Surface Work

Since the dawn of time the art world has been dominated by white men, whether it’s an abstract painting by Pablo Picasso or an impressionist piece by Van-Gough, our historical figures across the art world are always male; So to show that women do have an artistic voice and influence the Victoria miro gallery has launched “surface work” a new exhibition to showcases abstract art through the generations from women around the world.

This exhibition sends a powerful message that women were there through history right alongside the great men in art, pushing gender boundaries and creating beautiful abstract work. Lee Krasner is an example of someone who worked with a great man but was never seen as his artistic equal, she was the wife of Jackson Pollock, one of the most influential artists of his time.

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Lee krasner’s art pictured left from “surface work” exhibition

Krasner was an abstract expressionist painter who throughout her work never had a single recognisable style but chose to incorporate and explore different artistic techniques, she is one of few female artists to have had a retrospective show at the Museum of Modern Art.

only one of her paintings is displayed in “surface work” but this one image shows why she deserves just as much recognition as her significant other.

“Even though it’s specifically a show of art by women, you can’t really come away from it with any single conclusion about how women paint, you just come away thinking that it all deserves as much attention as any art by men.”- time out London

The exhibition runs until the 14th of May across the galleries three spaces and celebrates artists like Betty Blayton, an African American activist turned painter, Tomie Ohtake a leading Brazilian abstract artist and many more women in the art industry.

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This exhibition tells a story of empowerment that resonates with people around the world. By showing that women have always been prominent in the art industry the Victoria Miro gallery is helping us take another step to gender equality by adding to the list of inspirational and influential women throughout history and Art.

Tories facing collapse in London

The Conservatives will probably dodge “utter disaster” despite Labour’s swing.

As of the 26th April, the voting intentions for London are 29% Conservative, 51% Labour and 11% Liberal Democrat, though Labour will be making major gains according to most analysts there will be a few boroughs that will be tough for Labour to break through.

Westminster and Wandsworth which have been Conservative strongholds for decades, if the current trend is correct then there would be a modest swing of about 7 points towards Labour.

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This was less than what was originally expected but still very bitter loss for the Conservatives, however considering the trend of a national increase in Conservative support then it is possible that the losses they make in London will be made up for in gains elsewhere.

The probability of a Labour victory in Westminster and Wandsworth are low but it is more of a possibility now as London has been moving towards labour for a while now.

Philip Cowley, a political scientist at the Queen Mary university, said “A Tory victory parade in Wandsworth and Westminster, should they manage to hold them, will not be a sign of success but merely the avoidance of utter disaster.”

However, there are other boroughs in London that have also become battle grounds. Barnet, Sutton and Camden have had problems with management of waste.

Labour in Camden was accused of breaking one of its manifesto pledges to keep up with the weekly rubbish collection but Labour made it fortnightly, the pledge to keep a weekly rubbish collection has become a major selling point for the local conservative manifestos.

Sutton had a particularly bad incident where rubbish wasn’t collected for 6-8 weeks, which ended up just piling up on locals’ streets, this could cause a Lib Dem stronghold to switch to the Tories, another cause for a swing towards Tory in Sutton is that Sutton voted mostly leave and leave voters will generally lean towards the Conservatives.

According to Lord Ashcroft polls people are most concerned about local health services (33%); Housing (30%), Crime (29%), Brexit (25%) and local council tax (23%). Brexit is particularly controversial in London because most voted remain and many blame the Tory government for the referendum and its result leading them to either vote Lib Dem or Labour.

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Housing is another issue that is contentious because the supply of housing has failed to meet its demand causing prices to rise, according to an LSE paper on the subject “The UK housing system over-responds to economic downturns so housing investment is cut back rapidly, while it under-responds to increasing demand”. This means the housing supply simply doesn’t expand sufficiently causing high rents and prices and it is not simply a matter of producing more houses.

Council tax will be another issue that will be decisive as austerity cuts have put local government at “breaking point” according to the Chief Executive of the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), Jonathan Carr-West. Not just that but 94% of council leaders say they intend to increase council tax, this could be very damaging for the current government and local government in general.

Crystal Palace produce five-star performance in quest to avoid Relegation

Crystal Palace played on Saturday against Leicester City in their attempt to avoid relegation to the Championship and produced a wonderful performance against a Leicester, although they had nothing to play for.

The opening goal came from Wilfred Zaha in 16 minutes, and it wasn’t long before their second goal by James McArthur made in 36 minutes making it even more difficult for Leicester to get back into the game.

Palace killed the game in the second half with further goals from Loftus-Cheek, Van Aanholt and Christian Benteke made a penalty shot towards the end of the game, which was only his 3rd goal of the season.

