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A unique slice of young London Spring/Summer 2011


EDITOR’S NOTE So summer is finally here and it’s time to take off those overcoats and put on those summer clothes.With the sun arrives a brand new copy of every creative person’s favourite mag, Catch 22. In it you will find a range of topics to suit your mood, ranging from a look at what people do to keep their relationships exciting, to the moving experiences of immigrants, through to an interesting investigation into dying cockney culture. Bland identikit celeb mags eat your heart out!

EDITOR Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa ASSISTANT EDITOR Priscilla Eyles REVIEWS EDITOR Giulia D’Amico ONLINE EDITOR David Barros

Let’s not forget that these articles demonstrate how talented the trainee journalists who take part in Catch 22’s academy programme are.The magazine also highlights how lucky we are to have such a gifted bunch of freelancers - including illustrators, photographers and graphic designers, as well as writers working for us. I want to say a big thanks to them for their hard work.

PICTURE EDITOR Rose Nordin

If you would like to contribute and get your name out there or if you just want to give us your opinion, email us at info@catch22mag.com, or phone us on 0208 880 9501/9510.

ARTWORK/ ILLUSTRATION Harry Akakpo, Rashpal Amrit, Aurelie Bourguet, Edward Brown, Eduard G, Ben Jennings, Dominika Lipiniewska, Felice Perkins, Alexander Rolfe, Matt C Stokes, Filiz Tunali, Nicolas Willis

Priscilla P.S Don’t forget to check out the website, www.catch22mag.com and our blog catch22mag.wordpress.com

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TEXT John James Anisiobi, Alison Awoyera, Max Barua, Fehintola Betiku, AaronSpencer Charles, Charlene Cole, Sarah Dean, Selina Ditta, Priscilla Eyles, Elizabeth Grant, Rachel Segal Hamilton, Naomi Innocent, Chloe Lloyd, Wafa Mirza, Jimmy Nsubuga, Michael Vogue Okafor, Joe Wolfson IMAGE Ben Adams, Joshua Ainsworth, Nikitas Almpanis, Isabel Infantes, Zoltan Karpati SUB EDITORS Priscilla Eyles, Mike Goldstein

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Catch 22 is published by Catch 22 Magazine CIC. All material copyright © Catch 22 Magazine CIC 2011. All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in print without the written permission of the publisher. While every effort is made to ensure the information in this publication is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, which Catch 22 Magazine CIC holds no responsibility. The views herein are not necessarily those of Catch 22 Magazine CIC or the staff of Catch 22 Magazine CIC.


04 The Ticket Dodger’s...

18 Artist Of The Month

30 What You Listening...

44 Let Me Be Your Fa...

60 Maybe It’s Because...

72 A Different Set Of...

08 Gym People

20 Squatting Central

32 It Could Be You?

48 Gallery

64 Jammin’ In London

76 The Dark Side Of...

14 The Invisibles

24 Tonight Im Going To...

38 New York State Of...

56 Forever Young

68 Beauty In Decay

82 Work Experience...


04 www.catch22mag.com

Illustration: Edward Brown


When was the last time you saw ticket inspectors checking people’s tickets on London Transport? What’s to stop you jumping on the back of a bendy bus without swiping your Oyster Card? If you even have one. Alison Awoyera presents: The Ticket-Dodger’s Guide to London. “Welcome aboard the South-Eastern train service to Blackfriars.” For the third time this week, you’ve hit the commuter jackpot - a window seat and a copy of The Metro. Just as you think your luck couldn’t run out, on hops the ticket inspectors, on the day you’ve forgotten your Oyster card.This scenario is every commuter’s nightmare; but some enjoy the thrill of getting a free ride. Just how do they get away with it? And what are the real consequences of fare evasion? Transport for London (TfL) make it clear what the penalties of ticket dodging are. On a day’s journey, commuters are exposed to posters detailing hefty fines passengers have paid for evading the shortest of journeys. Of course, many of these posters only highlight the most extreme offences, with some stating up to £1000 in fines and court appearances. But for 23-yearold project manager and ticket-dodger veteran Jesse King* these are no more than harmless scare tactics that don’t put him off ticket-dodging in London. “I’m quite experienced,” he boasts. “When I started, I was 11; I’d find bus passes and cut out a number and stick it on another, and rough it up a bit so it looks worn but visible. Sevens were changed to nines for an extra couple of days’ travel. For an extra month, change DEC to JAN. Then, when you get older, you want to upgrade; you’ve graduated now.The next step up is trains.”

“When I started, I was 11; I’d find bus passes and cut out a number and stick it on another” Jesse has become a fare-evading connoisseur, taking full advantage of his free trips around London. “The bendy buses are unbelievable; you can go all across London. Sit right near the Oyster [buzzer] and if the ticket inspectors come on, you literally beep in - just carry money on your Oyster. Farringdon is a great place right now because there aren’t any barriers, same as Blackfriars. At Lambeth North, you can duck under the ticket barriers, and that’s you - Bakerloo line; wherever you want to go really.” He even travels as far as Brighton, “You just have to use the facilities available; hide in the toilets,” he reveals. Jesse is one of many passengers who believe the best things in life are free. He estimates being stopped by British Transport Police on at least 25 occasions - yet has no plans on paying his way anytime soon. “You know a member of the [ticket dodging] club when you see ‘em, and we

sometimes share notes,” he adds.We’re most likely to sit near the doors on the train, never in the middle because that’s too far from the exit. It’s entrepreneurial, making something out of nothing. A businessman would make a pound become a hundred; an entrepreneur makes nothing into a hundred. Why should I pay for travel?” With ticket fares increasing annually, perhaps this explains why other commuters jump on the free-for-all bandwagon. Added to this is a seven per cent increase in ticket prices this year and the removal of the 2-6 one-day travelcard, bumping daily fares for suburbanites up from £9 to £15. While rail fares are expected to increase by 30 per cent from 2012. Hard-hitting times for a nation still in the midst of a recession. Could this be an acceptable reason to travel without a valid ticket: Londoners simply can’t afford it? Sales assistant Sarah Jenkins*, 21, believes so. www.catch22mag.com

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“I wouldn’t say I’m a fare evader. I just use my common sense to wrap the transport system around my finger” “I’ve been caught and fined around four times and that’s in the last year,” she shares. “The last time I was prosecuted, I had only £4 to my name which wouldn’t even buy an adult travelcard. So I bought a child card instead and it wouldn’t go through the ticket barrier.The underground staff said, “You can’t have this ticket.” I replied, “I know, but that’s all I got. I need to make my way to work to make money!” Sarah laughs, reflecting on the incident as though it were a casual matter. Despite receiving a number of prosecution letters from TfL, she still contemplates denying her involvement in the crimes. “The whole travelling system is ridiculously expensive in London. Being prosecuted doesn’t put me off, it’s just that I don’t have the money so what am I going to do? You’re not just going to stay in your house, because you need to make the money. It’s like a catch-22.” Forty-seven year-old security officer Ade Funmilayo reveals another side of ticketdodging. “I always top up my Oyster card. I only tend to hop on the bendy bus once in a while, when I’m late for work. Every other time, I’m a law-abiding citizen. Ade has one particular trick up his sleeve. “I have a fluorescent yellow jacket that I keep in my bag. Sometimes I put it on to stop the bus at my convenience.The drivers just think I’m one of their supervisors, and let me on.” According to Ade, this is completely justified. “I wouldn’t say I’m a fare evader. I just use my common sense to wrap the transport system around my finger.” Ade, Sarah and Jesse have their reasons for travelling for free, but undoubtedly there are consequences that affects not just TfL, but the pockets of other commuters too. According to official figures,TfL claims fare evasion costs Londoners around £32 million. Revenue lost from ‘ticket irregularities’ on the tube network alone total to roughly £20 million. New tactics are continuously being launched on each of the transport networks, aiming to deter the likes of Sarah and Jesse from increasing these figures.

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The penalty fare for travelling on a bus without a valid ticket is currently £50, which if paid within 21 days is reduced to £25.What’s more TfL reminds people that anyone suspected of deliberate or persistent fare evasion risks prosecution, a weighty fine of up to £1000 and even a criminal record. For those who believe they can ‘evade’ the fines as often as they bunk travel – do so at your own risk. These transport pros have a 99 per cent success rate of all cases taken to court. “TfL is committed to protecting public money through detecting and investigating suspected fare evasion,” says a TfL spokesperson. Efforts have been made to clamp down on fare evasion, all of which appear to be getting results. However,TfL’s spokesperson was unsure which specific traps have deterred ticket dodgers: “It is difficult to associate a reduction in fare evasion to specific factors as there have been plenty of measures introduced.This includes a higher penalty fare, which has acted as a stronger deterrent to fare-evaders.” But will ticket-dodging pros like Jesse reconsider fare evasion in the light of a clampdown and opt to buy valid tickets in future? Jesse isn’t convinced. “The only way I’d stop is if a minimum prison sentence was involved.There’s no other way, it’s just a waste of money. I’ve saved at least a grand a year.” The savings are enticing. But with all these 007 antics, packed trains and clumsy passengers may be the last of your commuting woes; instead is the fear of being caught. And just in case you’re still looking out for the obvious ticker inspector, perhaps take another glance at the ‘looker’ seated opposite you.They may just be a plain clothed revenue protection inspector, waiting for the right moment to say those dreaded words: “Tickets please?”

* Names have been changed

Subway Skiving in New York City

This is likely to land you a $100 (£63) fine, and officers are unlikely to accept any excuses. 'Turnstall jumping', 'emergency gate-crashing' and other forms of ticket evasion also warrant the fine. Sheryll Evette blog, Musings of an Irate Commuter, depicts the harsh cost of fare evasion in NYC - read her subway woes at: www.bitchcakescommutes.com

Metlink Hopping in Melbourne, Australia

A journey without a valid ticket will set you back $176 (£108). Don't try littering or kicking back with your feet up on the seats either as this will incur another $176 for each offence. Metlink's tactic to deterring fareevaders is producing adverts promoting the effects of 'bad karma'. Bunk on the Metlink and expect a pigeon to drop a fat one on your new suit. www.karmacentral.com

Shangai Metro Shenanigans

Fare evasion costs around 1 million Yuan (£9,500) in Shangai, China each year. Get caught without the correct ticket and expect to pay five times the standard ticket fare.


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Are you considering joining the gym so you can fit into that bridesmaid dress?Or maybe you’re trying to get a six-pack and big biceps for the lad’s holiday to Marbella. John James Anisiobi tells you who to watch out for as you burn those calories. Illustration: Nicolas Willis

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THE GUYS THAT WORK OUT IN PACKS Whilst these guys aren’t actually that fat, they are definitely not buff or toned enough to move around the gym as they do. They arrive at the gym during peak times and are always in a group of at least four men. They make a huge scene whilst lifting heavy weights, and shout advice to each other as if they are in training for the London Olympics. Often these guys will carry a home-made protein shake that they swear is the most effective drink they’ve ever taken. Dress Code: Loose fitting jogging bottoms and a very loose vest, accompanied by a gold neck chain and a baseball cap on backwards. Favourite Phrase: “Come on Bruv! Just two more!”

THE GUY THAT LOOKS YOUNGER THAN HE IS Every gym has a couple of these. This is the guy that you see in the gym all the time. You can tell he is old but you admit to yourself he looks good for his age. During one of his rigorous work outs you make the mistake of complimenting him and then it begins. He tells the tale of how he only works out twice a week (liar), and he is actually 50 years old but everyone tells him he looks younger. He would give you some advice on staying fit but he is too obsessed with talking about his personal fitness. Dress Code: Dressed like he is about to run a marathon – short shorts, vest, running trainers and a Live Strong wristband. Favourite Phrase: “Well I’m 52 this year but I try and stay in good shape.”

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THE FIT MUM Normally aged between 38 and 50, the fit mum is perhaps the most attractive female in the gym. She has a body that is tight and toned despite only ever doing light cardio work. Any workout that she does with weights often involves squatting, and she loves to walk around the gym in her brand new gear. She only takes gym classes that increase her flexibility and muscle definition. Fit mum knows that she is attractive, but she would never have a relationship with any of the men at the gym because her husband just upgraded her credit card and bought her a new sports car. Dress Code: Spandex leggings, sports bra, a French manicure and her hair up in a pony tail. Favourite Phrase: “So Arthur went to Zurich on business and bought me the fragrance in duty free.”

THE NEW YEARS RESOLUTION WOMAN There is nothing more irritating than the mass migration of fitness freaks to the gym after the Christmas holiday. For a good four weeks every running machine, cross trainer and bike is occupied by that woman who has vowed “this year, I’m gonna get fit!” Instead of easing themselves into a healthier lifestyle, they jump straight in to a routine that they ultimately are destined to fail at. By the start of February, the majority of these ‘resolutioners’ have disappeared from the gym, never to be seen again... until January 1st of the next year. Dress Code: A full outfit of ‘Lonsdale’ gear or another cheap sports brand. Favourite Phrase: “No, this year I’m really gonna try hard.”

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THE FIT GIRL WITH THE MASSIVE GUY No one knows how these two met, but everyone is slightly jealous. They are the Posh and Becks, the Brangelina of the gym. The girl is in the shape of her life and other females are amazed at how toned and slim she is. She must be some sort of demi-god, carved from Venus herself. The wonder and awe is heightened when her partner arrives. Built like Schwarzenegger but with Clark Gable’s looks, this guy must have been born with a dumbbell in his hand. This power couple are the envy of the gym and only a select few can speak to them. Dress Code: He wears Calvin Klein Active and she rocks D&G Sport Favourite Phrase: “How was your workout honey?”

THE SELF-CONCIOUS WOMAN It’s impossible not to feel sorry for this woman. Fair enough, she may be slightly over-weight and her hips have seen better days, but the self conscious woman can always been found on the treadmill...running at a slow speed whilst looking around to check nobody has noticed her. This woman never takes a group class and even in the hottest weather she stays fully covered in her oversized hoody. She went through a phase of going to the gym early in the morning to avoid seeing anybody, but gave that up after the post-xmas mass migration.

Dress Code: A Oxford University hoody and leggings (She doesn’t own any real sports wear).

Favourite Phrase: Redundant-she never talks to anyone.

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THE ARMS ONLY GUY Every gym has one, and its always obvious who they are. The arms only guy was perhaps not the biggest kid in school and got teased by everyone from his P.E teacher to his older sister. As a result he hits the gym hard but only works out the most visible part of the anatomy, his arms. Whenever you see this guy in the gym, he is always in the weights room pumping his triceps and biceps. He doesn’t care about his chest, he just wants to wear that extra tight white t-shirt to the nightclub. Dress Code: Jogging bottoms teamed with any sleeveless top. Favourite Phrase: “Welcome to the gun show!”

THE “BEST WAY TO TRAIN” GUY Although this guy is NOT a personal trainer, he acts as though he was born to ‘push you to the limit’. This guy is in pretty good shape but is by no means the biggest or most toned guy in the gym. Whilst you continue that butt clench, which Kylie Minogue and Jennifer Lopez claim is the ultimate way to getting a great derriere, the best way to train guy is watching you. Then just as you finish the gruelling 10 minute session, he walks over to you chuckling to himself and says “Let me show you how to do that properly.” Begrudgingly you listen to him explain how and what to work out, whilst your left wishing English wasn’t your first language. Dress Code: Polo shirt and jogging bottoms, you almost believe he is a worker Favourite Phrase: “If your not feeling pain you’re not doing it properly mate.”

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Q. Passionate about journalism Q. but lack the opportunities? A. Then the Catch 22 Academy is where you need to be

Provides the opportunity to contribute to our commercial magazine and a one-month internship with one of our industry partners.

plication 2011 Ap e Date: Deadlin ER PTEMB 21ST SE : art Date 2011 St CTOBER 12TH O

For more information Email academy@catch22mag.com Website www.catch22mag.com or Call 020 8880 9501 The academy is primarily targeting young adults excluded from such opportunities based on their social profile and/or disadvantaged background.


