JOURNAL: REFLECTIONS FROM THE FIELD

SERIES two:

Considering the passing of Bell Hooks, how did covid and football matches impact weLove:woodgreen- unlocking celebration?

Written by Hannah Cassidy-Matthews BAHons/MA
Edited by John Gonzalez
Approx. 8 Min read

Walking to The Goodness Brewing co. over the 2021 spring/summer, I frequently noticed the police had cordoned off my route. Bus diversions and an increased police presence apparently intended to prevent ‘under-the-counter’ parties, a rise in muggings, stabbings, brawls and traffic crashes became the norm. The pandemonium surrounding my workplace increased exponentially during my first year coordinating events there… Though not because I was working there, I hasten to add! Seeing direct conflict through protests and mainstream news reports, initiated a drive to coordinate the ‘WeLove: WoodGreen’ (WL:WG) event once again.  I discussed marketing strategies with assistant manager, Alex Evans, who suggested that hosting the event after the Euros could encourage diversity and inclusion within the WL:WG community… This would ensure extra publicity and increased revenue in the run-up to WL.WG. The idea of using capitalism to fund something quintessentially anti-capitalist appealed to me. It was however a concern of mine that showing the football on a giant screen, would attract an influx of additional punters and inevitably increase the mingling of strangers within a public health crisis. When England finally lost, and criminal fines and stricter penalisation for putting on events skyrocketed, I realised that WL:WG had the potential to alleviate some of the disappointment. We proceeded to invite a variety of new (and a few previous) facilitators to join us in hosting this year’s event…

Methodology:

This article is structured to re-establish a conversation around inclusive and supported housing. That development of community love, considering human responses brought on by periods of isolation inductive of lockdown, is nourishing and vital. As ‘The Guardian’ has uncovered- lockdown had; “increased rates of depression, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress.” (Foulkes. L & Ritcher. D Online:2021).1 in 4 people, live with or have lived experiences of mental health issues, witness or endure domestic violence, experience SEND (special educational needs & Disabilities) or live supporting those with underlying health issues. Considering this stat (See Mind Uk & MQ Mental Health research), the foundations of WL:WG are rooted within nurturing those who want to set about changing the boundaries of support provided to all marginalised groups. As an ode to the recent passing of writer, Bell Hooks who, her book- ‘All About Love’ (2001) is reflected upon as it inspired this year’s project(s). I contextualize how collaborations between BackLivesMatter and TransLivesMatter protests (2021), highlighted the need for immersive cross-cultural events for intersectional heritages present in London, Wood Green and beyond. On reflection toward our first event in 2020, I observed how WL:WG housed a predominantly, white male arena of facilitators. 

This year, we aimed to transcend new paradigms-; coordinating workshops for, with and by; mainly female, non-binary and/or mixed heritage facilitators. A phenomenological discussion around cultural inclusion is found under the subheading ‘funding and finance’. In the ‘Outcomes and Impact’ section, I contemplate how ‘We are viable’ and ‘We Make events‘ campaigns, highlighted the economic marginalisation of artists, venues and collaborative artists throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Combatting stigma, raising awareness and donations for the ‘We Make Events’ campaign via our podcast, contributed toward how we constructed our event(s) in 2021. This year WL:WG: Unlocking Celebration targeted areas where support for mental health was limited. A lack of education around culture, gender and sexuality inclusion within the school curriculums, ensured our selection of workshops available. Finalising the article I develop points on how we hope to transcend ‘the WeLove:Collective’ project moving forward into 2022.

WL:WG hoped to pay homage to those who continued working throughout the pandemic (like our bouncer Murphy- R.I.P!), and those who we have lost over the past couple of years (friend Gemma Auston- R.I.P!). In solidarity with those feeling particularly infuriated by Sarah Everard, George Floyd, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, and other cases. WeLove: You! Feeling agitated enough to continue working for the ‘WeLove:Collective’, providing a space this year that made everyone feel included and celebrated felt vital.

