Barnet Edition 2014 Faith and Spirituality Conflict and History Exploring Feminism Ar ts and Culture Community Wellbeing
Editorâ€™s Letter Barnetâ€™s Big Society Innovation Bank offered a multicultural group of young people of different faiths the opportunity to learn from one another, whilst working towards a common aim. This magazine is the end result. Following six volunteering sessions where these young people united with older residents from Barnet to exchange learning, the team bonded and were inspired to learn more about the borough. Several community issues were explored; from the benef it of local exercise classes to the challenges facing different faith groups within Barnet. Our volunteering sessions and editorial meetings were a unique forum where we each learnt about, and from, one another; largely because of our personal and cultural differences. Each team member made their own distinct contributions and it was my pleasure to see everyone develop their skills, interests and personal attributes. As one young
Sarah-Jane James Team Manager, Editor and Writer
person said, this magazine has given them a voice and a creative outlet. This creative outlet explores a range of topics; those more serious and complex, as well as lighter topics focusing on positivity and those of general interest. I would like to thank the team for their continued commitment and substantial efforts in making their vision for this magazine a reality. I have been truly inspired and am very proud to have been a part of this exciting and rewarding project. We hope you enjoy reading the magazine as much as we enjoyed working on it.
Contents Community The Value of Volunteering Saving Friern Bennett The Green Team Barnet Council Taxes What the Old Man Wrote
Page Page Page Page Page
6 10 12 14 16
Exploring Feminism The Over-Sexualisation of Women in Pop Music What the ‘F’?
Page 18 Page 20
Wellbeing The ‘S’ Word Chi Kung and Taoism Exercise for Wellbeing
Page 22 Page 24 Page 26
Faith and Spirituality Barnet, Modernity and the Or thodox Jew Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism Secular Nation Faith in Politics
Page 30 Page 32 Page 34 Page 35
Conflict and History Remembering the Holocaust Will Africa’s Voice be Heard?
Page 38 Page 42
Ar ts and Culture Dare to Dream Page 44 Crush Page 46 Little Venice Page 48 Coffeegraph Page 50 Spotlight Celebrities in the Suburbs Dal Recipe
Page 52 Page 54
Meet the Team
THE VALUE OF VOLUNTEERING Sarah-Jane James
There are many signif icant reasons to offer your time to a volunteering project; you help your community and yourself. Research shows that altruism increases happiness, conf idence and one’s sense of belonging and control. In addition, altruism helps to reduce stress and negative feelings, and can even make you live longer. Volunteering can also boost your skills and therefore your career prospects. Interact’s magazine has been created by a team of 12 volunteer writers, photographers and designers. In order to create an edition on Barnet, we wanted to fully explore Barnet community life. To this end, we decided to run some volunteering projects in Barnet involving local residents. We also wanted our volunteers to focus on a positive activity that would unite everyone as an editorial team. As Barnet has a large older population, we thought we would create an oppor tunity where young and old could come together to exchange learning in the form of six ‘digital clinics’. Our young volunteers provided knowledge and exper tise on computers and mobile phone technology, whilst local residents offered their insights into Barnet community life.
Digital Clinics This is a piece of poetry inspired by the ‘digital clinics’ I took part in as a community volunteer in and across the London Borough of Barnet. These sessions comprised a mutual effort to further the knowledge of Barnet’s older demographic in the use of modern technology. The wise folk sit before a fast-paced computer, Or stand patiently over the new, untapped world of an iPhone5, To be given a helping hand by the technoids of youth, Themselves facing a foreign land in the words of those who came before. Bonds form. Chuckling breaks out among us, The short-stinted giggles moving between one and the next like a Mexican wave of laughter, And smiles, boy the smiles! Springing upon the faces at the faintest sign of giving, By which we lessen the divide and break down walls, Only to be flabbergasted by tales told, And the happenchance delivery of a life story. I hear of an Italian lady that came to London shortly after birth, Who agreed with me on the divinity of Sicily, And who was pleased to meet me as I was with her, Like a bird meets a tree. I hear of a retired engineer and his despair of short-term memory loss, And the quarrels of adjusting his skills, A happy man nonetheless, His sharp resilience burning a blaze over the ills. I hear of multiple cultures resting their heads on one pillow, A pillow of learning and hope, Humanity of all ages and creeds, Serving the poetry of this memory-filled trope. Robert Clark
Interact’s volunteers quickly bonded with one another, helping all to feel committed to the project and its goals. Each team member also developed their conf idence in talking to people of different ages and backgrounds. In addition, their time with Barnet residents increased our volunteers’ care for the Barnet community. The older people we worked with were very positive about their experiences, in par ticular about the help they received to understand the functionality of their mobile phones. The residents were also pleased to have the chance to positively engage with a range of younger people from various cultures. Our volunteers were invited back to run fur ther digital clinics, and Friern Barnet library have asked that the clinics become a regular f ix ture.
If you are interested in volunteering, there is a diverse range of oppor tunities to get involved with. You can take people with learning disabilities on kayaking trips, offer one-to-one suppor t to vulnerable young people, or help out in theatres and music venues. The options are endless, so what will you choose?
NICS IN BARNET
For further information on the benefits of altruism visit: http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/doing-good-report/ For Barnet volunteering projects visit: http://www.communitybarnet.org.uk/pages/volunteering.html To search for volunteering opportunities across the United Kingdom visit www.do-it.org.uk
A POETIC ADAPTATION
saving friern bennett community
the mission is a key. In April 2012 FRIERN BARNET Community Library was closed due to COUNCIL CUTS, wounded but not beaten. The community rose together; squatters, petitioners, donors and campaigners. In a LEGAL BATTLE that would last over two years. In the end they were SUCCESSFUL in the reopening of their local library. Lead Designer NAOMI LOO
Photographer CARLOS A. AGUADO
saving Friern bennett ‘We’re closing in five minutes’ echoes Throughout the columns, the exit packs The joy in the eyes of those who leave Behind their leather jungle of hardbacks As the key-holder, her job was to keep it secure - To be the first and last on the ground floor
She’d been having a reoccurring dream of late Men in navy-blue uniform swarm the dorms Dropping shelves and carrying out the fallen Everything had gone, All except her resonating sob ‘what have you done’
All would make sense come morning The key she had, wouldn’t work on the lock Confusion solidified the air she respired, Staring through the misty glass window Without breath, she descended to one knee Clinching unto the latch on the bolted door Glaring at the emptiness within, her eyes fill The air was tranquil and she remained still
In the light of the siege she would pledge, Its restoration, those in favour congregated Regiments exceeding seven thousand Equipped with purpose all within their faction. She would lead the rise to oppose the chancery.
The green team Saving the world - no costume required
The stereotypical view of a hero is a
the environment. Especially since 2013
Many people have previously said that
person flying in a cape, or a man with
when the Intergovernmental Panel on
recycling is either ‘too difficult’ or ‘too
‘spider’ abilities swinging from the
Climate Change reported that humans
complicated’, so Barnet council have
rooftops. However, everyone has the
are the main cause (a 95% certainty)
recently developed new ways to address this.
ability to make a difference in the world;
of rising temperatures since the 1950s.
this can be achieved through looking after our planet and by going ‘green’.
Since 14 October 2013, recycling has never Just like in the classic superhero movies,
been easier with the new schemes that have
the world is under threat from a deadly
been introduced, such as the collection
Many people aspire to do great
force that could wipe out mankind; in our
of all recycling together, reusable plastic
things, like winning the Noble Peace
case global warming. Unlike in a film, the
packaging and separate food waste bins.
Prize or being awarded an Olympic
world cannot be rescued from the ‘brink
medal. Aspirations as prestigious as
of destruction’ by one person alone. The
When I was younger, I enjoyed ‘dressing
these can only be achieved through
shared responsibility of saving the earth is
up’, as it allowed me to become a different
action. In order to accomplish (pause
in all our hands. Although this may seem
person for a while. On one occasion, I
for dramatic effect), ‘Saving the Earth’,
like a terrifying prospect, we can each take
purchased a Batwoman costume as I
everyone has an important part to
simple steps to contribute. One of the
was convinced that wearing the uniform
play to help reduce their impact on
easiest ways to help is through recycling.
of a hero was the same as becoming one.
Community What I didn’t realise is that I could be my own hero and wear normal clothes. I realised that this ‘hero’ status could be achieved by helping the environment. For example, damage to the environment from carbon emissions can be reduced by limiting the amount of times you use a car on a weekly basis. Although, sometimes it can be easier to ‘go green’ by starting off with smaller changes, such as separating waste materials when recycling household rubbish. According to Barnet council, more than 30% of the rubbish in household bins is food waste. As part of the new
How plastic bottles are recycled. Source: IQS Directory
recycling programme, Barnet have given residents a brown container for
Furthermore, many plastics are not
types of rubbish helps to make
food leftovers. By placing your food
biodegradable, which means they do
the environment a cleaner place.
waste into the new brown container,
not decompose on their own. This is
disposal costs and the environmental
another negative for the environment.
impact of food leftovers are reduced.
Recycling allows people to get involved and feel like they are making a difference.
A friend of mine inquired, ‘what happens
Most importantly, it can enable anyone
Barnet has a target of recycling
to my plastic after it is collected?’ The
to add ‘planet-saver’ to their list of
50% of household waste by 2020.
answer is that it is taken to JayPlas in
life accomplishments! In addition, it
This objective can be met through
Leicestershire where the plastic bottles
saves vast amounts of energy and
the collection of household plastic
are sorted into the different polymer types.
money; as evidenced in 2011 when
packaging including yogurt pots,
They are then granulated and turned into
Londoners saved £30 million by recycling.
margarine tubs and food trays.
new plastic products such as pipes. So the
d rs save e n o d ‘Lon lion by l i m 0 £3 ng’ recycli
next time you throw an Evian bottle in
So, the next time you have the urge to
the bin, consider reusing or recycling it.
invest in a cape and tights in order to adopt a ‘hero-like’ persona, try becoming
As a result of the new Barnet scheme,
environmentally friendly instead. It will
there is now a weekly ‘bin day’ where
allow you to achieve the same result
the refuse, recycling and food disposal
without having to look a little strange!
bins are all collected. This has increased recycling in homes. A Barnet resident
Remember, there is no ‘I’ in team; we
Recycling plastic is important because
told me that ‘being able to help the
must all work together to help reduce
it is derived from oil, which is extracted
environment is now so much easier as it
our carbon footprint. So forget about
from fossil fuels. It is estimated that
is no longer difficult to remember which
Superman, Spiderman and all the other
plastic production uses 8% of the
day of the week each bin is collected’.
heroes; it’s time to make way for the
world’s oil production. Oil is a finite
‘Green Team’! Are you willing to join?
resource in high demand, so recycling
Individuals now have the opportunity
plastics helps to protect a valuable
to reduce their environmental impact
For more information on recycling
commodity, which could be used for
from waste disposal. Taking action
more important services such as heating.
to refrain from mixing different 12
Barnet Council Taxes: Are they being spent wisely? Uriel Roth Municipality taxes are a reality for probably the majority of people that live in a developed area. For those that live in Barnet, London, it would be wise to assess the quality of services available within the council in return for the amount of money that is being spent on council tax. Individuals that pay council tax surely would like to receive benefits in return for their obligatory tax expenditure. With this article I would like to discuss the various council services provided for Barnet resients.
the local youth to keep fit, in addition to keeping them occupied. The same may be said of adults.
Barnet council tax contributions are partially distributed to the Greater London Authority, which funds the Metropolitan Police and fire services. There isnâ€™t a uniform amount of money to be paid for council tax; it depends in what zone one lives.
There is, however, much to be desired in the way of well-paved roads. Pot holes are of a regular occurrence throughout the various parts of the Borough of Barnet. This clearly has an adverse effect on car tyres and a positive effect on car mechanic finances. However, over recent years, I have seen somewhat of an improvement in road resurfacing.
Having lived in this area practically all my life, I can attest that new community facilities have sprung up over the years. For example, the Hendon Leisure Centre has been a fixture near Brent Cross Shopping Centre for over a decade. This centre has an indoor gym that costs ÂŁ20.00 per month to use without a contract, which is useful for those of us that do not like to commit. Additionally, it offers gymnastics lessons with an additional gymnastics club. There is a sports hall for those that enjoy playing badminton. A basketball court and football pitch can also be found here. This facility appears to have been a good investment on behalf of Barnet council as it encourages 13
Now we can move on to issues such as street lighting, road maintenance and garbage disposal. Throughout my travels in this area over a number of years, during some long cold nights and dark winter mornings, I can say that the streets are generally well-lit, providing a safe journey for us residents.
