Working title 'Mischief Makers'
They mobilised the <a href="">Geishas of Gaiety</a> at the G8 summit, send out the <a href="">Solidarity Sisters</a> to help out with the <a href="http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/sheffield/2005/09/324744.html">Magical Mystery tour</a> in Sheffield and did banner drops, performances and community workshops to <a href="http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/12/329458.html">stop their local incinerator</a> from expanding. It's been a busy year in Nottingham with an increasingly innovative and creative activist community. A new radical art collective, with 'Mischief Makers' as its working title, has been set up and more and more meetings and <a href="http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2006/01/331049.html">workshops</a> take place to prepare <a href="http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/11/327771.html">banners</a>, costumes and performances for a variety of campaigns. <a href="http://notts.indymedia.org.uk">Notts Indymedia</a> spoke with two woman who set up the group. About how it all started, how they experienced the <a href="http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/actions/2005/g8/">G8 summit</a> and what's in store for the future...
Links: Mischief Makers <a href="http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/mischief">email list/website</a> | Download <a href="http://beyondtv.ourvideo.org/act_test/video/page.php?id=13&prefix=video">G8 Geisha film</a> | Photos: </blockquote> It was early last year. With the G8 on its way, many people in Nottingham got involved with preperations for the G8 summit in Scotland. Meetings, spreading flyers at gigs, doing stalls at the most random events and of course fantasizing about what could be done in July. A massive benefit gig was planned to help raise money towards the hard needed funds for accomodation, legal and medic groups in Scotland. Besides raising the money and awareness about the issues behind the G8, it was with nearly 2500 visitors and over 40 acts one of, if not the biggest free party Nottingham had ever seen. Pulled together with the help of over a hundred people, Shakedown '05 as it was called, was one of the best things ever. For Xanthe and Elsa it was the beginning of combining their artwork and performance with things that had started to interest and inspired them. They did their first performance together at 'One Drop In The Ocean' - a day of live performance and music in aid of the Tsunami Appeal. Dressed in big sort of Geisha or Japenese inspired dress they made people make wishes, 'We wanted people to be able to take part in the performance in some way. For the audience to have some sort of interactive roll so we invented the wish fish when people can make a wish on a fish and then we pin them onto washing lines or onto our dresses.' A small thing, but something positive and interactive that seemed to involve people a lot more with the issues. 'We were then asked to come to Shakedown, and do some work for the G8 stuff. So we kept to the same theme of costumes, but developed them a bit. And made some stilts and learn how to stiltwalk.' We photocopied lots of money. It was the eight different currencies from the G8 countries and we copied those onto paper and asked people to make a wish for the world economy. Like what they would do if the world economie was in their hands. But also it was really interesting asking people wheter they wanted money. Well actually do you know who this money belongs to? What countries? Like little clues. Why do you think I have 8 currencies? We thiought of calling the performace the G-what?, as mentioning the G8 made many respond: G-whot? G-whot? It was a really good way of getting people involved in the performance and start a conversation, adressing the issues. We took the performance to lots of events leading upto the G8 including Scotland and we've made the notes into little books, which we're planning to exhibit at some point.
Interview Text - E&X 20/10/05
Why Geisha's? What's the idea of dressing up like Geisha's?
E - When originally we dressed like Geisha's, it all stammed from the one piece we did at the one drop in the ocean. Where we decided to be geishas for that and there was a huge, it was for fundraising on the street. When yuou asked us to come to Shakedown, you asked us to use the same costumes. one of the issues raised at the G8 was climate changed, and the costumes seemed to fit. But in the end we decided to maker more costumes that were kind of larger. So they could be seen from higher up. We wanted to make bolder statements, about what it was about. 'cause me and xanthe realised then that we were actually really interested in developing these issues more. So xanthe did a whole piece about car pollution and I did it about landfill and directly involving it with global warming and what was going on. A lot of people ask us why we're Geisha's. It's the question we're asked all the time. It's actually become something that was a really light hearted decision that has now made us aware we need a lot more thought behind why we choose the things that we did. We weren't actually dressing as Geisha's and wearing the whole outfits and representing Geisha's and being there as Geisha's. We we're just taking inspiration from that because we wanted to represent a lot of beauty, and peacefulness and it just happened that those mixed together.
X - I think it was about having an image that was approachable as well, because we wanted to involve new people, not just like the activist community that's allready there. Memebers of the public that we're walking past, we wanted them to be able to approach us and talked to us about our issues that..