Changeable Social Climates:

The very obvious emergence of soaring new (non-council) property developments surrounding the brewery, infuriated me. It became exceedingly difficult to host an event when I was struggling to feed myself, to love myself, to feel proud of anything- seeing the looming struggle of those around me, whilst new buildings were flying up and many left empty. I felt at times like I was deflecting my own inner struggles, headfirst into work when I should have been taking time to process new information and tasks at hand. Having therapy when creating an event of this scale and dealing with societal trauma at the same time, became pivotal to my ability to provide antidotes for myself and others. (Big ups to Nicolas Hearn- my therapist at the time and the NHS)! 

Through devising a full-day event that triggered memories of past struggles, I found it useful to read Bell Hooks. She said- 

“We’ve always thought of our heroes as having to do with death and war(…) it’s really a journey that’s about love- deeds that have to do with conquering domination. To truly choose to love is heroic.”

Speaking Freely: Bell Hooks on ‘The Freedom Forum’

(Speaking Freely YOUTUBE:2016)

Without external budgets, and the pressures of funding bearing down, I found it difficult but satisfying to provide support to a community I had not been born into. My ancestry, on my fathers’ side, did live in north London, motivating me to connect with my own uncertain heritage too. Bringing strangers together to create art, make new friends and transform the space felt radical, albeit emotionally draining at times. Thanks to external inspiration from organisations such as ‘Enjoy Wood Green’, ‘Edible London’ and ‘Noel Park Big Local Festival’ all contribute to establishing Wood Green as an inspiring and compassionate place to live. They also supported by promoting and attending our event.

Funding and Finance

The Goodness Brewery were happy to host us just after the ‘European League’ football Championships. Adding many flavours into the mix, particularly when coordinating our event under the current (anti)social climates: strict pressures of lockdown restrictions and working with “vulnerable groups”, and a lost football final. With tensions rising around “race” relations toward players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho & Bukayo Saka as well as between having the right to party vs football enjoyers- the classic debate (See Weisel .O Böhm-Cohen .R 2014).

Wood Green sustains a diverse population, consisting of large numbers of Turkish and Greek Cypriots who, for at least half a century have been suffering governmental conflict as a minority and are furthermore an underrepresented group within mainstream media. Highlighted by a meeting with Suny (CEO of Edible London) and prior to working with them for WL:WG, he explained how conflict brought on by oppressive governments overseas contributed to the way Edible and its wider connections are affected. (See Isachenko, Daria (2012). The Making of Informal States: Statebuilding in Northern Cyprus and Transdniestria.) 

Suny and Sadiq at an Edible London site with Young Mayor of Harringay

Assisted by The Goodness brewing Co, we went ahead and installed a pop-up marketplace outside, with sellers of wares and food from across the globe. Ivory Coast (Africa Spice Kitchen), Turkey (Wigs For Heros), Italy (Edible London), Cyprus (Wrap Delight), Finland (Inga’s paper Flowers), Southern Ireland (Renegade Fabricators), Bulgaria (Humbird medicines) and fems from the UK (Fairy Faces). All of which lived locally, in surrounding areas in north London. Hooks, in ‘All About Love’ says that, “Communities sustain life- not nuclear families or the “couple”, and certainly not the rugged individualist.” (Hooks. B 129:2001). Meaning, in light of this project; it is vital to immerse and thus bring forward as many people and perspectives when building solid foundations when building a collective community event that prioritizes community love and not-for-profit regeneration. Using profit made from market traders’ pitch fee donations, we were able to coordinate a digitally interactive immersive performance element to our project- The talking tree. A space for people to hear jokes, interact with their environment and attach their feelings and affirmations to a tree-based outside.