Community Garbage disposal is another important part of services provided by Barnet council, and it appears that garbage is collected in a timely and generally efficient fashion - from my perspective at least. The introduction of recycling is also a welcome development as nonrecycled garbage creates harmful chemicals in the atmosphere. Furthermore, recycling reduces the need for raw materials, therefore rainforests can be preserved. Recycling is now a major aspect of waste disposal throughout the country and other developed countries.
station. This project seems particularly useful in that it allows Barnet youth to develop their skills and talents, and encourages them to potentially pursue their interests within a more professional framework. I believe that this is certainly a good investment by the council. There does not appear to be any festivals that are directed at Barnet youth which is a shame. This is something that the council could consider looking into.
The matter of low crime is also of prime importance to Barnet residents and in my opinion, it is a relatively safe borough. It feels quite safe to walk the streets at night without fear of a mugging or any similar problems. Here are some interesting statistics relating to crime within the borough:
Barnet crime rates compared
Violence against the person
Most serious violence
Source: Metropolitan Police Service
Interestingly, Barnet council offer a ‘drop-in’ service where the youth of this borough can speak to youth workers within a confidential environment. These workers are trained to deal with issues that relate to: • housing • relationships • travel • sexual health advice • university applications • drugs and alcohol, and • volunteering opportunities • careers advice. Clearly, these are all pressing issues that concern a wide range of young people. In this instance, Barnet council has shown a willingness to invest in its youth.
Another important council provision is the ‘Family Focus’ initiative for families that encounter a range of issues, from domestic violence to raising children with disabilities. This function may prove vital in providing support, advice and assistance to vulnerable families. In relation to education, Barnet council has stated, ‘we are proud of the achievements of all our schools and will continue to work in partnership with them to improve standards’. Barnet does acknowledge that, while success can be seen in the education system in Barnet, more work needs to be done in order to close the gap between high-achievers and students that are still struggling in school: ‘Barnet schools have some of the most successful, high-achieving pupils in the country sitting alongside a sizeable minority who will get fewer than five good grade GCSEs’. However, it is not clear how they aim to do so. This could be addressed in a more open manner. In all, Barnet council appears to offer its residents an array of services in return for the taxes it receives from them. There are some interesting and useful initiatives for young people in the borough. Road maintenance should be improved, however. Importantly, crime is relatively low in this area, which is clearly beneficial for all its inhabitants. Well done Barnet!
An after-school centre based in Graeme Park offers activities and holiday playschemes for children aged 5-11 years. Interestingly, older children, aged 13-19 years, can benefit from the ‘Rithmik Project’ at Canada Villa Young People’s Activity Centre. Sessions here include music production, lyric writing, performances and studio recording. In addition, the project runs an internet radio 14
AT ANY ONE TIME, 25-45 • • •
Around 85% of rough sleepers in Barnet are men Rough sleepers are 35 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population In Barnet, the HABcentre specifically works with homeless people that have a connection to this area
For support with homelessness go to:
PEOPLE SLEEP ROUGH IN BARNET www.habcentre.org
What the Old Man Wrote What if life stripped you of necessities The man was clearly poor, yet he thrived on being heard His possessions, a mashed up biro pen and a few sheets Torn from the remains of a child’s book he scavenged Words flow, although all else for him has failed He sits on streets hoping for generosity But his hope isn’t lost. Or is it? what is it he writes? His overgrown beard chases tears to the sheets No man knows his story yet they know it must be bad My empty pockets drive me crazy with guilt How I’d like to help this ol’man, - my desperate attempt at humour No man deserves to write and run out A life, that’s what he is, a sitting life, in London’s caves And many like him exist among us, yet few stop to help None imagine a life beyond their own When we possess, choose to give some, we are better off Care for those with less, his story is written in blood and tears As we go back to our homes and warm beds He and others shelter under bridges, buildings, - seeping in the cold Our prayers are the same, don’t forget those luck forgot
Kevin Ntueba 16
Still from ‘Hard Out Here’ video by Lily Allen. Source: Regal/Ruckas Pictures
The Over-Sexualisation of Women in Pop Music The year 2013 had many defining and
in Vogue UK last May), you might walk
iconic moments for women and feminism.
away feeling somewhat sceptical about her
There are many reasons to celebrate just
statement. This past Christmas she released
how far the feminist movement has come.
her self-titled visual album filled with
For example, actor Jennifer Lawrence
empowering songs and accompanying
inspiring women to love their bodies; pop
videos. One particular song, ‘Flawless’,
star Robin Thicke getting the backlash
has stood out for many people and has
he deserved for his sexist song and video
been labelled ‘the new feminist anthem’.
‘Blurred Lines’ (despite it being one of the biggest selling singles of 2013); and
In this song, Beyoncé samples a TED
musician John Legend stating that: ‘All
talk that African writer and feminist,
men should be feminists. If men care about
Chima manda Adichie, recent ly
women’s rights the world will be a better
gave. She does this in order to define
place…We are better off when women are
feminism because there is still confusion
empowered — it leads to a better society.’
surrounding the term. We live in an age
These are just a few of the amazing victories
where many female artists do not want
in the movement towards gender equality.
to associate themselves with feminism, so using the power of music to make a
One defining moment was when Beyoncé
feminist statement is very significant.
announced to the world that she is a
The Beyoncé we see on this visual
modern day feminist. However, if you were
album contrasts to the Beyoncé seen on
to read the whole interview (published
previous records. This time she embodies
Exploring Feminism power, sexual liberation, control and
in order to achieve the success of stars
self-ownership. But despite it being
like Miley and Rihanna. I think that
a commercial success, Beyoncé has
if the artists truly want to perform in
still faced considerable criticism. For
this way then kudos to them. However,
example, negative comments abound
I suspect there are influential (male)
on Twitter such as: ‘Beyoncé is a very
music executives pulling the strings on
irritating woman and I’m hoping one
these pop stars, as if they were puppets.
day soon she will fall into Jay Z’s nostril, never to be seen or heard of again.’
When Lily Allen recently released her first Pop star singer Rihanna. Source: www.billboard.com
Thus far, Beyoncé has carved out a career
music video in years, ‘Hard Out Here’, it cause divided opinion amongst the
based on class and privacy. But as she
During 2013, I do not recall seeing a male
masses. Personally, I think Allen manages
delivers her ‘most personal record’, some
artist using his sexuality or wearing as
to successfully use humour to convey
feel that she has jumped on the female
little clothing as some female artists
a vital message about a controversial
pop star ‘sexploitation’ bandwagon.
did, just to sell records. In fact, I recall
subject; music industry sexism. She not
For me, Beyoncé has always provided
most men appearing fully clothed e.g. in
only sings about refusing to conform
inspiration to go against the tide and
the ‘Blurred Lines’ video where Robin
by losing weight, she also mocks
land beautifully on the shore of success.
Thicke and Pharrell Williams are clearly
twerking and the use of the word ‘bitch’,
But with her new album, I no longer feel
objectifying the models around them.
whilst singing in her lovely, sweet tone.
this inspiration, or it has at least lost
What is the point? That women can be
its strength. Initially when I watched
sexual? As actor, Rashida Jones, said, ‘2013
Allen’s ‘controversial’ video suffered some
the 17 music videos from the album, I
was the Year of the Very Visible Vagina’.
counterattack when she was accused of
was in awe of how she achieves so much.
When Miley Cyrus proclaimed to be one
racism by using black women as back-
‘They may even think that being so overtly sexual or wearing revealing clothes is feminist. Yet, feminism is about equality.’ This woman has been doing a world
of the biggest feminists in the world, I
up dancers who, unlike her, were not
tour, recording her album, promoting
wondered what the prominent feminists
fully dressed. However, if you watch
her documentary, and taking part in
of the 1960s and 1970s would say. Surely
the video carefully, Allen also uses non-
interviews whilst being a mother and wife.
Betty Friedan would be turning in her
black dancers (and she later claimed her
grave? I cannot help but think Miley
reason for being fully dressed was due
Yet later I began thinking that
may have set the movement back by a
to chronic cellulite). I do not believe
Beyoncé may have waded into the
good few years. She seems to be equating
that Allen is in anyway exploiting
sea of sexploitation. For example, a
feminism with a ‘You Only Live Once’
women. I think it is obvious that she is
considerable amount of her famous
mentality. In spite of this, her fan base
trying to parody the current pressures
derrière is on show in these videos.
has increased and she continues to sell
on female pop stars to be hypersexual.
Personally, I find it too much and it feels
records and make money. Although
as if ‘Mrs Carter’ has joined the ranks of
veteran singer-songwriter, Sinead
I would like to see more videos by female
Rihanna, Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj.
O’Connor, publicly advised Miley: ‘You
artists that do not submit to music industry
These talented women seem to have given
have enough talent that you don’t need to let
sexism. In addition, I hope that the efforts
into the idea that they have to use their
the music business make a prostitute of you.’
of Lily Allen and other courageous singers
sexuality in order to sell records. They
that go against the tide, receive positive
may even think that being so overtly
There seems to be a belief within the
recognition. The self-objectification of
sexual or wearing revealing clothes is
music industry that female artists have
female pop stars will only hinder the
feminist. Yet, feminism is about equality.
to wear very little in their music videos
feminist fight for a world free of sexism. 18
What the ‘F’?
Source: The Fawcett Society
eminism is a ‘dirty word’ in our society, yet what does feminism really mean? Do we still need feminism in the
twenty-first century and if so, what can be done to dispel
the misconceptions surrounding the movement and its name?
Feminism has been a misunderstood term for a considerable time; seen as an aggressive, female supremacist hate movement by some people. Even Prime Minister, David Cameron, is not
Comedian Bill Bailey
entirely sure of its definition. He recently declined to call himself a feminist, but later backtracked, explaining to news presenter Jon Snow that, ‘if feminism is about equal rights for women: yes’. If the most powerful man in Britain is unsure of the primary objective of the feminist movement, what must Joe or Jane Bloggs think? A common definition of modern feminism is ‘the fight for gender
have equal rights and opportunities; feminism has accomplished
equality within a patriarchal society’. Another more specific
its mission. Yet statistically, men still have more power than
definition is ‘the movement for the social, political and economic
women in politics and in important societal institutions including
emancipation of all women’. Feminists essentially believe that a
the police, the National Health Service (NHS), sports bodies and
person’s gender (male, female, trans or other) should not hold
the military. For example, in both the House of Commons and
them back in society and that no one group or person is superior.
the House of Lords, 77% of members are men.
Feminism originally began to gain women’s suffrage, which came
In 2013, the Health Service Journal reported that women are still
into effect in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1918. Second-wave
in the minority in NHS leadership roles. In 2012, the Guardian
feminism (around 1960s-1980s)
reported that 83% of chief police
was largely concerned with
officers and 77% of judges (in
‘David Cameron is not entirely sure of its reproductive rights, sexuality and definition. He recently declined to call himself women entering the workforce. a feminist, but later backtracked, explaining to The third-wave began in the news presenter Jon Snow that, ‘if feminism is late twentieth century, with a about equal rights for women: yes’.’
2013, the online journal, BMJ
strong focus on intersectionality;
female scientists are less likely to
England and Wales) are men. In Open, published details of a recent study that found that
the theory that different types of oppression do not act
receive funding. The study’s lead researcher advised this might be
independently of one another. In order for oppression to be
due to the lack of women in senior roles within academia.
successfully addressed, it is critical to understand how different forms of discrimination (including racism, homophobia, Women are also still disadvantaged financially. For example, in classism, ableism, and sexism) interrelate.
2013, the Trade Union Congress reported that in Britain, full time working women earn £5000 less per year than men, or 15% less
Considerable progress has been made towards female liberation
per hour. In some jobs, the pay gap is three times bigger. These
since the nineteenth century. First and second-wave feminism
statistics suggest that centuries of sexism and gender stereotyping
fought for and won several important legalistic freedoms for
have passively created a patriarchy. So, it seems the feminist fight
women. As a result, many people believe that men and women
for female liberation does need to continue.