 

Leicester manager Claude Puel, after getting off to a good start, had a bad patch recently with his team as they had not won a single League game in a month.

Crystal Palace on the other hand move up to 11th place in the Premier League and will surely play Premier League football next season.

Crystal Palace play Stoke City away from home (another team in serious relegation trouble) next, in their continued attempt to avoid relegation to the Championship and win. Which will almost guarantee them playing in the Premier League next season.

 

Teenagers kick the gaming world as Pros

13 year old Kyle Jackson from Sidcup, Kent, breaks the norms to become a professional gamer.

Kyle Jackson, who plays games almost everyday, has now made a career out of it. He plays in a team of three when playing secret Fortnite as the shooter, though he does not currently make any money as he will be gaining money from competition.

In an interview he said; “I’m doing very well in pretty much every subject so they’re not really worried about me playing as much as I do. I still have time to study”.

At only 8 years old he began gaming, he eventually recognised his talents when he will usually top the Fortnite scoreboards.

There’s been a lot of dispute in regards to the child gamer, both parents and some health experts have been sharing their concerns as they believe it can result to violence and sex assault.

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President Donald Trump in a statement has said; There’s a need to address what young people are seeing. ” I’m hearing more and more people saying the level of violence on violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thought and then go the further step, and that’s the movies. You see these movies they’re so violent, and yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved killing is”

However, in the UK after a thorough research was done by Oxford University into child gamers have found that violent games were no more likely to damage the behaviour of young children than other types of games. The research, which focused on Primary school children in the UK, said the length the games were played for was more likely to have an impact than the type of game.

The question of whether child gaming contributes to violence still remains unanswered.
Since the 1950s, when games were introduced at a science fare as a technological twist, gaming has since become one of the most lucrative business in the entertainment industry.
So how can one become a professional gamer to get some extra cash?
To become a Professional Gamer requires a lot of dedication and hard-work, as the gaming industry is quite competitive but to be one there are few things to do to enhance your chances. These include:
1. Playing a lot of different types of games in order to familiarise yourself more on what your skills are.
2. Choosing your gaming platforms as to what you find easy to play with.
3. Determining what kind of game genre you like and whether you play to entertain or compete.
4.  Try to get a sponsorship which means that you can get paid or the opportunity to use their merchandise as a way to promote their product.
5. Going on tournaments, this is mostly one of the easiest way to earn a couple of pounds to participate in competitions.
 As changes continues to happen we await to see more exciting games.

 

Bringing disco back!

The streets of Brixton are coming alive on the 28th of April, with a new day and night disco flyerfestival celebrating 40 years of disco in some of Brixton’s most renowned venues.

The Brixton disco festival is set to take place in venues surrounding Brixton’s iconic wind rush square the electric Brixton is going to be home to hundreds of ravers until 4am with live performances and DJ sets. The Ritzy picture house, the black cultural archives and POW club and rooftop bar will be hosting both day and night events to celebrate disco music and culture. Brixton’s night market will have dozens of stalls providing food and refreshment’s in wind rush square along with an all-day roller disco!

Disco music first emerged in the 1970s, it brought communities of all ages and ethnicity’s together to dance, listen to music and have fun. Disco music was around for years in clubs and parties before it became mainstream thanks to shows like soul train (a dance show aired in 1971) and artists like the Supremes, Stevie wonder and donna summers. Disco music in many ways changed music forever as it united people, gave us the world’s first explicit songs and openly gay and coloured musicians on the radio. In retrospect disco music liberated and empowered generations through uplifting songs like “we are family” and “I will survive” as well as it shining a light on social issues such as sexuality and racism.

Disco music was there through the times- it was present at studio 54 home to some of the world’s most outrageous fashion, art and people, it was there to unite races and create social awareness and now in the 21st century disco music is still prominent in clubs, music and fashion. So it’s no surprise that disco music is being celebrated and remembered for what it once was by bringing a thousand ravers together in London’s cultural centre Brixton.

Still all to play for in this weekends football action.

There are crucial games for London teams this weekend.Relegation battle, promotion and who’s getting into the European places in Premier League.

Luka Milivojevic

Crystal Palace play against Leicester City, Chelsea are playing away from home against Swansea City, Arsenal play Manchester United at Old Trafford, Spurs are playing Watford at home and lastly West Ham play Manchester City at the London Stadium.

Arsenal’s game against Manchester United is Arsene Wenger’s last game against the club in the Premier League and at Old Trafford

While Tottenham are trying to secure Champions League football for next season and will do with several more wins at the expense of Chelsea.

West Ham are still looking to secure PL survival for next season although Manchester City who ate already PL Champions are looking to break numerous PL records.