Outcomes and impact: A testimony from an attendee

Non-directed immersive technology, allowed people to interact without engaging if they didn’t want to (check it here ‘The talking tree app’). We collated video footage, took audio testimonies and photographed action on the day, adding a further 4th Dimension into WL:WG. We would like to make a video to reach further afield- collectively instilling joy and self-directed community action across the UK (in light of Brexit and further global changes to climate and environment

Tying Notes to the ‘Wish Tree’

The WL:WG- Unlocking event, catalysed and rallied against the marginalisation of artists with underlying intersectional structural conflicts. Caxton Youth Organisation, who attended with a troupe of young people who’ve mixed learning requirements, noted they were under threat of having to sell their iconic yellow bus, due to government cuts to youth work services. They managed to raise £200 pounds and offered their participants the opportunity to gain experiences within the workplace through engagement in fundraising- selling their own beautifully handcrafted tie dye hats and Christmas cards, among other beautiful crafts. However, they still had to sell their bus…

Check out their Instagram page for more insight

In light of aggressive and dramatic governmental changes to human rights, economics and European structural changes over the past two years- a direct link can be placed between the effects of such changes on human behaviour.

“Studies show that males and females who are violently humiliated and abused repeatedly, with no caring intervention, are likely to be dysfunctional and will be predisposed to abuse others violently.” (Hooks B 24:2001). 

From conflict and tensions arising from a series of protests this year (KillTheBill, BLM/TLM movements) (see Resist-AntiTresspass campaigns), I chatted to one of the attendees at the event. They had arrived with their parents and were from a mixed heritage background (half Mauritian, half British). For this attendee, it felt they were frustrated about how things unfolded so publicly. In many ways, this year highlighted the insensitivity to people’s personal stories around race, gender and financial freedom. They said:

 
“It’s important to bring spaces to people when they fall out or give them spaces to be together. Especially if people don’t want or know how to talk about stuff that maybe doesn’t upset them directly. I thought ‘SparkleMafia’s’ dance-off was great for that- everyone was dancing together- non-disabled people, people with disabilities, younger and older people, people like me and people like you… we then sat amongst each other and shared food afterwards”.

Anonymous attendee at ‘WeLove:WoodGreen- Unlocking Celebration’

The statement above speaks to levels about healing generational trauma. For this reason, putting on the event felt all the more vital to remedying the turmoil of this year. Showing people how they can use spare frustration, time and opportunities to connect to create and develop positive changes, at a foundational level.

Summary:

Following this year’s ups and downs, we have decided to take the next year off. Outreaching more widely to other organisations who work with marginalised groups. We hope to adapt and develop our program of activities and projects so that ‘WeLove:Collective’ becomes site-specific. It would be great to have a “WeLove:” for every town- fitting to time and place and engaging its participants in celebrating their local culture. 

We have some fabulous footage ready to be developed, edited and worked on- with a vision to combine experiences of community artists experiences from over the past two years. We are unsure at this point how long and for what purposes it could be used for but there is great potential- please get in touch if you would like to work on this with us. 

We have applied for bids toward the end of this year and hope to receive answers from other organisations which provide small bursaries. Moving forward we hope to wind down and engage in developing TheRAPutix workshop programs. Delivering sessions more regularly, hosting them both online and in-person- stay tuned via their Instagram page for more… We hope to begin outreach work moving forward into the new year, performing more gigs, gathering more content- from photoshoots, to cypher sessions to open mics.

This year has brought with it, trauma, collaboration, extreme highs (celebrations of becoming ‘free’ over the summer) and extreme lows (losing football matches and for some- Brexit… there is a long list here). For that reason our joke-telling app and immersive interactive workshop we hope to develop beyond the WL:WG project- The Talking Tree (which may change names soon)- for and by people with PTSD or trauma-related illnesses.

On that note, from all at the ‘WeLove:Collective’ we bid you a bright year ahead into 2022, let’s think with our hearts, process with our heads and work with our hands, to dismantle current oppressions in the face of adversity.