Exploring Feminism This isn’t to deny that men face inequality within society too. Most
normalised, instead of being ridiculed as ‘gay’ or ‘weak’. Men’s
feminists care deeply about men and do not believe that each
mental health may improve, and women might not be viewed as
individual man is personally responsible for our historical and
‘less than’ for having an emotional life.
cultural sexism. The majority of feminists recognise that patriarchy has disadvantages to people of all genders. And most feminists
Whether or not we change its name or add men’s problems to the
appreciate that men are under extreme pressure to conform to
agenda, some believe that feminism’s image would best improve
limiting, traditional male roles where physical strength, emotional
with a ‘rebrand’. By working with three feminist groups, ELLE
stoicism, financial success and sexual prowess are most valued.
magazine is currently focused on making feminism accessible and relevant to young people today, stripped of its complications.
In which case, would an all-encompassing term that
Some people are questioning whether or not the biggest-selling
highlights the importance of equality, such as ‘equalism’
fashion magazine in the UK is an appropriate leader in modern
or ‘humanism’, be more appropriate than ‘feminism’? The
feminism. Some feminist writers are also arguing that ‘rebranding’
negative connotations of feminism are certainly very strong
erroneously suggests there is something inherently wrong with
and perhaps the modern movement for gender equality needs
feminism. And the Guardian’s Hadley Freeman says a rebrand
to focus on the problems men face as well? A movement
isn’t necessary, ‘some people just need an education’.
towards ‘gender-liberation’, perhaps.
‘Can true liberation for women ever be achieved if we do not simultaneously focus on the unaddressed needs of boys and men in today’s society?’
Whether or not feminism is renamed or rebranded, feminist issues must feature more in daily conversations if the movement is to accomplish its primary goal; to create a world where people, regardless of gender, have equal social, economic and political rights and opportunities. One of the primary challenges is shifting
Since most social movements concern themselves with equality
cultural attitudes, since many legalistic battles have now been
and human rights, many feminists worry that a broader term
won. To this end, it is critical that more people, men included,
would lose the necessary focus on women as the primary group
openly identify as feminists and challenge sexism whenever it is
requiring liberation. Also, using the term ‘feminism’ to primarily
encountered. So, are you willing to call yourself a feminist?
advocate for a specific group of people does not mean excluding other groups. The specificity allows advocates to become fully
am i a feminist?
informed about the particular problems of an oppressed group. There are feminist groups that also advocate for men’s rights and some feminist communities that challenge transphobia. These
Though it is simplified, limited and cannot represent all facets of feminism, this flowchart is a
groups believe that modern feminism should be fully inclusive of
basic way to understand your overall perspective on gender equality issues.
all people that suffer in a patriarchal society.
Do we currently live in a world where people, regardless of gender, have equal rights and opportunities?
Not everyone agrees that men’s rights should be fought for by feminists though, men included. Ally Fog, a male writer for the Guardian, states that: ‘The ultimate goal of all feminists, male or female, is and rightly should be the welfare and social and political
emancipation of women. If men are concerned about the problems men face, not just the problems men cause, then the pews of the feminist cathedral are rarely the most comfortable place to sit.’
Should people, regardless of gender, have equal rights and opportunities?
NO, I’M NOT A FEMINIST
Can true liberation for women ever be achieved if we do not simultaneously focus on the unaddressed needs of boys and men in today’s society? It seems intuitive that gender equality issues are interdependent. For example, if men were socially sanctioned to
YES, I’M A FEMINIST
express emotions, this traditionally ‘feminine’ trait may become 20
The 'S' word Stress
reason behind all those ‘temper tantrums’, which they blame on ‘hormones’, is in fact teenage stress. This can be due to the pressure and expectations of obtaining
Do you ever have those moments where you feel like
A*-C grades when completing GCSEs and 'A' Levels.
pulling your hair out in frustration, wishing you could
By feeling pressured into obtaining these grades,
just buy a one-way ticket to nowhere? I know I do. And
youngsters often adopt an unhealthy lifestyle. This
I know that the reason for ‘depressed’ being a status
might mean they eat junk food and develop a loving
constantly posted across my Facebook newsfeed, is stress.
relationship with the couch.
I believe I’m in a position to speak out on behalf of
‘50% of young adults were stressed from educational worries’ - NSPCC
my fellow peers across the United Kingdom (UK).
A fellow student at my school explained that 'stress
I say that stress is a real and very serious issue for
is an overpowering feeling, which can leave a person
many school pupils. A recent study carried out by
feeling the need to escape and clear their head'. She
the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty
said that sometimes reading a book or going out for a
to Children (NSPCC) determined that nearly 50%
walk can solve the problem.
Some people assume stress affects adults more than teenagers. As a teenager undergoing exam pressures,
of young adults were stressed due to educational worries. Sometimes responsibilities prove too difficult
The term 'YOLO' is a phrase that has become a key
for teenagers to contend with, and this may lead to
word in my vocabulary. I think teenagers need to
mental breakdown and erratic behaviour.
understand the gravity of the message that ‘You Only Live Once’. Instead of concentrating all our
There is a theory that most teenagers go through a
energy into work and school, it is important that we
phase where they slam doors and yell at their parents
also have fun. With such intense focus on exams it
until their throats are raw. What my parents and many
can sometimes seem like teachers try to deprive us
other adults do not always realise, is that a common
of having a good time!
Wellbeing Some people might ask who is to blame
Sport is considered a very important
The Mental Health Foundation has
for the increasing pressure on teenagers.
step to reducing stress, as getting
Personally, I determine the Department
physically active encourages a person to
outlining how regular exercise, enough
for Education to be the culprit. Students
clear their mind. Regular sport can also
sleep and a balanced diet can help
already have a full plate contending with
help ensure that any tension inside your
school, family, friendships and other
body will begin to subside, enabling
commitments. The government then
you to concentrate on other things
implement new measures, supposedly
besides work. The burden from the piles
designed to improve learning, such as the
of papers on your desk will become a
scrapping of modules and stricter marking
distant memory. So consider getting
on spelling and grammar. Yet this has only
involved with a sport that interests you.
improve mental health. ‘Eat at least
put further pressure on students to do
Whether its tennis or running; using
three meals each day and drink plenty of
well. Unnecessary stress has exponentially
those muscles will help to reduce stress.
water’ is the advice given by their experts.
increased as a result. The average teenager
‘Regular exercise, enough sleep and a balanced diet can help improve mental health’
It is important that you endeavour to
in the UK is already juggling at least nine
Often going to sleep late can leave
have a healthy, balanced diet, rather
GCSEs. Now pupils are forced to take their
a person feeling moody and tired.
than substituting proper food for
exams in the summer, rather than sitting
Sometimes going to bed that extra hour
chocolate and sweets (tempting,
modules in January or March. This is a
earlier is all you need to help you get
I know). So the next time you
highly irrational plan.
through the next day. It can also help to
open the fridge and reach for a
improve the quality of your work and
second chocolate bar, maybe
How are teenagers supposed to cope
will prepare you for any challenges life
consider a carrot instead!
with this mindboggling workload? A
throws your way.
friend of mine had 27 GCSE exams all
You cannot afford to let stress hold you
in the space of five weeks. This meant
back; so take up a new sport, sleep longer,
she felt unable to leave the house in the
school advises that, 'in
or arrange a date with friends. Life’s too
months prior to exams in order to revise.
order to avoid walking
short, so don’t waste it stressing!
If that hasn’t provoked her into pulling
the school halls as a
her hair out, then I don’t know what will.
zombie, it is best to get
Furthermore, this amount of stress can
a good night’s sleep'. So if you want
affect performance levels in school and
to avoid being one of the 'undead', try
can lead to various other problems. I
not to stay up too late! We all know
speak from experience when I say that
that delaying the alarm for ‘five more
stress has the tendency to result in a girls’
minutes’ is never long enough.
worst nightmare: grey hairs. Teenagers should not solely focus their In order to avoid stress (and buying vast
time on either work or friends. It is
quantities of hair dye), it is important
fundamental in life to have a balance
to find ways to relieve it. The three ‘S’s
between the two. If you put all your
outline some helpful steps to reducing
effort into work and concentrate all
the amount of pressure that a teenager
your energy into getting top grades, it
experiences. These include Sport, Sleep
can lead to depression. Seeing friends
during intervals between work will
De-stress with 3 ‘S’s: Sport, Socialising and Sleep
help you relax and enjoy life more. Facebook and Twitter time are no
For more information visit:
interaction with friends. 22
THE CHARM OF CHI KUNG A TASTE OF TAOISM Discover an ancient Eastern healing practice and a world philosophy that emphasises our interdependence with nature Sarah-Jane James
It is a bleak and bitter Tuesday morning
Michael Richards (a Chi Kung veteran
Maria, 67, tells me that she really likes this
in dreary January as I walk into a Barnet
whose own teacher studied under one of
class because it is very slow and gentle,
church to observe a weekly Chi Kung class.
the first Chinese masters to live and teach in
unlike some other more robust classes
I am surprised to see the room packed full
England, Master Chu King-hung) leads the
she has tried. Long-timer Mary says: ‘I
of members eagerly setting up, despite
class with ease and humour. He encourages
feel fitter for it, and more relaxed and I
the British weather. This is clearly a very
the group to ‘be gentle to yourself. Be easy on
can breathe properly. It gives you more
popular community class, frequented by
yourself… Be gentle with your movement,
support; you are stronger. You think about
elderly women who live in the local area.
gentle with your breathing…’ A bald Michael
your breathing and it helps to relax you.’
ensures laughter features in the class, joking Chi Kung (also spelt Qi Gong) is a set of
that he keeps meaning to get a haircut.
gentle exercises, originally developed in
During the exercises, Michael says the human mind can be likened to a wild
China to increase longevity. ‘Chi’ can roughly
The focus of the class is on feeling the
horse or a wild monkey; a high-spirited,
be translated as ‘life energy’ and is the basis of
sensations within your body, whilst aiming
uncontrollable animal intent on doing its
Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese
to relax and let go of tension. Michael
own thing. However, ‘the home of your
martial arts. Chi is said to flow through
uses imagery to this end: ‘Imagine your
mind is in your body… rest your attention
the acupuncture meridians (meridians are
spine as a coat hanger and everything else
in your body, and it [the mind] softens’.
part of a complex internal energy network).
is just hanging loose… just think loose.’
‘Kung’ is often taken to mean ‘cultivation’ or
Some participants choose to use a chair
Helen, 86, who has been coming to
‘mastery’. So, with disciplined practice, Chi
for balance or extra support and the group
the class for nearly three years, advises:
Kung can improve the flow of life energy
breaks halfway through for a short rest
‘You can’t sleep sometimes you know,
in the body, and therefore a person’s health.
and some water. One attendee of six years,
you can’t sleep, but you think of your
Wellbeing breathing going down to your belly
Taoists see all life forms (including human
is used throughout, which can make the
button, and it helps. And I do think of
beings) as part of, and interdependent
underlying messages less accessible to the
that sometimes.’ May, another participant,
with, nature. Taoists focus on their lived
western mind. Michael explains that part
emphatically agrees with her and further
experience of life, aiming to live in harmony
of his professional training was to discuss
explains some of the benefits: ‘It keeps
with nature ,whilst practising an attitude
and meditate on the stanzas. He also
us mobile, you don’t’ stumble around so
of non-judgement and acceptance. Taoists
had an expert help him relate its content
much, we like it because it’s so calming.’
follow the ultimate path or way of the ‘Tao’
to daily life and Chi Kung movements.
in order to become one with nature and As the class are being directed to ‘flap
the universe (the ‘Tao’ is said to connect
I wonder whether the participants
your wings like a pigeon…in…out’,
us to a formless, non-theistic realm).
continue to return to this Chi Kung class
Interact’s photographer, Carlos, is
for the occasional drops of ancient Eastern
weaving between the women, taking
Michael explains to the class that Taoists
wisdom that Michael offers. It is great that
multiple shots at awkward angles. Michael
see life as a continuous journey and that
local residents can learn about an entirely
asks Carlos if he would like the group
the continuous movements of Chi Kung
different world conception by visiting their
to smile. He then invites the women
reflect this. He says: ‘Life is moving along,
nearby Christian church; an appropriate
to ‘rest your attention on the camera, I
you don’t have to do anything… it happens
setting for interfaith exchanges. One
mean your body… do not think about
no matter what we do.’ A Taoist might
woman told me that she would like to have
smiling.’ Further laughter follows.
encourage someone to ‘go with the flow’
further talks on the history of Chi Kung
and ‘let go and let life happen’. When we
and Taoism after the class, when they can
Towards the end of the class, Michael
observe nature, we can see that nature is
hear (and presumably concentrate) better.
