Brussels: workshops in pix #4

Photo collection from Engage London’s Rahim Amin illustrating the scope of what was offered at the Brussels workshop run by Engage Europe at IHECS in June

Meet Rahim

Rahim Amin at the Engage Europe summer school at IHECS in Brussels. He joined the radio/sound workshop, graffiti which involved long walks around Brussels and photography (c) Engage London/Matt Hardy

Graffiti workshops

Finding boundaries in the image (c) Engage London/Rahim Amin

Finding boundaries in the image (c) Engage London/Rahim Amin

Looking at boundaries (c) Engage London/Rahim Amin

Working on radio techniques – with a focus on sound

The lads in the studio with Rahim on the right (c) Engage London/Matt Hardy

#HearMeSpeak broadcasting in Brussels during the radio sound workshop

After the workshops

Rahim Amin in Brussels (c) Engage London/Matt Hardy

 

x

 

x

 

 

Engage London has approx 27 members – a lucky eight were able to attend the Brussels summer school at IHECS from 24-28 June. They were Pilion Trust’s Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie, Charlie Tshibangu and City’s journalism undergrads Matt Hardy, Alun Macer-Wright, Diana Serenli, Meagan Walker. Big thanks to Engage Europe for creating this opportunity.

Meet the team: Charlie Tshibangu

Meet our Engage London team in Brussels. Here’s Charlie Tshibangu. Interview by Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie and Rahmin Amin

Charlie Tshibangu (c) Hugh Gary Photography

Charlie, 23, was looking for employment when this interview was done but has already found a warehouse job.

Q: Where do you live?
I’m from the Congo. I came to London when I was eight. It was weird because I was put into foster care with a Jamaican family. We (Charlie and his siblings) weren’t allowed to speak French. It was difficult.

Q: How come you’re involved in the Pilion Trust?
My friend was here,  Melvin, he brought me here in 2016. I got along with Savvas so I get invited. And he helps me with food if I have no food in the house.

Q: What are your interests?
Football. From 16-18 and a half I used to play reserves for Boreham Wood. I was a centre back so I played in defence. I got realistic, I didn’t think I’d make it.  It’s like the lottery, not everyone makes it.

Q: It’s the World Cup how will you concentrate?
I will do my work but whenever there’s a break then I will want to watch it. I just love football – I like all the teams. I don’t think Brussels will win. Maybe England!

Q: Do you like live football?
I used to work at Arsenal on match days. Every time I watched I couldn’t stop smiling.

Q: What are you expecting from Brussels’ summer school?
Not sure yet.

  • Engage Europe is running a summer school from 24-28 June. 

Meet the team: Favour Ekengwu

Engage London is about putting writing skills into action. Here Favour Ekengwu reports from the Pilion Trust and Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation Clothing give away (5 June 2018). Favour is also joining the Engage London team for the Brussels workshops.

Favour Ekengwu (c) Hugh Gary Photography

The Pilion Trust’s first clothing give away day for the local Islington Community was hosted at our Ringcross Community Centre. Here we provide help for people within the community who are struggling with multiple complex needs from housing problems and homelessness to family issues; as well as drug and alcohol dependences; mental ill health problems; different levels of learning problems or struggling with many kinds of poverty.

The event was a collaboration; between The Pilion Trust and Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF) who put out the call to the community for the clothing donations.

The Pilion Trust is a multiple complex needs registered charity so we are always focused on what we can do to reach out to all people within our community/neighbourhood. That way we can create a caring neighbourhood, which is why our charity helps people within the local and wider communities.

We run community activities for all age groups within the community. We also run a registered food bank between 12 – 4pm Monday – Friday where all within the community are welcome. We have found that many people within the community are quietly struggling and can’t afford to feed their families also many are street homeless.

The main purpose of the clothing give away was to help people within our community that are not able to help themselves and are overlooked by the government. Unfortunately I don’t think that the councillors are doing enough to help the least privileged within the community. Most of the clients are people who have lost hope that the council are unwilling to help them feel safe within the neighbourhood. This is where we come in. We become the pillar that they can lean on; you can say that we are their representative in a lot of cases.

We believe that everybody within the community deserves an equal chance to live a better life.

