Beauty from Brutality

I wanted to post this image of a Palestinian garden where they are growing plants from the shells of used tear gas canisters.  Nurturing yet more beauty in the face of brutality.

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Performing against all odds

I am back in Bristol and adjusting to life as a performance artist in this context of modern madness that is capitalism. Living as an artist can sometimes seem futile, but it is what I live for, it is how I resist- how I breathe. It is a way to really have autonomy in a system that consistently takes away ones rights, ones choices, ones freedoms of movement. An almost Faustian prescribed society, where we sign away our bodies at birth. Even if I am of white, middle class privilege, I am an empathic being, I connect and feel the pain of others situations, their lives. I do not turn a blind eye to how people in my very street are living, how cuts after more governmental cuts are affecting my family, friends, people of the earth. How fracking companies are poisoning our water, how the wealth is not divided, how we in the western world create the technology that kills those in the East and then feed ourselves with the earnings. I say we because we are compliant, complicit, there is seemingly no way out. We work to earn money in the system and then pay taxes to pay towards ‘war’. Those who try to escape the system, to live independently off grid have an almost impossible task on their hands getting through regulations, laws that forbid our leaving our dependent relationship with the state. Control.

I throw all of my energy in to performing, I am consumed by it. I cannot stop. It is my way of existing. I do not wish to stop. Start. I feel it appropriate to quote Guillermo Gomez Pena from his ‘A Poetic Disobedience Declaration’ where he says; ‘We are permanently outraged, but always tender”.

Beautiful rage- this is in my bones. I perform for the soil beneath my feet, for the air in my lungs, for the sky above our heads that unites us all, for the cause of justice, for an inner peace. I rebel against the humans who seem incessant on reaping havoc against others, against this wonderful earth, and I reap my own tender havoc in the face of theirs.

Against all odds, I am an artist.

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Palestine AHOY!

The clowns are getting last minute preparations ready for Circus2Palestine tour 2013. We’ll be performing and doing workshops with children around The West Bank. Keep an eye out for our blog in March and April. Love and laughter xxx

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Summary of Truth Is Concrete event in video form

Here is a video edit of the event I attended in September.

I met some truly inspiring people there doing work in all kinds fields to attempt to make this a kinder, more just and colourfuly fun world.

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Truth Is Concrete

At the end of this month, I will be going to the ‘Truth Is Concrete’ conference in Graz, Austria. It is a 24/7 week long camp discussing artistic strategies in politics and political strategies in art. 

There will be some really inspiring participants such as Ukranian feminist group Femen, John Jordan (of Clown army and laboratory insurrectionary imagination), Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping and Tzortzis Rallis (grpahic designer of Occupy London Times) just to name a few.  Wowza! 

Here is a link to the full list of participants;

I am interested in finding out how other groups around the world are organising themselves in terms of activism through art, learning from their strategies to improve mine. There are so many ways we can go about activism and a lot of the time it can seem a futile process.  I am looking forward to making new connections and finding and sharing inspiration.

I will update when back on what I learnt and gained from the week, and hopefully put in to motion some of the techniques and strategies acquired.  

Towards a better world!  

With love and beautiful rage x 

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Free Pussy Riot- Bristol Uk


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NHS Virgin Healthcare Mega-Sale

Saturday 5th May saw another Save our NHS demonstration.

Starting at college green, there were many different speakers from various unions and nurses unions, talking about their continued efforts in fighting the new Social Care and Health Reform bill that passed last month.  Demonstrators then marched through the centre to Broadmead, St NIcks, ending up full circle at college green for round 2 of talks.

Amongst many of the changes to our once public NHS, we have witnessed the privatisation of NHS by companies such as ‘Virgin Healthcare’ who brought Assura Medical NHS Clinics in 2010 (more info here), and who recently secured a £500million contract for community services in South and North West Surrey, sexual health services in Milton Keynes (oh the irony), and a dermatology service in the Isle of Wight.  They continue to buy up parts of what is now, the healthcare ‘market’.

In order to spread awareness of these seemingly hushed over changes to the NHS, we took to the streets on the day of the march dressed as Virgin Healthcare Sale Consultants to offer up our Virgin Healthcare Mega Sale Buy One Get One Free day offer on all our healthcare products.  Among many of our amazing deals, was the chance to top up your phone by £30 and get a FREE consultation with your local GP.

Astoundingly, many people either thought this was a good deal or commented that they were on a different contract.  It seemed our convincing attire and approach was far too cunning for people to break down and listen to the actual words we were saying, proving this form of invisible theatre to be a very effective one.  Many people were surprised to find out that the NHS had been privatised at all, let alone Virgin’s involvement.

Pushing the ‘Virgin on the ridiculous’ theme, we pushed our lingo to the extremes with pitches such as ‘Buy One Kindey, Get the Second free’, ‘Free Wi-Fi with every Operation’, ‘Introduce a sick friend to us today, and we’ll give you 10% discount on all healthcare for the next 2 months- your illness is our profit’,  leaving them with a ‘please get ill soon’ farewell.  It seemed even this rhetoric was not obvious enough for some, and our attempts at flogging our new Swine Flu type epidemic, ‘Porcupinitus’ to introduce to their friends, wasn’t even enough to shake the alarm bells of tom-foolery awake.  One man happily said he would look out for our new bottled air product- ‘Virgin Air’- on the shelves; a real, (and sad) testament to how media and marketing has seeped it’s selling ways in to all aspects of some people’s lives.

We asked people how they felt about paying for their illness; how much they were willing to pay (some were horrified, some were quite willing); how they felt about a billionaire like Branson making money from their health and handed out leaflets with facts on Virgin’s take over.  We even managed to convince the staff and manager at Virgin Media that we were from the Virgin Healthcare team, allowing us to stay in the shop, and give out our leaflets before leaving them on the counter for customers to take.

All in all a successful day, and I hope we managed to make more people aware about the rapid profiteering of shameless companies such as Virgin and all the rest of the supposed ‘Customer Care Commision Groups’.  Through humour yet again, we raged.

Video to come soon…

Many thanks to all who came, performed, listened, believed and dis-believed.  And remember to keep asking questions; not everything you read or hear is true, especially if it comes from the mouths of a Virgin Sales Rep.  (No Virgin Sales reps were harmed in the making of this event. Daddy Branson would have been proud)

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