explains that Chi Kung dates back
effortless; no instruction or orchestration
several thousand years and that it was
is required. Instead of striving for things
Besides this, all the women I interviewed
influenced by a philosophical tradition
to be different, or manipulating people or
advised that they return to the class
called Taoism (also known as Daoism).
situations, Taoists aim to ‘do by not doing’.
because it is slow, gentle exercise that
Taoism allegedly supplied the main
is ‘good for them’; good for their bodies
philosophy behind Chi Kung and gave
When asking Michael whether a Taoist
and their minds. In addition, many
purpose to some of the movements.
would warn against the dangers of over-
members have formed lasting friendships.
analysing and worrying, he explains that a
I suspect the warmth and humorous
true Taoist would not pass judgement on a
approach of the teacher factors in too.
person’s choices; Taoists simply recognise that there are consequences to all the
Whatever the reason, this is one
various ways of living life. A person may
community class whose membership
enjoy and be interested in deep thought
has stayed strong since its start six years
and analysis. However, ‘the main thing is
ago. So, are you curious about Chi Kung?
having a choice’, Michael says. ‘If you can’t stop over-analysing, then you’re in prison and you have no freedom. The main thing they [the Taoists] are looking for is seeing that there is choice - through awareness.’ The Tao Te Ching is considered a classic Taoist text, said to be authored by a Chinese sage called Lao Tzu around the fourth century BC. It has been described as an anthology of wise sayings relating to morality. Poetic and evocative language
CHI KUNG CLASSES: - Tuesdays 10.15-11.15am (Hyde Church, Varley Parade, Colindale NW9 6RR) - Tuesdays - 12.15-1.30pm (Wesley Hall, Stapylton Road, Barnet EN5 4JJ) - 27 September - 4 October 2014 (Chi Kung/Tai Chi Holiday. Corfu, Greece) www.hertstaichi.com T: 07788 630 097
Exercise for Wellbeing Carlos A. Aguado
We all know that exercise keeps us physically healthy. Perhaps less well-known are the benef its that exercise can bes tow upon us mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Barnet Multicultural Centre is a community hub that offers a variety of classes to its diverse membership, including an assor tment of exercise classes. The centre aims to bring together people from multiple cultures and backgrounds to promote community cohesion, social inclusion and wellbeing. Yoga, Seated Exercise and Karate are just some of the exercise oppor tunities available here. I had the oppor tunity to visit the centre, as well as a nearby Chi Kung class, and reflect with my camera. Although Yoga, Chi Kung and Seated Exercise all begin differently, they actually possess a common root; as a class progresses, one sets sail on a sea of calm and light and enters a world of peace and relaxation. Negativity and residual stress from the day slip away. External pressures from school, work, friends and family 25
fade to the background, and the subsequent mental and emotional space created allows oneâ€™s true being to shine through. Karate and other more robust classes also offer its practitioners many benef its. To become accomplished in a mar tial ar t, one must be ex tremely disciplined and dedicated. Students are often rewarded with emotional development and conf idence. Observing someone masterful in Karate is truly spectacular. Tennis, swimming, gymnas tics, football, ice-skating and many other spor ts all offer their practitioners impor tant gifts. These include a feeling of positivity, self-belief, a s trong sense of self, determination and concentration. Though there is a double-edged sword to be mindful of when one becomes masterful in their chosen discipline. Arrogance, pride and a lack of control are some potential pitfalls. How can one avoid these dangers? It is advisable to keep your eyes and ears open and listen to your inner voice, your gut feelings and your body. They will always be trying to communicate with you and assist your development. I find it helpful to remember that every person encounters hardships, makes mistakes and falls down in life; the important thing is to accept this and to pick yourself up again. With a class like Karate, practitioners get used to falling down (literally and metaphorically speaking!), but they always get back up and become stronger as a result. 26
All of these exercise classes have one thing in common; with disciplined practice they each offer their own unique way for the dedicated practitioner to develop self-knowledge, patience, awareness as well as calmness and clarity of mind. Every person is unique and we are each on our own personal path to creating our lives. Does exercise feature in yours?
Faith and Spirituality A common day in Golders Green, Barnet, London
Barnet, Modernity and the Orthodox Jew Modernity and Orthodox religion do not sound like they go hand in hand, but are they closer than we think? Lauren Carbran investigates how some Barnet Orthodox Jews are embracing modernity. ‘FFB’ (Frum From Birth) is a phrase I only
sh*tty weather and big red buses, these
heard of earlier this year. ‘It means you
places are minority-thriving Jerusalems.
are born directly into the Orthodox Jewish tradition with set morals and values’, an
Golders Green is one big Kosher kitchen,
FFB or Frum Jew told me in front of
home to the London Jewish Cultural
the Kotel in Jerusalem (the holiest site
Centre, the Jewish Learning Exchange
in the world for Jews). This was the start of my journey into seeing what the twenty-first century Frum Jew was all about, and where I learnt about their views on modernity.
‘Golders Green is one big Kosher kitchen, home to the London Jewish Cultural Centre, the Jewish Learning Exchange (JLE) and 20 synagogues.’
(JLE) and 20 synagogues. It is ‘home away from the real home, Israel’, one resident told me. She explained that all religious Jews would ideally live in Israel, but in modern day times this is not always possible.
Back in Barnet where the air is a little
cooler and the sun a little less present,
But ‘do Orthodox Jews in Barnet have a
Orthodox Jews can be seen on every
balance between modern and traditional
street corner. They mostly frequent the
life?’ I asked myself as I ventured on the
areas of Hendon, Golders Green, Brent
82 bus to Golders Green to meet some
Cross and Edgware. There you are Jewish,
people who might know the answer -
then English and bar the pollution,
Modern, Orthodox, Barnet-based Jews.
Faith and Spirituality With social media developing at space-
an easy and cheap way, so it is perfectly
However, there are some sects
engine pace and billboards with messages
acceptable. The common misconception
within Judaism that entirely refuse
that you cannot miss, there must be
is that a religious person cannot lead
to accept Modernism. Hasidic Jews
some friction between the magnetic
the same lifestyle as you, but they can.
believe in committing to traditions
pull of Modernism and traditional
The difference is that modern Orthodox
and view modern society as a
orthodoxy? However, when religious
Jews make sure to moderate their use
barrier to this. You will not see any
Jews see billboards that are disturbing
of modern inventions (such as social
Hasidic Jews watching television,
‘they have been taught to ignore the bad
media) to prevent them from getting
reading newspapers or going to the
stuff ’, one insider told me. Religious Jews
distracted by any negative aspects.
cinema as many feel it would mean
take the bits they like and psychologically
hearing threatening ideas and being
block out the aspects they do not.
exposed to contrasting religions.
The positive Internet
Ultimately, some Orthodox Jews
Many modern Jews believe that in the
may be more modern than others.
twenty-first century you have to keep to
They adapt to modern standards in a
tradition as well as adapting to modern
healthy and positive way. It is about
times. It is essential to maintain laws
thriving in your environment but also
and traditions like learning the Torah,
staying true to your heritage, which
but at the same time understand that
is not always an easy thing. Perhaps,
the modern world seeks integration.
as the world becomes more modern,
Modern technology like the Internet
An Orthodox Jewish girl
this will become more of a challenge for religious Jews. Who knows. The
is sometimes shunned by religion
question is open and the answer
because of its dangers, but modern
The truth is that modern Orthodox Jews
uncertain. What I can say for certain
Orthodox Jews know how to use the
do not believe that religion is meant
though, is that the chicken noodle
Internet in a positive way. Whether it is
to restrict, and this message certainly
soup with two matzo balls in front
for university work, keeping in contact
got to Allison Josephs who made a
of me, will momentarily be gone.
with friends or furthering knowledge on
blog all about it. Allison Josephs is
religion, many people agree that if you
the Orthodox Jew Carrie Bradshaw
Would modern society benefit from
incorporate it into your life in a useful
equivalent in her hit blog ‘Jew in the City’.
adopting the traditional matchmaking of the modern Orthodox Jew?
way, it will not reflect badly on religion. Her mission is to break down ‘We take modernisation in our stride’,
stereotypes about religious Jews and
When it comes to love, the modern
one girl told me. ‘Yes, we have phones
offer a humorous, meaningful take on
Orthodox Jew sticks to the traditional
but we use them in a useful way. I’ve
the religion. ‘In terms of Orthodox
route of a Shidduch (match-making).
got a Hebrew calendar and an app
people being crazy, many of us are
There isn’t any flirting between
that lets me read the Torah whenever
really very normal’, she says in one
the sexes or any ‘dishy Jew at two
I want.’ The belief is that God created
of her videos. She adopts the tagline,
o’ clock’ business. Girls and boys
the Internet for a reason, perhaps to
‘Orthodox – Unexpected’, and presents
preserve themselves until marriage
make things easier. So, basically, you
Modernism as an advantage to religious
and are matched on interests, life
can still be ultra religious and have an
Jews. ‘The Torah doesn’t stop you from
goals, physical characteristics and
iPhone – it is just used in the right way.
doing what you want to do, but there’s
location. Perhaps modern society,
Although there is no mention of
more depth and beauty to the Orthodox
Instagram or Twitter in the Holy Book,
religion than people realise, and more
benefit from basing love on carefully
a network like Facebook allows people to
balance too. We can still wear modern
matched similarities than on the
keep in contact with a group of friends in
clothing, it just has to be modest.’
gamble of a dating game show!
love of television, might
Faith and Spirituality
Who was Alan Watts? The voice of late Zen Buddhist philosopher Alan Watts is an enduring one. It hums, fluctuates and plays out like a brass band. It is also known to send a revelatory shiver down the spine of the curious, open-eyed student. Watts’ lectures resonated with American intellectual crowds of the 1950s and 1960s, but have, in recent years, been uploaded onto YouTube and watched with comparable fervour (The Real You, 1,482,684 views). What’s all the hype? Well, his talks are supremely witty, radical and bursting with uncharted wisdom. In short, they entertain something of a spiritual - and unmistakeably cool - alternative to the predefined givens of modern life as we know it. Watts, this real life, slightly less grey-bearded Professor Dumbledore figure, was unusual in that he was a Westerner teaching a branch of Eastern 31
thought. He was also a follower of Zen Buddhism: a lovemaking of Taoism and Buddhism that occurred around the sixth century in China, and which propagated across Asia to find its eventual – post thirteenth century abode in Japan. What is Zen Buddhism? Zen Buddhism is a tough nut to crack and it would be problematic - if not entirely un-Zen like - to begin defining it. An old Buddhist saying goes that if Zen had a meaning, it would be moon pointing. In practice, Zen is teaching one to see and experience all that is around them, at once non-judgmentally and with a calm, and clarity of the, mind. Whilst learning to bring oneself to the present moment, it is as much about exploring the innate ‘nothingness’ of reality. For the nature of Zen is to wholly embrace the beauty of meaningless void. One method which practitioners
undergo is Zazen (seated meditation), which involves delving beneath the visual and verbal chaos with which the mind typically concerns itself. The ritual entails emptying the mind without force by using the breath as an anchor and object of observation. Zen masters see it as a way to attain direct insight into the nature – or natural flow – of the universe. Granted, the discourse surrounding Zen appears quite profound, and its way of looking at the world may be foreign to most. And since a casual pondering over the cosmos has become a somewhat taboo pastime (with maybe the exception of Brian Cox’s much talked-about ‘Wonders of...’ series), Zen has all the earmarks to be snubbed at first glance. The irony lies in the fact that Zen Buddhism is not a farfetched ideology, not by any stretch. There is pure simplicity to it. For Zen encourages learning through direct (non-intellectual) experience, thus
Faith and Spirituality
Alan Watts and Zen Buddhism Robert Clark
nigh on psychotherapy for the alienating effects that come with modern life. His talks went some way to appease the existential angst, a feat which modernist philosophers such as Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus and Heidegger could not attain without feeling contempt for civilisation. While certainly an avid scholar of the school, Watts refrained from day-long devotions to Zazen practice. When he was once questioned for half-hearted zeal to meditating, he replied: ‘A cat sits until it is tired of sitting, then gets up, stretches, and walks away.’ It was such displays of genuine personality and a wry sense of humour which attracted his many followers.