We received donations from families that lived within the borough of Islington, and from companies who were aware of the issues that homeless people have and wanted to support our cause. Most of the donated clothes came from Alexandra Wylie Tower Foundation (AWTF). Like us they are a charity and they work with young teenagers who live in poverty they work to ensure that no child is left without a passion for life due to their circumstances

It was the first time that I have ever been involved in a clothing give away day. I came into work very early on that Tuesday morning and found our hall full of clothes. I was amazed when I saw our hall full of clothing; it showed that people within the community want to help each other. We received a lot of help from the Volunteers that came to help us within the community.

They helped us set the clothes in place so that people could easily locate the things that they needed without any difficulties. I thought it would be impossible due to the amount of clothes we had to set in order.

Fortunately my opinion was wrong; we worked together like a family; even though we hardly knew each other. We complimented, helped and laughed together which made the place feel like home. I then realised that’s what it means to be a community.

The outcome was good, a lot of people showed up, we were also able to meet the needs of most of the clients, with the massive support that we got from the donors our clients left with smiles on their faces. From my point of view there were lots of clothes that they could pick from I picked a few myself. I was intrigued on how much awareness we raised within the community, it was so effective that after that day everyone wanted to get more involved with what we are trying to achieve; which moves us a step is closer to achieving our purpose.

We received a lot of things, different sized clothes for men, women, kids and babies. Bedding, shoes etc., things that people would need and can use in their everyday lives.

Despite the fact that it was a long tiring day; everyone looked happy, especially our volunteers.

They were amazing.

I believe that that day was more than a clothing give away, I think that it was a day we got together as a community that wanted to know each other, and offer help to their neighbours. That day brought people of different cultures, races and ethnicities together. I think that people developed a new mind-set of what a clothing give away was about.

It’s about unity, caring and helping those around you that need it. That way no one is left out.

  • Ringcross Community Centre is open all week. Find it at 60 Lough Road, N7 8FE. The food bank is for all. It’s open from 12 noon – 4pm daily and a place to get fresh fruit and veg as well as bread.
  • https://www.awtf.org
  • http://www.piliontrust.info

WRITING: Processions a walking art show

100 years ago, women were given the right to vote and stand for office. Processions 2018 a beautiful walking art exhibition celebrated just that. Many women, girls, those who identified as women or non-binary (I even spotted a few male supporters) came together to walk from Green Park station to Parliament to support, record and exhibit their banners. Report by NAOMI GAHIE for Engage London

A sea of marchers at Processions where everyone wore Green, White or Violet banners (the Suffragettes code for Give Women Votes). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Exiting Green Park station my eyes were instantly drawn to colour green, purple and white everywhere I turned; the colour for the Suffragettes. The sight of hundreds of women, banners, chanting, battle crying, dancing and most importantly smiling in celebration of an event that changed the life for women in the UK was incredible.

Waiting to start Processions a walking art show across London (Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh). (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

The aura emitted from the participants was infectious, you could feel the love, the injustice of more that was to be resolved, the celebration of the accomplishments to date, it was impossible to not smile, join in the chants and at times have a little boogie to the music around.

Still Not Good Enough – the fab banner Naomi Gahie (R) and friends at Pilion Trust created to join the Processions March across London on 10 June to celebrate 100 years of (some) women having the vote. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

Our banner for the march zoned in or 4 points our group had decided they wanted to draw attention to:

  • Modern Slavery – A worldwide epidemic that is so close to home. The U.K. one of top 10 countries affected by modern-day slavery, with a record-breaking number of reports made related to modern day slavery and trafficking made just last year.
  • Forced Marriage – A saddening and putrid practise affecting many in today’s modern society across the world. Illegal in the U.K. since June 16th, 2014; it should be illegal worldwide.
  • Domestic Violence – A vulgar offence I believe affects us all one way or the other, if it’s not close family, it may be a friend or a friend of a friend. Sadly, a lot of people are still under the impression this only affects women, men are also affected by domestic violence and a lot more unlikely to come forward and report it.
  • Gender Pay Gap – I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, don’t you?

Our chosen slogan at the front of our banner “STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH”, was chosen to get the message across that although we have come far as a society there is still much inequality that must come to an end hence the “TO BE CONTINUED…” at the back of the banner.

The brilliant 2-sided banner from Pilion Trust. (c) Pilion Trust/Dolores Steadman

I was bamboozled and humbled to see our banner had sparked conversation by passers-by such as the recent vote to legalise abortion in the Republic of Ireland. I hate to toot my own horn but we were stopped every 5 minutes just so pictures could be taken off our amazingly executed, thought-provoking, eye-catching banner. Too much? Sue me!