E - And that's why we kept it on, I think, afterwards when we went yup to the G89, because we realised what amazing reaction we had had to it.
So it was more of a visual thing, rather that represent Geisha's or what they might stand for?
E - As I said, we weren't representing a Geisha. We weren't wearing the typical outfit. It was just inspired by. As an image.
X - It was to be something intrueging, when people wanted to come and find out what was going on.
E - And exciting.
A lot of people ask you this question?
E - Yeah, they do. In a way I kind of like that people ask us, because it creates intruege and people then find out why we're there. So it's kind of a dual thing.
X - It has served it's purpose in being a talking point and a way for people to approach us and say: why are you doing this. We got a lot of very mixed reactions. Some people think it's amazing, a lot of really positive reactions about the way we dress and what we're doing and some more sort of confused reactions. People dont understand.
Why is it important to reach out to people from outside the activist community?
X - It's important to me because with the message that we're trying to spread we're trying to involve people in doing things about global warming and all the other issues that are important to us. Loads of things. But it is important to not just preach to the converted and to speak to new people who haven't neccesarily thought about these things before.
E - I really feel that our aim was to raise awareness. And that was I think why it worked so well. Was because we come from a really strong theatre background and people are just instantly drawn to us, but it's people who wouldn't neccesarily be drawn to other things that we're going on that were
X - Protest, meetings or anything like that.
E - We were also a really good link, weren't we? For if there was a protest going on, that like we were there and there was l....?
Do you think with for example the clowns and Geisha's more people combine activism with performance?
X - I don't know. I haven't really got a long history of going to protests. I don't know wheter it's happening more, but I think its a really important thing to happen. I think protests can look very dull and very I find isolating, or intimidating is probably the word, towards the general public. So if you're walking past and you're interested in the issue you can pick up a leaflet but you don't necesarily wanna get involved, as you're not part of that group. I think the more sort of carnival, puppetry, costumes, theatry things that are going on, the more intrueging it as a spectacel to watch.
E - The more approachable it is a s a subject. It's about asking questions and not being scared about asking questions.
X - I think protest should be about communicating. Communicating from the people who believe this way or belive in whatever it is, it should be about communicating that to everybody else who's walking past. And that doesn't always happen.
E - But also if its in quite an isolated area, it also boosts peoples moral. If there's people all locked and chained on, it can be really quite an intens day, I felt it really boosted peoples moral and gave a completely different atmosphere. Even with samba bands all all things mixed together, it's not just .. it's a lot of things all tken together. It's just thinking about things in a different way. Approaching a subject in a different way.
What are the aims of the collective you're setting up?
E - What really happened is that when we started, we weren't expecting this to happen. But so many people got really interested in what we were doing and so many people got involved with making costumes and taking them up to the G8, but than it kind of stemmed on from that and it became even bigger, because people started joining, and people left costumes if they were leaving early, so other people joined for different days and different protests, and people really took it on board and we're started doing like Geisha training and all of this stuff. It was just great. So it seemed like it was the natural thing to set up a collective. And we're still kind of discussing the aims and how...
X - We've been trying to set it up and write a manifesto but I think our general aims are to raise awareness of issues and to do that in a sort of a creative and approachable way. We all wanna work as a team, so there is not gonna be any sort of leadership. We want it to be quite an equal collective, where everyone's got a say about the idea's and process.
E - We're still at the start of it, so we don't know yet how it's gonna develop, but it's all gonna be great. That's all I know :)
Why Mischief Makers?
E - We still need a lot of meetings with the group, but because we're so busy developing work for NAIL, which is Nott Agai Inci nd Landfill, we're just so involved inmaking more work for that, that we haven't yet discussed a lot of the things like a name and...
X - We were becoming known as the Geisha's and it was important for us to move away from that. It was good and suited what we were doing at the time, but we wanted to move on and create a new identity for ourselves, so Mischief Makers is step further.
E - I don't actually like it very much, but a lot of people in the collective do, so...
Do you see yourselves as activists?
X - I think we've been acting and in that respect we feel like activists. We have a lot f strong feelings about a lot of things, and act to do some thing about them.
E - We're going to be changing the whole of Nottingham waste management. So yes.
In terms of global threats, what's your biggest worry at the moment?