shying away from dead-ended bouts of philosophical chin-wagging. In this sense, Zen can be seen as a way of celebrating oneself and one’s surroundings as they are: mere expressions of the universe in which we live. Watts’ background Watts floated to and fro between Japan and the United States throughout his life. Still, he took to Far Eastern motifs from an early age, with Chinese and Japanese landscape art serving his childhood muse. At 14 and 17 respectively, he wrote for the Journal of the London Buddhist Lodge and produced his first Zen-related pamphlet - ‘An Outline of Zen Buddhism’. Zen was to form the soul of his lifelong literary, and oratory, compendium. And yet, Watts brought charm to the practice, giving it his own unique take. He could appeal to the West through desert-dry humour and
Mindfulness practice There is physiological evidence that ‘mindfulness practice’ (any technique to help bring the mind to the present and a recurring aspect of Zen) can improve one’s sense of wellbeing. Studies on the neurological benefits of mindfulness tell us that, when mindful over sustained periods (roughly eight weeks), brain activity flourishes in the left-side anterior - a realm associated with positive emotion. It would be fair to say that ‘mindfulness’ (sitting royally alongside ‘twerking’) is the latest buzzword. So much so, we now live in an era where commercial franchises have cottoned on to the wonders of the spiritual. You read about scores of business folk telling us
how they were once persuaded by a second cousin’s pet feline to attend their first mindfulness class, took to the spiritual life and consequentially brought it to the workplace. Indeed, Google have had their own programmes in place for years now, with the incorporation of the ‘Search inside Yourself ’ scheme, as have General Mills. And these firms are jumping on the metaphysically curious bandwagon because of its life-enhancing symptoms. But to what avail one might ask? Spirituality and capitalism Are capitalist milieus being adorned with a Wattsian, non-judgmental spirituality that sees all as one? Is that even possible in environments where the implicit, sacred law revolves around outdoing your business kins, and where people are spurred to creatively destruct, if not one another, then at least the natural world? Surely any endeavour to see beyond oneself is a good thing, and there is no doubt that such workshops comprise a requisite ‘breather’ amidst the digital rush of late. I certainly think that, whatever form it may take, exploring the wisdom of Gautama Buddha’s teachings is both a useful and rewarding endeavour. So, if ever choosing to take a mindfulness session, I would also recommend reading the literature, or watching a video, of Alan Watts.
Faith and Spirituality â€˜For as long as we have had freewill, we have chosen to divide and conquer our neighboursâ€™ The purpose of our existence is the infinite question. The stepping stone, foundation to the lives we lead. Through primary socialisation, family ideals form; traditional values, faith, religion. All in which are premature. Our minds are wired by the wombs that bore us. The blind lead the blindfolded as they, hand in hand, elevate their souls in common practise. Their feet meet the first step, on the unforeseeable flight of stairs. Faith is the warmth of sunrise, you can feel it surging deep and through its beam, the world alights, clarity prevails. Hush
Your modest tongue invites the purge. Under religious oath there have been Holy Wars, Massacres and Crusades. Men, women and children slain. Religious-bound states overtly execute people, to teach people it is wrong to kill; the hypocritical paradox. Clothed in draping blood,(are you praying to a compliant God?). No man is born hating another. Hatred is taught. The common message in all faiths is naively overseen. Love. It comes more naturally to us as beings. It is the notion, in which we were created. So, before you raise your arsenal, reassess your actions Is violence the ideal in which your religion would teach? Do not be deceived by these man-made authorities who inject division into our veins, time bombing a civil war. Our young are being exploited to fornication and prejudices. Made to grow too quickly with deviated ideologies. Policies act to oppose your faith, do not part from it. When they moon over and plague your homes, remain. Passive Quakers, loyal and just, pioneering martyrs. Society has dressed religion as extremist terror so that we tread in fear of one another, our neighbours and brothers. What if religion is the device aimed to separate nations, its misinterpretation has made us evade our power in unity. Pray and stand together against those who may conspire. Speak
We wonâ€™t fear persecution for what we believe. Strong as we may be, a single strand, it is in the merging. The united acceptance of religious diversity. Politically correcting the face of religious perceptions (just as we did race), in turn strapping together in the firmest state of stability. (Out of it we will tower) A string of securer nations, in communities of diverse cultures. Where no faith is superior to another. In the wake of the foul smoke and ruins, emerges a solution, to love all, trust a few and do wrong to none.
SECULAR NATION K E V I N
N T U E B A
Faith and Spirituality
Pastor Rupert Lazar, minister from East Barnet Baptist Church, Barnet, London
Faith IN Politics
Pastor Rupert Lazar is a minister for East Barnet Baptist Church. Recently, Pastor Rupert sat down with me for an interview to reveal his personal views, as both a Christian and a minister, on some current political issues. This interview outlines just one person’s perspective but I believe it is important that people understand why some Christian ministers may have controversial views, which they carry with conviction. Nellie Zulu: What political party do you support?
I certainly wonder if that would... be true now. That poll was 2011,
Pastor Rupert: The Labour Party. But, it’s not out of conviction
we’re now in ‘14. I wonder if that would be true now because
in the sense that I have not studied by way of looking into
we’re far more multicultural in our mix. It certainly has been
their manifestos and things. I obviously see the news, like
more multicultural in the three years I have been around. So,
everybody else, so I’ve got insights into what they’re about, and
I wonder if that will still be true now. But the truth is, I don’t
essentially what they are about resonates well with the kind of
know the answer.
values which I hold as a Christian and as a Christian minister. NZ: Conservative MP Mike Freer, who has represented Finchley NZ: The last census in 2011 showed Christianity to be the
and Golders Green since 2010, has described himself as openly
more favoured religion in Barnet. Why do you think that is?
gay. Do you think that he could be fully accepted within the
PR: My speculation is that, only having been around for
London Borough of Barnet despite it’s favoured religion being
just over three years… my sense is that this has certainly
been a very white, middle class well-to-do area and I think
PR: Yeah, this is the hot potato isn’t it? This is one of the few
a poll, going back a few years, [where] you ask people about
contentious issues in our society at present. I would like to think
their affiliation (their faith), they will automatically say
that this MP would be embraced for who he is. That is including
Christian. Whether that means they regularly go to church
his sexuality, but I am aware that Christians have different views
and actively practise or not is another matter; but that is
as far as this is concerned. I certainly would not want (assuming
what they will declare.
that this MP is not a Christian) … to put onto him values, that I 34
Faith and Spirituality
Advert by Stonewall, an organisation working for justice and equality for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals
think are important values for Christians. So, in other words, I
the space to have a proper conversation about it where we are
don’t expect him to live by the same values by which I live - by
allowed to differ without calling each other names.
the same biblical teachings by which I live - because he hasn’t declared himself to be a follower of Jesus Christ. So, I personally
In much the same way at present in our society, we need to talk
would have little problem with this.
about immigration but nobody, rarely, has a proper conversation about it because everybody is scared that they are going to be
However, I think that many will, I think many will. And I think
called ‘racist’ or something like that. And so, we all have this
the problem here would be; how do we embrace, accept, receive
immature way of not having a full, in-depth conversation where
someone with a different side to them i.e. his sexuality? How
we can, like mature adults, agree to differ - simply because
do we accept and receive such a person whilst saying that we
we see things differently. And that, of course, is the basis of a
do not appreciate nor condone that type of behaviour? Because,
democracy - in my opinion.
for the Christian, that type of behaviour is sinful. NZ: If David Cameron or Nick Clegg walked into East Barnet I say for the Christian. As I said, not all are agreed with this, but
Baptist Church one day and asked for your guidance and advice
certainly for me - if I may speak for myself. And the danger is
on political issues despite neither of them being from the party
we, in our society, are not allowed to talk about these things
that you support, how would you feel about that?
without being, well certainly without a Christian being called a
PR: It’d be exciting. Humbled.
‘homophobe’, or homophobic, in some way or the other. NZ: But none of them are from the party you affiliate yourself But if I may speak personally about myself, and the teaching I
would have in this church, for example, I would certainly want
PR: But that’s not an issue for me. That’s not an issue for me
to embrace such an MP. And I would certainly want to embrace
because, you see, for me, as a Christian minister, I want the whole
anybody who has that tendency or that behaviour. But I most
nation to take on the values of Jesus. So, if I get the opportunity
certainly at the same time would want to acknowledge and see
to speak to a government leader, or any people, anybody beyond
it as sinful behaviour, for which the bible teaches you need to
them, anybody in positions of authority and power; of course
repent (like you have to repent for any other sinful behaviour,
I would jump at the opportunity to speak into them because
be it gluttony or lying or whatever else).
this gives me the opportunity to do precisely what I am here to do - which I do every day, week in and week out - but not at
So, it’s not having a big thing about sex, which is what the
that level. So, I am open to everybody.
media and society says: ‘You Christians are so hung up about sex.’ Maybe we are, to some degree, but for me, this is not about
NZ: What if it were a power move on their part?
that per se. It is about whether it is a sinful behaviour or not. So,
PR: Well, it would be a cynical approach that says that this is
I think he will probably be given a rough ride because this is
purely for them to stay in power, unless they have declared that
such a blurred area of understanding, and we are not allowed
they are doing this just because they want to stay in power. In
Faith and Spirituality Percentage of faith groups in Barnet
1% Other religion
East Barnet Baptist Church, Barnet, London Source: www.panoramio.com/photo/86745930
which case, then, I think people would see through them for
I’m not a political animal, I’ve already told you. In my little
some level of hypocrisy or something. So I’m not cynical enough
understanding of what politics is all about. So I want to say,
to think so. I think very few people are that overt about it.
it is hard to be a Christian leader and not get involved in politics. So when, people talk about the Archbishop Welby
I said earlier on that these guys have good intentions but they
and others when they make comments and say things like,
become pragmatical along the way. But you know, even then, ‘they shouldn’t get involved in politics’, they really don’t know thinking about this, I value the opportunity to speak into the
what they’re saying, in my opinion, because they haven’t really
life, theologically, the things of God, for any person - whatever
stood back and understood. But then, maybe not surprisingly
their motives. You see, I’ve got nothing to lose, because for me,
because, in our country, once you say ‘politics’, all people
it’s giving me the platform and the opportunity to speak into
think of is party politics.
somebody’s life. It is up to them how they then misuse or use that. That’s their abuse and not mine. I will not be colluding. Now,
NZ: Do you think that England will have a Prime Minister of
if they have covertly come out and they’ve said, ‘you know, I’m
colour in your lifetime?
going to East Barnet and I’m going to see that minister because,
PR: No. But I would like to see it happen. We go about our
I know if I see him, I’m going to stay in power’, then I might say:
business differently over here. In America they have an
‘No you’re not using me that way.’ But I think very few people
underlying philosophy of ‘The American Dream’; we don’t have
are that, corrupt. But I may be wrong [laughing].
that over here. Although we are quite a multicultural country, we tend to tolerate each other more when we have to go beyond
NZ: For those that don’t know or understand why Christianity
that. It has to be acceptance.
is about politics; why does it play such a major role in politics? PR: I was saying to you earlier, it’s not about party politics
I found that the time I had spent with Pastor Rupert was very
because I think, Jesus, when he walked the earth, he was, by
insightful. I had learnt a lot; not only about Christianity but
his very presence, embroiled in the politics of the day. And the
also about the man who has been the pastor of my church for
politics of the day, is that, there were ruling powers. In that day of
the last few years. Whilst some may disagree with his views,
Jesus it was the Romans and of course, he came with a message,
we do live in a country were freedom of speech is supposed to
which ran right across that type of leadership of the day. So, he
be practised. However, over the last decade we have seen our
was into servant ministry and he was into loving and caring
nation become ever more politically correct, with people being
for the marginalised, and all that sort of stuff. Whereas, often,
somewhat afraid to exercise their right to speak freely. Here is
those in power tend to forget these people; they remain on the
one man who is not afraid to say what he thinks.
margins. And so Jesus came, if you want, against the political establishment (the ruling powers of the day) saying: ‘Hang on,
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this
how you are going about this is not just, it’s not right, its not
interview do not necessarily reflect the views of
fair and that’s not the way God will have it.’ That’s politics, in
Interact Magazine in Barnet or Interact UK.
my little understanding. 36
Interact |History History Faith and Spirituality Conflict and Auschwitz concentration camp
remembering the holocaust
The Holocaust is often described as the mass
This act of genocide resulted in the
was being fought between the ‘Aryans’
murder of European civilians by the Nazis
massacre of six million Jews. An additional
and the ‘Semites’.
during World War Two. However, this
five million deaths contributed to the overall
definition fails to emphasise that the Jews
loss of lives as the mentally handicapped,
Hitler described the Jews as a ‘disease’
were specifically targeted by Hitler’s regime.
homosexuals, Gypsies and other minorities
that needed to be wiped out and he
Furthermore, it insufficiently captures the
were herded into concentration camps
believed it was his duty to ‘cleanse’
extent of the tragedy and horrors that the
where they were murdered.