There were many groups that really peaked my interest such as a woman dressed in attire from 1918 with a humongous parliament model on top of her head or the colourful “Power to the future” banner an array of colours and three-dimensional flowers and geometric-somethings popping out to bring it to life.

There is nothing I would change about the march, it was such an honour to be part of the event which will remain close to my heart till the day I depart the earth.

Happy after the Women’s Procession celebration of (some) women getting the vote in 1918. Engage London members Naomi Gahie (2nd from left in green sash) and Fadz Ali (far right in violet sash). (c) Pilion Trust

As a first timer to a march of any sorts, I must admit I was nervous for what I would be expecting, however, that disappeared instantly as soon as I could what I could only describe as love. I can assure you I will be involved in the next Processions march, will you be joining me?

  • Read the Q&A with Naomi Gahie here.
  • Processions was organised by Artichoke

 

 

 

Meet the team: Naomi Gahie

Meet Naomi Gahie who hopes to be in Brussels for the June workshops. This Q&A was done by Charlie Tshibangu, Rahim Amin and Favour Ekengwu.

Naomi Gahie (c) Hugh Gary Photography

NAOMI GAHIE, 23
Q: Where are you from?

I was born here. But my parents are Iverian (Ivory Coast) so I speak French. I was brought up in Bolton (from the age six). I’m 23 now and work in customer service.

Q: What are your interests?
Main interest is singing and reading. I’m reading Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbot – the last back in the DCI Douglas series.

Q: Who influences you the most?
I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing style. My favourites are her books Americana and Purple Hibiscus. She’s also very famous for her Ted talk We should all be feminists and also the Danger of the single story)  When it comes to singing my influences are neo soul artists like Lianne La Havas and Solange.

Here’s a link to Chimanada Ngozi Adichie’s Ted talk. https://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_ngozi_adichie_we_should_all_be_feminists?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

Q: What’s wrong with London at the moment?
I hear a lot about knife crime being on the rise and all these negatives on social media, but I can only sympathise from observational perspective. It’s hard finding jobs. The main barrier I had was not that they weren’t available, it was because there is so much opportunity in London but I had mental health issues. Now my sister wants to come to London and nurse here for the opportunities.

  • Naomi is a fab writer. You can read her account of the Women’s Procession across London on our blog here. (to be posted w/c 18/6/18)

 

 

June: behind the scenes

To help all the Engage London team keep up their media-making knowledge after City students’ exams had ended and Pilion Trust young people had moved out of their winter Crashpad accommodation, we arranged a weekly drop-in blogging masterclass at Ringcross Community Centre. Report back from Nicola Baird

Workshop 1: Romeo, Favour and Brandon get blogging. (c) Engage London

Blog workshop 1 – Favour and Brandon, who both hope to go to Brussels, with Romeo discovered basic blog writing conventions including SEO (search engine optimisation) tips or headline choice, why write standfirsts, and the usefulness of the Q&A interview.

  • Favour Ekengwu started an accounting course. She also used her new media skills to write a food review of Blackstock Kitchen on Blackstock Road. This was her first trip to an independently owned cafe.  Favour: “It was a bit awkward coming into a cafe as it looked expensive. The food was amazing: I had a chicken wrap and it was really seasoned beautifully. You can taste the love. The homemade lemonade drink was smooth and sweet. It was so good. And the cookie was so soft, easy to chew! I want to go again and film it next time.” Total bill for Favour’s lunch (chicken wrap, cookie and lemonade) plus Nicola’s falafel wrap and coconut brownie was £12. If you want to try this cafe, go to Blackstock Kitchen, 136 Blackstock Road, N4.

Workshop 2: Blogging masterclass at Ringcross community centre. Nicola on the laptop the clockwise Matt, Diana, Meagan, Rahim, Romeo and Rihana Senay and her sister. (c) Savvas Panas for Engage London.