X - Global warming, which connects to so many other things, is my biggest worry. Everything, from car use to aeroplanes, to incinerators down the road and yeah, that's my biggest worry. And I think that i got quite frustrated with the G8 and the Make Poverty History march, with it being about make poverty history, which was the main focus, when I really feel that the big issue for everyone should be global warming. That's what people should be concentrating on.
Do you think the MPH campaign could have linked those issues?
E - No, I think it's good to focus on one thing at a time. I think tackle one issue at a time, and that issue wasn't even tackled properly. So if you just put more eggs in a bag. Everything is linked to everything, isn't it.
X - And the G8 was about so many things wasn't it? So many issues they were raising. Do you think that was the problem with that meeting?
E - I don't think enough issues we're raised really. I hope they we're recognised those issues raised really. even though were recognised quite late. should have happened years ago. Well, there's so much going on in the world. I couldn't even list the amount of threats, and for me global warming is only one of them, there's just a lot of injustice all over the world, that we're doing on our people, and for me the biggest worry is that while there is a lot of uinjustice going on around the world that there's still such a big part of the world that's living in a bubble, and just completely blanking out what's going on. And for me that's the biggest threat. Becausen the only way we can make change is and to take it on board, is for everyone to realise what's going on and just stop this whole ideal that we have to work every day, and be really nice to my neighbour, and pick up my post and put my bin out on a friday, that that's gonna make things better. Still good to do that. be nice to your neighbour, but it worries me the bubble is just getting bigger and bigger because of the media and people stay in and watch TV and there's a lot of propoganda thrown at you without even realising.
Where would you start with people who are totally unaware of any of the issues?
E - If I knew the awnswer... Well this is why me and Xanthe do what we do and keep it creative and going out on the streets, our bnext project is not going to be in the market square, like public places, but we're actually going around more residential area's and we're planning to tackle the whole of Nottingham. As well as going into schools and doing it really creatively and proactivly, because we're doing a whole thing about recycling. It's all against the incinerator expansion, and we'll be going into schools to teach children, play games with them about recycling and making things with them out of recycled materials. Just taking a completely different approach. But it's difficult. It has to be on so may different levels.
X - I think as for a starting point would be informing people, and people need to be informed and educated about what's going on around them, because if they've never been told, there's no way there gonna realise all the things that are going on.
Are there other likeminded groups in Nottingham that you might work with?
E - We're gonna be working with the Sheffield group, No Borders, and the magical Mystery Tour,
X - We've been talking a lot to Ange Taggart, from My Dads Strip Club, who does amazing work ll over the world.
E - NAIL
The funding question....
X - I don't see it as a problem myself. How do you feel?
E - Two things: I felt really strnge about this and never wanted to get funding originally and when me and xanthe spoke about funding, I was always very worried about this. I've actually changed my mind after speaking to Ange and also actually reading how many of my friends who do art are getting funding to do work that doesn't involve change, doesn't involve... It's really wank art, it's really narrow minded and just about themselves and doesn't aproach people, doesn't let people in. This money is up for grabs, so it's your choice wheter you want it or not. But we can make better use of it.
X - I think the other thing is that some of this is like a full time job, there is now way u\you can do all these things and make money for yourself. People have to live.
W - Do you see it more as compensation.
E - We don't see it as making money out of it. We're mainly putting in a lot of money for materials. We haven't actually got any funding. We're thinking about it. We're thinking of putting in a bit for arts council funding, to to workshops in schools about the NAIL campaign. If we want to continue the work we're doing, than we need to either find a way to live or we'll have to stop and get other jobs, 'cause it takes a lot of time doing these things. We want to reach out to more people and get more people involved.
W - Was the G8 anything like you'd expected it to be?
E - It wasn't anything like I'd expected, but I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was really scared of what to expect. But I actually really enjoyed being up there. I actually loved it and I loved being part of it all. And I've never been to anything on that mass scale. I think quite a lot of people who were from Nottingham that had gone up also hadn't been to anything like it before. It opened up my eyes in a lot of ways. Because I haven't been involved with activist stuff before, I didn't realise . I really hadn't opened up my eyes to the ways police are and the way that they 'conduct' stuff and how that all happens like. It really opened up my eyes to the media and the way and the way things are really distorted, being at a place and seeing what was happening and then seeingb the next day the way it was reported in the news papers. I just found it really shocking. It was really diguisting actually how badly portaid things were and how blown up and just. It opened up my eyes to really good and really bad things. It opened op my eyes to --- there were so many people all in one place and all wanting to make change and progression and yes.