Germany. The Nazis issued nearly 2,000
victims had to endure under Nazi rule.
decrees against the Jewish population from March 1933 onwards, and random
This year’s Holocaust Memorial Day
attacks were made against Jewish citizens
commemorates the 69th anniversary of the
and their proper ty. By 1935, the Nazis
liberation of Auschwitz. It is an annual
established the Nuremberg laws, which
remembrance of the murder of eleven million
denied members of the religion many basic
people during Hitler’s reign of terror.
civil rights. These laws included banning
Middlesex University in Barnet holds a
Jews from taking part in German elections
ceremony in remembrance of these people.
and excluding Jews from restaurants,
The day serves the significant purpose of
reminding the world that the atrocities
The hostility towards Jews is often referred
committed in the twentieth century should
to as ‘the longest hatred’ as anti-Semitism
On 9 November 1938, the Nazis engineered
never be repeated.
began over 2,000 years ago. Nazi
‘spontaneous’ violence against the Jews
ideology was based around prejudice
throughout Greater Germany, using the
During the period 1941 to 1945, Hitler tried
towards Jews, as their principle belief was
assassination of Ernst vom Rath as an
to exterminate the entire Jewish population.
that a never-ending battle for the world
excuse. Vom Rath was a German Diplomat
parks and swimming pools.
Interact Conflict and| History History 1933
3 August: Hitler receives powers of both President and Chancellor
15 September: Germany issues Nuremberg Laws, stripping Jews of citizenship and marriage to German non-Jews 16 July: Buchenwald concentration camp opens
14 December: Nazi decree declares Gypsies as ´inveterate criminals´
TIMELINE OF KEY FACTS
30 January: Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany after securing a majority of seats in the Reichstag (parliament), appointed by President Paul von Hindenburg
Uriel Roth The Nazi Holocaus t of the mid-t wentieth centur y is a well-documented and chillingly brutal period in his tor y, involving the sys tematic genocide of six million Jews. Another f ive million individuals would per ish including Gypsies, homosexuals, numerous Poles and those tha t were disabled. Here is a timeline of the key events leading up to, and those tha t took place
15 November: Jewish children expelled from German schools 5 October: Jewish passports are marked with the letter ´J´ for ´Jude´
throughou t, the Holocaus t.
17 August: Jews are required to add ´Israel´ to their name for men and ´Sarah´ for women (Germany)
who was killed in Paris by a Polish Jew. This murder led to the the windows of synagogues and Jewish homes. More than 7,500 Jewish shops were defaced. This event is known as
responded to the question ‘how did Kristallnacht affect you?’ by exclaiming: ‘I was aged 12 when the worst pogrom of the twentieth century took place. I learned about the terrors committed on 9 November the next day, when I was walking to school with my brother. I could smell the burning of the ground. It was very frightening.’ Kristallnacht signified the first instance in which the Nazis
19 July: Telephones confiscated from Jews (Germany) 1 March: Himmler orders a camp at Birkenau (Auschwitz 2) built 3 September: First gassing tests at Auschwitz 23 October: Jewish emigration from Germany prohibited 20 January: Wannsee Conference takes place –´The Final Solution to the Jewish Question´ is finalised amongst top Nazi leaders
wood from my synagogue, which had been burnt to the
27 April: Heinrich Himmler, SS chief, orders the opening of Auschwitz
My grandfather, Hermann Hirschberger of Karlsruhe, Germany,
21 September: Reinhard Heydrich of the SS orders ghettos to be established in occupied Poland under ´Judenrate´
Kristallnacht, and is referred to as the ‘Night of Broken Glass’.
3 September: Britain and France declare war on Germany
Nazis and the Hitler Youth burning Jewish books and smashing
23 July: Treblinka death camp established 26 February: First transport of Gypsies to Auschwitz - placed in Auschwitz 2 in the ´Gypsy Camp´
Gestapo arrested 20,000 men and incarcerated them in
19 April: Revolt in the Warsaw ghetto (duration 27 days)
imprisoned Jews on a massive scale; units of the SS and concentration camps. Afterwards, the Jewish communities
5 April: Jews in Hungary must wear the yellow Star of David 20 July: Soviet troops liberate Majdanek concentration camp; assassination attempt on Hitler 2 November: Gassings at Auschwitz terminated
were fined one billion Reichsmarks to pay for the damage.
In September 1939, war broke out as a result of Hitler’s invasion of Poland. This act defied the Treaty of Versailles (which was begin the first of their large-scale killing programmes - involving gas, starvation and lethal injection. The Nazis now controlled a large portion of Polish territory where they established 300
drafted after the First World War) and allowed the Nazis to
27 January: Soviet troops liberate Auschwitz 30 April: Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker with his new wife, Eva Braun 7 May: Germans surrender to Allies 22 November: Nuremberg trials begin, prosecuting Nazi war criminals (ends on 1 October 1946)
concentration camps and prisons. In order to eliminate potential resistance, the Nazis murdered 1.8 million non-Jewish
Polish citizens including teachers, churchmen and political 38
Interact History Conflict and |History Escape was not an option for the people trapped inside the camps as there were electrif ied fences and security cordons that encompassed an area of 40 square kilometers around the camp. Victims were ordered to make their way into the gas chambers where they were Cattle wagon - trains used for transpor tation to camps
told to undress, in preparation for a shower.
leaders. All Jews over the age of 12 were
situated in each carriage. In addition to
This deception fooled many people into
forced to wear a white armband with a
the lack of resources, there was limited
thinking that they were being given the
blue Star of David. In the annexed
ventilation, which resulted in many
oppor tunity to wash themselves, but in
territories, they had to sew yellow stars
suffocating to death.
reality Zyklon-B canisters were fed through
onto their clothing. Their freedom of
the vents by the prison guards. Each gas
movement was limited and men had to
sign up for forced labour.
Recent research shows tha t ou t of
chamber could kill 2,000 people at a time.
1.3 million people depor ted to
Prisoners slept crowded together, usually
Auschwi t z- Bir kenau, a t leas t 1.1
in three-tiered bunks. They consumed very
The Nazis used the European Railway
million people were murdered; over
little food as mealtimes consisted of
sys tem to transpor t people to the
a million Jewish.
watery soup or a piece of bread.
for ‘resettlement’ were crammed into
Auschwitz, as well as being the largest
cattle wagons. More than 100 people
of Nazi dea th camps, was a huge
Details about the kiling operations at Auschwitz
were shoved into a single carriage,
complex of concentra tion camps.
became known to Britain in the spring of 1944.
resulting in many depor tees dying
After the victims arrived at the camps
The Allies armies reached Auschwitz in 1945,
along the journey.
via trains, they suf fered appalling
where around 190,000 people were rescued
condi tions. Pr isoner s were divided
from Hitler’s ‘Final Solution’.
concentration camps. Victims destined
Leo Bretholz, a Holocaust sur vivor
into groups of men and women and
depor ted to Drancy, referred to the
were ordered to s tand in rank s of
There are numerous commemorations
transpor tation system saying ‘the process
f ive. These people would then f ile
held in Barnet including ceremonies at
of dehumanization had started in earnest’.
pas t an SS doctor, who would judge
Middlesex University, where Hitler’s
Bretholz’ comment was an accurate
each prisoner’s f itness for work. On
crimes against humanity are remembered
ref lection of the dire conditions on the
a verage, 80% of each transpor t
in accordance to the millions of lives lost.
trains since food and water were not
(including the old, sick, mothers with
This day ensures the memory of the men,
provided. There was also a lack of
children and pregnant women) were
women and children brutally murdered
sanitation as only one bucket latrine was
sent to the gas chambers.
in the Holocaust will never be forgotten. Auschwitz 1 - work camp
For more information on Holocaust Memorial Day in Barnet visit: www.barnet.gov.uk
Conflict and History
Entrance to Auschwitz: ‘Work Makes You Free’
Auschwitz today - over 25 million visitors have been here. Source: ryarwood on Flickr 40
Conflict and History
Will Africaâ€™s voice be heard? Uriel Roth Although the recent passing of former South African President and icon of the anti-apartheid movement, Nelson Mandela, has received virtual wall-to-wall coverage in the media, the fact remains that conflicts and problems throughout Africa are still underreported. Indeed, over the past six decades, there appears to have been vigorous media coverage of conflicts that have occurred throughout the Middle East. These range from Iraq to Libya. Conversely, deadly conflicts that have raged throughout Africa do not seem to have attracted nearly as much deserved attention. It must be stated that many more lives have been lost in conflicts relating to Africa than those that have taken place throughout the Middle East. It would now be beneficial to look at the history of these two regions over the last century. By the turn of the twentieth century, Western powers were already making inroads in their influence of Middle Eastern territory. Egypt had become a protectorate of the United Kingdom; the Ottoman Empire had certainly begun to decline. It
should be noted that the Ottoman Empire effectively controlled the Middle East for approximately four hundred years. At the same time, the numerous European powers had commenced their colonisation of Africa in earnest. Britain was fighting the Boers in South Africa. The French Empire began to colonise large swathes of Central Africa, alongside the German Empire. Notably, the Zionist movement had already laid its foundations in Ottoman Palestine, purchasing land for Jewish settlement and cementing institutions designed to ensure a future National Home for the Jewish People. By 1914, the stage was set for the major European powers to go to war against one another via pre-existing alliances. The Ottoman Empire, allied with the Austro-Hungarian and German Empires, faced the British Empire, united with the French and Tsarist Russia. Ultimately, the British and French defeated the Ottoman, German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, leading to the disintegration of the vast Ottoman control of the Middle East.
Conflict and History Africa. Hawkins opined: ‘Priority in coverage is clearly given to foreign situations in which the home country has a stake. As such, stories for which there is no home connection or angle may well be unlikely to be covered at all.’ The concept that conflicts are given media attention primarily when national interest is at stake is both serious and startling, as moral and humanitarian considerations are clearly not taken into account when deciding what news stories, in particular conflicts, are newsworthy. Another major conflict to ravage Africa has been that of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It has its roots in Rwanda and the genocide that took place there in the 1990s. After an independence struggle in the 1960s from Belgium, regions throughout this territory fought one another. Joseph Mobutu subsequently seized power in 1965, crushing rebellions and eventually unifying the nation, renaming it Zaire.
