Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Kids don't belong in factories

This is the first in a series of films we at Brothers and Sisters are making with The Fableists, our joint venture into ethical, sustainable kids' fashion.  Nothing we sell was made by kids in sweatshops.  Or by anyone in sweatshops for that matter.

There's an article here

Buy the clothes here.  20% of all sales will go to Raising for Rana, which supports victims of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

poem #6

Swerving and pivoting
She’s moving at speed through crowds
Always on her toes
Spinning around
Barely touching the ground
She’s moving at speed through crowds
I follow her coat
Past North Face jackets
And Superdry hoodies
A porridge of black, grey and brown
She’s moving at speed through crowds
Skipping around bugaboos
Beggars and buskers
And miniature schnauzers
She’s moving at speed through crowds
Kebab shops, charity shops
Pay day loan shops
Turn your treasure into wonga
She’s moving at speed through crowds
Locals and Metros
Top Shop and Primark
The whiff of the sweatshop
She’s moving at speed through crowds
Pubs, pubs, pubs
Bars and offies
A hangover on every corner
She’s moving at speed through crowds
Salons for people, salons for dogs
Nero, Costa, Starbuck
And a lighting shop that’s always closing down
She’s moving at speed through crowds
She swerves and veers and careers
Past EDL fascists and their pointless marches
She’s moving at speed through crowds
“’scuse me love, can you spare some cash?”
“Big Issue?”
“You look nice, got a minute, it’s for charity?”
She’s moving at speed through crowds
Dipping a shoulder
Spinning on a bollard
Almost flattening a texter
She’s moving at speed through crowds
She plays a cyclist like a matador
Toro ole
And darts between buses
She’s moving at speed through crowds
She plunges deep into the North Laine
Turns into a Twitten
And she’s out of the crowd and gone again


artists at an advertising conference

The Freedom Theatre give young people in Jenin a chance to see some potential in themselves.  They turn prospective suicide bombers into actors.  They are waging a cultural intifada.  In doing so, they make enemies among both the Israelis and muslim extremists.  Three years ago, a founder of the theatre, Juliano Me Khamis, was assassinated.

Euan Air
photographed the graffiti of the Arab Spring.  One photograph was of a mural of various leaders, covered in messages which were arguments.  It was like a message board on the street.  In another, a wall had ben constructed to block a street which led to a government building.  Artists had painted a street scene on the wall.  It was funny, satirical and optimistic.  Later the painting would be blacked out by the effects of petrol bombs.  A third shot was of the names of people who had died in a battle, where they fell.

Gary Yong, aka Enforce One, is a kiwi street artist who has relocated to Dubai.  In New Zealand, street art started as graffiti art and then went legit.  In Dubai, he thinks it will happen the other way around.  Dubai needs street art, like Glasgow needed a great novel before anyone could imagine the city in an artistic way.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

poem #5

He thinks he's James Joyce he does
Or Stephen Dedalus
Wandering the streets of Dublin
Looking for a lock-in
But its not 1910
And this is Brighton

Monday, 10 February 2014

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

BrewDog "not for gays" beer irony

"We've not heard anything from Mr Putin, but we expect he’s out petting a leopard somewhere, probably with his top off.”

I like BrewDog. I like the beer and I like the brand.  It's satire as marketing.  The product is the message whether it's Punk IPA, Tactical Nuclear Penguin or Nanny State (which was a response to having a campaign banned).  Now they are having a go at Putin and Russia's attitude to gays.   The idea is political and the expression, the Warholian label, is art.  Very, very modern.

here's an article.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014


The true purpose of a business is often greater than making money.   We set them up to make sense of our lives.  We find they become part of other people's lives.  They are things we hang dreams off and they make lives and the places we live more interesting.

And what of the few who manage to sell their business for a lot of money?  I’d like to ask some of those people: how does it feel now your business is no longer yours? 

I suspect that many of them are left with a hole in their lives that wealth alone can’t fill.

Anyway, sometimes the purpose of a business is to help someone hold their life together, as this lovely article shows. (It also brilliantly traces the origin of a trend)

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Fear and Creativity

I like to rattle on about the importance of conflict in creative processes.  I don't mean fighting so much as struggling to get to a good idea.  I think of the process as being dialectical - you start with something, confront it with its opposite and get a third thing, a new thing.  Taking an oppositional stance can help that process (although only if the people you are taking the stance against understand what you are doing.)

Anyway, Brainpickings has a good post on fear and creativity, reviewing five books on the subject.   Worth a gander.