X - I wasn't at the G8 for very long. And I was there for the sort of early part. Before all the meetings had begun, so I thought it was amazing and it was very like I expected. But I saw the very sort of fluffly aspect of it and everyone being happy and the police keeping their hands to themselves and stuff...
X - So when I cam er back to Nottingham and I was sort of listening to the radio and hearing about it then and how like violent it had got, I found that really strange after seeing it was amazing and to have left and hearing about it being very different. I think it did change, but obviously the media representation did not reflect the reality.
W - Did you check out any alternative media?
X - Indymedia.
W - And you E?
E - NO - laughing
W - E, I was gonna ask you more about the G8 and maybe you could kind of explain what happened?
E - There were a lot of different actions and I think that that was what was so good about our collective, that individually we all had very different reasons for being there and not neccesarily we were there to oppose the G8, which I thought was quite important actually. First I thought it was quite bizarre but we had lots of people in our collective that came up to the G8 but not to oppose it. But than it made sense that they were there to highlight certain issues that were directly linked to the G8. Because each Geisha also had a different statement on their skirt (dress?) which represented ina really visual way why we were there. Some of them just came to highlight issues. Some of them were, some of them weren't. Some people felt very strongly about opposing the G8, feeling they're illegitamate, others just wanted to highlight certain issues and pressure the G8 for change. That's why it's been quite difficult to form a manifesto when we were there and afterwards. Because we all have very different idea's, but I don't think it actually matters because we're all interested in similair things. We all use very similair methods, which is a really important way of getting our messages across. And we celebrate diversity and individualism...
X - So we went to Edinburgh and on the Saturday, and it was the big MPH march, which went around and around in the city. The wanted to create a 'white band'.
E - Did you ever see the white band?
X - There were supposed to be fireworks and everything, but that didn't happen. Also the Live 8. which was going on at the same day. There were about 14-15 geisha's, which was our debut as Geisha's I suppose, as a whole group. Then on Sunday I leftlate on Sunday evening, so . I left my costume, in the hope that more people would be interested in becomeinga Geisha and a few other people did that as we week went on. More people joined throughout the week.
E - And we got just stronger and stronger as a group. On Monday went to Faslane, which was quite strange, because we'd done all this direct-action training on the Sunday and we kind of got abducted in the camp we were staying, that it was gonnan be really hardcore and a lot of people were really scared to go. We were told this would happen and this would happen. The police would do this and this... We had to get up at 5 in the morning and when we arrived, we got there and it was quite scary and suddenly a sambaband arrived and it was all just like a little carnival, such good fun! We worked with the clown army on that day, so when the clownarmy were there, we kind of swapped roles, because there's different gates at faslane. We were mainly there to support all the people who had chained themselves on, more than anything else on that day. That was actually the day of the Crnival of Full Enjoyment in Edinburgh. I ws really torn, because I thought Faslane was gonna be really difficult and hardcore, so I was gonna go to Edinburgh, but obviously it worked out the other way around... Then on Tuesday people were preparing, because Wednesday was the big day. Evrybody was leaving the camp in drips and draps, because we were staying in Stirling, where thousands were staying, people converging from all over the world there. A lot of people were still arriving as people were leaving, because we were scared that the police was gonna come and enforce, kind of barricade us in, to make sure we weren't gonna leave. A lot of the more hardcore activist who were doing direct action on the motorways left and we weren't sure how we were gonna get out. In the end we got a lift confirmed at like 2 in the morning but we had to leave at 5, so we all went to bed for a few hours, then I tried to get evryone up, but couldn't find anyone's tent. As we were walking, there were lots of raelly disstressed people coming into the camp and we were staying in the Nottingham Camp. All the medictents were full. It all seemed really strange, waking up so early in the morning with so many people awake and people limping, and crying and there were a lot of people in the Nottingham tent who were telling us not to go. So one said: O have you not heard what's happened? It's really kicked off out there, I wouldn't go. It was really building up this whole hysteria in the camp, because there was no way of knowing. There was no communication, evrybody was creating a really big panic. But we decided to go anyway. And even to the point where. And they were saying we wouldn't even be able to get to Glenegles or anywhere near it, because the police were doing loads of searches and turning people back. So it was like chaos in there. And there was even someone who came into our minibus screaming; "_get them out, get them out. the police are just gonna come and rip people out. get everybody out!