Bibliography

  • Hooks. B (2001) All About Love, New Visions Publishing, London, United Kingdom
  • Isachenko. D (2012). The Making of Informal States: Statebuilding in Northern Cyprus and Transdniestria, Palgrave Macmillan, London, United Kingdom
  • Ritcher. D & Foulkes. L (2021) Yes, lockdown was bad for mental health. Not to do it would have been worse, The Guardian [Accessed Online: 23/12/21] [Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/05/lockdown-mental-health-pandemic%5D
  • Weisel .O Böhm-Cohen .R (2014)  “Ingroup love”and“outgroup hate”in intergroup conflict between natural groups Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (110-120) [Accessed Online: 21/12/21]

JOURNAL: REFLECTIONS FROM THE FIELD

SERIES one:

Reflections on We Love: Wood Green Feb 2020-Feb 2021

Written by Hannah Cassidy-Matthews BAHons/MA
Edited by Rick Melling
Approx. 8 Min read

After a year of serious heartbreak on so many levels, I met Elijah Light– our podcast producer and sound developer. In terms of my moving to a new area, the timing was ideal for our paths to cross and moreover for us both to collaborate on something creatively regenerative. 2020 brought many personal losses and individual gains, these were also reflected at a global level… Separations and disputes between nations, industries, and groups… though for Elijah and I, a seed of realisation came to fruition. We were not alone in feeling apathetic. As two artists sharing similarly community development-based modes of thought, we wanted to provide new perspectives, arising from the current paradigm shifts emerging within both our communities and the wider world. It became imperative for us to speak with other community artists. Did we all feel alike about the impact of Covid-19 on our livelihoods? If so, how could we team up to support each other and our careers?

The mission took to a rocky start – I was pushed back for requesting unfunded help to develop the We Love Wood Green promotion video on a local forum. We observed the local community required the progression of unity and solidarity (gentrification affecting housing costs in the area alongside separation through numerous quarantine isolation periods). It shook me to hear a response to the call out requesting a video editor that “working for free will cause more damage to the industry”. The mentality that participatory community art in forms beyond temporary financial gratification; had no place opened my eyes to how humans become transformed in a reflection of their surroundings. It reminded me of the ever-present will of people to commoditize human resources through finance. Working for free has taken up most of my existence. It felt as imperative to generate solidarity through creative practice more than ever than there was for profiting off human energy. A year later the world has suddenly been hit by economic downturns and barrages of clinical alien science. Our ability to come together as creatives to develop community connectivity and cohesion had been stunted by the public health and events industry crises. We decided to call out to previous contributors to find solutions…

(Izzie Mitchel- participant design facilitator) and myself, organising the structure of the first #WLWG event in 2020)

Starting out: from then to now

We Love Wood Green aimed to provide a consistent roof to community workshopping events, accessible for all age groups. People who facilitated workshops would be reimbursed by guests in attendance. Events would initially be supported by a donation bucket for contributions to our hedge fund, thus ensuring that we could develop towards further gaining funding and backing as we grew our network. An in-house charity would always be present but change with each event. These devices were aimed at raising awareness of the concept of ‘paying forward’ and freedom of humanitarian choice.  We dreamed that local facilitators, makers and performers could come together to network and provide independent workshops to all ages and cultures. Generating independent revenue from a ‘workshop marketplace’, from within the venue itself.

The project also seeks to combat gentrification, whilst offering grassroots regeneration to its local network by engaging the community rather than disenfranchising residents. According to Jacques Derrida in ‘Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness’ people should “each [be] as independent from the other and from the state as possible, but nevertheless allied to each other according to forms of solidarity yet to be invented” (4:2001). We Love Wood Green aimed to bring people together, allowing further connections for inventing or reinventing ideas for solidarity. Likewise, in ‘Community art and the State’, Owen Evans provides an explanation around how the state “… cannot be abolished for the functions which it performs are necessary functions. It can, however, be transformed” (46:1984). In this sense, We Love Wood Green also aimed to understand new forms of oppression and discrimination emerging from the events industry and the ongoing public health crisis. Attempting to bridge the multifarious gaps between people and their environments.