This inevitably led to the breakdown of a centuries-old existing order. States that had never existed before would come into being. Indeed, the British and French would carve up former Ottoman territory amongst one another, and make contradictory promises to the Arabs and Jews with regards to the question of who would control Palestine, setting the stage for a conflict that has not ended to this day. Furthermore, at this point in history, a very valuable natural resource - oil - would be discovered throughout Middle Eastern lands, notably the Arabian Peninsula. This would make the Middle East a region of geopolitical and strategic interest, whereas Africa could not offer such a natural resource in such large quantities. The post-Second World War era saw a disengagement of colonial interests in Africa by Western Empires and indeed the eventual demise of these Empires. This appeared to solidify the lack of interest that has been shown by Western media outlets in comparison to Middle Eastern conflicts. For example, in 1956, Israel alongside Britain and France would launch an attack against Egypt, partly as a result of guerilla attacks that emanated from Egyptian territory into Israel. It became know as the ‘Suez Crisis’. The Suez Canal, an important maritime pathway that links Asia and Europe and constructed in the mid-nineteenth century, had recently been nationalised by new Egyptian President Abdel Gamal Nasser. This caused substantial irritation in British and French government circles. Indeed, at the time it caused uproar internationally. Eventually, due to American pressure, the British, French and Israelis were forced to halt their assault and withdrew from the Sinai. In contrast, at this same time period ,Sudan had newly become a sovereign state, being made independent from Britain. Sectarian concerns were taken with seemingly little foresight; severe friction ensued due to rival clans and ethnicities being molded into one state. Essentially, it pitted the mainly Arab northern Sudan against sub-Saharan Christian and animist southern Sudan. The northern half of Sudan was considered to have gained more power and representation in government, thus serving as a catalyst to the first Sudanese civil war from 1955 to 1972, ending with the Addis Ababa Agreement. Throughout the duration of the conflict, approximately half a million Sudanese lives were lost. Peter Viggo Jakobsen, Associate Professor in the Department for Strategy at the Royal Danish Defence College, has noted that: ‘The media ignores most conflicts most of the time.’ This would seem to imply that conflicts, particularly foreign conflicts with no strategic interest to the country in which a media outlet is based, struggle to interest the media. Virgil Hawkins is an Associate Professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy, Japan, and an experienced NGO worker in the field in
Mobutu, however, used the DRC’s vast natural resources to his own benefit, plundering wealth for himself and his inner circle. Inevitably, this behaviour allowed his precarious position in power
to falter and Rwanda’s genocide hastened this downfall. The fallout of the Rwandan genocide proved to be a catalyst. After the Hutu Government collapsed in Rwanda, an estimated two million Hutus are believed to have fled to the DRC, hoping to avoid any reprisals of the Tutsis of Rwanda. Indeed, the Tutsi Government of Rwanda, backed by Uganda, overtook Kinshasa (the DRC capital) and reverted Zaire to the DRC. Laurent Kabila was installed as president. He failed to expel the Hutu militias that fled to Congo, and Rwanda subsequently sent a force to oust him as president. Kabila then requested aid from Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola. The next few years saw these countries fight a proxy war in the DRC. These events ultimately led to what is considered Africa’s deadliest conflict. Five million people would perish from starvation and disease, in addition to the fighting that took place on Congolese land. The number of individuals that died was enormous. It is doubtful that the conflicts that have occurred throughout the Middle East since the Second World War have caused as many deaths as in this one African conflict alone including the deadly Iraq war of the 2000s, which is arguably the deadliest conflict the Middle East has seen in modern times, with estimates of up to a million dead from the invasion and subsequent civil strife. It goes without saying that all deaths that take place in conflicts are tragic and should always be averted. However, an underreporting of such deaths in Africa is definitely a cause for concern to those who really care about humanitarian issues. Indeed, a poignant example of the gulf of coverage afforded to Middle Eastern conflicts compared to African ones can be seen in a dissertation I wrote on the subject, revealing that the amount of articles published by the four major broadsheet newspapers in Britain (The Times, Independent, Telegraph and Guardian) regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were 33,561, compared to 11,346 articles relating to conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur (source: ProQuest). A clear disparity in the volume of articles can be seen here. There is a moral imperative that the media recognise the lack of coverage relative to the gravity of conflicts that have occurred throughout Africa and second, raise the awareness of the problems that have and are continuing to afflict this troubled region. It remains to be seen when this will happen.
Sources: Hawkins, V. (2008) Stealth Conflicts. How the World’s Worst Violence is Ignored. Ashgate Publishing Ltd www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11108589 (accessed in Dec 2013 - Jan 2014) www.proquest.co.uk (data analysed in April 2013)
Ar ts and Culture
DARE TO DREAM Nellie Zulu
The London Borough of Barnet is a diverse community with
school is something I picked up on very quickly. For example,
families from various cultural backgrounds, and a large
the theatre school is actually based at The Bull Theatre in High
population of young and older people. For as long as I can
Barnet. When you enter the building, pictures of students’ work
remember North London, and Barnet in particular, has been
abound, as well as motivational words and quotes such as: ‘Dance
somewhat of a hub for famous talent; the late singer, Amy
like no one is watching.’
Winehouse, came from the area.
The Susie Earnshaw Theatre School
When I sat down with Susie Earnshaw (the founder of Sets) to discuss the theatre school, there was an immediate glow on her
At 13 years old I attended The Susie Earnshaw Theatre School
face. She gleamed with joy when telling me about the success
(Sets), with dreams of someday becoming a household name;
of her son Toby (a musician signed by Andy Fraser from the
although I soon realised that I didn’t have a strong passion
band, Free), as well as the students - both past and present -
for performing. Unlike many of the other pupils that went to
which have been under her pupillage. Susie showed me some
Sets, I attended their Saturday school instead of the full time
YouTube videos of student performances, reminding me of a
one. I sometimes contemplated joining the full time school,
proud mother boasting about her children’s success.
especially when I had the opportunity to audition for a wellknown television show. My audition happened to be during
Aside from telling me about the students’ success, Susie talked
the day so I saw a glimpse of the fun being had by the full time
about how the school managed to make The Bull Theatre its
students; they were actually enjoying school! They looked like
permanent home and why she wanted to set up a theatre school
they wanted to be there and nowhere else.
in the first place. Susie explained that her idea for a theatre school came from her children not being happy at school; there was a
When I recently returned, I could see little had changed and the
ratio of thirty children to one teacher and her son didn’t succeed.
atmosphere was still vibrant. I felt welcomed upon entering the building, although a part of me still felt like the shy teenager who
Sets didn’t start off as a full time school from the get-go. For
attended a few years ago. The fact that Sets isn’t like a normal
its first few years it was a Saturday school where the likes of
Ar ts and Culture or Will.I.Am, and one day performing in the West End. Darcie, who has always wanted to be in the performing arts industry, had auditioned for Italia Conti but felt more comfortable at Sets. She aims to become a model or dancer since her dancing has improved since joining Sets. Both girls agreed that Sets is like one big family. There are only 12 people in each year group so everyone knows one another. They all get on and are close. During my visit, I bumped into one of my old teachers, Melissa Gillespie. Melissa, who was the very first student to attend Sets, Amy Winehouse began their journey to stardom. Yes that’s
now works as a theatrical agent for the agency that Sets run. She
right; The Susie Earnshaw Theatre School is where the late,
has appeared in various television shows and music videos and
great Amy Winehouse first began her journey to becoming an
has also acted on stage. Melissa has worked for the agency for
award winning artist, although her time there had to be cut
six years because she wanted to learn about how the other side
short. ‘I hadn’t set up the full time school at that point and so
of the business works.
I suggested to Amy’s mother that she try Sylvia Young,’ Susie advises. ‘I wanted to do more, but I wasn’t interested in becoming
Like Susie, Melissa seems incredibly proud of the success of
a franchise like Stage Coach.’
the students and was able to recall many of their achievements. She went on to tell me about her experience at Sets and her
With there only being a handful of full time theatre schools in
subsequent success; performing at The English National Opera
London, Susie decided to expand her theatre school into a full
with Amy Winehouse and appearing on both Grange Hill and
time school, whilst still maintaining the Saturday school for part
Nickelodeon. Melissa mentioned that a normal school didn’t
time students. In 2004, in what Susie describes as a moment that
cater to her passions and that, although the theatre school was
was ‘meant to be’, the theatre school moved from the church
smaller, Sets had the emphasis on performing that Melissa sought.
hall where they were originally based, to The Bull Theatre. The
She still assists with teaching some of the classes at Sets, even
move came when they heard that The Bull was moving to The
though running the agency is a full time job.
Arts Depot in North Finchley.
The students Despite its focus being performing arts, the school has managed to accommodate a regular curriculum, which takes place from Wednesday to Friday. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the focus is on performing arts. Amy Winehouse
I was able to speak to some students and ask them a few questions
Sets is a theatre school that has been around for 25 years and is
about their experience of attending a performing arts school.
still going strong. It’s a place where the students dare to dream,
Emily and Darcie are two young girls who have been attending
living and breathing their passions. It is a happy, buzzing and
the school for two years; Emily received a scholarship and
exciting school and there never seems to be a dull moment.
Darcie and her sister began together. Although they are still
You can definitely tell that there is always something new and
fairly young, both Emily and Darcie are very ambitious. They
exhilarating taking place in the building and I thoroughly
know exactly why they decided to attend a theatre school and
enjoyed my trip down memory lane.
what they want to get out of their time here. Emily was offered a non-scholarship place at the Sylvia Young Theatre School, so opted for Sets instead. She smiled with glee when disclosing her dreams of being taught by pop stars, Jessie J 44
Ar ts and Culture
Image description (photographers name etc)
title of the Article Here you can insert the subtitel, a sentence or a few words, but it shouldnâ€™t be too long. You can also skip it. Painting by Thaomy Le
Ar ts and Culture
ow do I tell you what you are? In narrow vicinity we sit hampered Melting, luring in admiration of suppressive ardour Only then do my feet immerse through hard carpet My eyes mesmerised by yours - prohibiting speech I hope you don’t hear my stammers - I try to digest them Or how I can’t look-see too long - I forget my being Everything you are I yearn, a school-boy rush of sugar Over my chest when I see you - every time Every single time. So when you speak and there’s a pause.... excuse me I only mean to reassemble myself - After the incline you trigger Discretely, I hide this, how can I summon the words Or bring it up in a conversation? Say – ‘that when I look into your dark enchanting eyes the world muffles distorting, sound and vision - My limbs go numb my throat ripples with words I ought to say but I consume its weight like gravel between my teeth - I stammer, stammer Subtle though - I’d hope they were Or that when you utter words, my tummy goes funny Like I’m 10 again, with a crush on the new girl Yet, we are both grown - love has come and left us - what it felt like continues to inspire What I want, can’t be taken without consent or bought Like a headless child my heart sports - chasing yours We’ve both endured hardships, cuts and bruises - look this is my scar Heed my plead, And let me crane my arms across your battered legs - patch you where you are torn And carry you with bare knees through - arrows, swords and thorns’
Ar ts and Culture
Little Venice A little escape in the big city
Town markets. If comedy is your thing, head over to the Canal Café Theatre, which hosts over 14 shows per week.
The Little Venice Canal was built in 1801 and became an important waterways hub for London. Now the ‘Venice’ of London is an up-market area with pubs, café’s and restaurants, alongside a picturesque canal. Bridge with a view Without a doubt, the bridge running along Westbourne Terrace
The Prince Alfred Pub
holds the best view of the Little Venice Canal in London. I come
The Prince Alfred Pub - 5A Formosa Street, London W9 1EE
here sometimes to get away from the city air, the beeping buses
T: 020 7286 3287 www.theprincealfred.com
and the crowded high streets; it’s a little haven kept on the down– low. The path along the water is frequented by local artists, runners,
The Prince Alfred sends you back in time to the Victorian Age,
walkers, bird feeders and canal enthusiasts.
when everything was royally grand; until I nearly knock myself navigating a low arch!
The canal is the epitome of a watercolour painting; still and tranquil. Today, the water only moves for the ducks who gently glide on it
In the heart of Little Venice lies this time-travelled pub, which
and leave ripples in their path. The boats are colourful with floral
has stumbled across the twenty-first century and is a Michelin
and marine patterns which all bare a truly British feel.
style restaurant to boot. This is a real treasure of a pub; one which was built during the height of social segregation but now seems
You can notice a little island with willows and flowerbeds from
solidly seamless and stress-free.
this bridge. The pool around it was made in the 1810s and went by the name of Paddington Broadwater. Surrounding it tower
The Prince Alfred is inviting with its Victorian décor and homely
the nineteenth century houses with balconies and terraces
setting. The tables, although few of them, are designed so that
overlooking this quaint and beautiful scene.
each room caters for intimate meetings, which makes this pub very popular amongst the local sophisticated drinker.
The Rembrandt Gardens, with their blossoming flowers and trees, overlook the canal. This was formed in 1975 to honour the 700th
The pub’s signature drinks are Bloody Marys (bloody good)
anniversary of the ‘Venice of the North’, also known as Amsterdam.
and traditional Mojitos. And you won’t be able to resist some of the finest cooking in London with the wafts of the
Wander along the canal and you’ll find a boat café, a Puppet
twice-cooked pork belly or sticky toffee pudding from the
Theatre Barge and waterbus services, which travel to the Camden
Formosa Dining rooms.