_" and I was just going: what a great thing to say in a sitaution of panic. And actually when we got to the Ochill Hills we got quite close to it, we got dropped off there. A lot of police vans stopped us, so we just decided to walk the rest. But the biggest thing when we got there was just relief of not being in the middle of hysteria and panic. It got so bad that some of the Geisha's, the ones who weren't opposing the G8, didn't jopin us on that day, 'cause they said: this is too much for us, this not why we're here and we don't wanna be part of it and all seemes like way too hardcore. Ou role for the day: We weren't really sure wheter we were gonnan get to Glenegles. We wanted to, but we had to walk about 19 miles or something crazy like that. We really wanted to support all the poeple that were doing the blockades. We made hundreds of sandwiches which filled our backpacks and we handed them out on the motorway, it was really good. So we were handing out lots of food top people who had been on the blockades all day. We walked up to the M9 to Auchtarader. The craziest thing on that day was I witnessed a lot of dealings with the police and how people dealt with them. I was really shocked. I felt really naieve going up to the G8 and expecting something completely different and seeing the way that people were treated. There was really enforced violence and it seemed really unneccesary on the part of police. We met up with some of the Geisha's on the way who'd been part of the blockades and who were just in fits as well, about what had been happening. And what was also really strange was that one of our Geisha's was in complete fits - We were waliing down the hills - at the bottom of the - on the motorway. We were watching for ages. It kind of all calmes down. The police was cornering in people that were sitting down on the road. ??? was saying how they were running back and into them, kicking them. one of the people in the sit-in was her boyfriend, and many were her friends. She was also talking about the amount of pleasure the police were taking in it. The fact that it had gone beyond their job. It was actually that they really enjoyed the violence, which was quite scary in itself. Being part of that group and trying to support them, the police had a really threatening approach towards her. And when we came down as a group of Geisha's thepolice were all going: Oh hi, how are yo doing, do you want a hand to cross the road? Oh shall I hold your hand? and being like the complete opposite to what they just were. We had such a different reaction. The were leading us across the motorway. They we're saying to the other Geisha: don't you dare get on the road, we'l do this, we'll do that... RIA wasn't dressed as a Geisha. She's part of our colletive, but not dressed as a Geisha that day. We walked all the way up to Gleneagles and Auchturader, where it was all going 'round. I thought it was a bit of an anti-climax when I got there. It had been amazing suporting all these people who had done direct action against the G8, because I really felt that that day, that was really neccessary. I don't thinkit was about raising awareness that day. It was the direct actions that were making a change and saying: we don't agree with this. Seeing the G8 Altenatives march just seemed a real anti climax to everthing I'd been witnessing. The fact that it was just people going 'round and we saw the end of, where people we're stopping at the end of the march. There was a guy shouting through a megaphone. It didn't matter wht theyu were saying, it really didn't matter anyone on that march, 'cause there was this guy at the end saying: yeah, minibusses to the left, go to the left to catch your bus. People were still chanting: Stop the G8, while he was just megaphoning away: 'Get your bus Get your bus'. What I also really hated about that march was that we were stranded there for hours afterwards (for approx 6 hours), trying to get back where we were staying, which was realy difficult. Just seeing the amount of litter that was left there nd all the placards just left there. I thought: it all great that we're all here, and we all want change, yet we're leaving so much destruction in our way. Maybe this is wrong of me to say but: We all go on about being anti capitalist, being individual and thinking for yourselfs, yet evrybody holds the same placards, saying the same things. I just don't get it. Do you wanna know what happened at the camp?