How did the ‘We Love Wood Green: 1st Anniversary Airwaves Edition‘ start out?

Around the beginning of November Elijah and I knocked heads. I began to devise the interviews, all of which hoped to be recorded live and direct from the studio. However, as quarantine requirements became heightened we turned to our new best friend/worst enemy- ‘Zoom’. For two of our interviews (With Alex- Goodness Brew Co. and Ben- The Art Factory), we used the video networking platform to carry out interview dialogues. In order to maintain the breaking down of class systems or the natures of community vs industry dualisms, the government benefits granted to me since graduating- would fund the smaller workings of the project, whilst Elijah facilitated sound developments. Interestingly, buying the blog domain, as well as the making and printing of flyers, allowed me to feel useful, especially considering the likes of governmental communications advising creative workers to retrain. Using the individualised funds and extra free time provided within such an unprecedented climate, we invested where we believed the government should be investing.

With the provisions of recording equipment and space, we were then dependent on peer-to-peer networks and trust rather than financial donations. Further, we used our time to contribute and provide services to the local community with no promise of gaining anything monetarily. Financial gain mattered less to us than the catharsis which the process provided to both the team and the participants. Furthermore, gratification could be supplied financially, and this will yet allow the project to progress beyond what it currently is. However, personally, there is no financial supplement to happiness and solidarity.

To recreate this experience online and through the airwaves, we simulated a ‘Tour Through North London’. Allowing people to escape their homes without feeling that they needed to ‘escape’. The other two participants (Leo- Capoeira & Alex and Barney- Rap Therapy), we were grateful to host face-to-face, under regulated conditions. When a state of globalised emergency ensues we must quickly prioritise between our needs and wants, our consciousness is constantly divided between motivations of survival and pleasure-seeking. To counteract this anthropological conundrum, interviewing participants ensured we were able to alleviate moods and offer apertures for community frustrations. Sharing our desired future outcomes and altering our awareness to the reshaping of pandemic language ensured we were able to proactively reflect and contextualise our situations as a collective.

(Young people dancing to ‘Miss Havisham’s Digital Clock’)

Shared participatory experiences are important. Connections between vibration and stimulation inspire people from passivity into reactivity. As Cezar Cruz says: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” (2015) If sat statically in front of a screen watching a band play for two hours, the experience will be nowhere near what it would be in a real-time lived experience. Though even for younger or older people to connect safely, the internet takes away a lot of agency from parents and adults concerned with human rights. Further, people who are living on the streets or with disabilities may be limited to their use of technology. The We Love Wood Green Airwaves Edition intends to break down the barriers created by the onslaught of public health issues and governmental handling of creative arts initiatives.

Through adapting the show to a radio format and creating an online network of facilitators, three spheres of interactivity emerged. The first sphere presented real-time lived experiences for community arts facilitators through audio broadcast ethnographic interviews and soundscapes. The second sphere presents the blogging element- an easily accessible and visual/written representation of the project. This is an interactive archive available for continuous contribution, with the possibility to observe the progress of work whilst also networking, regardless of physical/lived separations. Pages can be printed off and likewise podcast(s) have a permanent home. The third sphere- is seen as interaction via collaborative liaison via the radio stations and communities we connect with.

Through these multidiciplinary spheres we hope to:

  • Advance unconditional and borderless community love
  • Decrease the collective apathy and division which are destroying our “communi-tree”
  • Develop sustainable models of interconnected solidarity between nations and practices
  • Generate collective coping mechanisms, which not only assist collective experiences of joy but also address core issues arising from the handlings of the public health crisis, both within the UK and beyond