They live, work and walk among us. but something separates them from ordinary folk. while we take the everyday nitty -gritty things such as signing up or signing on for granted, they cower in the shadows in constant fear of being exposed. away from the talk of quotas and spongers, Fehintola

Betiku tracks down the UK’s ‘invisibles’ and finds out what life is really like…


After the general elections in May of 2010, the UK welcomed David Cameron into No. 10 Downing Street along with Nick Clegg and together they formed a Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition. Soon after the coalition, the government unveiled their plans to put a cap on the number of non-EU migrants entering the UK. The cap is to be placed in an attempt to keep the UK’s population, which is currently over 60 million, down. As talks about the cap become more frequent perhaps the tune should be changed and the focus should be about those illegal immigrants who are not counted as part of the increasing population as their existence is unbeknown to the Home Office such as 21-year-old, Dayo Banjo.

without her father’s financial support. Dayo has been an ‘invisible’ since 2006 when her six month visa expired. After her visa ran out she sought out the help of a lawyer to find out what her options were. However, she soon found that applying for permanent residency wasn’t as easy as it seemed. “It’s taking much longer than I expected and it is very costly.”

In the summer of 2005, Dayo left her family and her rural village in Ogun State, Nigeria, to come and spend four weeks in London with her aunt. As her holiday came to an end, her family persuaded her to stay a little while longer and told her she could return to Nigeria closer to the end of the summer holiday. Unknown to Dayo, her family were trying to put together the necessary arrangements for her to remain in the UK permanently, so she could get the best education available to her. “It was my parents who decided that I should stay in the UK and further my education.”

Sophie Freeman, an immigration lawyer who works for Fisher Meredith, says, “Finding good representation has become increasingly difficult as a result of the government’s cuts to the legal aid budget. This means that more and more people are either without representation at all or paying for legal assistance, which they cannot afford.”

Respecting her parents’ decision, she enrolled in Hackney Community College where she managed to acquire a BTEC in Retail Management. After completing her BTEC, Dayo studied Accounting and Finance at London Southbank University for a year. “I managed to pass my first year, but unfortunately my father passed away just before I finished.” Dayo had to put a stop to her uni education as she could no longer afford her tuition fees

“I can’t apply for most jobs I want because most of them screen

ID, such as my passport.” your proof of

Dayo now has a part-time job but she says she has found it difficult to find a job that she finds fulfilling. “I can’t apply for most jobs I want because most of them screen your proof of ID, such as my passport.” She also explained how she spends most of her free time at home to avoid getting in trouble. “The days I don’t work I stay at home and read a novel and I don’t do anything that could get me into trouble with the police. ” She says she doesn’t want to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time because she feared that drawing attention to herself could lead to her deportation.

Sophie Freeman also explains, “A decision to leave one’s country of origin is not usually taken lightly and many people are forced to leave loved ones behind when they travel to the UK. This separation causes added emotional strain for many people who are seeking permanent residency in the UK and who do not know when, if ever, they will see friends and family again.” Nine years ago, Jose Gonzalez was brought into the UK in the hopes of escaping the poverty that he faced living in the suburbs of Bogotá, Columbia, now 20, Jose opens up about what life is like as an invisible: “I remember someone passing me off as their child and from Spain I was then transported illegally to this country.” Jose’s mother left Columbia and moved to the UK after she suffered domestic violence at the hands of a former boyfriend, Jose explains, “Life in Colombia was a day to day struggle and when my mother’s abusive boyfriend threatened me and her, she made the decision to move.” A year and a half after his mother left for the UK she was finally able to put all the preparations in place and bring Jose to the UK to start a brand new life. Within months of arriving in the UK Jose began secondary school. Due to his determination to learn he overcame many difficulties he faced whilst trying to adjust to life in the UK and learn the English language. “I was tutored for a month and taught how to speak English - this helped a lot,” he adds, “It was hard but I was young so I was able to pick it up quick.” In January 2002, Jose and his mother made a case for asylum but the case as of today is yet to be approved and has been rejected several times. “The case I made in 2002 has been rejected a couple of times and even at


“The fact that I don’t have my permanent stay yet has caused a lot of threats for me”

this moment in time, I am still waiting for a response regarding permanent stay.” Habib Rahman, the Chief Executive of Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) outlines the difficulties that illegal immigrants can face while attempting to get indefinite stay: “Immigrants are very restricted. If they are not EU citizens then in order to get indefinite stay they have so much to prove. They are not allowed to request public funds because they must prove that they can support themselves financially it is not a straightforward process at all.” Despite his case for asylum getting rejected Jose managed to complete his GCSEs, after which he then enrolled at college and again managed to complete the two year course. Sadly he has not yet managed to begin university, so instead, has a weekend job. “As I have finished studying at college there isn’t much I can do, so during the weekend I DJ at various Latin clubs.” He explained that his weekend job and his mother’s job as a cleaner are both jobs which pay cash in hand as neither of them are allowed to be working in the UK as they are not British citizens. Rahman explains that many immigrants are exploited in employment. “I know of cases where people have been paid one pound an hour. Many immigrants can’t take on employment or they find that they can only get short-term employment.” JCWI is an independent anti-racist organisation which fights for

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policy changes regarding laws that directly and indirectly affect immigrants. Yemisi Akinyele, 20, also originally from a rural village in Ogun State, Nigeria, came to the UK in 2005 on a family visit but she now lives in the shadows in fear of being caught out by the Home Office.Yemisi fell in love with London after a couple weeks on holiday and begged her parents to let her stay in the UK. “I decided to further my education here because I believe I will have a greater career.” She described her family’s initial resistance to her suggestion, explaining, “When I made my decision my family were surprised but supported me because they knew it was a great idea.” Like Dayo and Jose,Yemisi attended college where she gained a BTEC in Business Studies but unlike Dayo, Yemisi hasn’t been able to start her uni education because as an illegal immigrant applying for student finance isn’t an option. Freeman explains: “Young people leaving school who want to continue with their studies can struggle to find places at college or university due to a lack of funding available for those without leave to remain in the UK.” When Yemisi first arrived in the UK she lived with her father’s sister but recently had to relocate when she was threatened to be exposed after a row with a former friend. “The fact that I don’t have my permanent stay yet has caused a lot of threats for me,” she continues, “I had an argument over a boy who caused a

big fight and I was threatened so had to relocate.” As a result of the disagreement Yemisi now lives with her cousin. For the past three years,Yemisi has been supporting herself by baby-sitting her young cousins. She made it very clear that sometimes money could be very tight and she relies heavily upon the support that her family in Nigeria send her. “My family often send money to me and also my aunt also supports me financially.” Sophie Freeman says that it isn’t unusual for illegal immigrants to find themselves strapped for cash, she explained, “Many people struggle financially, people often find themselves reliant on friends who may be facing similar financial problems. This can be very frustrating for those seeking to build lives for themselves.” As it stands, Dayo, Jose and Yemisi are just a few examples of people who are living in the UK in the hopes of being granted indefinite stay for the chance at a better life. However no matter how innocent their reasons for wanting to remain in the UK might be, the bottom line is that they are breaking the law. Alp Mehmet, the spokesman for Migration Watch UK explained that, “One of the main issues with immigration is that at the moment the UK has no checks to ensure people who come to visit the UK actually leave, meaning that they are putting the population on the rise.” He goes on to explain that the rise in the UK’s population over the last two decades is cause for concern as it is in “no-one’s


“The UK is the only country in Europe which detains people indefinitely; other countries impose a maximum time limit” interest” for the population to continue rising. Mehmet suggests that if population figures in the UK were to continue to rise that it would “put strain on limited resources and impacts on society’s cohesion”, he adds: “We will need more schools, teachers, health service facilities, jobs, public transport, welfare resources, and so on.” Migration Watch UK monitors the number of people leaving the UK and people entering the UK. When questioned on his views about immigration laws in the UK, Mehmet says, “The UK’s immigration laws are fair, the way I see it there’s no way of being fair if you’re going to say ‘no’. From personal experience, the UK laws are fairer than most. My personal opinion is that the UK is amongst the world’s best when it comes to immigration laws.” A person who holds very opposing views to Mehmet’s response about the UK’s treatment towards immigrants is Nina Yeo. Nina is a member of the political group No Borders which calls for radical change against the system of control that separates people into ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ citizens. Nina believes that, “By definition, the treatment of any person as ‘illegal’ is unjust. Terms such as ‘illegal’, ‘foreigner’, ‘alien’ and ‘immigrant’ create divisions, which distract populations from the real causes of poverty and social injustice.”

a maximum time limit,” this is in complete contradiction with what Alp Mehmet believes about the UK, in regards to immigration. The views of Habib Rahman, Sophie Freeman, Alp Mehmet and Nina Yeo may differ when it comes to illegal, irregular or even undocumented immigrants, as do the changes they would like to see. The fact still remains that there are clusters of people living in the UK under the radar of the Home Office who are fighting a totally different fight - the fight to be acknowledged and to become a part of a proper community. Dayo, Jose and Yemisi are all still waiting for their applications for permanent stay to be approved. * For the purpose of this feature some names have been changed to protect individual identities.

Nina claims, “the UK is the only country in Europe which detains people indefinitely; other countries impose www.catch22mag.com

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ARTIST OF THE MONTH Eduard G (aka EGARCIGU), is a young illustrator and graphic designer, born in Barcelona but now based in London. He’s a self-taught artist who gives a contemporary edge to his meticulous hand-drawn images using computer brush strokes. Priscilla Eyles talks to him about his artistic journey. What first got you interested in illustration? Since I was a child I had a passion for drawing and those were skills I tried to keep cultivating all the time. Although I took a break during my university years (I am graduated in Business Management and Administration), the desire of doing what I liked the most and probably I was better skilled for redirected me finally to get a pencil again and to start drawing. Sometimes I think our destiny is kind of written and it doesn’t matter if we divert and take the long path, at the end we all ended up positioning where we were meant to be. And illustration, although has been often considered as a minor art, it gave me the opportunity to get involved in interesting projects, expressing myself when translating into images others’ ideas. And I really enjoy doing that, although the process to achieve that can be quite tough sometimes but at the end is quite rewarding. Who was your first client - and how did you go about approaching them? My first commissioned work was for Community Lottery, a micro-finance institution, more than four years ago, to create some images illustrating a group of characters representative of any kind of age and social group. They contacted me because someone else suggested me as a new illustrator, so I guess networking was the key. And apparently it went quite alright, as we still work together in small little projects. Who or what do you draw your influences from? Everything is inspirational to me. The people you meet, the places you live, what you see, what you read... I would say London has been crucial in my artistic development process, and the themes and the line I create sometimes are reflecting

that...but my use of colours I believe is Spain-influenced. Without having been a crazy comic follower, I translate part of it into my work. But as I said I am constantly acting as a sponge in terms of getting inspiration from. It could be from Botticelli, Richard Phillips or Edward Gorey. Did you study anything else aside from illustration (if you did study it) after leaving secondary school and has this impacted your illustration? After secondary school I went to university and got an MA in Business Management. I haven’t been using it in the way my parents expected - as a broker, banker or an accountant for the last years, but I don’t consider it as a waste of time. In fact, now I am a freelancer, so at the end I am my own manager, and in terms of work it helps a lot in the way of understanding the necessities of potentials clients. And also marketing wise has been quite helpful. Sometimes you need to sacrifice part of your free creative spirit becoming more commercial, but as soon as you leave your print in what you do, it becomes something more irrelevant. What illustration software do you use? I’m still kind of old-school in the way I generate my artworks, as I still feel more comfortable drawing on paper in pencil and ink. But I normally colour my illustrations digitally, as I think it brings a bit more of contemporary look, and more considering I am working a lot for web. I use Photoshop quite a lot... and I’m trying to start with vectorial illustrations, as I want to diversify my possibilities and get that way more commissions. Also, I am starting to rediscover Flash as I would like in the close future to start a personal animation project, and I have already something in mind.

Mac or PC and why? I bought my first Mac two years ago. And before, I used to work with PC. But in terms of design I really recommend Mac, as it’s faster and more suitable for the design programs I normally use. I remember when I was preparing the pieces for my ‘Superheroes’ show, I was working on really high resolution and very heavy images, as they were meant to be big posters, and working on my laptop became an absolutely nightmare, taking me ages for every single change I had to make. So after that show I bought an i-mac with a big screen and I have to say everything was greatly improved. What’s your next step? At the moment I have a new online fashion game to be launched before summer, I am planning to illustrate a children’s book also this year and I am trying to arrange dates for another exhibition, this time in Barcelona. So still too busy to think in a long-term way. But definitely illustrating.

Egarcigu’s illustrations have been exhibited in Ourense (Spain) and also several times in London. Interested in the beauty and the figurative, people and the every-day-things, he is trying to display it through his work. His interest in fashion also led him to illustrate the fashion game www.my-minx.com with edgy fashion styles.  Follow him through his blog:  www.egarcigu.tumblr.com

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These days many young people are opting to continue living at home, as increasingly high rental prices are limiting their chances of moving out. But for those set on seeking their independence away from the family unit, squatting is fast becoming a solution to this problem. Charlene Cole investigates the rise of this nomadic lifestyle and talks to some for whom squatting is a way of life.


Younger audiences may have had squatters bought to their attention through Big Brother 11 star Shabby. A native of Buckinghamshire, Shabby left a privileged upbringing to live a gypsy-esque lifestyle in squats in the capital. One of her aims of doing the reality show was to transform people’s opinions of squatters, dispelling any stereotypical myths. However prior to leaving the show she confessed to not wanting to go back to this life, agreeing with a house mate when he described squats as “grim”.

“There is a d to e h c a t t a a m g i t s ’re y e h T . s r e t t a u q s ess l h t r o w , s e i k n u j ” y h t r o w t s u r t n and u

Following on from this, squats often draw negative connotations. 'Dirty', 'dark' and 'dingy', are words that came up when I discussed the idea of squatting with non-squatters. Overall I drew the conclusion that they assumed squats to be squalid places not suitable for human existence and that squatters were unemployed, lazy or drug addicts. However this is not necessarily true as they can be on either spectrum of the scale. Dave a 26-year-old squatter explains: “There is a stigma attached to squatters. They’re junkies, worthless and untrustworthy. I’ve never been on drugs and I’ve worked for long periods of time. Some of the squatters I’ve met over the years have been some of the most intelligent people I know.” These thoughts were reiterated by 28-year-old squatter Joanne. She says: “Personally I’ve lived with different people. From students, to runaways, those employed in good jobs and, yes, at times people coping with addiction.” She adds: “But everyone’s circumstances are unique so no one should judge, until they’re in that situation.” A notable challenge to any unfavourable perception was the case concerning the Oubliette Art Collective. Back in 2009 this notable group of young artists escaped eviction from a former school/hostel near Waterloo. They were praised for repairing a building left empty for over two years; creating a public, cultural space for theatre, film, art and music to be enjoyed by all. This was particularly beneficial to emerging artists as they were providing work and exhibition spaces they may not be able to afford otherwise. Mark, a 25-year-old, whose own squat I viewed, took a similar approach to the Oubliette Art Collective. As a graduate expressionist artist Mark has been based in Birmingham for the last three years. He says: “The property that I live in was neglected, so I’ve made myself a home and a studio in one.” His home is basic but full of character; in particular the walls play homage to the career path he is taking. These walls are covered in murals, some I’m told represent what it is like to be without a home and life’s struggles. He informs me: “I like to express my own reality through my work. I want to evoke opinions in people who haven’t had struggles, particularly homelessness, to deal with.” He adds: “The lifestyle’s fun I won’t lie, no day is the same. When I lived up North I house shared with people who had fallen on hard times, their stories were sad. People who aren’t in our situation need to remember life’s funny, your situation can change like that [clicks fingers]. I look after myself make sure I’m clean and groom, luckily I have utilities like running water and electricity. I don’t live off

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for ten years before purchasing his dream million pound home, the 36-year-old businessman was renovating the house for his wife plus their two and four year old daughters before squatters from EU countries moved in. An accompanying photo to an article published by the Daily Mail shows Hamilton-Brown peering through his letterbox talking to the squatters presumably to ask them to vacate the building. More furore has been caused as ‘tenants’ of Hamilton-Browns property have been granted legal aid to contest their right to stay in the house, whilst its owner uses his own finances for legal representation. This has struck a chord and raised the question, why do squatters have more rights than the owners? The answer may be found in the fact that squatting is a civil not criminal matter; it is not a crime unless criminal damage is involved i.e. forced entry.

