Somalian Strength, Joy and Tears

Saturday afternoon 29th October and a visit to the Barton Hill Settlement,  Bristol to photograph an event. An intergenerational audience awaits the stories of women, men, and young people from the local Somalian community. Towards the far side of the hall, a makeshift creche has been established where the children go about the business of play in total disregard of the adult world a matter of feet away.

I hear stories of inspiration, determination, survival, hardship, joy, and love. The young lady who talks about her pride of being British, a Man’s journey from a war-torn land and the struggle of seeking to integrate. I feel privileged to have shared my Saturday afternoon with such a vibrant group of people. The laughter is consuming, the stories intoxicating.

I leave, walk across the road, get in my car and turn the key. The radio sparks to life, “Security forces in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, have ended a night long siege, which had left 23 people dead and more than 30 injured. The attack came 2 weeks after a bombing in the city had left more than 350 dead.” This horrific event is taking place 7500 miles away from where I now sit, as I look across the road and to the building where through the large window I can see people smiling, laughing, the sharing food and children playing.  I sit, pause, watch and think.SaveSave




Punk Albums 40 Years On

My top 10 so called “punk” albums, which I was listening too in the 1970s that have remained influential to this date.

1. Pink Flag – Wire

2. Entertainment! – Gang of Four 

3. Rattus Norvegicus – The Stranglers 

4. Fun House – The Stooges

5. The Clash

6. Never Mind the Bollocks – Sex Pistols

7. The Ramones 

8. The Undertones 

9. Germfree Adolescents – X-Ray Spex

10. Singles Going Steady – The Buzzcocks

Northern Slopes: UK Best Parks

Voting is now open for UK’s Best Park, as voted by YOU! 2017. Voting closes at 5pm on Friday 3rd November and the winner of UK’s Best Park 2017 will be announced at the Fields in Trust Awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground on Wednesday 29th November. Please vote for the Northern Slopes, Bristol in the Best Parks competition under the South West region.

The Northern Slopes, Bristol: This is beautiful open space in Knowle has a stunning view of Bristol, which is not usually seen. It is little-known to people who do not live in the area. There is increasingly less space in this area so Northern Slopes needs love and respect. Please vote using this website link: Northern Slopes Scroll down the webpage to find the Northern Slopes and press the button. It’s as simple as that. If you would like to find out more about the Slopes – then click here.

Slavery Remembrance Ritual

Sunday afternoon 15th October and as part of the month-long Journey to Justice programme. A walk, which takes the participant on an exploration, which examines the complex history of Bristol’s involvement with slavery and its aftermath. A mixture of storytelling, music, singing, and movement based on the oral traditions and family histories of the descendants of enslaved people from the Caribbean and Africa. More photographs here and more information on the programme of Journey to Justice activities here.






Social justice, Jews and the refugee experience in Britain

11th October and over to Redland where Vivienne Jackson from the Jewish Council for Racial Equality is giving a talk, hosted by DAVAR Bristol (The Jewish Cultural Institute in Bristol and the South West) as part of the Journey for Justice (Bristol) programme. The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE) has been working for 40 years tackling problems caused by racial inequality. Tonight Viviene talks passionately about the present climate of anti-immigration and Islamophobic sentiment in much of the national press and a JCORE project called JUMP. The JUMP project is run by dedicated volunteers and provides one-to-one befriending support for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and young people who arrive in the UK without parents or a guardian. Details on the JUMP project can be found here Stand Up and Be Counted where you can obtain more information and make a donation. DAVAR Bristol (The Jewish Cultural Institute in Bristol and the South West) is an independent organisation promoting events relating to Jewish heritage and culture. Events are open to all, regardless of ethnic origin or religious affiliation. The meeting provides a forum for advancing understanding of Jewish life, culture, and history. The regular programme is a series of six monthly talks between September and April covering a broad spectrum of topics ranging from history, philosophy, art, humour and personal reflections. You can find more information about DAVAR here.




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