Ar ts and Culture The five main sections are all accessed through separate doors,
waiters make their drinks or engaging in a ‘hard day’s work’
as it was custom in Victorian times that the rich should enter
conversation. At the tables, people look infatuated by the class
through one, and the poor the other. ‘The poor would get the
and creativity of The Waterway’s dishes. Rasheed Shahin is Head
bigger section, and the wealthy would enter into a more tailored,
Chef here. He modernises French and Spanish flavours to taste
decorated and polished part of the room. Like a royal box, really,’
close to home and downright delicious.
the barwoman told me. It makes for a very exclusive feel and I cannot help but think it is what a lot of people want; essentially
This chilled out mood extends to the bouncy red leather
your own private pub experience.
sofas with cushions, set opposite a fireplace. Televisions are on Sky News for the inquisitive, and there is a beer garden
The switching between rooms is part of the appeal of this rare
outside for the ones who want to mingle. This evening there
place. Instead of walking outside to enter the same pub through
is live music with one man; his guitar and husky voice creating
a different door, there are five gnome-sized arches that lead
a jazzy beat - a suitable background soundtrack for this
through each room. If you fancy a change of scenery, for instance,
relaxing restaurant and bar.
head down to the cellar rooms, which offer an ancient vibe with brick walls and charming candles. It is all a good laugh until
Tables go at the click of a finger to the busy bees of Little Venice,
this social hierarchy maze turns into a bit of a hazard show as
so I order some water to start, to prolong my stay here, and it
you enter into the next part. I nearly knocked myself out when
tastes fantastic. Has The Waterway cast a water potion spell
venturing into the social class level three room; crouching under
on me? Maybe.
the two foot arch, drink shaking in hand and head getting an immediate bruise from the table that it met - a not-so-prince-like
Or perhaps it is the sweet jazz music encircling it and the syrupy
occurrence in the Prince Alfred, but fun nevertheless.
smell of apricot and ginger chutney with goat cheese fritters (£7) approaching my table. The cheese is soft, hot and has a buttery
The Prince Alfred is a scene of Victorian beauty and I urge you
bread crust. The fruity chutney explodes in my mouth and eases
to go and choose your own room. So I’ll give this pub a royal
the cheese to create a satisfying starter indeed.
review - rather splendid, actually. The language on the menu may sound a tad pretentious but the food really isn’t. Next up was the main: roast corn-fed chicken breast with pomme dauphine (crispy potato puffs) with lemon and tarragon sauce (£16). My chicken is perfectly cooked and succulent, leaving me wanting more. The lemon and tarragon sauce give that extra zing to make me want to further experience this tasty menu. So I tell my New Years resolution to wait another year and I order dessert: chocolate fondant with confit cherries and salted caramel ice cream.
The first thing I spot is the chocolate fondant, which takes leading role in an instant. It’s a chocolate fondant which deludes you
The Waterway - 54 Formosa Street, London W9 2JU
into thinking it’s healthy due to its minimalist position on the
T: 020 7266 3557 www.thewaterway.co.uk
plate. The ice cream oozes with sophistication and contrasts with the gooey chocolate. This is food that hugs you and tells you
Modern European meets home comfort-food, and everything’s
you’re home. I sway in my chocolate/ cherry/caramel coma to
good at The Waterway, even the water…
the husky jazz and decide I’ve had my fair share of The Waterway for one evening.
As you enter into The Waterway you can’t help but feel like Chelsea has come to Little Venice. There is an instant ‘Keep Calm
Charismatic and chilled out with cannot-resist food, I give The
and Drink’ vibe at the bar where people are perched watching
Waterway full marks. 48
Ar ts and Culture
® Lemuria, the Lost Motherland, 2013
The discovery of a new art Uriel Roth
Different art forms have intrigued us
This would continue for the next three
since ancient times, from stone carvings
decades until 2006, when Roth made
found throughout the former Roman
a discovery that would lead to his quest
Empire to the masterpieces of
to introduce the art of coffeegraph® to
Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci.
a wider audience.
Now, we have coffeegraph® to ponder over, an art form native to Los Angeles.
Indeed, Roth is obsessed with coffee.
Its founder is Avi Roth, a photographer
The love of this drink is what led Roth
by trade, who has been working in the
to reveal to the public that images can
industry for over three decades. He has
be manipulated through coffee bean
recently turned his attention to an
residue without a paint and brush. On
innovative and intriguing concept;
a summers day in 2006, he was preparing
making pictures - some that are seemingly
his usual morning espresso when he
random - out of pure coffee beans.
suddenly noticed a peculiar stain on the coffee plate. He thought that this stain
Avi Roth was raised in Israel; he graduated
represented the turmoil that was taking
from Tel Aviv Polytechnic, being awarded
place throughout the Middle East. This
a degree in photography. Roth decided
event immediately triggered an interest
to further his knowledge of this craft and
in Roth that would lead to a process of
made his way to London, enrolled at the
defining and cementing this concept, now
London Film School and successfully
graduated again with honours. Due to its highly influential film industry, Roth then
Adjacent is a transcript of an interview
decided to try his luck in Los Angeles.
conducted with Roth. It should
He was quickly able to establish his own
certainly provide a helpful insight into
photography business, specialising in photographing a wide array of jewellery. 49
the concept’s foundations and successes so far.
Ar ts and Culture
Q&A with Roth Q: What made you choose the name coffeegraph®? A: The pigment used to create my art is coffee, and the work itself is graphic in nature. Thereby, coffeegraph® was the most appropriate word to represent my art-creating art with coffee as pigment, hence the registered trademark of coffeegraph®. Q: What difficulties did you encounter throughout the process of perfecting the concept? A: Technically, the difficulty was to preserve the longevity of the work since I use a pigment without a binder. I have
Phoenician Labyrinth, 2013
experimented for many years since 2006 to stabilise the process. Through the use
Q: What aims did you have when you first started out?
of modern technology I arrived to certain
A: None really. When I first encountered coffeegraph® in August 2006, my initial
standards that I employ today. Aesthetically,
contemplation was, ‘what is this intended to mean? What could it possibly mean,
coffeegraph® is an unprecedented and
and what is its significance?’ I did not invent coffeegraph®, to the contrary it invented
revolutionary art. It is a compelling visual
me! I did not show the art in public until 2012. The reason; I needed time to decipher
form, a new experience, an intuitive art
the visual vocabulary and understand the conversations that are taking place within
originating in monochromatic tonality. At
the spiritual depth of my art.
its arrival, the acceptance of intelligibility and what they [the pictures and art itself]
Q: How successful do you feel it has
rendered was a constant challenge in some
been so far?
A: In less than two years since my first public showing in May 2012,
Q: What made you so determined to
coffeegraph® in and of itself, has
been presented to the public nine
A: It was my understanding of how
times in different events and galleries.
coffeegraph® distinguishes itself in form
The art still lives in its infancy with
and structure. By chance or purpose I am
a long journey ahead, but I believe
a groundbreaking artist. I took a new
to have successfully conveyed thus
direction using techniques and totally
far the experience of a culturally
original ideas that evolved into a style
meaningful visual content.
never seen before. It requires time to absorb it, apprehend it and interpret it. To
Thanks Mr Roth, for taking the time
be a vanguard requires courage, for often,
to answer our questions.
Gemlike Heartbuds, 2013
one could look like a fool. In this respect, I took my time to make sure coffeegraph®
Roth has now decided to expand into
is for a new visual culture.
Europe. Watch this space!
Celebrities in the Suburb The London Borough of Barnet is one of great variety; state and private schools, mosques and synagogues, green parks and skate parks, council houses and mansions. In the leafy hood of Hampstead Garden Suburb, the roads are wide, the front gardens are immaculate and the cars are chic. This is the wealthiest area in Barnet with an almost entirely upper-middle class population. Hampstead Garden Suburb has been home to film stars, royalty, politicians and financiers. This prime location in south Barnet boasts luxury houses and mansions in an idyllic neighbourhood. These homes have a price tag of up to ÂŁ65 million and are state-of-the-art; perfect for the rich and famous. 51
‘The most expensive street in London is located here. Bishop’s Avenue has been nicknamed ‘Billionaire’s Row’ because of the extravagant display of fortune.’
The most expensive street in London is located here. Bishop’s Avenue has been nicknamed ‘Billionaire’s Row’ because of the extravagant display of fortune. In January 2008, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, bought a 30,000 square foot mansion here for £50 million, which made it one of the world’s most expensive houses.
House in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London Source: www.SWNS.com
Television and radio presenter Jonathan Ross also lives here with his wife and three children. Mr and Mrs Ross are very involved in the local area as presidents of the Hampstead Garden Suburb Horticultural Society. Every year they open up their North London home to host a spectacular and celebrity-packed Halloween party. Regular guests include pop star Nicole Scherzinger, and models Kate Moss and Heidi Klum. This suburban house transforms into a haunted castle and there is even a maze with spooky surprises!
royals, who have only recently returned to Athens, took comfort in their £9.5 million Hampstead mansion for over 30 years. At a slightly cheaper price, boy band One Direction member Harry Styles moved to his £3 million Hampstead pad in 2012. The 2,300 square foot house boasts four bedrooms, three bathrooms, three reception rooms and a large back yard with patio, deck, garden and sun lounges. House prices are soaring in London, but the homes of Hampstead Garden Suburb will continue to open their golden gates and offer a heaven of divine houses to cater for celebrities’ tastes. It is no wonder that this area is a growing hotspot for the wealthy. With swimming pools, tennis courts, private cinemas and lifts in your own house, the suburb offers billionaires from around the world complete privacy and a lavish lifestyle.
Former King of Greece, Constantine II, and his spouse Anne-Marie, reportedly lived in London for the past 46 years. The Greek
Gated house in Hampstead Garden Suburb, London. Source: www.SNWS.com
Jonathan Ross. Source: www.fanshare.com 52
Dal. (V) Kristina Shchetinina Dal (also spelled dahl or daal) is called ‘parippu’ in Sinhala, ‘parup-pu’ in Tamil, ‘pappu’ in Telugu and ‘bele’ in Kannada. Dal is a dish that is based on the preparation of dried lentils. It is an important part of Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, West Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine. There are many variaions of dal that include different ingredients and spices. In this article we are introducing Indian dal or pappu. This particular dal recipe is completely vegan and very quick and easy to cook.
Recipe: 1 mug of moong dal or red lentils 3 big cloves of garlic, sliced 1 large onion, sliced 1 dried or fresh red chilli, finely chopped 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds Half teaspoon turmeric 2 or 3 tablespoons sunflower oil 1 can of chopped tomatoes Fresh coriander leaves (optional) Curry leaves (about a dozen) 1.5 to 2 teaspoons salt
Wash the lentils and boil in pan with lots of water (three or four mugs, be prepared to add more later). Do not let the dal dry up, burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does, transfer the unburnt portion to another pan and start again (don’t scrape up the burnt bits). While boiling, add the onion, chilli and garlic. The dal will cook in less than half an hour, though it can boil on for longer so long as there’s plenty of water. Meanwhile, put a little pan on fire and when hot add the oil. When oil is very hot but not smoky add the cumin and mustard seeds. They will crackle and pop. Then add the curry leaves which will splutter and splash. Add the turmeric and turn fire off. Add this to the pot of boiled or boiling dal. Add in the tomatoes, the salt and the coriander and cook for a bit longer so all the tastes blend. And if really feeling decadent add in a knob of butter (or ghee) on top and serve on simply boiled rice! 53
Meet the Team
I used to be addicted to malted milk biscuits. I ate a packet a day, seven days a week.
I am insanely good at mudsledding.
I am blind in my right eye after accidentally falling on a wine glass when I was a baby.
'He who laughs most, learns best' - John Cleese
'Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today' - Mark Twain
'What we see depends on what we look for' - John Lubbock
Carlos A Aguado
I'm often fighting with my mind but I love tennis because it helps to concentrate my mind and I forget the things around me.
I was born with a piercing already in my ear.
My family had five generations living simultaneously; from my great grandma to her great, great grandma. Got the portrait!
Project Manager and Designer
Writer and Sub-Editor
Team Manager, Editor and Writer
Writer and Sub-Editor
'If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change' - Wayne Dyer
'Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You' â€“ Dr Seuss
I've been on television (Blue Peter) and I was on the front page of a newspaper.
Allergic to dairy but can always be found eating chocolate or cake.
My dream is to become a graphic designer or get involved with the creative industry to inspire others.
Writer and Sub-Editor
'Courage is grace under pressure' - Ernest Hemingway
'Be curious about the world in which you live. Look things up. Go deeper than anybody else - that's how you'll get ahead' - Austin Klean
'If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way' - Napoleon Hill
'Creativity is contagious, pass it on' - Albert Einstein
I am on a gluten free diet.
I am ambidextrous.
'If I am killed, I can die but once; but to live in constant dread of it, is to die over and over again' - Abraham Lincoln
'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results' - Albert Einstein
'The important thing is this: to be able at any moment sacrifice what you are for what you could become' - Charles Du Bos
Neus T Tamarit
I wanted to be an astronomist before deciding to be an artist. In fact, I still get fascinated with maths and physics.
I can't watch 'Finding Nemo' because I cry every time I watch it.
Poetry keeps sane, literally.
Writer and Sub-Editor
'The language of the eye, the intensity of the gaze and the steadiness of the gaze are more important than what one says' - Louise Bourgeois
Writer and Sub-Editor
'It always seems impossible until it's done' - Nelson Mandela
Photographer, Designer and Writer
Assistant Designer I have the ability to bend over backwards abnormally far.
'Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value' - Albert Einstein
Special thanks to Aaron Ginsburg - Photographer 54