“In today’s te economic clima squatting is the most viable solution if you lack money” benefits and support myself through odd jobs but I’ll remain a squatter until I can make a living off my art.” I asked Mark how he was able to find the property in which he lives. He informs me: “In the past I’ve found homes through friends who squat and move in with them.” He adds: “Through the Advisory Service for Squatters, other squatters sometimes post online of any empty properties they know.” Through my own research I have come across reports that state that squatters swap information through such forums detailing empty homes and squatters advertising for housemates to live there. They also swap tips on gaining entry to homes and evading alarms. Of late, squatting has hit the headlines with two different cases involving squatters setting up home within two London residences. A now resolved case involved film director Guy Ritchie’s plush, £6 million pound home being frequented by squatters, while the second one involved the plight of father-of-two John Hamilton-Brown. Hamilton-Brown's circumstances have seemed to cause uproar amongst the public. Having saved up

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Reports suggest that squatting has dramatically risen since the onset of the recession in 2008; with American author Robert Neuwirth claiming that every one in six people on the planet are squatters. If both of these statements are correct then it could suggest there are tougher times ahead seeing as how the Confederation of British Industry are predicting that the British economy leaves the financial crisis behind, so it may be inevitable that squatting could increase.   Ex- squatter and trainee social worker Karen* explains: “It [squatting] was practical for me I didn’t have a job so I didn’t have to worry about how I would pay the rent and bills. My home life wasn’t that great so I left home at 16 pretty early really. It was great everyone I lived with was like-minded who shared my interests and I could come and go as I pleased. I didn’t want to conform to what society said I should be.” She continues: “It wasn’t all good but not all bad either. Having a place with running utilities was a luxury, but for me I didn’t always find these places so I kept clean thanks to public bathrooms. In today’s economic climate squatting is the most viable solution if you lack money.” She states: “In this day nobody should be homeless, with hundreds or thousands of flats, houses lying unused for months or years. Then you look around and see people sleeping on the street where is the sense in that?” In a move to eliminate squatting, Brighton’s Conservative MP Mike Weatherley has called for “an end to squatter’s rights” by making it criminalised. In comparison, former squatter turned Labour peer Lord Steve Bossom has asked for councils and landlords to make better use of empty properties, drawing up legislations to ensure such buildings are used adequately so eventually nobody is homeless. Overall the tone of my interviewees suggests that squatting for them is a necessary measure for survival in financially trying times. But one thing remains, whilst British laws are relaxed squatting will offer a costcutting way of life for anyone. * Names have been changed


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THESE DAYS WHETHER YOU’RE FASCINATED BY THE FLAPPER LIFESTYLE AND LOVE TO JITTERBUG, OR IMMERSED IN WARTIME DRAMA AND LOVE TO JIVE, THERE’S A NIGHT TO VISIT TO INDULGE IN SOME RETRO GLAMOUR. PRISCILLA EYLES ENTERS THE TIME WARP. 24 www.catch22mag.com


“YOU CAN ALSO GO BACK TO WHAT YOU’RE GRANDPARENTS WOULD’VE EXPERIENCED. AND MEN IN UNIFORM IS ALWAYS A BONUS!”

Prohibition I enter into the dimly lit, cavernous Village Underground in the heart of Shoreditch. It’s graffitied exterior on this particular Saturday night hides another more rarefied world. With its bare brick walls devoid of contemporary décor, it could be the interior of a munitions factory. To complete the setting there are sand bags, union jack flags, supply boxes lining the walls, vintage posters and cocktail menus like ration books. This 40s time-warp is only interrupted by the sight of digital cameras and smart phones or the few who, let’s face it, have made minimum effort to look the part. But most people look gorgeous, like actors in a film noir or BBC wartime drama. The men looking immaculate and oh so rakish in full military uniforms with ribbons, caps and medals, and the occasional waxed moustache and pipe. Or in civilian attire: all three-piece tweed suits, braces, caps and wool vests (if only men could dress like this more often!). While the women were elegantly turned out in army uniforms, floral and polka dot tea dresses, victory rolls with the occasional flower pinned in, pearls and

lashings of red lipstick. There’s definitely something special about being part of a crowd like this; and it’s certainly nice to be in a room full of people who aren’t wasted or making lewd passes at you. The swing band onstage had people grabbing dancing partners, while the DJ afterwards played wartime classics like Glenn Miller’s In The Mood. Certainly not your average night out. But what do the people here think? Kelly, 24, a press officer from Bethnal Green ecstatically comments: “It’s a very authentic atmosphere, some other nights are more like costume or fancy dress parties but people have made more of an effort here. You can also go back to what you’re grandparents would’ve experienced. And men in uniform is always a bonus!” A couple I talk to - Neil, 28 a banker (in full military regalia), and Clara, 23, a PA, both from Holborn - also couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the night. Neil: “It’s a really fun and unusual night and it’s a very authentic and friendly atmosphere. I really like the dancing. You

see people dress up with lots of different interpretations of the Blitz period, I’ve seen lots of different outfits. So it’s really creative.” He also like Kelly, likes the sense of living history: “ You get to relive the experiences of your grandparents and imagine what it was like for them on a night out.” Clara also likes the fact that you get to “dress up” and thinks that it’s “the music that makes it” and that events like this engender a sense of community: “It’s nice to meet others who like oldfashioned music and dancing styles like jive and swing.” This night, called The Blitz Party is part of a series of monthly nights by Bourne & Hollingsworth, designed to evoke different eras-others include a 1920s themed Prohibition Party, and a decadent 1890’s themed Belle Epoque Party. It also part of an ongoing trend which has seen vintage themed nights - particularly ones styled around the first half of the twentieth century - growing massively in popularity. And you only have to look in Time Out to see how many burlesque/cabaret nights there are now. www.catch22mag.com

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“PEOPLE DON’T GO TO OUR EVENTS TO GET DRUNK, YOU HAVE A FEW COCKTAILS BUT IT’S NOT A BIG PISS-UP” Andria Stirling, co-founder of the Bourne & Hollingsworth events, has seen first-hand how popular her nights have become. She explains that when they started in 2009 with two Prohibition nights at their tiny retro cocktail bar in Fitzrovia the events were so popular that they quickly moved to a larger venue. “The Blitz Party after that was just a natural progression, it just seemed, ‘ok there’s obviously an interest for this, so let’s do it.’” She adds that with The Blitz Party, “we’re just running to catch up with it, because it’s just snowballed.” I ask her why she thinks the nights are so popular and she answers with conviction: “I think it’s a much more intelligent night out for Londoners. I think there’s so many of these just dreadful club nights where you queue at the door no matter what.You’ll pay £20 to get in and it’s just a dive, rubbish music, it’s just not a fun night out.” She also puts the popularity of vintage nights down to the fact that these nights provide “escapism... especially in these hard times financially. It’s a real chance to be glamorous and

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really take pride in your appearance and manners, and the men dress up and they behave like perfect gentlemen and you just don’t see that.” The sense of decorum that I noticed at The Blitz Party clearly then plays a big part in the success of these events as Andria notes, “People don’t go to our events to get drunk, you have a few cocktails but it’s not a big piss-up, and we don’t have trouble because it’s not that kind of place. It’s just really, really enjoying yourself.” So what’s the key to a successful vintage night? “Attention to detail,” she answers promptly. She goes on to describe how for The Blitz Party they “spend a day blowing up balloons and stuffing them into sandbags which is the most souldestroying thing, but it looks amazing when you have loads.” Escapism is again the key. “We want you to enter a completely different world and you cannot break that illusion.” Which is why Andria sometimes finds herself escorting people who haven’t dressed up out of the premises.You have been warned.

Lena Weber, editor of the website A Vintage Guide To London, thinks the current popularity of vintage nights is down to their exclusivity and sense of community. “I think people are quite bored of constantly new and flashy club nights. I think people like something that's a bit more authentic and also something that gives them a feeling of belonging.” She goes on to explain that nights with specific themes like The Blitz Party where people dress up similarly gives the feeling that “you’re part of a club... It’s that idea of sharing the same kind of ideas and tastes. It’s a bit secretive.” Lena warns, however, that this very exclusivity can also mean that there is a divide between hardcore vintage fans and newcomers. “[People] who make a huge effort towards the authenticity of things [will] always be annoyed by new people coming who perhaps don't take things as seriously, they just wanna have fun.” Lena agrees with Andria that vintage nights mark a return, if only temporarily, to more traditional values: “A lot of


The Blitz Party people rediscover this idea of dressing up properly, guys wearing three-piece suits and women wearing red lipstick and gloves. But also the idea that, at vintage nights the dancing’s different - you dance in a pair. And that brings up a whole new set of rules, if as a girl you want to dance with a guy do you just go ahead and approach them?” Lena thinks that for women it is a lot about re-discovering their femininity. “A lot of the fashion styles you can go back [to] are very feminine, they emphasise women’s curves and the glamorousness of women.” Further, when it comes to etiquette and the purpose of vintage nights Lena agrees that “a lot of vintage nights aren't about being completely trashed or drunk, they're about performances and interaction; and some of them are even quite educational, like living history.” A regular performer on the vintage scene, WW2 singer and burlesque performer Elsie Diamond believes that the resurgence of burlesque in particular

is down not only to its glamour, but because “there’s a backlash again in women’s body shapes, against skinny looks. It’s a new sort of femininity.” Meanwhile, the fact that there are a large amount of female burlesque fans, she thinks is because “burlesque is not threatening towards women. Because there’s a comedy element and a lot of detail taken in costume.” This satiric element and sense of theatre (particularly with performers like Vicky Butterfly and Kiki Kaboom, who reference literary and historical figures, popular culture and classic stars) is what Elsie thinks “makes it different to plain old stripping, it's how you get to the end of it.”

Mike Brown, an historian who specialises in wartime Britain, agrees that there is a very strong tendency for younger generations to romanticize the past, particularly with much of the media’s portrayals of the past: “You do hear some dreadful old tosh about the way people behaved in those days and you hear there was no looting, and people all worked together. This wasn't actually true at all if you look at the reality.” The reality of an era such as the 40s, as Brown puts it, was: “a fairly boring time of shortages and rationing.” One thing's for certain though - even if the past never was as glamorous, exciting or genteel as we imagine it to be, it sure is jolly good fun pretending.

Elsie also refers to the nostalgia associated with the popularity of the 1940s: “People look at it with rose-tinted spectacles of being a time where people were more together. It's also the sense of drama and heightened emotion around what was going on at the time.” www.catch22mag.com

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The Blitz Party 1. The Blitz Party at the Village Underground www.theblitzparty.com 2. The Lady Luck Club hosting various nights at Rhum Jungle, Angel www.ladyluckclub.co.uk 3. La Belle Epoque Party at a secret location www.belleepoqueparty.com 4. The Wam Bam Club at Cafe De Paris www.wambamclub.com 5. La Rêve at Cafe De Paris www.cafedeparis.com/club/event/la_reve_6 6. Bête Noir at Madame JoJos www.bete-noire.co.uk 7. The Candlelight Club at a secret location www.thecandlelightclub.com 8. Steamboat Bordello at The Elizabethan Paddle Steamer www.steamboatbordello.com 9. The Tassel Club at The Bathhouse www.thetasselclub.com 10. Rock A Hula at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes www.rockahula.org

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Prohibition


The Blitz Party www.catch22mag.com

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What You Listening To? Quiz

We ran around town stopping individuals listening to music and asked them one very important question. Now all you have to do is work out who gave us which answer. Scribble the number you think matches up in the box provided.

B

A Silvia, 21, Student

Anthony, 16, Student

C If you think you have worked it out, check the correct answers available on our website: www.catch22mag.com

Jordan, 18, Student

D

Agne, 28, Interpreter


myTunes

E

Brie, 24, Designer

F

Clyde, 28, Artist Technician

G

Edwin, 23, Musician

H

Emma, 21, Waitress

Search

Search

1

T-Rex Jeepster

2

Foo Fighters All My Life

3

Wiz Khalifaz Mezmorized

4

Pink Floyd Welcome to the Machine

5

Skepta Amnesia

6

I Wayne Living in Love

7

White Stripes Seven Nation Army

8

Brian Eno Golden Hours


It Could Be

YOU!

Hold off from buying that Lottery ticket – there are other ways of making a million pounds. Not least coming up with a solid business idea and then making it work. Think that’s a pie in the sky dream? Selina Ditta meets the self-made millionaires who’d made their fortune before their thirtieth birthdays. In these tough times it may be tempting to marry a millionaire.You don’t need to be born into royalty or work your way to the top of the Bank of England to become rich. Lord Sugar grew up in a council house in Hackney and worked many jobs by the age of 12, earning more money than his father before launching his own trading company Amstrad. Andrew Gower was 29 when he amassed his estimated fortune of £113 million in 2007 from creating the free online multiplayer game Runescape while at Cambridge University (He and his brother Paul were also the 654th richest men in the UK that year, worth £106 million). And we don’t even need to mention a certain Mark Zuckerberg who set up their own social network site, surely? Philip Beresford of the Sunday Times Rich List says 75% of millionaires in the last year’s rich list were self-made millionaires. Those listed under 30 “were a small but significant number”. At 17, Ben Way was one of the first dot com millionaires, making a fortune as a computer consultant although he had lost it all by 21. He didn’t give up, he set up Making Rain a year later in 2002, and now has 37 successful businesses over three continents and is once again a millionaire. “I knew I’d do something different, from a young age I was written off as dyslexic which drove me. In school, my friends wanted to be firemen and police men and I wanted to run a toy factory. Personally, I think my dyslexia is my greatest asset. It allows me to think in

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a different way, be creative and to process information very quickly. It inspired me and I was writing business plans at nine years old. There’s no right or wrong way about writing one. It’s simply a statement of thoughts on how to make money. It’s about understanding what people are willing to spend money on. But it’s more important to try rather than writing your business plan. Now I mentor businesses, but I help without charging. If you pay for a service make sure it’s of good value. People try and take advantage. Starting out being a 16 years-old was seriously a challenge, I mean I still look 12! Loads of people thought I was naïve. But as long as you know what you’re talking about and you’re passionate, people will take you seriously. If you have a business idea, the key is don’t be scared to tell people about it. Don’t worry that someone will steal your idea, because the truth is an idea is worth very little. Also don’t do all the work yourself, know what you’re good at and bad at in order to network with other skilled people and execute your idea. I’ve had my share of pitfalls aside from losing millions! The reality is no business runs exactly as you expect it to. A good entrepreneur can change and adapt and evolve. Business is like an animal, you can’t control its behavior. So my advice for up and coming entrepreneurs is be prepared to always expect the unexpected and that failure is a part of success and shouldn’t make you give up. The younger you are the easier it is to start because you can pick yourself up with no dependencies. Just remember when you make your first million that life is long and it’s the people around you that are really important so don’t forget them. I’d say whatever you decide to do, be passionate about it and remember, there are only two guarantees in life – death and taxes.”

“Remember, there are only two guarantees in life – death and taxes.” At the age of 30, Deirdre Bounds revolutionised the travel industry with i-to-i.com for students taking a gap year. She is now an Inspirational Speaker contactable via her website www.deirdrebounds.com “I grew up on a council estate in Liverpool and was influenced to get good exam grades for a job. I set up my company because I never enjoyed working for others, travelling broadened my mind and I recognised that the industry needed modernising so I found my passion. Ideas generally come from seeing something you want that isn’t available.Your market is your own person; new mothers launch baby businesses because there’s a product they can’t find. You can start any successful business like a florist or launderette; you just need to market it in a new way to your customer. I would advise chasing excellence, not mediocrity. There are plenty of business consultants who’ve never run a business. I worked for the wealthiest woman in a Greek town. She was the closest thing to a mentor for me because you have to work very hard to make money over there, and a simple quote from Madonna, ‘always believe in your dreams,’ stuck with me. People try to take advantage as you’re starting up, but you learn www.catch22mag.com

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to spot their motives.You’ve got to be a really good problemsolver, there’s staff to deal with as well as customers and because I was in the travel industry I would have to fly out to say Sri Lanka after a Tsunami. So there were times I’d think to myself ‘why am I doing this?’ Hard things happen, one thing to hold onto is that tomorrow is another day. Things go wrong when you don’t face up to things. I made £1.5million when my business turned over £10million which I re-invested and I’d advise any aspiring entrepreneur to do the same and sit on their money for a year; allow yourself one flashy thing before deciding what to do with the rest - I bought a Cartier watch. I processed my success when I eventually sold my company for millions and it was a shock. Be prepared for accountants and financial advisors to be on you like locusts once you’ve got money and everyone tries to take you for a ride. If you’re unsure about your business idea, don’t ask family and friends because they’ll always support you.You need compound eyes to foresee the pitfalls. If you are overconfident, bordering on arrogant, and if you’re buying Ferarris and big houses as soon as you make money then you’ll end up failing.You need to keep people around you who will tell you when you’re wrong. Then there’s under confidence which becomes a distraction because you don’t believe enough in yourself. If you’re under confident and don’t believe in yourself keep people who can help you around. Get out there to find out if people will buy what you’re offering and if they say no, take heed. If you still believe in the idea, launch on a small budget and then you’ll know how to change it. Don’t keep investing in it if it continually fails. It’s OK to admit defeat.”