Movements Forward

We Love: Wood Green has inspired Elijah and I to re-envision a community development idea. The wider We Love: Collective hopes to form a six-part series- investigating continuing current affairs impacting marginalised communities in London. Through doing so, I am managing to develop a network with local funders, through which we aim to pay everybody involved in each series. Furthermore, the We Love: Collective hopes to produce an academic journal towards the end of the series. By collating information gained through the interviewing process, as well as from our archive of the podcast and blogged case studies, we aim to uncover resolution strategies for the event industry, community arts and local communities. By streamlining our agency and individualised goals into one fully functioning network, the We Love: Collective hopes to contribute to the revitalisation of participatory culture and arts. Elucidating culture and collaboration practices regardless of borders counteracts digital and financial narcissism. And alongside the coercion reinforced by (anti)social systems of containment and separation emerging within contemporary public health guidelines, connecting through communication systems allows us to maintain our seeds of knowledge and plant our own outcomes – beneficial for all, despite all.

“Art Should Disturb the Comfortable and Comfort the Disturbed ”

-Cezar Cruz-

Bibliography:

Cruz. J. A. C (2015) ‘Norteños/Sureños: Time to ‘bang’ for Freedom: A Brief History of the Conflict Between the Mexican Mafia and Nuestra Familia’, Chiron Media LTD, London, UK

Derrida. J (2001) ‘Cosmopolitanism and Forgiveness’, Routledge, London, UK

Kelly. O (1984) ‘Community Art and the State – Storming the Citadels’ Comedia Publishing Group, London, UK


TherAPutix: The Rap Therapists

Raggamama, Barnicle and Deville with Caxton Youth in facilitation mode: Rap-action!

DeVille (Aka Alex De Ville), Hannah Raggamama (AKA Hannah Matthews) and Barnacle (AKA Barney Seignior)

Alex Deville and ‘Barnacle’ (AKA Barney Seignior) met at the Magic Gardens in 2018. Performing at open mic slots for- ‘Sing For your Supper’. Together with Hannah Raggamama (AKA Hannah Matthews), ‘TheRAPutix‘ collaborated to devise a foundational concept- grounded within Rap Therapy. Entailing a mix of hip-hop, self-actualisation and enquiry we find our project wrapped up in confidence building, interpersonal animations and group cypher sessions.

Working across London, Alex’s skills as a psychotherapeutic bereavement counsellor ensured ‘Barnacle’s’ beat-boxing, rhythmic flow assisted our mutually interconnected devotion to Spoken Word and Hip-Hop. In the meantime, we cemented this concept further, via collaboration with ‘Creative Voices Mind’ in 2019. Using mental health as a key to unlocking interpersonal creativity, inspiration was gained which developed our individualised practices. Spoken Word encompassed by community development and current affairs were derived from “ongoing intersectional systemic oppressions” (Freire .P).

Many participants claimed the workshop helped “boost their confidence”, “Allowed them to vent stuff that is usually stigmatised and kept in our heads” and “release emotions”. The space felt safe enough to feel private, yet the atmosphere allowed a variety of participants to vibe off community encouragement. There were even students who attended ‘City Lit’ University, who engaged in the documentation process and participated in the #WeLoveWoodGreen project themselves.

Where, what, who?

This applied form of Spoken Word had been encompassed by community development and current affairs, derived from “ongoing intersectional systemic oppressions” (Freire . P) and learning gained in practice.

#WeLoveWoodGreen 2020 facilitated their first ever Rap Therapy workshop at the Goodness Brewing Co. Working with participants of all ages, heritage, and skill sets; they managed to generate a series of live cypher performances. Assisted by intergenerational and multi-talented individuals who opted to take part in the workshop.

Barnacle continues to work as a gardener in a crematorium. He has developed progressive Spoken-word and beat boxing techniques for over ten years, allowing personal introspection on death and life to merge dualistically as one. Nature and political action inspires his ability to reconnect with life forces around him. As a rapper- he has utilised the physical distancing period to hone in on recording his own bars and devise ideas for/ with ‘The Cat Burglar’ in his spare time.