Crystal Palace like West Ham are also still looking to secure Premier League survival for another season with their game against Leicester City.

Chelsea are still looking to clinch a top four and Champions League appearance although out of their own hands when due to Spurs having the advantage as they take on Swansea City.

Eden Hazard Chelsea

Antonio Conte’s future as Chelsea manager partly rests on getting top four although an FA Cup win against Manchester United manager managed by ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho would provide good consolation on a disappointing league season.

 

Practice Safe Sesh

Students taking drugs is not news to most people, but contrary to popular belief students are not as involved with illegal substances as the media and popular shows like skins would have you believe.

Only about 2 in 5 students are regular drug users, and the most commonly used substances are weed, cocaine, ecstasy and nitrous oxide.

Despite the moral panic of students bingeing on class A drugs the most frequently used is cannabis, a class C substance.

The report issued by the NUS argues that universities should stop penalising students for seeking help relating to drugs or reporting drug use to the university.

 

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Source: NUS, Release (the national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law). Base: 2,810 UK-based students. 

The report by the NUS describes student drug use as ‘complex’ some students suggest taking drugs has helped them attend lectures and complete work, while 60% claim to have missed a lecture due to their drug use.

The findings show punishing drug use or involving the police does not reflect the students wants and needs, in fact 50% of students who took the survey said they disagreed with the statement “My university/college’s drugs policy does not do enough to punish students who take drugs”. This compounds that in many cases universities may act as a barrier to students seeking help surround substance abuse.

Current university drug policies range from effective to completely invasive, some of the universities found wanting used sniffer dogs, surveillance and swabbing.  Although some miss the mark, some equally get it right, they try to not involve external authorities when possible, they help give the student information to make informed decisions and they clearly distinguish between addictive drug use and recreational drug use.

Study drugs, like Adderall, where also reportedly used by about 1 in 10 students. These drugs can actually help students concentrate and motivate them to work, so its hard to brandish all controlled substances as harmful to academic success.

Harm reduction techniques have be sighted as beneficial, this method aims to reduce the harms that are often linked to illegal drugs. The report states this approach helps ‘reduce negative health, social and economic consequences of these activities’

The context of drug taking was study in depth in the report, its often unknown as to why people experiment with drugs and what context the associate them with. For students who recreationally take drugs it seems to be a social activity, 39% say they use only in a social context. Some students reported feeling more confident when under the influence of drugs and more significant bonding with friends. Of course some also reported negative social impact of taking drugs, even regretting the sexual interactions they had while under the haze of narcotics.

Although socially fuelled drug taking may be the case for some students, another more problematic catalyst could be self medicating mental health conditions.

Any illegal substances taken frequently or in a problematic way will have a harmful effect on an individual health and well being. The positive take away from the report is that students are not all hedonistic drug users that is often popularised by the media, however it has highlighted how marginalised groups often have a very different relationship with illegal substances than cis gender, mentally well students. It has also shed light on how universities need to reform how they deal with students drug use.

 

Helicopter flying Drug Barons arrested

Three drug dealers jailed for using a helicopter to transport Class A drugs to Britain.

On the 26th April, 37 year old Dean Francis from Lewisham was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court, he was charged with conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and pleaded guilty to the offence back in March. He had two other accomplices who in total have been sentenced to 25 years in jail.

On the 23rd April in the same court 50 year old Belgian Federic Fagnoul pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import Class A drugs and was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison. 36 year old John Bolton of Tooting was sentenced to 7 and a half years in prison.

The gang used a helicopter in order to smuggle £7 million worth of drugs into Britain, Federic established this helicopter route in June 2017, the Police believe he was transporting something around 50kg of cocaine on each trip.

The Metropolitan Police have revealed that the helicopter landed at helipads on two hotels in Kent, the drugs were then unloaded from the helicopters and distributed via car to dealers across the UK.

On the 6th September 2017, police stopped a Nissan Qashqai in Bromley, it was driven by Bolter and the police found a hidden compartment in the car’s boot which contained 20kg of cocaine. It was seized along with a highly encrypted phone.

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Fagnoul had planned his flight 10 minutes before flying from Calais to Lydd Airport in Kent, his cover story was that he was night fishing. On the 12th September 2017 the police saw Fagnoul unload bags from the helicopter into a hotel room.

The Police seized the helicopter on the same day. The Police then searched the helicopter and found an intricate hide under the seats in the main body of the aircraft.

Bolter was charged with intent to supply in November to which he pleaded guilty, he was charged again with conspiracy to supply in March where he again pleaded guilty.