Blog workshop 2 – was held out in the sunshine. It led to three City students – Meagan Walker, Diana Serenli and Matt Hardy – running Q&A interviews with current and former Pilion Trust members and

  • Romeo Nanub wrote up the first Q&A with Meagan Walker, see here.
  • Romeo had a go writing a theatre review after attending most of a four hour immersive theatre show of George Orwell’s book about poverty and homelessness Down & Out in Paris and London at the UCL Festival (which you can also listen to here). Romeo: “The scrabbling around trying to get any work and the rough sleeping – these things are timeless. It was really relatable and sad, especially the boredom. You have nothing to do, so do useless things (in George Orwell’s book Boris and George just drank together) until the next time when you are busy working again. I’d love to read the book.”
  • An interview with Brandon was published on Islington Faces and he set up a Just Giving Crowdfunder page so he can get the right equipment to improve his animation skills.

After the Women’s Procession celebration of (some) women getting the vote in 1918. Engage London members Naomi Gahie (2nd from left in green sash) and Fadz Ali (far right in violet sash). (c) Pilion Trust

  • Naomi Gahie was kept busy by starting a job and getting banners ready for the Women’s Procession on Sunday  10 June which saw tens of thousands of women march across London (Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh) to celebrate the centenary of (some) women getting the vote in 1918 (see Guardian story here). This project has highlighted the importance of Green, White and Violet to the Suffragettes, it was a branding code that also meant Give Women Votes. Naomi loved the event, and plans to write about these events on the Engage London blog.
  • The first year City university journalism students – Matt, Meagan and Diana – finished off their end of year exams including a language paper.

Workshop 3 on blogging and interviewing was attended by (From left, clockwise around the table) Favour, Nicola, Charlie, Jahbery, Savvas, Naomi and Rahim. ((c) Engage London

Blog workshop 3
We ran a third blog masterclass on June 12. This time it was a twilight session from 5.30-7pm so the young people with jobs, or on courses, found it easier to reach. Big thanks to them for getting across London on time.  This session saw Favour, Charlie and Naomi – who are all going to Brussels for the Engage Europe meet up – develop their Q&A interviewing (soon to be blog posts). We also discussed the upcoming workshops in Brussels and what we already know about Belgium. It’s count down time…

Brussels summer school preparation: Standing: Savas Panas, CEO Pilion Trust, Nicola Baird, journalist. Sitting: Rahim Amin, Favour Ekengwu, Naomi Gahie. (c) Engage London

Workshop 4
We discussed a code of conduct which the young people wrote up. Basically going to the summer school in Brussels needs to be treated as professional work time, and not a holiday. In addition to the workshops we’re all looking forward to frites and mayonnaise, seeing the Grand Place and the famous Manikin Pis, spotting the Art Nouveau buildings and looking for street art and graffiti.

  • City journalism student Meagan Walker wrote a guest post on Islington Faces (a website similar to Humans of New York but restricted to Islington, London) with an interview she’d written about Antonagis Andreou who grew up in Islington in the 1950s/60s. Read it here 
  • STOP PRESS: Rahim Amin will also be going to the Brussels summer school.

MILESTONE: The Engage London blog had 2000+ views by 20 June. Thank you readers.

For Brussels summer school see posts HERE

Meet the Brussels team: City students

Three First Year students studying at journalism at City have joined the Engage London team and look set to travel to Brussels for the workshops in June. Here’s some info about the City students. Questions by Pilion’s Rhiana Senay with edits by Nicola Baird

Matt, Diana and Meagan from City will be attending the Engage Europe workshops in Brussels. (c) Engage London/BR

MATT HARDY, 18
“Our course leader at City, Barbara Schofield, asked if we could help out in the project with the Pilion Trust. It’s been great, we made a TV question time and a podcast together. There are about 100 in the first year so maybe most people don’t check their university emails! Barbara invited me as I’d orignally gone to interview MEPs at the European Parliament in Brussels for our podcast.  We set a date, but found that the only people willing to talk to us were UKIP people, like the MEP from Thurrock, Essex so we got strong views. They were and very anti Europe. We were a little bit shocked. We asked strangers. Our political podcast, we call it the @politicosuk aims to give people a kick up the bum because young people don’t vote too much.”

  • Matt Hardy’s twitter blog is @thepoliticosu
  • Follow his personal twitter on @matthardyjourno

DIANA SERENLI, 18
“I’m Ukrainian from the Russian side of Ukraine, there’s always been a split in Ukraine – and Kiev used to be the capital city of Russia. My mum is from Russian side which we usually visit every year – although I haven’t been there for two years. I’ve got family in Russia where the 2018 world cup is happening but my dad can’t go because he’s got a new job.