“Starting younger made me better. It really happened for me so I believe it can happen for anyone” Charlie Mullins from London has been plumbing since he was 12. He set up Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 and was a millionaire by 29. “I always liked to earn money. Instead of going to school I used to help a local plumber. He was well-known and respected, the only one who had a car, money and a motorbike, so I knew early on what I wanted to do. Starting younger made me better. It really happened for me so I believe it can happen for anyone. I didn’t go to school; I always say when mentoring, ‘If I had brains I’d be dangerous.’ When you make your first million, reaching that milestone is such a wonderful feeling, it’s everything you can imagine and it inspires you to go further. I worked hard to make this money for myself and now I work hard so lots of people together earn lots of money. Not everyone wants to work for a living, but the best businesses are run by people working hard to make that money. There are ups and downs, my worst mistake was not putting a management structure in place earlier. I was trying to do everything myself, it took me a while to realise there’s great people out there with skills that you don’t have that can help


you. There is an art in delegating so have a manager in every department and have someone handling wages, keeping an eye what’s going in and out, otherwise it can be a major downfall. It’s easier for me now running a bigger business than it was in the earlier stages, but you have to remember that everything you put into your business in the early stages comes back good or bad. I almost wanted to give up in the last recession [1989-1990]. The bank put a lot of pressure on me. They took advantage of me, charging massive overdraft loans; they’re crooks in suits. I don’t deal with them personally anymore. I borrowed a quarter of a million in equity and the banks wanted me to throw in the towel. I’d have lost my own house with their advice. My accountants told me I could work through it so I’d advise young people not to let banks have a say in your business, because they don’t care if you succeed or fail, they only want their money. When you believe in what you’ve got, put it into practice wherever the market is and find your type of customer. I went to the higher end for plumbing targeting the people who have more money to pay for a premier service. I had no business model, but I had my own plan. I’m a great believer in apprenticeship as a starting point. Once you go in the right direction the rest is up to you. You only get out what you put in. Every company should have some form of guidelines, we have the Pimlico Bible and I always say ‘we need to be drinking out of the same teapot.’ All the clichés ‘a hard days work’, or ‘the early bird’ mean something, they come from somewhere so I’d advise aspiring entrepreneurs to pick the ones that work for you and swear by them.” Cameron Johnson, acted upon his first entrepreneurial instinct at age nine, selling his sister’s extensive Beanie Babies collection online for $50,000, which he invested into his next business idea. He was a millionaire by age 11 and at the age 15 he became the youngest American to be appointed to the board of a Tokyo-based company. He expands on his tips from his book You Call the Shots.

“Not everyone wants to work for a living but, the best businesses are run by people working hard to make that money” “The first business book I read was Art of the Deal by Donald Trump when I was eight years old. I started reading business magazines and books from entrepreneurs such as Michael Dell, Bill Gates and Richard Branson. They all started when they were young which inspired me to do the same. My dad owns a Ford car dealership and he said when I was five years old, I’d draw pictures of different cars and sell them to the salespeople for $1 each. It was the Internet that enabled me to start when I was still in grade school as it made it possible to connect and find www.catch22mag.com

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my customers all over the world. The setbacks I faced mainly involved time conflicts and trying to fit everything into the day: school, sports, work. In that order. I always did business late at night and that’s another advantage of the Internet because it’s not your traditional 9am-5pm brick and mortar business. I always worried someone would take advantage of me because I was young, so I would hide my age at first. Everyone I worked with was always pleased to later find out that I was a successful teen entrepreneur as that removed their worries of being taken advantage of too. It’s good to approach a relationship with caution.   Everything is a stepping stone and a lesson, I think the size of mistakes are based on the size of your risk. Chapter two of my book is titled Start Small, and I think that’s the most important thing I could share with anyone. My thinking is always, ‘What’s next?’ Most of my businesses were set with a time frame and exit strategy. For your business idea, research online to see if a similar product exists, if it does, then see if it’s a success or if there’s opportunity to improve. If it doesn’t exist then ask why? It’s either because

“I always worried someone would take advantage of me because I was young, so I would hide my age at first” someone’s tried and failed because there isn’t a market, or they didn’t do it right. I’m often more hesitant if the idea doesn’t already exist - surely someone’s tried it? I prefer learning everything I can, and tapping mentors when necessary.You don’t necessarily need a 40-page proposal - it’s more important to get started - but everyone needs a plan. The problem is after getting through steps one, two, and three of starting up, the rest is often unpredictable. ‘Your first million’ has a nice ring to it, but it’s just a number.Your first sale is as important as the one that puts you over the million mark. Making your first 10k and 100k, are equal milestones.  I look up to any successful entrepreneur and I’ve added to the number of idols and mentors I’ve encountered. Anyone who builds something from scratch, gives others a solid living, and provides a great product or service to their customers, is a winner in my book. It’s about leaving the world a better place than you found it.”

36 www.catch22mag.com


Q. Passionate about journalism Q. but lack the opportunities? A. Then the Catch 22 Academy is where you need to be

Provides the opportunity to contribute to our commercial magazine and a one-month internship with one of our industry partners.

plication 2011 Ap e Date: Deadlin ER PTEMB 21ST SE : art Date 2011 St CTOBER 12TH O

For more information Email academy@catch22mag.com Website www.catch22mag.com or Call 020 8880 9501 The academy is primarily targeting young adults excluded from such opportunities based on their social profile and/or disadvantaged background.


k r o Y New d n i M f o e Stat Illustration: Aurelie Bourguet

Landing in one of the world’s most famous cities can be an overwhelming experience. Imagine yourself in a fastpaced environment filled with speeding vehicles, high-rise buildings and scurrying people. It can leave you wondering where to start. For years people across the US and the world have relocated to New York City, with visions of improving their lives. AaronSpencer Charles finds out what it’s really like to chew on the Big Apple

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Every year, London natives fly abroad to start a new life in the NYC – a trend amongst young adults that has evolved with the increase in better career prospects. Three London expats – Adam, Mark and Alison – share their experiences of life in New York City, a place similar to London and one of the fastest growing locations in the world. Although London and New York host similar traits, our expats give a breakdown of many of the differences between the two cities, and whether the glam of New York City life has met their expectations. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, artists and athletes hail from New York. The likes of Mike Tyson, Rosario Dawson and Donald Trump all represent the East Coast city’s celebrity status. Just like those celebrities, our expats set out to grab a piece of the pie, chasing their dreams and creating fresh opportunities.

Mark Bell, 26

“LHR to JFK...the one way ticket that changed my life”

Mark Bell moved to New York City in January 2010 from Kent southeast London on a 3-5 year contract, after working as the UK Marketing Manager for an international software company. Mark was told of an internal job position over in New York, so he jumped at the opportunity and took the role as a Marketing Director. The main reason for the move was because I was fortunate enough to be offered a promotion and experience a different way of life – to live in a city which ‘never sleeps’. I knew that the move to New York for me was going to be a big one. It wasn’t the same as maybe moving to a different town, street or area like it is in the UK. I had in the back of my mind that it was nearly 4,000 miles away from home and a good seven hour flight. But at the same time, I also knew that it was going to be exciting, the start of a new life and a real challenge which is what I was looking forward to the most. My birthday was during my first week in New York which was strange. I had bought my cards across with me from the UK, but knowing that I didn’t really have anyone to go out for drinks with was a little strange. I opened my cards in the morning and placed them on the side unit in my room to try and make it feel homely. I remember going down to the hotel reception of the Radisson Martinique on 32nd Street the morning of my birthday, as the heating in my room was not working properly and when it’s minus 15C, you need heat!The receptionist pulled my details up on the computer and obviously realised that it was my birthday. She asked me why I was on vacation on my own for my birthday, so I told her that actually I wasn’t, I had actually moved here from the UK. She was amazed and made sure that everyone in the hotel reception at the time knew it was my birthday. When I came back to the hotel that night, they had put a cake and a bottle of champagne in my room with a card and it simply read “Happy Birthday Mark, welcome to your new home, have a drink on us”. It was at that point that I realised that actually New York was now home. I moved into my apartment in February 2010 located in Turtle Bay, on the east

side of Manhattan by the UN building. It’s a great area with restaurants and bars, full all year. Every weekend during the summer there is a street market selling fresh fruits, local delicatessen (including deep fried Oreos), and hand crafted items. Some of the major differences I noticed between New York and London were how friendly people are in New York – everyone wishes you a ‘nice day’. The weather is also different. The New York work ethic is ‘work hard, play hard’, which I think is probably the same in London. I do work longer hours but I socialise a lot more here than I did with my colleagues in London. I was lucky in obtaining a visa through work which meant the process for me was straight forward. For obvious reasons obtaining a visa is difficult and involves a lot of paperwork. My advice would be to read up on the process using the U.S. Embassy website and make sure you fill in the forms with detail, to reduce the time it takes. The whole process for me took three months, but it can take up to six or eight months, so be prepared. Despite the economic downturn you can always enjoy life here but the key to it is to stay away from the so called ‘tourist traps’.You can dine out in Murray Hill, Turtle Bay, Upper East and Upper West Sides for a reasonable cost. Accommodation in New York is not cheap. Apartment renting is expensive but space is a premium in the city so they are going to be. If you can get a room within a shared apartment, this is certainly a popular route to go. My move to New York has made me realise many things – that you should take every opportunity you can and enjoy it to the fullest. Be alert and make sure you plan your trip well. Be aware of those areas which are not recommended to explore but most of all enjoy your stay here. Make sure you have your accommodation booked before you arrive as it is not that easy to sort out once you are here. My future plans are to enjoy the city life as much as I can and to travel to other areas of the U.S. New York really is a great place to be with so many opportunities. If anyone is considering the move – go for it – you will love it here. www.catch22mag.com

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Adam Rogers, 25 “I just bit the bullet and moved.” Adam Rogers knew he needed a change. After graduating in 2007 from Central Saint Martins, with a Menswear Design BA, Rogers set out for New York City, in search of inspiration in a new environment. Touching U.S. soil in 2008, after calling the HR at Ralph Lauren, Rogers now works in the fashion industry as a freelance designer (men’s clothing), fashion consultant and stylist. When I first arrived here, I landed my first apartment in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. I felt as though the US was calling me whilst I was finishing off at school. Back then I was amongst the treadmill retail movement to get through school and rent. It was time to jump out of my comfort zone to open up new doors and get to where I wanted – I hate staying put for too long. Polo sponsored me to move with the company CDS international. I would suggest that all work experience students or intern individuals should go through them. Londoners and New Yorkers both strive for their ambitions and dreams to manifest, but never before have I seen people work so hard in my life compared to the Yanks. Most have five jobs and make money off tips behind bars or hosting and freelance work on the side of their nine to five. The social scene is very much like London with certain groups that you would expect hanging around one another.You’d have hip-hop heads together, the rock[er] s together, soulful people together. I think the social scenes are one-up from anywhere else I’ve been only because people are more open to talk.

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However, I find the humour a bit wack over here. Their jokes are completely different from ours – I find them more babyish. They’ll laugh at the smallest things rather than the most intelligent. New York City on the surface is glamorous and beautiful. That’s in the magazines and films you see. But when you live in an apartment and you see the roaches and house centipedes that come when it’s damp, you don’t really see the glamour in your apartment. Unless you’re pimped-out with nice settings and you have a guy who sorts out your rat infested holes inside the corner of your wall. But that does not conceal the roaches and the rats swarming beneath your feet on the subway. There are some impatient people out here too, you can tell by the honking around in the city, the rush hour on the tubes. They are loud, patriotic and very ahead of us [Londoners] in the way they think and the technological strategies; very business-orientated. The food experience here is extremely grand in variety.You have Chinatown, where you can get the finest Chinese; Little Italy, which is full of great Italian food. Then you have the posh diners down on the Lower East Side. Everything you want is pretty much accessible to whatever you prefer that evening or during the day. It’s quite a good place to be for options – They’re always disregarding the English for our bad taste and less-seasoned food. The melting pot is what allows this city to be one of the best because of how many

people are here from all over the world. You have little French restaurants opening now, we have a new Cuban restaurant not far from where I live – it’s pretty diverse. If I’m speaking for the menswear – which is the business I’m in – then I would say that the men are really excelling and refining themselves into something that I didn’t see when I first came out here; I was the minority. When I first came out here in a three-piece-suit, a cane, a bowling hat and a bow tie, everyone was always breaking their necks looking back saying: “ah, that looks amazing” – now everyone is doing it. I don’t see the economy as putting up borders for myself. I haven’t been stopped by what’s going around with the recession. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves still. All the creatives are starting their businesses because of it; they can’t really trust and depend on any one else too much anymore. Freelancers will always get by because freelancers are always needed in a recession. I feel like I have matured out here a lot. I’m an adult now, I’ve grown up from 22, and I’m 25 now, living out here. When you’re 19, 20, 21, you are still learning the ways of who you are. I’m still learning now, but my mentality is a cross between some of the people I’ve met out here, and how I’ve been brought up in London. My expectations were exactly how I lived them now but I just thought it would be quicker and it’s actually taken the complete opposite, and this is why my perception of today is live every day, minute-for-minute, hour-for-hour and don’t think ahead too much.


Allison Hales,30 “ I was in the right place at the right time” After graduating from London Guildhall University with a BA in Marketing and Communications in 2003, Allison Hales left south London after a job offer in NYC from Mariah Carey’s manager, Jerry Blair.The job as an assistant at the Fuerte Group - a marketing and music management company - was just the beginning. Now, Hales works as an artist manager with RI Entertainment, managing artists including international multiplatinum artist Mika, and as CEO of Charles Alan Management a company working on marketing projects that include film, artist and tour management. To move my whole life to New York wasn’t that difficult. I had been living on my own since I was 16 and was ready for an adventure.

However, New York is the best city in the world. It’s lived up to my expectations and then some. I came here with one suitcase, nowhere to live and nothing in my bank account. Seven years later, I live alone in a luxury building in Manhattan. I have travelled the world and lived out a lot of my dream career. Do dream big – you can achieve anything in this city. Whatever your heart desires – dance, music, food, or nature, New York has it. As I work with London frequently, I can say that the difference is very noticeable. The pace and the noise – New Yorkers are very quick, aggressive and no nonsense. Londoners tend to be much slower in getting things done – they have less urgency in the way they work and do not respond after “work hours” or on public holidays. My favourite place to eat is Bar Pitti in Soho - it is the best Italian in the city and never disappoints. It’s also a cool spot to people watch. It’s become one of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s spots; I’ve been going there for over six years now! That’s what’s great about NY; you can live on a budget of whatever extreme.

Dollar pizza will never die, you can have a roommate until you’re 40 and it’s not frowned upon, the subway is 24-hours – you can’t do or have any of that in London. Quite surprisingly I had zero difficulty in obtaining a visa; I stayed at the same company for seven years and they supported me in securing it. I think it’s more difficult if you don’t have a degree or a sponsor. My advice is to secure a sponsor first and then find a visa that best suits your qualifications. My most unusual experience while in New York was a homeless person urinating on the subway on the train, while lying on a bench in the morning with a half packed train! Disgusting! I got cabs for a while after that. I think I might be damaged for life! New York has made me a professional. It has given me the courage to do anything. Alternatively, on a negative note it brings out the impatience in me. I have learned that you have to work hard otherwise it will spit you out very quickly. You also need to stay focused on your goal and always progress in whatever you’re doing. I plan to keep dreaming for bigger and better.

I live in the Financial District – a young, vibrant and noisy place on weekdays and very chilled at weekends. It has great rooftop views of Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge and also has a brilliant choice of restaurants that are off the beaten path. New York is very diverse, and I’m fortunate to have friends from all over the world who, like me, moved here in search of a dream. There’s a hustle like no other in NY. No one’s going to give you anything for nothing! You have to work hard for what you want, as there are a million other people who want the exact same as you; it’s not easy.