When we came back to the camp after all these hours, I had lots of blisters and I couldn't walk and I was generally feeling really grumpy about the whole thing, because I'd been walking for 20 miles in the pooring rain, being flown over by helicopters all the time... We got to the camp, and evrybody was really tired, but evrybody was still staying up. It was similair to when I left; all quite hyper. People seemed stressed out and angry. There was a lot of talk of the police has gonna arrive and ??? people talked about all sorts of things that might happen. Some people tried to get others to go to bed and have some rest and wait for the next day. I don't know how, but the Geisha's got involved in a 'de-escalating' meeting where we we talked about if tyhe police would arrive, we'd have someone there to talk to the police, to tell them there were children, families, and some teenagers. To make sure the police was aware of this before they made any decisions and aslo we had another at different points around the camp on watch, because there were different ways the police could come in. And then we had people who would tell the camp, in a way that was very calm, because so far messages we're going around a bit tense and ?haywire?. So quite a lot of the Geisha's were part of that. One of us was actually there when the police did arrive and he spoke to the police about what was going on and the police was aware there were children etc. but as things went, by the time it got back to my barrio, (nottingham part of the whole camp) it just all went really crazy. People we're shouting, and kicking the tents to get people out. Shaking them, going: 'get up! The police are here, the police are here, we're gonna have to have a meeting about what we're going to do, we need to decide'. And this about 2.30 in the morning, so I start putting my cloths on, thinking 'we all knew this was gonna happen' and actually the de-escalating meeting was really crazy as well. People we're shouting, and nearly hitting each other, the whole time. So I was getting raedy to out for this meeting and then this person was walking by, screaming that they [the police] were gonna murder us. At that point I thought; this has gone beyond anything. It's all getting stupid. So ridiculous. All raelly blown out of proportion. I was thinking that if there was gonna be any violence, it was gonna be from our part, because people were just not thinking straight. Nobody has had enough sleep, and evrybody was just crazy. There was no point in saying allegations like that. All it's gonna do is spread fear, and that's the worst thing you could do, spreading it all 'round the camp. Which it did really quickly. If that was raelly gonna happen, how can you resolve anything by screaming it out to everybody. I decided not to take part in the meeting deciding about what we were gonna do with police. The police wanted to prevent, as they called it, the 'black block' from leaving the camp at 3. They said they had information that they were gonna walk out again. They wanted to make sure that wasn't gonna happen. The next day I had to leave.
X - I feel, and you might really disagree with this but I feel there's no point in worrying about it if we're al polluting ourselves. We're all gonna die because of global warming whether we're rich or poor. If it keeps going the way it is and if we don't change anything about that then I see no point in doing anything else.
E - It was good in a way of reaching out to people and having a high profile man running this whole thing made it accessible to people and made people interested to find out more. However, I don't see any change being made and he called on everyone to go to Edinburgh and make this white band and whatever. I think it's really naive to tell people to just go there for one day and like it would make any difference. You've saved one child? a hundred thousand? You've saved f*** all....
You're time in Scotland has chamged your views on different things?
X - I maybe feel encouraghed and stronger. there is more people feeling the same way.
E - I feel that I've been like a horse with blinkers. The more people I've met recently opended my eyes and they're getting biggere and bigger.
E - In my daily job support refugee and asylum seeker children and I think it's really important to highlight the issues of refugee and asylum seekers to tell the truth, because I feel that. I mainly see it as raising awareness. its such a big problem. It's such a media image. Like a little bubble that people just instantly believes what the media is saying and it's just all so wrong. We need to get the actual truth out there. We're talking about people who are destitute and we're all people and we should all be supporting each other.
X - The work we did in Sheffield was mostly about defending human rights. Which is a really important issue and was about a lot of new laws that are coming into action that are gonnan take away human rights from refugees. When they have so little anyway. I think that's really important.
E - We're talking about really vulnerable people who are coming into this country and the system just fails them badly and makes them even more vulnereable, because they can't have work permits until they have refugee status. This means they don't receive benefits. I've they have failed to seek asylum then there is no way for them to support themselves. We're talking about large families, so it's gonna put them more at risk, because the homeless hostels won't take them in, meaning no housing. There's this whole thing about not being able to get a national security number. Some of the children I work with, I can tell they're at risk. Some just get off and dissapear and I can't ever trace them again. No one can. Risk of what? There have been children who been proostituted in this country and then we're talking about young children like primary school age/children. Many of these children were already being abused.
In one school I worked tehre was a child who showed signs of abuse. Then when somene tried to intervene, the whole famility dissapeared. Who is gonna look after these children now? Are they still in the country? Are they still alive? Becuase refugee families have no national security number they are failed by a system that should support them, instead of criminalising them.
X - The very first performance that we did together, for One Drop In The Ocean, a Tsunami benefit event,
We wanted people to be able to take part in the performance in some way. For the audience to have some sort of interactive roll so we invented the wish fish when people can make a wish on a fish and then we pin them onto washing lines or onto our dresses. Some people kept hold of them themsleves. So that started there and then.
X - The SS have appeared a couple of times in Nottingham and in Sheffield and it's our next step on from the Geisha's. We dress in little white dresses, with one of us in lederhosen and hats and bags.. It's about showing solidarity. It's more a sort of universal image. On the bands and the skirts there's lots of images of people holding hands. It's about spreading equality, friendship and acceptance.