Francis and Federic were arrested on 4th October 2017 after they were seen meeting in a hotel in Kent and then collecting drugs on the 5th. Francis was charged with conspiracy to supply and pleaded guilty in March. The National Crime Agency assisted the police in their investigation

Detective Chief Superintendent Mick Gallagher, head of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “This was an outstanding investigation by the Organised Crime Command combating a drug-dealing network that spread from Europe to the UK.”

Violent crimes in England and Wales is rising

Police figures showing a 22% increase in knife crime and 11% rise in gun crime.

Violent crime is on the up. In the last year police recorded 39,598 offences involving a knife or sharp instrument. 22% increase compared with the previous year (32, 468) and is the largest jump ever recorded since 2010.

By the end of 2017, there were 688 homicides, including 35 people killed in terror attacks in London and Manchester.

There have been more then 60 murders in London since the start of this year. Amid a spate of stabbings and shooting that saw two teenagers shot dead in one night early this month.

According to the Office for National Statistics:


Burglary – 9% increase in police recorded offences (to 438,971)

There was no change in burglary measured by the Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW), but if the increase continues, we would expect this to show up in the survey in due course.

Computer misuse – 28% decrease in offences estimated by the CSEW (to 1,374,000)

Falls in computer misuse crimes were the main driver of the overall decrease in crime estimated by the CSEW. Reports to Action Fraud show an increase in computer misuse offences, but these data cannot be compared with the CSEW estimates as they reflect only a small fraction of all computer misuse and include offences against businesses.

Homicide – 9% increase in police recorded offences (to 653 – excluding terrorist attacks in London and Manchester and events at Hillsborough in 1989)

Robbery – 33% increase in police recorded offences (to 74,130)

Vehicle-related theft – a 16% increase was also seen in vehicle offences recorded by the police (to 452,683), continuing the rising trend seen over the last two years. Vehicle offences are thought to be relatively well reported by the public and well recorded by the police.

Violence – 22% increase in police recorded knife or sharp instrument offences (to 39,598 offences),  11% increase in police recorded firearms offences (to 6,604 offences).


The Labour MP said: “The only way we solve this is by a long-term commitment to a public health approach, and proper funding for police, youth services and communities.”

Suicide sees a significant increase in UK as Avicii adds to the number

A source from TMz confirms that Avicii died of blood loss from a self inflicted injury  days after the  the public written letter from the family that indicated he died of suicide.

Tim Bergling was a Swedish DJ, musician, producer and remixer who went by his stage name Avicii.

On April 20th Bergling was found dead aged 28; no apparent cause of death were given instantly but on 21 April Omani Police in a statement ruled out foul play or any criminal suspicion involved in Bergling’s death.

Bergling’s family released an open letter on his death which implied suicide although they did not openly mention it, it stated “he really fought a battle with thoughts about the meaning of life and happiness. Now he could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.”

In 2010 he shot to fame with his Seek Bromance which reached the top 20 in numerous countries including the UK and France. In 2011 he released his hit song Levels which made his career breakthrough as an international artist since then he had collaborated with a lot of recognised artiste like Leona Lewis, Madonna and Alex Ebert.

In 2016, at the height of his career Bergling stopped touring and wrote a statement on his website in regards to his decision “I know I am blessed to be able to travel all around the world and perform, but I have too little left for the life of a real person behind the artist”.

Upon his decision to retire he went on to make music which was the direction he really wanted. He released his six track Avicii 01, Avicii said of the new release  “I’m really excited to be back with music once again. It has been a long time since I released anything and a long time since I was this excited over new music! My focus on this first EP of the album was to get a mix of new and old songs: some that fans have been asking about and waiting for mixed with brand new songs that they haven’t heard before!”

So finding him dead on April 20th was unexpected as we all were awaiting to get new songs from him.

Suicide has always been a serious addressed issue but in recent years the count has increased more especially in males.

84 men die through suicide every week , the newest statistics shows the rate of male suicide across the UK is three times higher than that of female suicide rates.

There are a lot of charities that work to raise awareness on suicide, so why is there such a rise in male suicide?

Project 84″ is a stature figure installation by Mark Jenkins which stood on top of the ITV buildings as a representative of a specific individual who committed suicide.

Project 84″ have been campaigning to increase the awareness of male suicide their name is derived from the “84” men who commit suicide in the UK weekly.

Back in 2017, Prince Harry in an interview talked about his own mental issues “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?” with this he encouraged the public to seek help if they are suffering from any mental issue.

David Chawner a comedian who lived with depression and anorexia for more than 10 years before seeking help. In an interview told us his battle and how he managed to survive.

As more men die of suicide in the UK is now up to us the public to spread the news to ensure everyone are aware of male suicide and how to seek help to avoid such increase in suicide.