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ips Here are some t thing on getting every ump set up for the j overseas: Get That Visa: Visa applications can take months, so minimise time loss by getting a solicitor to find the best visa for you. US visas come in two forms: Non-immigrant visas, for temporary stay (good for tourism work, business, medical matters and temping) and Immigrant visas, to live and work in the States. Prices vary amongst solicitors, so get a quote from various firms, before making a final decision. Solidify That Job: Contact trade associations connected to New York City or contact the chamber of commerce. The addresses of these can be found in the reference sections of good business libraries. Contact New York recruitment agencies, while still in London and arrange interviews with companies of interest. Living Ain’t Easy: Apartments can be found online (Craigslist), via estate agents or by word-of-mouth. Hostels are usually a good temporary option. Streetwise Manoeuvres: Once in NYC, get a hold of an unlimited MetroCard – it will get you from A to B via the subway and buses.

Interesting websites: • www.britishexpats.com: To get all the up-to-date news on the general world of British expats, check out this website, along with its tight-knit forum community. • http://london.usembassy.gov/visas.html:Visas for the US may be confusing to grasp, but the US Embassy’s website will break it down for you. • www.city-data.com/forums: Arguably the best city-based forums on the net. City Data hosts an international array of threads involving user discussions, advice and interaction. The U.S forum is consistently active with users, daily. • www.londonyc.com: If you’re unsure about where to eat, sleep or drink in The Big Apple, then surf LONDONYC. • http://newyork.timeout.com: the quintessential guide to New York City’s happening places and events, not forgetting tip-offs on fun nights for cheap. • www.allisonj.org/2008/03/12/so-you-wanna-move-to-nyc: A tell-it-like-it-is blog post by Allison J, giving you a headsup on your potential new home. • www.yelp.co.uk/topic/london-london-versus-new-york-neighborhoods---a-guide: Here is a fun little Yelp post that gives you an idea of the similarity between NYC and London boroughs. • www.ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/other-locations/ny/: The British Consulate-General provides information on British and U.S. relations; helpful with visas and embassy procedures as well.

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Illustration: Filiz Tunali

Just how far would you go to keep your other half interested? It’s all well and good taking them out for a candle-lit dinner, a stroll in the West End or buying them that designer shirt they were looking at. But would you get a tattoo in a personal place for them? Would you perform sexual acts that you weren’t comfortable with? Max Barua scoured the streets of London to look for the weird and wonderful ways in which people have kept the spark alive. 44 www.catch22mag.com


There are people that will, and then there are people that won’t. Doing certain things out of your own comfort zone can be quite intimidating, especially when you’re not the one initiating it. Samantha Knott, 21, from Kilburn, had been with her boyfriend Joe * for eight months. When he brought home a ‘friend’ one night and asked her to participate in a threesome, Samantha wasn’t sure what to think. “I said no at first but then he said he would just sleep with her anyway. So I did it.” She thought it was going to be more about her and the girl while her boyfriend watched, but soon found out that that wasn’t the case at all. Samantha not only performed sexual acts with the girl, but also watched her boyfriend have sexual intercourse with her as well. Even though she was left feeling hurt and embarrassed about the situation, her boyfriend became more responsive to her in the bedroom, and seemed to be more turned on by the things Samantha did. Not long after the first time, Joe asked her to do it again and Samantha refused. After saying that she was uncomfortable with the situation Joe began to get aggressive. Joe persisted until finally they broke up. Samantha says that she would never sleep with a girl again, but she has learnt to feel good about herself once more. “I feel stupid for thinking it would please him. I was just hurting myself to make him happy and no one should ever do that to themselves.”

“I said no at first but then he said he would just sleep with her anyway. So I did it” After hearing Samantha’s story, it was hard to believe that romance wasn’t dead...until Adam and Lana from Notting Hill came along. Lana May was smitten with the idea of having sex with three men at the same time, but her boyfriend Adam wasn’t. “He just looked at me and said ‘absolutely not’,” says Lana. And really, who could blame the guy? But that’s what Lana wanted, so that’s what Lana got. After scouting for males in local bars, Lana and Adam then had to sit down and get to know their ‘candidates’. “I had to go out with these guys first, just to make sure they weren’t crazy or anything!” Lana explained. Lana picked four guys, and out of those four, chose two of them to take back to her and Adam’s apartment. Speaking to Adam, it was clear to see that he was just as relaxed as she was about the whole situation, but where did this attitude come from? “I think it was just when I realised that I was doing it for her, rather than her doing it to me,” he said. “She wasn’t going behind my back, she approached me in an adult way and so I thought why not?” Adam felt weird about himself, and especially Lana, sleeping with two other guys but he loved her so he felt right doing it. And did it make their relationship stronger? Both Lana and Adam think so seeing as they’re still together and would do it again. Sex, sex, sex. We get it. So who’s done something that doesn’t involve physical contact at all? When Daniel Smith* 26 from Camden, had a falling out with his girlfriend he knew it would take something pretty drastic to be forgiven. “I wanted to go to

a party,” he says. “So I kind of blew my girlfriend off.Yeah I know, it was naughty.” When she found out, she was furious and threatened to break it off with him. Daniel knew he’d have to pull out all the stops in order to keep her affections. Not only did he take her out for dinner and bring her flowers, but he also wooed her with his silver-tongued apology in her native language. “She’s from Russia, and to translate English into Russian is actually really hard. It took me about five days to learn.” Wow. That’s determination for you. And he didn’t just stop there. After she was happily impressed and eager to forgive him (seriously, how could you not forgive him?), Daniel went on to learn the entire Russian language. Despite his claims of a bad memory, and how hard the language in question is, they are still happily together.

And so we’ve almost finished on our journey together kiddies, but there’s just one more person that may tickle your sides. As harsh as it is, listening to Nathan James* talk about his experience would have anyone in stitches. The 27-year-old from Clapham was given the surprise of his life when he awoke one day to a spotty penis. “I’m a fairly hairy guy,” Nathan explains, “and my girlfriend used to make jokes about me. I took it to heart because it does get to you. I wanted to do something nice for her.” So while his girlfriend was away at her parents for the weekend, he decided to do something about his fur problem and go for a full back, sack and crack wax.

“It hurt so badly. It wasn’t even worth it! I could barely walk, and it was itchy” After enduring this excruciating agony, he went home only to be greeted by white spots, a red rash and a painful member. “It hurt so badly. It wasn’t even worth it! I could barely walk, and it was itchy,” he said. “I had to make various excuses not to have sex with my girlfriend; I was too tired, I had a headache. I sounded like her!” Nathan managed to keep her in the dark about the situation for almost five days, until she found him examining his lesions naked in the bathroom. “She was a bit paranoid at first because she thought I’d caught an STI!” Eventually, he went to the doctors and was told that he had folliculitis, a skin irritation caused by friction, shaving or waxing. Luckily for him, even after the gross sights his girlfriend saw and two weeks on www.catch22mag.com

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an antibiotics course, she liked him enough to laugh it off and stay with him. Now that’s something to smile about. So after these (horror) stories and knowing that these are actually real, everyday people, doesn’t it make you think; why? Clinical psychologist, Dora Whittuck, gives her opinion on why people may go to such extreme or absurd lengths in order to keep love and affection. She says, “This sort of behaviour stems from our childhood. Psychoanalytical literature would say we conduct our relationship skills from our parents, and this sort of behaviour is more common in people that maybe didn’t have enough love or attention as a child.” That seems like a harsh thing to say, so how can we know it’s true? “That may not always be the case,” explains Dora. “This type of behaviour is more common in women because it is in our biological make-up to keep a man and reproduce.” But what about women that just want to have fun? “It is seen as more acceptable for men to have more than one sexual partner, whereas with women it is more likely to be ridiculed. It would be seen more negatively in women that go to such extreme lengths,

“This type of behaviour is more common in women because it is in our biological make-up to keep a man and reproduce.” but if it was a man behaving this way it would be revered as sweet and selfless. However, women that will go to such lengths can also connote loyalty, trust and compromise, and in men it can sometimes mean weakness, clinginess and a sense of low selfworth.” So if girls want to, or are willing, to do whatever it takes to keep relationships strong they are seen as playthings and sluts or they can be seen as loyal compromisers.While men are seen as loving and affectionate or weedy little creatures that cling on like leeches. Great. After skin rashes, forced threesomes and linguistic learning, who knows what works when it comes to doing right in a relationship? If you think you know what’s best, then do it. If not, take Nathan’s words as gospel when he says, “It’s not even worth it.”       

46 www.catch22mag.com


Q. Passionate about journalism Q. but lack the opportunities? A. Then the Catch 22 Academy is where you need to be

Provides the opportunity to contribute to our commercial magazine and a one-month internship with one of our industry partners.

plication 2011 Ap e Date: Deadlin ER PTEMB 21ST SE : art Date 2011 St CTOBER 12TH O

For more information Email academy@catch22mag.com Website www.catch22mag.com or Call 020 8880 9501 The academy is primarily targeting young adults excluded from such opportunities based on their social profile and/or disadvantaged background.


GALLERY

Dolne Miasto I Dolne Miasto (Lower Town) is a slightly rough and forgotten area of Gdansk, Poland, where I come from. Due to historical changes, once beautiful 17th century town houses are now looking run down and people living in the area are mostly unemployed. In my drawings I wanted to capture the spirit of this fascinating place and its residents, including the slang and conflicts that are a part of its character. Dominika Lipiniewska

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My Thai Dream ‘my thai dream last night was more like an extended fantasy, the colours that filled my head had no names and i just lay transfixed looking up at the scene’ Felice Perkins

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GALLERY

Portobello Market This illustration is an A3 etching intricately drawn on a market day of the pub Earl of Lonsdale. It was based on a project I did creating posters for different walks in London. It creates the feel of the ambiance of a busy Saturday market day with a mixture of people. I wanted to create an atmospheric image and I felt etching was the best technique to create this. Throughout my illustrations I like to create intricately drawn images which I hope will want people to be drawn in closer to the illustration. Alexander Rolfe

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Untitled A depiction of George Osborne laid bare that will hopefully evoke a shudder of abhorrence as well as a brief chuckle simultaneously. I’ve been working on trying to capture this repugnant portrayal since Osborne has been Chancellor. His buttock-like nose is the main distinguishing feature which I’ve tried to exaggerate to make it as grotesque as possible. The smug grin is always essential when depicting Osborne too. But through studying and breaking down his features, I’ve come to realise his thick neck which makes his head a more cylindrical shape that slightly sags, is also a defining feature Ben Jennings

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GALLERY

Untitled This was created as part of my MA project, Personality and Working Conditions. The project approaches the theme using photography, video and installation. This image explores the oppressive and exploitative dimension of uniformity at work in particular business fields. Each item has been carefully placed in order to construct a narrative, requiring multiple readings on behalf of the viewer. The image is largely based on my personal experiences in working for various corporations as well as from field research I have conducted in the form of audio and video interviews. Nikitas Almpanis

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Untitled Photography is my passion and what moves me. I am a Spanish artist based in London with a professional background in arts. My photography work searches everyday scenes for the figures and moments that go undetected in chaotic urban environments. The subjects in the images have not posed and their expressions are completely natural and spontaneous. Isabel Infantes

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GALLERY

“Stop Thinking In Pixels & Vectors� I created this screen-print after the average long hard day in front of a monitor.The phrase came to me when thinking about the overuse of computers, and reliance on image manipulation software in design and illustration today. Starting with the hand-drawn text, I added more and more elements in an ad hoc fashion - some computer-generated, some drawn by hand - all unplanned. Matt C Stokes

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Shadowplay I have always had a fascination with the less travelled and un-explored places in the world, beauty and magnificence that many people ignore. My biggest passion lies in exploring the simple beauty of the wilderness, however living in the city I have taken to Urban Exploration as the next best thing. Joshua Ainsworth www.catch22mag.com

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FOREVER

YOUNG Stories make the world go round, children love them and parents tire of them. Sarah Dean meets a community of adults that are enjoying the art of storytelling for the second time round I’m sitting in a chilly upstairs room in The Birdcage pub in Stoke Newington. It’s a Sunday night, and Gabriella, founder of Storytails, is setting up the sound system for tonight’s event. We’re to be treated to six tales from amateur writers, some true, some fictional, each an escape from our day-to-day lives. As the readers warm up, so does the room and as darkness falls the chilliness subsides and the room becomes cosy, isolated, separate from the rainy, blustery, autumnal evening outside. Stories of love, family, imprisonment and make-believe take us from the edge of our seats to coiling back into them. When the evening ends, it’s like waking up. Returning to reality. It has been a temporary yet wonderful escape. I wonder why others come. “It’s something a little bit different, there are an increasing number of events like this, and it opens you up to subjects you might not choose to read about”, says Claire, from Walthamstow, who attends several other spoken word events in London with her boyfriend Ken. “As a child, my parents worried I would never learn how to read because I wanted to be read to all the time”, says Ken, who is a commissioning editor and of course, now knows how to read. “But I still love listening to stories. You’re taken on a journey, swept up in it. It’s unpredictable, imaginary, evocative,” he says. And all in the upstairs room of a shabby East London pub. Events like Storytails, encouraging a return to the simple pleasures of life, have sprung up all over London and are gaining

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popularity. Sleepovers for adults, storytelling nights and pyjama parties, board game nights and postcard making. Even if it isn’t their initial intention, this genre of events appeals to the child inside. And everyone has one thing in common - a desire to indulge the imagination. At the other end of the scale from Storytails is David Carter’s Bedtime Stories, a celebrated monthly event on the London calendar. Held in a Georgian townhouse on Mile End Road, guests don pyjamas and nighties, settle down on the rug with a

“As a child, my parents worried I would never learn how to read because I wanted to be read to all the time” nice cocktail (not a cup of hot milk - the adult is still very much present in that sense), and listen to tales from some of the country’s best storytellers. One of the aims of his event is to take people on a journey back to their childhood. “I wanted to create something that enables people to rediscover that sense of wonder and excitement of listening to fantastic tales”, he says. “Obviously when we are children we believe in magic and flying dragons and carpets and all sorts; there’s a sense of the endless possibilities of life. As people


grow up, they tend to lose that and become terribly cynical, so really it’s an antidote to that, creating something a bit unique and charming.” Many of David’s guests are very successful in their field, yet are still on the quest to find that something that seems to be missing from their lives, which the material cannot provide. Something simple, and sensory. “Everything is so over-branded, over marketed now. You see all those TV ads - buy this car and you’re free, driving through all these empty roads through beautiful countryside, I mean, that is not the reality of owning a car. That stuff doesn’t deliver. People come to our events because they are looking for something that does. Something more than just superficial gloss, something that has feeling and substance to it, it's emotionally engaging, that takes them on a fantastic journey.” Childhood dreams, according to David, become forgotten when we grow up. And these events allow us to return to those dreams, for a while. “Lots of people when they were younger had dreams about becoming rock stars, or scuba diving instructors, or riding a bike around the world, and ended up working as an accountant,” says David. “By taking people back to a place where the mundane realities of life weren’t there, it replants a seed. Or throws a bit of fertilizer onto the things they used to want or believe in and acts as a little spurt to make more of life, rather than just waste it on accumulating plasma TV screens.”

“The metaphorical landscape of storytelling provides not only escapism, but also a safe place to explore our darkest selves,” says Rachel Rose Reid, a young storyteller famed for her magical weaving of tales on the London circuit, and a regular teller of tales at Bedtime Stories. And it’s true, through fiction, subjects can be dealt with that in reality we might not want to address, and darkness itself provides a cloak under which to do this. “It’s great to have a group of adults relax and open their hearts as the ‘movie’ of a story unfolds the imagination,” says Rachel.

“By taking people back to a place where the mundane realities of life weren’t there, it replants a seed” At Storytails, it wasn’t until it was dark outside that I really relaxed, and became completely involved in the stories. “There is something very potent, very magical about sitting around in darkness or semidarkness, listening to a voice. It’s very intimate,” says David. Darkness is a recurring theme associated with our childhood, the comfort of being tucked up in bed and read to as night falls; disguising the reality that surrounds us and providing a blank canvas for the imagination. But listening to stories isn’t the only way people are making temporary escapes back to childhood. Other events cater for www.catch22mag.com

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the more actively childlike among us. Once a month, Lauren Johns hosts Mr Balls Games Night at the Duke of Wellington pub in Islington. People gather to play games from Pictionary to Charades. “The act of playing games allows us to lose our inhibitions, and get completely wrapped up in the game,” says Lauren. “It usually ends up involving lots of laughter and sometimes shrieks, which is pretty childlike,” she says. And there is nothing like the pure childish pleasure, the excitement, adventure and naughtiness of being allowed

“The act of playing games allows us to lose our inhibitions, and get completely wrapped up in the game” to stay up late. Last year the Serpentine Pavilion hosted an adult sleepover, complete with midnight feast and jellies. Although the event had a more serious intellectual focus, exploring the idea of creativity and its relation to insomnia, there was an element of playfulness to it that attracted people, confirms Tom Coupe, the Serpentine Gallery’s press officer. Attendees were allowed to spend the night in an environment usually out of bounds after hours – not just the Pavilion but also Hyde Park in which it is situated. This in itself evoked

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excitement among participants – being allowed to do something that is usually against the rules. There is an element of nostalgia involved in these events, looking back to the past, looking for a more innocent time in your life when things were simpler and less complicated, or indulging in the simplicity that can be found just listening to a story, playing board games or eating jelly. One thing that they all seem to provide is escapism. For whatever reason - a boring job, bad memories, a relationship you want to forget – we can rely on the innocence, the make-believe, the suspension of disbelief that these events provide to distract us from the everyday. Like dreaming, stories and sleepovers, and childlike pursuits transport us to another world, where we can roam freely in our imagination. “Childhood is the sleep of reason,” said Rousseau. And why not forgo reason for childhood every now and then?