E - We choose red and white which is kind of what the salvation army uses, which aslo does a lot for refugee and asylum seekers. We didn't intentially do that. It just happened.
X - We look a little bit like aid nurses. Like it's about having a helping hand. Being there to support people. The dresses we're made from reclaimed fabrics. They we're used for car seat padding. It's good to be reusing stuff.
E - But I think we really wanna develop that more anyway. I feel it's great but there's just so much more to develop. The solidarity sisters could be developed into something bigger.
X - Nail stands fo Nottm - - - - - and it's a campaign about the Eastcroft incinrator which is next to the cattle market, near to the city centre. It's a really bad thing as it is at the moment for all the pollution that comes out of it and the way it is used and the lack of recycling in Nottingham. They are proposing to expand the incinerator. The want to import waste from Derby and Leicestershire. They're planning to burn an extra 100.000 tonnes of waste.
E - It also directly involves us because we live in Sneinton, and the incinerator is in our area. But it's really an issue that should involve the whole city.
X - Waste is a nationwide issue. What to with it? We're producing so much waste very day and the landfills are very full and it's not a solution anyway.
E - What I really liked was what one of the people in our collective said; she was trying to explain to someone what the incinerator is: i was eating something and it had a wrapper and you put it in the bin, like it's gone. Like you've done you bit... It's then taken to the incinerator to be burned. Then all the dioxins come out and you're breathing them back in. She said it's like you carry that wrapper in your lungs. Like you're carrying all you're waste with you without even realising.
Rubbish Day Out. cafe bar music. loyts of fun, butr raising awareness in an approachable way for all age groups.
We want to be pro-active about it. With a positive message. Which we're hoping to do by doing workshops, making things from recycled materials. And going into schools and community centres and teaching children about recycling.
Demo will be doing a beneifit gig for it ion Febr. What is demo [explain] + about workshop at asbo
Talk about Banners + article
X - We talked about about a permanent space for the group to have access to and do work in. And a community wardrobe for people to pick up costumes and
It would be really nice if eventually it was such a strong group that regardless of wheter me or X were there things were still going on and people were choosuing there actions. And choosing within the group what people they'd wanna work with. At the moment because it's us who set it up it very lead by us. I know it's gonna happen, I just can't wait for that day. When more poeple take responsibility for the project. And more people have more ownership over it.
E - It's good fun
X - hahahah
A Drop in the Ocean - January 20th 2005 - http://www.adropintheocean2005.com/
Shakedown*05 - March 12th 2005 - http://m12.org.uk
G8 ministerial meeting, Derby - March 17th 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/03/306386.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/12/329140.html
Protest for migrant and asylum rights - April 2nd 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/04/308207.html
Protest against incinerator expansion - May 20th 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/05/311559.html
Demo Clubnight - June 25th 2005 - http://www.demoproject.co.uk/
G8 Summit, Scotland - July 2nd / 9th 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/actions/2005/g8/
Hiroshima and Nagasaki 60th anniversary commemoration - August 9th 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/08/320733.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/08/320754.html
Protest against incinerator expansion - October 8th 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/10/325306.html
No Borders tour, Sheffield - October 15th 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/10/325715.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/10/325716.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/10/325752.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/10/326403.html (video)
NAIL campaign 'banner drop' at Sneinton Boulevard - November 12th 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/11/327771.html
Sneinton's Rubbish Day Out - December 3rd 2005 - http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/12/329162.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/12/329183.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/12/330488.html http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/11/328146.html (the flyers) http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/regions/nottinghamshire/2005/12/330488.html (creative working)
- Elsa: I think that the sections are great. I like the fact we have a gallery/PICS/PORTFOLIO, however I would include: one specifically for film, so that people can reach them ‘and download them easily. (especially as one mischief maker has made some extremely good ones) And anther section nxt to contact us,specifically dedicated on how to get involved.im not sure if that woul make to many sections, but I fl this one is very important bit.(this should be clear for students,artist,activist who want to volunteer as well as for campaing groups to approach us) Also I agree I want it easy and acesable, and COLOUFUL and updated with UP AND COMING EVNTS/diary (yet another section)!!! As for wider things o rt and activism, I ont think we should contain that unless it is a piece by us. I think giving links to other sources-websites is better. But I would like to discuss this further….. I like the fact that there is a mm part, just for us. I love it in fact