend. After that though, it was just making a Facebook event stating details and how it would works I also read a few blog posts about Swap Shops. Originally I’d envisaged a pile of clothes on the floor, but the posts I read suggested putting clothes on rails. I really enjoyed setting up my flat nicely, with my popcorn maker and a vegan cheesecake I had baked – I took real pleasure in making an effort and preparing snacks for myself and for friends.

How was the experience of running it?

Really fun without any pressure or stress. I got so much pleasure from it manifesting too! It gives you a lot of confidence to think about running other things. I enjoyed swapping clothes and it doubled up as a chance to catch up with friends as well. I also just enjoyed the experience for what it was. 

What advice would you give to others who have an idea they want to try out?

Making time for things you like and ‘’showing up for yourself’’ is so important. If it is hard work then think about all the smaller steps and try to take pleasure in each stage. It’s also important to focus on one thing you enjoy. Maybe in the past I would have tried to make five different vegan snacks, but I focused on just the cheesecake and got a lot more pleasure out of it too. 

Want to know more?

-Interested in running your own ‘Swap Shop?’ Go for it! It doesn’t have to be just clothes, it can be books, electrical appliances, artwork, themed objects, arts materials, small pieces of furniture, baby clothes, children’s toys, old records etc. Here’s some great guidelines for you to read up on to help you get going.

-Interested in conscientious consumerism? Read up on Swishing, the UK’s only all-in-one clothing exchange and retail fashion store.

-Have an idea of your own that you’d like to try out? Join us on our next Creative Retreat!