WHERE TO INDULGE YOUR INNER CHILD: Storytails The Birdcage, 58 Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington, London N16 6XS www.storytails.org Bedtime Stories 109 Mile End Road, Stepney Green London www.40winks.org Mr Balls' Games Night Duke of Wellington, 119 Balls Pond Rd, London, N1 4BL Are you Sitting Comfortably? Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1 6AB www.thewhiterabbit.org.uk/projects/are-you-sitting-comfortably/ Rachel Rose Reid Various locations around the UK www.rachelrosereid.com www.catch22mag.com

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MAYBE IT’S

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BECAUSE WE’RE aLL LONDONERS


As “cor blimey me old china” is rapidly replaced with “what’s up bruv”, Rachel Segal Hamilton goes in search of the capital’s cockneys - and discovers some refreshing signs that the original London street culture isn’t being entirely lost. e was born to the sound of the bells at St Mary-leBow church in Cheapside, London. Part charmer, part wide boy, he speaks in rhyming slang and always drops his h's. His cuisine of choice is pie and mash with jellied eels and liquor. And on Saturday nights you’ll find him enjoying a good old fashioned sing-along around the piano at his local boozer. He is the original Cockney geezer. But according to new research from the University of Lancaster, his days are numbered. Professor of Sociolinguistics Paul Kerswill, who led the study, says, “In much of the East End of London the Cockney dialect that we hear now spoken by older people will have disappeared within another generation.” Kerswil’s research has found that as a result of immigration over the past 60 years, the city has become a linguistic melting pot and today most young people in the capital speak Multicultural London English, also known as ‘Jafaican’, a dialect with West Indian, Bangladeshi and Cockney influences. They are more likely to greet you with ‘wha gwan’ than ‘wotcha’ and to say the word ‘face’ as ‘fess’ than ‘faice’. Another reason for the Cockney’s linguistic and cultural demise is that since the war many East Londoners have moved out to surrounding Essex and Hertfordshire. More recently Olympic redevelopment over the past five years has led to the gentrification of this traditionally working-class area. Today asymmetric haircuts and yuppy flats have replaced pearly kings and music hall in the popular perception of the East End. But all is not lost! Cockney references continue to crop up in dance music and comedy, performance art and graffiti. Young artists are connecting with London’s heritage by reclaiming cockney traditions in creative new ways. Dubstep producer Caspa paid homage with his track Cockney Violin. And who can forget ‘The Hitcher’, the terrifying, eel obsessed Mighty Boosh creation?

A prime example of Cockney cool is the capital’s flourishing cabaret scene, a noughties trend so persistent Time Out dedicated a whole new listings page to it. London cabaret acts such as the Whoopee Club, Tiny Wallops and Underbling & Vow are indebted to the East End music hall tradition. Music hall was a form of variety entertainment popular between the late 19th and mid 20th Century and one of its biggest stars was Hoxton born ‘Cockney sparrow’ Marie Lloyd. It’s music hall classics such as My Old Man (Said Follow the Van) that form the basis of the Cockney knees-up. Jools Voce and and Amanda Gettrup of Underbling & Vow first did their Cockney sing-along act four years ago. “We couldn’t believe how well it went down.” They have since led knees ups at Bestival, the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club

by chance when wandering round London on New Year’s Day in 2006. “I hadn’t gone out the night before so I was feeling a bit smug because I didn’t have a hangover.” Hearing the sound of drums coming from Parliament Square, he headed over and discovered a parade of pearly kings and queens. Back in his studio he designed an artwork of a pearly king with the words ‘live east die young’ emblazoned on the back of his jacket. “It was a play on the idea that they are East and they’re dying out. I think these traditions should be celebrated.” At the Cans Festival, a graffiti event curated by Banksy in 2008, Pure Evil painted his pearly piece. “About a month later this old dude shows up at my gallery. He was one of the pearly kings who had been sent to find out what was

“...the city has become a linguistic melting pot” and the Edinburgh Fringe. But what is it about this Cockney tradition that appeals to today’s hip young Londoners? In a word: participation. “People want to get involved. Instead of it being artists and punters, everyone is creating through adding their voice to the sing song.” Aware that they are part of the artistic “new East End,” that has changed the culture of the area, Jools and Amanda are eager to build links with the traditional community. “I met some pearly kings on Brick Lane once when I was handing out flyers for our show. They were like ‘what’s all this then?’ We had a bit of a Cockney off. They came down to our show and sang all the songs. They even did a number called Sling yer Hook!” The pearly tradition originated in the late 19th century when East End market traders or costermongers would decorate their trouser legs, suit pockets and caps with rows of pearl buttons. To this day there are 28 pearly kings and queens, one for each London borough, as street artist Pure Evil discovered

going on because they’d had people going up to them asking which one had ‘live east die young’ written on the back of his jacket.” Once Pure Evil managed to convince him that he was, “for real and not just some graphic designer ripping them off,” they decided to work together on a project: a series of pearly prints to be sold at the Art Car Boot Fair in Brick Lane. Pure Evil gave the £1500 from this to the Pearly Kings and Queens Society to donate to charity and in September 2008, was made an official friend of the Pearly Society. As these meetings between new and old East End show, there are still people who experience Cockney culture as a continuation, not a revival. One of these is 21-year-old Billy Plaw, the pearly prince of Victoria, who can trace his Pearly ancestry back to 1884. Since he was a kid, Billy and his sisters Toni and Nicki, have been going out with their family dressed in their pearly suits to fundraise for charity. Even Billy’s girlfriend Suzi is a pearly princess. And www.catch22mag.com

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“When I have kids they’re definitely gonna be pearlies”

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a beauty queen: In 2009, after winning Miss Hertfordshire, Suzi went through to Miss England. She won the eco-round wearing the pearly suit that used to belong to Billy’s grandmother. Why does it mean so much to Billy? “I do it in my Nan’s memory. When I have kids they’re definitely gonna be pearlies.” Another is Joe Cooke, the owner of F.Cooke’s on Hoxton Street. His family have been baking traditional East End pie and mash since 1862. “We use top notch ingredients and the same pie dishes that my grandfather ‘ad. They’re gold dust to us.” His customers are a blend of locals, Shoreditch trendies and now, thanks to the growth of the internet and a mention in the Lonely Planet guide, groups of tourists in search of an authentic Cockney experience. The ‘true’ Cockney culture will never die because it only ever existed as an idea. Everything we think of as the Cockney way of life has itself been shaped through centuries of immigration, from the French Huguenots in the 16th and 17th Centuries to the Eastern European Jews in the 19th Century. Cockney dialect creatively borrows words from other languages. ‘Shtum’ meaning quiet comes from Yiddish and ‘cushty’ meaning great from Romany. And, given current levels of noise pollution, not even East London native Joe Cooke is sure he’d fit the strict definition of a Cockney. “I was born in Clapton”, he says, “whether you can ‘ear the Bow Bells from there I don’t know. You’d ‘ave to ‘ave bleedin’ good ‘earin!”

COR BLIMEY!

GET THE COCKNEY EXPERIENCE MEET THE PEARLIES The Pearly Kings and Queens have strong links with St Martins in the Fields church in Trafalgar Square. The best time to catch them is on the third Sunday in May for the Pearly memorial service or on the first Sunday of October for their Harvest Festival service. www.thepearlies.com COCKNEY BITES For traditional East End pie and mash with jellied eels, head down to F.Cooke’s on Hoxton Street, G.Kelly’s on Roman Road or Tubby Isaac’s seafood stall in Petticoat Lane Market. www.realhoxton.co.uk/f-cooke www.gkellypieandmash.co.uk www.tubbyisaacs.co.uk ROLL OUT THE BARREL Underbling and Vow have performed their cabaret cockney knees up at Bestival, the Edinburgh Fringe, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and even on a double decker bus! Forthcoming gigs are listed on their website. www.underblingandvow.co.uk HEAR THE BOW BELLS Contrary to popular belief the Bow Bells are not found in Bow but at St Mary le Bow church on Cheapside, the big road running through the City of London. You can also download a recording of the bells online at www.kingsplace.co.uk/celebrate-cockney www.stmarylebow.co.uk

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JAMMIN’IN LONDON The year was 1976, the day after performing with a bullet wound in his shoulder at the legendary Smile Jamaica concert. Bob Marley left Jamaica for Barbados with the Wailers in tow. From there they flew on to London where they lived in Fulham; it was a period of self-imposed exile that was to last 18 months and end with them being catapulted to international stardom. Joe Wolfson delves into this creative period.

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According to Dennis Morris, who photographed Bob Marley when he was in London, he used to hang out in Ladbroke Grove. The area known as ‘The Grove’ was one of the most happening areas in London in the sixties and seventies. Eric Clapton lived there when he formed Cream and Van Morrison refers to it in Astral Weeks. Bob Marley and The Wailers probably ended up there because Chris Blackwell set up Island Records in The Grove in the early sixties. Morris also remembers that Bob Marley and The Wailers hung out on the Kings Road in Chelsea. During the seventies

Punky Reggae Party to the The Clash, The Damned and Dr. Feelgood.” Adebayo also commented on a difference in style that was evident on this album: “At the time Marley was in exile from Jamaica and on the whole album you can feel his reflective mood away from his home country. His earlier albums rely on the slower one drop style of reggae. In the title track Exodus he particularly steps up the pace with a much faster rockers beat. I’m not saying that the cold weather of Europe made him want to ‘lively up himself’ but it certainly got to his bones.”

“At the time Marley was in exile from Jamaica and on the whole album you can feel his reflective mood away from his home country” it was the epicentre of Punk music in Britain. Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, and Vivian Westwood’s boutique Sex was on this road. When they weren’t hanging out Bob Marley and The Wailers loved playing football. Bob Marley supported The Jamaican House of Dread and even had a kit made up for the band and their entourage for their games in Battersea Park. They played with Alan ‘Skilly’ Cole, a legendary Jamaican footballer, against teams that were made up of people like Danny Baker and Eddy Grant. Bob Marley and The Wailers’ former press officer at Island Records, Rob Partridge said, “Anyone who wanted to see them had to play them at football first.” They also recorded two albums during the band’s time in London: Kaya and Time magazine’s ‘album of the century’ Exodus. Exodus is the second book of the Old Testament, in which the Jewish people were led out of Egypt by Moses to the Promised Land. The title is revealing. Bob Marley and The Wailers were exiles themselves, and they identified with the struggle of the Jewish people in the Bible. The lyric ‘movement of Jah people’ also supports this idea. Dotun Adebayo who interviewed Bob Marley during the 18 months that he was in London said the city had a big effect on Bob Marley and his music. “Exodus was recorded and released in 1977 in the middle of the punk era and there are references in [Exodus B-side]

It is amazing that such a spiritual album with tunes of such gravitas like Natural Mystic, So Much Things To Say and Guiltiness are on the same album as lighter tunes like One Love and Three little birds. Linton Kwesi Johnson, a dub poet who has lived in London for most of his life writes about Exodus in his essay Poetry of Exile: “It is in Bob Marley’s Rastafarian faith and his implausible belief in a natural mystic that we locate the thematic thread.”

this album were love and marijuana. The reaction of a lot of Jamaicans to the two albums made in London were positive according to Lij Sol Ujamaa, who saw Bob Marley and The Wailers perform both before they went to, and after they left London: “From Kaya up till his death in the 1980s he gained wider currency in Jamaica itself. Leading up to that he had a large following but there were those who his music didn’t actually matter to.” Because of the success of these two albums The Wailers returned home as superstars. Bob Marley planned to use his legendary status to try and stop the wars between the two Jamaican political parties at the One Love Peace concert. Ujamaa was in the audience: “The iconic picture that came out of that, the minute that Bob Marley took the hands of the leaders of the government and made an arc where they had to hold hands above him. He had their hands and they were holding hands.” So Bob Marley And The Wailers only spent 18 months in exile in London but it is not exaggerating to say that it was because of the influence of this city and how they spent their time here recording, hanging out, meeting people and playing football that they will always be remembered as true legends.

The success of Exodus and the singles that came from it (Jamming, Exodus and One Love/People Get Ready) were phenomenal. Jamming was a top ten hit in the UK and inspired the Stevie Wonder track Master Blaster (Jammin'). Never has a reggae album reached such a broad spectrum of people. It could be argued that this universality came about as a result of the band’s time in London. Morris agrees: “The diversity of the people (including the large West Indies community) and around the time of punk, the openness of a young white audience to Reggae music that he found in London, made him want to reach a wider audience.” The songs that didn’t make it into the cut for Exodus went into Kaya, their next album. This was a very different album from Exodus and was better received in the UK, getting to number five in the album charts. The main inspirations for www.catch22mag.com

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Film: Dirty Pretty Things

Exhibition: Gabriel Orozco Tate Modern

How different does the world look when you are desperate? What would you give in exchange for a passport? These questions are at the heart of the characterisations and plot of Stephen Frears’ Dirty Pretty Things (2003).

Mexican-born Gabriel Orozco is a champion of seeing beauty in the ordinary and happily flits between the comic and the poetic, the dispensable and the intricately-crafted. This retrospective explores the many shades of Orozco’s practice which draws on the histories of both Western and Latin American art practice.

The film is highly dramatic, focusing on the grimy underside of London, in particular its black market and the illegal dealing of human organs. This bleak theme is finely interwoven into the plot, detailing the stark realities of the struggles faced by many of London’s illegal immigrants and asylum seekers, and the extreme things they will do to be part of society. Humorous moments serve to offset the seriousness of the subject matter. The award-winning actors who bring the story to life includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, cast as the morally conscious Okwe, a cab driver and hotel porter. Ejiofor has a powerful presence in every scene in which he appears. The part of Senay Gelik a naïve Turkish Muslim girl, is played by French film star Audrey Tautou in her first English-speaking role, in which she excels. Sophie Okonedo also gives a heartfelt performance as Juliette, an Amy-Winehouse lookalike and prostitute. Sergi Lopez plays the villain, Juan a.k.a Sneaky. He is evil personified with a façade of sleaze and charm. Together, the trio embark on a mission to bring down Sneaky.

The notion of movement is a central theme, whether through familiar emblems of transport (see La D.S. - 1993 – a modified Citroën DS, and Four Bicycles - 1994); his employment of circles as diagrammatic indicators of kinetics (see Samurai Tree series - 1996/7). Or references to time and life cycles through works such as the ephemeral Breath on Piano (1993). Another key theme in Orozco’s practice is exploring the relationship between the organic and the mechanical. Black Kites (1997), hints at a collection of works informed by pre-colonial Mexican culture. But it is Orozco’s chequered intervention on the skull’s surface that becomes important, drawing attention to the body’s geometry.

The style, tone and mood vary throughout the film. Starting off at a slow pace, the film then thrusts the audience through a range of emotions. The vivid imagery and powerful colours adds both visual intensity and suspense. This is a moving film fully worthy of its Academy Award nomination and Best British Independent Film award.

There is a playful absurdist element to Orozco’s work which underlies intellectual study. In Carambole with Pendulum (1996) Orozco adapts the traditional billiards game by suspending the red ball from the ceiling. When willing participants attempt to play, the ball swings wildly about the room, creating havoc within an otherwise structured game. His fondness for the unexpected and his ability to turn the frivolous into the philosophical - cue Empty Shoe Box (1993) - invites a challenging line of enquiry. Well-balanced and packed with intrigue, this show is a triumph for the art of the understatement.