I’m quite sporty – I support Chelsea. I used to play football but when I was three years old I started doing artistic gymnastics on the bars, beam, vault, floor. I was going to be Olympic level but I decided to stop when I was 9. Olga Korbut [the first gymnast to get all 10s] was my inspiration. I thought my coach was her because she looked like her. I’m not sure what journalism I want to go into. I love travel journalism and want to travel the world. At City they’re teaching you everything. Next year we are doing sports journalism and I love photography too.

My dream is to live in another country. I’m the first person in my family to be born in England (I was born in Greenwich hospital, then we moved to Lewisham) and also schooled here, but my dream is to live in another country.

MEAGAN WALKER, 19
I’m from Worcester in the Midlands studying journalism at City. She wanted to be a marine biologist but was scared of sharks. Working for Worcestershire FA over the summer.

Meet the Brussels team: Meagan Walker

Meagan Walker, 19-year-old journalism student from Worcestershire reflects on her move from the Midlands to study journalism at City. Interview by Romeo Nanub

Front: Meagan Walker, from City uni, with her interviewer, Romeo Nanub at Ringcross Community Centre during a recent Engage London blogging masterclass. (c) Engage London

Where are you from?
I’m from the Midlands, the middle of nowhere. It’s quiet, boring, old. There’s freedom and safety though.

What did you do in the countryside?
Horse riding, walks and bike rides down old railway tracks. I moved away from Worcestershire for the first time to go to uni to study journalism. I feel more at home in London because it’s more inclusive of people and diverse. It’s also the perfect place for my course.

What are your plans after graduating?
Now I work to live in London. But I want to feel more balanced because the living cost in London is too high, so after university I’m hoping to move to Australia to work.

Tell us a secret
I used to want to be a marine biologist, but I was scared of sharks. But now I’m a shark lover and advocate of shark conservation.

How did you find out about #hearmespeak?
A friend spoke about #hearmespeak at university. It made me realise I was privileged and wanted to share my skills and experience with others. I have a responsibility to give back because I’m lucky to be in this position.

  • Meagan Walker is one of the eight students Engage London hopes will go to Brussels for the Engage Europe workshops during June 2018.
  • Read Meagan’s blog at https://meaganhonour.wordpress.com/
  • This is Romeo Nanub’s first interview for Engage London – he was introduced to the project via the Pilion Trust and has been joining the blogging masterclasses. Sadly he’s not available for the Brussels trip. We all loved this interview so much that Romeo was then invited to write a feature/review for the Pavement – a bimonthly magazine for homeless Londoners.

What’s fake news?

Tubingen, Germany 2017: overview of the two-day workshop from Engage London’s Amelia Green (words) and Alun Macer-Wright (photos) who are both studying journalism at City, University of London.

Round up of fake news workshops and exploring Tubingen University in Germany from Engage London participants (c) Alun for Engage London

The participants at the workshop in Tübingen were students from each university and their partners. The number of students and partners varied depending on the institution but overall there were roughly 25 of us.

The topic of the Tübingen workshop was Fake News and its impact on the media in the current climate. There was a focus on Donald Trump, the different types of fake news, how people make a profit and how to identify fake news.

Tübingen University invited online blogger, Martin Giesler to lead the workshop. The two-day assignment began with a 20-30-minute presentation from Giesler, in which he explained the relevance of fake news, included news clips and made it clear what we would be working on.

The aim of the workshop was to work in groups of 3 or 4 and produce a 1 minute audio clip that could be used in a radio show on fake news. This radio show would be recorded on the final day with a select panel of volunteers from nearly all universities, their partners and Martin Giesler.

The groups we worked in to produce the audio clips were based on what sub-topics we were interested in regarding fake news (Trump, making a profit etc.). We were responsible for recording, editing and getting the clip to Giesler to use in the show. We all then had the opportunity to view the live broadcast.

At the end of the workshop, each university and partner gave a brief presentation detailing what their chosen workshop topic was and what we could expect from them. Furthermore, we had a brief discussion of what had been accomplished so far and what was to come. This included feedback on the workshop and an overall feeling that having an online page to communicate was more productive than having a quick, unprepared discussion. This was how the Facebook group became active, although has not really been used yet.

The trip allowed us to get to know all the other students and partners. We got to explore Tübingen, see how beautiful it is and visit the Christmas market. The evening meals and drinks provided a further opportunity to socialise with the whole group and meet some great people.

Over to you
If you have any questions let us know.