Michael Vogue Okafor

Naomi Innocent

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Cinema: Submarine

Exhibition: The Little People Project “Concrete Ocean” by Slinkachu

Submarine, based on the book by Joe Dunthorne, charts the story of the socially inept 15-year-old Oliver Tate (19-year-old Craig Roberts) growing up in South Wales in the 80s. Oliver falls desperately in love with a girl at his school, the cynical Jordana (Yasmin Paige), and plots to get her in bed with him. He also has to deal with the problems of his very middle-class parents Jill and Lloyd (Sally Hawkins and Noah Taylor). Lloyd suffers from manic depression, while Jill is having an affair with their next door neighbour Graham (Paddy Considine), an arrogant spiritual guru with a ridiculous mullet.

Nestled silently, five feet below eye-line, there exists a miniature world filled with drama, anticipation and adventure. Blind to the London commuter, rushing through and never stopping to breathe in the urban atmosphere, little people and little adventures stand suspended in time and setting.

The cast are brilliant, and the film is filled with memorable characters. Roberts as Oliver portrays well the insular melodramatic angst of an unpopular teenager trying to fit in. His awkward and nervous attempts at seducing Jordana, including taking Jordana to an industrial site, are touching and funny. As are his desperate attempts to keep his parents together by such methods as inventing a seductive letter from Lloyd. Jordana, meanwhile, could’ve been a very dislikeable character - she treats Oliver dismissively and bullies a girl at school - but there is a sympathetic vulnerability underneath her carelessness, which we learn stems from her mother’s terminal illness The parents are particularly hilarious in their misjudged attempts to help Oliver.The scenes where Lloyd gives Oliver mix tapes for the beginning and ‘inevitable end’ of his relationship, and Jill matter of factly admits to giving Graham a hand job, are hilarious and played to perfection by Taylor and Hawkins. Considine is equally funny as the intense Graham, a character which expertly satirises New Age nonsense. Submarine is not only visually striking but also genuinely insightful.

Priscilla Eyles

Slinkachu has brought his urban wonderland to Anidpa Gallery in Knightsbridge in an exhibition of astonishing proportions. The exhibit plays hide and seek with the imagination, displaying lifesized photographs where miniature people are simply lost within the ‘concrete ocean’. His close-ups reveal little stories set on dank puddles and next to houses made of cigarettes. Characters are marooned and attacked in an ironic display that portrays the overwhelming vulnerability of humanity within intimidating urban settings. A personal favourite is Slinkachu’s interpretation of the one-night stand, dubbed “Relationship in a Bottle”. A tiny near-naked women lies sprawled on a bed, wrapped up perfectly in a rebranded old Smirnoff bottle. The piece makes even the most unsuspecting observer feel as though they have stumbled upon an unfortunate scene from The Borrowers. Concrete Ocean provided a bundle of unique and quirky entertainment that was unmissable. But don’t be misguided by his choice of estate and homely urban settings. He sets his exhibitions in a much higher class location, where the everyday chap might be a little stunned to be met by a doorbell and a £4,000 price tag.

Elizabeth Grant www.catch22mag.com

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Urbex is the exploration of abandoned buildings – and the results are rapidly making their way into the art world. Chloe Lloyd joins a collective to discover the weird and wonderful world of these new urban explorers. The need to hunt, forage, explore and to learn new things is only natural. In 1793 Phillibert Aspairt set out to explore the hidden tunnels of the Parisian catacombs by candlelight, and discover treasure reportedly left there by Carthusian monks. He was successful in terms of how far he got, however the remains of his skeleton were found 11 years later, minutes from an exit point. But Aspairt, deemed the first urban explorer, believed it was important for people to explore their surroundings. Cast your mind back to your childhood where hours were spent climbing walls and trees, jumping from climbing frames, throwing caution to the wind with reckless abandon. But urbex (or more formally, urban exploration) is not child's play, a hobby for the faint-hearted or for those looking to capitalise socially on a new (sometimes literally) “underground”

“A great way to learn about photography too” activity. This is a hobby for the brave and inquisitive individual, for those who see a 'do not enter' sign as an invitation rather than a warning. Tunnel systems, drains, caves, sewers, abandoned asylums railways, hospitals and breweries are just some of the wondrous places unveiled by the urban explorers and their cameras; capturing effects that design agencies, set designers and arts councils spend a fortune recreating. Urbex was a term coined in 1996 by Ninjalicious, a pseudonym used by the late Jeff Chapman, founder of Infiltration, a cult urban exploration zine. What first started as simple exploration is “a great way to learn about photography too”, says Ben Adams, a student from Portsmouth who is currently filming a documentary on the subject. “When I started doing urbex I was still fairly clueless about my photography, using a Canon 1000d the cheapest canon DSLR on the market. But urbex taught me a lot about dealing with low light and framing, it's very helpful at indirectly teaching you things.”

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Photography: Ben Adams


Ben, who has been interested in abandoned buildings for a long time first started exploring buildings about six months ago when he was approached by two men asking if he photographed abandoned sites. “They took me to Zurich house in Portsmouth taking me up to the roof, which was incredible. My heart was racing, the fear of being caught and the excitement of being somewhere you shouldn't is amazing. And if you're as fascinated by architecture as I am, it's great, you get to really look at these places stripped down, decaying, the bare bones of what it used to be.” SickBritain, a website moderator who has been interested in exploring since he was a kid, more recently got into the hobby through photography as well. “I bought a new camera a few years ago and rather than take photos of 'the usual' (flowers, people, landscapes). I really wanted to take pictures of something different – something that normally you just don't see and I was inspired by some of the work I'd seen by people going to the old Chernobyl sites.” So what's so fascinating about an abandoned building? “The decay, pure and simple,” says Ben. “It's amazing how little time it takes for buildings to crumble. There's a mental asylum in Eastleigh that's been abandoned for about four or five years now and you wouldn't know it's been that short, it's an amazing place, reminds me of Chernobyl. That was my second explore.”

“It's amazing how little time it takes for buildings to crumble” SickBritain also agrees about the strange fascination some people have with an “aesthetic beauty in decay. There's something of the natural order to it – nature always wins out over time. More specifically I love the fact that you never know what you're going to find and that's the true essence of exploring,” he adds. Ben's favourite explore is the ABC cinema in Cosham. “The roof has completely collapsed in on the main screen and you have to walk over all the asbestos and roof tiles to get down to the bottom it's incredible to see.” Ben showed some footage of the cinema to his lecturer who used to go there as a child. “It blew him away. It was amazing that he was able to see it again - it brought back all the childhood memories of that place and you could still see some popcorn in the machine.” Leigh Jones, an urban explorer based in Manchester is more of an underground man. “I love drains and sewers,” admits Leigh who first started exploring twelve months ago. For Leigh these places are huge engineering projects. In many cases intricate brickwork has been laid by hand on a massive scale, only to be covered over and forgotten about. “These places would be impressive even if they weren't underground,” he says. When you think of drains and sewers we're tempted to think of something out of I'm A Celebrity. But in the winter of 2002, when 922 audience members were taken hostage by Chechen rebels at a Moscow theatre, it is an underground explorer, Vadim Mikhailov, of the Diggers of the Underground Planet, that lead the Russian authorities into the theatre by a littleknown underground route. Even though some might label urban explorers as “trespassers”, this case highlights the invaluable skills and knowledge that dedicated explorers have. www.catch22mag.com

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Leigh advises any wannabe explorers to use the internet to their advantage: “A lot of places have already been visited by explorers so it's just a case of finding reports on forums. However more kudos is gained for visiting new sites, so that's where an interest in local history (old, forgotten sites) and current affairs (recently closed factories) is important. As for finding drains, a lot are found by just following watercourses on maps and noticing where they go underground. It can also be a case of randomly lifting manholes to see what's underneath them.” If you do go on the internet forums, you'll notice that a lot of people use pseudonyms. Rather than being something secretive Leigh explains that it's just a silly convention and most people like to distinguish urban exploration from their professional lives. “Most explorers [know] that if they wanted to, the police could track them down without any trouble at all. It's the internet, there's always a paper trail.” But there is some secrecy in the movement, as some people get really protective over sites. “You've only to look at different forums to see threads where people are whinging about 'some daft sod' and 'getting caught here'. But man-made places are dynamic and ever-changing, that's part of their nature.” Aspairt perished all alone in those catacombs, but that was way back in the 18th century. Despite the obvious advancements in technology and safety, there are still some modern day hazards to think about with urban exploration. “Personal safety is a very important element of exploring and not something that should be treated lightly,” says SickBritain.“There are many kinds of risks including other people e.g. rough sleepers, opportunist muggers, potential injuries

“It's something I don't like to think about, but I'm aware of the risks health wise and safety wise” e.g. falling through a floor, cutting yourself on rusty fence; or the more grizzly e.g. getting trapped, asbestos. Asbestos for me is the greatest concern though. I do make sure to carry and use P3 rated dust masks at every opportunity. To mitigate some of the other risks, I ensure that I wear protective clothing like boots and gloves.” The lack of safety seems to be a draw to the hobby though, especially for the younger urbexers like Ben. “Life's too short not to do stuff like this. Not to generalise it too much, but the lack of safety makes it all the more exciting and the health risks are more over exaggerated than anything. It's something I don't like to think about, but I'm aware of the risks health wise and safety wise.” Safety is not the only concern for urbexers. Just finding entry and exit points can be hard enough as tough security measures on some sites are heavily enforced. “A lot of urbexers are good at avoiding security,” says Ben. “I went to one site by myself and while climbing over the fence, a security guard started shouting at me and shouting for the police, who were incredibly close by. I've never run so fast in my life! And once I was in a place and the police turned up. We made ourselves known - we had no way of exiting without them getting us so it was easier to just make it known.”

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It seems that despite the obvious safety concerns the benefits of urbex, especially in terms of photographic opportunities, definitely outweighs the risks, which is why so many people are hooked on it. The only way to truly realise the spirit of urbex though is to do it for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Go and explore the depths and heights that the city has to offer.

Itching to go and explore the urban landscape now? ● Use websites such as www.28dayslater.co.uk, the most prolific urban exploring forum in the UK there are many locations on there along with reports and photographs of various locations and www.talkurbex.com is more specifically a photography forum for Urban Exploration. For interviews, tips and tricks and photography check out www.sickbritain.co.uk. ● Find a little site to start off with, read as much as possible about the site before you go, then work your way up from there.You'll probably be out of your depth on your first explore so don't go alone. ● Wear gloves, boots and take a torch and a P3 dust mask and always be prepared to be caught. ● Most importantly don't forget to have fun. Just do it!

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A DIFFERENT FAMILY VALUES

Illustration: Matt C Stokes

SET OF

They’re the people who dared to be different – but just what was the price of deciding that they were not like other members of their family? Jimmy Nsubuga goes in search of those who defied their upbringing to strike out on their own, in new and sometimes surprising directions.


Watching your daughter body slam an opponent and then climb to the top rope and leap onto them isn’t normally what parents have in mind for their little girls. Ask most mums and dads and they’ll say they want their kids to be lawyers or doctors. Normally children will fall in line and take up traditional jobs that have been assigned to them. But increasingly nowadays offspring will intentionally choose a different path, this may be a desire to create their own legacy or an act of rebellion. This was the case for Ayesha Raymond, 20, from Walthamstow, or ‘Amazon’ as she is known in the ring. She decided to become a pro wrestler even though as a young, black female the odds were firmly stacked against her. “I always watched wrestling, ever since I was five, with my brother and sometimes my little sister, my brother and I were mad on WWE. I loved the story-lines mixed with the action. My favourite wrestlers growing up were Lita and Chyna because they were in the mainstream, I also loved UK wrestler Sweet Saraya, who is now my trainer. I had to become a wrestler no matter what, especially when women started getting a little more exposure in the UK and overseas.They were no longer just eye candy but were now also serious athletes. I grew up in a single parent home, my mum is a nurse and most of my family went into that kind of profession. I was really into art and music when growing up so I guess my mum thought that wrestling was a phase, she only believed I was serious when I started professional training at 16. My mum wasn’t angry but she was worried after seeing my first match, she thought I was going to kill my opponent. I remember the first time I told my brother, he started laughing but that’s

probably because he was shocked. But now he loves it, my little sister as well, they’re both proud of me for following my dream and can’t wait to see me on TV. Not everyone was supportive, when I was at a career meeting at school I told my teachers and they responded by telling me “That’s not a real job, is it”. This made me feel a little lost and upset. My decision caused more distance than tension because I’d get angry when I felt my family were doing things without me, while I was away wrestling. I love being in the ring, it’s the most amazing feeling ever. It’s empowering

into similar fields to their parents. The offspring of actors, politicians, farmers and doctors traditionally follow into family occupations. According to a study carried out by Arnauld Chevalier at the London School of Economics, men who join the ‘dynastic career’ are between five to eight per cent better off in their first ten years of work. The study also states that around a tenth of UK university students are in the same occupation as their father, a decade after graduating. One of the main reasons is career progression; everyone knows that the right family name can give you an express route to the top. “

“My motto is live to be different, a difference can change the world” whether you’re a good guy or bad guy, the reaction of the crowd is what you live for and the technical aspect of wrestling and learning how the body works makes your brain think in a whole new way. It is actually really dangerous if you haven’t been trained, I’ve separated my shoulder and cracked my wrist. I’ve also broken my ankle and fractured my mate’s ribs and this was all in training. So when they say ‘don’t try this at home’ they’re not kidding. My motto is live to be different, a difference can change the world. If you have a dream go for it only one of two things can happen.” Ayesha’s individual nature was part of the reason she chose to do something different. Normally children will go

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Fanon Nyeya, 23, from London chose to go against the grain when he decided to become an electrician. “I am not 100 per cent sure whether they [parents] had a specific plan for my future, but I know they wanted me to go into law or accountancy. They always made sure I paid attention to subject areas such as mathematics. My dad has his own accountancy firm. When I told them I wanted to become an electrician they seemed very disappointed, it is not a traditional job such as a lawyer or doctor. The atmosphere was very downbeat when I told them the news; there was some tension in the family. But once I started my training and my parents saw how hard I was working, the situation calmed down, but I could still tell my parents were uneasy. I have a younger sister, she told me to do a job which I would be good at and enjoy, she was very supportive. The way my parents treated me is different to the way they treat her, possibly due to what happened with me. My friends were OK with it, I received no criticism. I was one of the first among my group to start earning money, quite a few were jealous as they were struggling to live on student loans. It was possibly a way of rebelling, my dad drove me down a path similar to him and maybe I felt restricted during my school and college years. I didn’t do it out of spitefulness; I was tired of trying to live up to my parent’s expectations and wanted to be cut free.

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Electrician’s training is a lot more academic than people think, it involves learning various theoretical aspects that can be applied to any situations we may face, this means that we have very good mathematical and scientific aptitude. We shouldn’t be brought down by the dodgy electricians you see on Watchdog.” Fanon may have been put off of going into his father’s accountancy business because of the pressure he had received when growing up. This is not a rare occurrence, a number of high profile figures have seen their offspring turn their backs on the family business. The son of late US president Ronald Reagan became a staunch Democrat even though his father had been a Republican icon. Strong family values can also be based around religion. There have been stories of Jehovah Witnesses disowning children that have received blood transfusions. Orthodox Jews are strictly against interfaith marriage and see it as a rejection of the religion. Striking out in both of these cases can have serious consequences on family life.

“...stories of Jehovah Witnesses disowning children that have received blood transfusions. ”


Roxan Kamali, 27, from Croydon is the Performing Arts Participation Officer at Haringey Shed in North London. Her religious father wasn’t too happy when she told him that she wanted to go into theatre. “My dad didn’t believe that theatre had any career opportunities for me. I don’t think he understood that the direction I wanted to take was not acting, or for a high paid job. So he tried to stop me from taking an A-level in Theatre Studies. He was angry when I refused to do as he said. My dad is Iranian, for me to want to be involved in theatre it wasn’t going to happen. He’s a Muslim and my mum isn’t really religious. I left home when I was 15 to pursue my career, it was at a point where I was choosing certain colleges and courses and my father didn’t agree. I gained a lot from my own experiences at my youth theatre, I was having a hard time at home and it helped me through those times. I ended up helping out at my own youth theatre, and enjoyed the work. I knew I wanted to provide the same support I got. It felt like a natural decision at the time.

The teachers and facilitators I’ve come across are major influences in my life. I remember the drama teacher from school and college and uni and other practitioners I’ve worked with. Quite a lot of those were female, them being successful inspired me. The best thing about working with children is their energy level, they can come in from a really bad day and lift themselves, if they’re having fun it’s infectious. The worst thing is trying to keep up with that energy, focusing and trying to turn bad energy into good energy.”

“...he tried to stop me from taking an A-level...”

My friends are still the same people I met at school, who also came to the same youth theatre as me, all of them studied theatre at uni. They supported me theneven letting me live with them as I left home to pursue my career at the age of 15 - as they do now.

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The dark side of the

SEX TAPE Photography: Zoltan Karpati

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The words ‘sex tape’ have entered our vocabulary faster than you can say Kim Kardashian. But what happens when it isn’t fame that follows the release of a sex tape but death threats? Wafa Mirza interviews a young woman, for whom recording her sexual antics meant a completely new identity. Fatima* is now a young, vibrant west Londoner with aspirations to study law but her confident demeanor masks a history filled with regret and pain. Growing up in the East End of London, Fatima was part of the second generation of the massive Bangladeshi community that settled there in the early 1970s. She recalls her childhood being fun and carefree, she says, “I was happy, I was the only girl in my family so I got special treatment, my dad would call me his shehzadi (princess).” Her careless childhood soon turned into a difficult adolescence; her strict Muslim family told her she had to wear a head covering and loose clothing since she had hit puberty and was starting to develop. “As soon as I turned 12 my mum started to put the hijab on me.” The hijab acts as a symbol of a girl's chastity, but unfortunately for Fatima being forced to wear something she didn't want to meant she rebelled in other ways and her family's worries of Fatima being led astray weren’t ill-founded.

“...they locked her in her room till they decided her fate”” She started a relationship with a boy named Saeed* at the age of 14. “Everything was fun at the start, we would sneak away to his friend's house and smoke shisha.” Fatima fell in love with Saeed and decided that she would marry him as soon as he told his family. “He was Pakistani [so] it was difficult for both of us because we knew our families wouldn’t accept, [but] we didn’t care. I loved him and he told me he loved me.”

At 16, Fatima lost her virginity to him and soon after started pressuring him to marry her, even considering running away together. But on June 5th 2004 her life turned upside down when her older brother came home with a video of a girl performing sexual acts and claiming it was Fatima. At first she demanded to see the video but her brother's rage turned her family against her, and they locked her in her room till they decided her fate.

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At this point Fatima tried to reach Saeed but she couldn’t get through to him and her fear over her family’s raised voices made her make a decision she has to live with everyday; she fled. “I didn’t know what to do but I knew I had it in me because me and Saeed had discussed doing it together.” Fatima denies ever knowing Saeed recorded her but accepts it's most likely her in the video. She recalls seeing a tiny red light coming from his laptop once but didn’t think anything of it at the time, because the idea of him taping her never crossed her mind. In an instant Fatima lost the man she loved along with the family that had raised her. She turned to the Asian Women's Network in Southall for help, they work alongside the famous Southall Black Sisters to aid Black and Asian women escaping troubled family lives or marriages. Although the Asians Women's Network doesn’t comment on individual cases they remarked:“There are many women who have been falsely accused of sexual deviancy and then castigated from their communities, we work hard to make sure these women have someone to turn to and are not left feeling isolated.” The network put her in touch with another girl, Selina* who had also ran away from a strict Bangladeshi family, Fatima remarked, “Her reasons were different, but we both felt like sisters.”

“It’s a sexist community, the guy can never do anything wrong”” Selina had moved to west London to escape her family and gave Fatima a roof over her head when she was most in need. “Her help gave me time to grieve, I couldn’t contact anyone [because] I couldn’t trust anyone…I didn’t know who would tell my family where I was.” Fatima is now in touch with a couple friends from school who told her that her family had disowned her when she ran away, and her brother pretends she has died. Saeed is now married and hasn’t had - to Fatima’s knowledge - any repercussions for his part in the sex tape. “It’s a sexist community, the guy can never do anything wrong,” explains Fatima. Although her strict Bangladeshi parents disowned her, Fatima has her mum's mobile number and she rings her occasionally, “I don’t want her to get into any trouble with my dad so we just have general conversations once in a while. She never mentions the video, just asks if I’m OK and that I should get married soon.” For now Fatima makes ends meet by working at a hair salon. Her aspirations to be a lawyer have been set back because she fears going to university will mean encountering people she knew from east London. Saeed is out of reach and Fatima refused to contact her family - with the exception of her mum - incase it put her whereabouts in danger. Fatima’s story stands out because she was adamant that she did not know she was being recorded, but for many taping themselves having sex with their partners isn’t shameful but enticing.

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“There are many women who have been falsely accused of sexual deviancy and then castigated from their communities””

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Speaking to young men and women about their opinions on the matter, one in particular stood out. Katrena James 21, is a university student who has unashamedly made a sex tape with her partner and compares it to watching porn. Her views on watching and making sex tapes are nonchalant, she remarks on a sex tape being, “the same thing as porn and [that’s] why people watch it but instead of watching other people having sex you're the star." Since the introduction of video capability in mobile phones, people have recorded many aspects of their lives so why should the bedroom be any different? Katrena believes the important part is who you record yourself with and where the tape ends up. "You need to trust the person enough to know they won't blackmail you or spread it around. Always keep the video, don't have it on his computer, make sure you keep it." This advice is futile for someone in Fatima’s position; she denies even knowing she was being recorded, but more women are now participating in sex tapes without fear of repercussions. But just because the threat of death doesn't loom over their head doesn't mean they aren't seen in a different light. Simon Murray 25, a graphic designer from Lewisham provides a male perspective on the matter, "[In a sex tape] the girl ends up looking like a slag and the man looks like a G, it's the way it happens. Why would you want other men seeing your wife in that position?"

“[ In a sex tape ] the girl ends up looking like a slag and the man looks like a G”” His opinion rests on the notion that any woman willing to be recorded during sex is less chaste than one who isn’t. However the question might not be about purity but confidence, Katrena explains, “I’m happy with my body and happy with my boyfriend, I love him enough to know he would never judge me for making a sex tape.” From Katrena’s perspective it seems absurd to classify her as promiscuous because she enjoys a voyeuristic approach to sex. Since she’s not profiting from it she believes there can come no harm from taping herself and her partner in the privacy of their own home. For some, an unknowing mistake can lead to a life-altering experience and for others it has blossomed into lucrative careers. Whether money, love or sexual satisfaction is the motivation, one thing is certain, sex tapes are not to be made without serious caution. * All names followed with an asterisk have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals. www.catch22mag.com

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WORK

EXPERIENCE The Good The Bad & The Ugly

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Since the recession, work experience has become a necessary option for people while job hunting – but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Tina Remiz meets the people who’ve found out firsthand. Got a first-class degree, but no job, and the only option on offer is unpaid work? The Higher Education Careers Services Unit’s latest study shows recent university graduates have entered the toughest job market in decades, with graduate unemployment rising by 3.4% in the past two years alone. This means that, six months after receiving a degree, 21,020 graduates were still filling in countless application forms, sending out CVs and being rejected. Furthermore, graduate employment has continued to follow a downward trend, with only 59.2% of former students managing to secure a job, and more than one in three being in stopgap employment, waiting for the better times to come.

current situation in the job market, some companies have spotted an opportunity to get an extra pair of helpful hands for nothing. A Trade Union Congress report shows that a third of interns work for no reward other than experience and a hope for future employment, but many companies fail to provide even that.

In such a hostile economic climate, it comes as no surprise that many young people are grateful for any opportunity to get their foot in the door. A number of online job services such as Graduate Talent Pool and Studentgems.com list hundreds of vacancies, offering to match your skills with the industry requirements and find a perfect placement for you. But one can’t help wondering whether an advert looking for a ‘bright, highlymotivated and well-organized graduate with strong communication skills’ to work unpaid can be fair?

I found it exceptionally difficult to get a job in my particular field of study, after graduating with a BA in European Studies and Spanish from Plymouth University in 2006. No wonder I was thrilled when, eventually, I managed to secure a placement through STRIDE – a shortterm project set up by Bournemouth University to arrange graduate internships in the area. I was placed at Bournemouth Borough Centre, covering the international officer on maternity leave.

There is no doubt that an internship can become a crucial step in a career path, helping someone to gain hands-on experience in the industry, build new skills, self-confidence and contacts that could eventually lead to permanent employment. Nevertheless, having assessed the

To find out the real state of affairs, I asked former interns and their supervisors to share their experience – the good, the bad and the ugly:

THE GOOD

Richard, project manager at a London university:

During the internship I was involved in the research, organisation and promotion of the projects run by the Economic Development Department, which monitors EU activities that could affect the Borough. I worked on a number of areas including funding opportunities, tourism, creative industries and environmental issues. My responsibilities

included investigating the EU funding stream, identifying possible collaborative projects, signposting general business support enquiries and liaising with counterparts across the South West. One of the highlights of the placement was being entrusted to organise an EU Masterclass for councillors, as I am keen to promote the opportunities available in Brussels to the local decision makers. I felt entirely prepared for the job after completing the degree course, as it gave me a head start in understanding the frameworks of the different EU institutions, while Spanish came in handy when speaking to counterparts from that region. Nevertheless, the internship gave me valuable first-hand experience, and helped to build my working knowledge of European funding at local government level and make new contacts in the field. When the five-month placement came to an end, I was appointed as a project officer for STRIDE itself, arranging work placements for recent graduates. When the contract finished I moved to the University of East London where I currently work as a project manager, looking after consultancy projects funded by the European Regional Development Fund. My present employer also funds my postgraduate studies, which means that not only did the placement give me a career, but through it I got an opportunity to continue my education.

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THE BAD

Ruth, journalist at an ethical lifestyle magazine: After completing a journalism course I planned to work freelance, but there were several areas I needed to enhance. I wanted to broaden my knowledge in the subject of my specialisation, gain new contacts and get my name out there, so I decided to do a work placement. I was very specific in my desire to write about various social issues and approached my dream title straight away. I was advised that getting my foot inside the door is the most important, and would eventually lead to further employment, thus I’ve applied for any role going. And when a placement vacancy in the media research department came up I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately I have a varied professional background which, in this instance, worked against me.Willing to please my colleagues, I tried to be helpful and eventually ended up doing a lot of admin and marketing work.The company staff didn’t seem very professional either, so I literally had to teach them to do their job instead of developing my own skills. But I was in my dream work environment and became friends with the team, so I decided to stay, hoping the situation would improve soon; in fact it got worse. Nobody took the time to explai¬¬n my responsibilities, they were always too busy, and I was too shy to push myself forward and not confident enough to present myself as a journalist. I kept on thinking it would happen, but the time just rolled on and I felt more and more degraded. Applying for a three-month placement I ended up staying for a year, getting paid for half of the week and working another half for nothing. Eventually a vacancy for a paid position came up, but at that point I knew that the work would not be focused on communications and there wouldn’t be much writing involved, so I decided to take a step back.

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Nevertheless this was a good lesson to learn. I understood the importance of being clear about my objectives and was extremely firm about it in my next interview, which helped me to get the job in the publication I currently work for.You should not work for free without learning new skills, as this is the key difference between interning and volunteering. Small or large, a media company is always a busy environment but it’s important to communicate and make sure your voice is heard.

intern I had in Tavaziva Dance was a girl from a special school in Kent, which aims to provide equal opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. She arrived for an initial interview with her course supervisor, I showed her around and we had a conversation afterwards and she came across as a very lively and vibrant teenage girl. She expressed a strong interest in dance and attended one of our company performances which was very exciting for her.

THE UGLY

However, during the five days of her placement she failed to complete any tasks she had been given until the end. She was never on time and once did not even bother to show up. It soon became evident that the girl had very basic literacy and numeracy skills, so was unable to follow the instructions or make notes of the tasks. We could not rely on her even in the most basic admin work, as she was incapable of holding a conversation on the phone.

Iyshea McKay, 31, Executive Director of Tavaziva Dance Company: Interns play a vital role in our company development. We are a small organisation, so having an extra pair of hand allows us to perform the tasks that would otherwise be left behind. We collaborate with a number of educational institutions, but for us accepting a student for a work placement is like having a shortterm employee. We don’t facilitate any special programmes, encouraging the person to get actively involved in the real company work and expect the tasks to be completed to a certain standard. Typical duties might include the basic marketing tasks, data collection, research and general admin work. This requires good literacy and numeracy skills, basic IT proficiency, but we also expect the person to show self-motivation, enthusiasm and interest in dance. In return we provide full on-the-job training, an opportunity to gain a better understanding of how a dance company operates and professional experience in arts management – knowledge that can later be applied to studies or future work. In the six years since the company was established we have had a considerable number of interns and each case has been a very different experience. The first

I was aware of some family issues she was dealing with at home and was mindful of that, but when she asked me to buy her a pack of cigarettes or decided to leave earlier not to miss a house party, I could bear it no longer. And finally on the last day of her placement the girl stole a bit of cash. This was a valuable lesson for us and even though we need additional support in running the company, we had to draw a line on offering the short work placement for college students and look for solutions that would suit both sides.


SIX TOP TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL WORK PLACEMENT Be proactive

Getting your foot in the company’s door is the first step, but an internship is a month-long job interview. This is your chance to showcase your talent and prove that you are the next person they should hire. Always look for more work, offer help and observe the way other people perform their duties, so when you turn comes you are ready for the job.

Be curious

Above all, a work placement is an opportunity to get first-hand experience, learning from industry professionals. Don’t be scared to ask questions or make mistakes and realise that you might not be perfect at first, but you’re given an opportunity to improve.

Be prepared

Do your research before you enter the company’s door. This will help you during the interview, prove your interest and professionalism and make your application stand out.

Be social

Get involved in any outside activities and try to meet the people you are working with in different circumstances. After the placement comes to an end, make sure you stay in touch with your former colleagues and use those contacts when a job opportunity comes up. And never burn bridges – it’s a small world we are living in!

Be yourself

If you hope to turn your placement into full-time employment, there is no need to pretend to be someone else. After all, it’s you who will have to work there later on.

Be vocal

If you think you are being exploited, there are a number of organisations ready to help, including Intern Aware, Graduate Fog, Intern Anonymous, Internocracy and Paid-not-Played.

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Text: Priscilla Eyles Illustration: Eduard G

What is it with pop stars these days? It seems like many of them think that to promote record sales and/or keep themselves in the public eye (heaven forbid we forget about them!), they have to wear the most revealing and ridiculous outfits. I ‘ll give it to them it’s working, there’s probably hardly anyone left in the Western world who hasn’t heard of Lady Gaga for example, the undisputed queen of risqué fashion, even if they’ve never actually heard her music. But I’ll get to what really annoys me, it’s a pet theory of mine about the current best-selling (mostly female) pop stars which goes like this: the blander the music, the crazier or more provocative they have to dress. Exhibit A being the aforementioned Lady Gaga. I mean she’s always been a bit of a Madonna copycat to begin with, but at least The Fame Monster showed some invention. Meanwhile her latest single Born This Way sounds so much like Madonna’s Express Yourself, you’d think she’s having a laugh. And with this derivative single comes the ever more crazy outfits (if you can even call them outfits) such as the infamous meat dress (even if it did highlight the objectification of women, was there no other

way she could’ve made the same point?), the see-through dresses complete with duct-taped nipples, and what about those disturbing facial horns? It seems that Lady Gaga is constantly trying to outdo herself, you have to wonder, what next!? Nudity? She may want to make important political statements, but it really is hard to take her seriously anymore. You may think this rant is just about Lady Gaga but there’s also others like Nicki Minaj, who’s decided that to sell her predictable ‘I’m so provocative’ album Pink Friday, which basically rips off Lil Kim, she should dress like a Barbie. Pictures of her in joke shop candy-floss wigs and unflattering jumpsuits and tight lace bodysuits are certainly not making me want to run out and buy a copy of the album that’s for sure. Or what about Rihanna and Katy Perry - both flogging increasingly bland albums - who seem to have decided that revealing S&M style clothing is suitable for their many preadolescent fans to see them in. It’s as if feminism never happened. Now don’t get me wrong dressing unconventionally can be done well, just look at singers like Róisín Murphy, Karen O, and Björk, but wait, they have the key ingredients of originality plus talent. They don’t need the exposure. www.catch22mag.com

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Profile for Catch Mag

Catch 22 Mag Spring Summer 2011  

Catch 22 Magazine Spring Summer 2011

Catch 22 Mag Spring Summer 2011  

Catch 22 Magazine Spring Summer 2011

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