‘DeVille’ continues to work as a psychotherapist and has since come face-to-face (through ‘Zoom’), with new challenges working as a bereavement counsellor, in light of the current Public Health Crises. All-encompassing issues arising from the use of mainstream technological sharing platforms, ultimately ensured he continues contextualising and understanding his personal experiences. Through his developing spell binding 16-bar cyphers and spoken word hip-hop, his bars are a mash up of spoken word proclamations and introspection from within our current existential dystopias.

‘Raggamama’s practice of applied theatre has been on going since the age of 16 when she started a course at ‘The BRIT School’. She began her Spoken Word and poetic journey via the dark abyss and social injustices received through being hosted within institutionalised care. The development and liberation gained when writing and performing live, travelling, spending time in hospitals, in education, in theatre ensured she engaged in releasing oppressions gained through her personal experiences of social injustice. This is what drives her to continue working with/for the release of systemic oppression- regardless of who critiques on stigma.

Click here to readwatch and hear more- So much more to come soon!

“The oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, tries to hang onto his power and dehumanizing practices.” (Friere. P 2009:32)

ONGOING CONTENT:

By Barnacle in 2020

Until we meet again, both Hannah, Barney and Alex gave been featured in a Magazine! If you liked their work and wanted to hear/see more then check this out:

Click here to find out more: https://www.blurb.co.uk/bookstore/invited/8878622/b1692193b7bd1857f04f271bfa19e544a1a6e241

PROBLEMS=SOLUTIONS

In the WLWG Feature we asked A&B ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below we present their suggestions, hopes and visions, moving forward into the new year and beyond:

  • Central space for creatives to come together to find new partners and networks
  • In a process of changing over platforms and being able to have more agency over our own platforms
  • Our own syndicates for ownership over art
  • Free interactions which we own

Bios and Bibliography

The Goodness Brewing Co: Alex Evans

The Goodness is a brewery, bar & venue based in Wood Green, North London. Opening its doors to the public in the summer of 2019, The Goodness has held a strong community driven presence within the area. Formed by locals, the companies ethos has striven to produce high quality and sessional beers, to provide a family friendly space that plays host to live music, exhibitions and creativity. Along side this it’s been important to ensure we have regular opening hours for locals to party and relax. Before the public health crisis, The Goodness had hosted many events; including a secret sold out Four Tet concert, and multi-genre gig nights; covering Hip-hop, Punk, Jazz, Reggae, Pop, Ska and so on. The brewers have a community led project named “Wood Green Hopping” which allows anyone to bring locally grown hops to the site and to brew, leading to a beer that actually makes it way to pubs around the country! The Goodness hosted a fantastic charity led & local trader event “#WeLoveWoodGreen”, which showcased many talented performances, workshops and goods. Delivered and provided by the local people, for the local people. When the pandemic ends, we endeavour to carry on supporting the creative arts community and will continue to share our delicious craft beer and home made pizzas with everyone as we have been doing throughout the lockdown- through delivery & takeaway. Cheers to a positive future! Please check out The Goodness Brewery’s ‘Crowdfunder’ campaign, which will hopefully earn its community a canning machine! This will allow us to ethically produce and distribute fresh quality beer quickly and easily to it’s customers.

Written by Alex Evans

As mentioned by Alex in the first series of our ‘WeLoveCollective’ podcasts- We had been secretly working on developing a series of music video parodies. Team solidarity, boosting staff moral and bringing collective joy to peers, communities and colleagues had been crucial in maintaining the Good Vibes at The Goodness. Even when doors were closed for business they still delivered substantial entertainment and nourishments online.

Enjoy our monthly light-hearted, musical cover band parodies below as a recap of the first part of this year (2021):

MARCH: Our most recent Video- HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY! “Some people say I look like my Dad…” What a 90’s flash back!
FEBRUARY: Valentines Shmalentines- Why Not fall in love with a home made locally brewed beer, Crowdfunded canning machine or Pizza and save yourself some drama this year!?
JANUARY: Check out the Goodness Brewery’s (hilarious) New Years Music Video: 2021 here we come!
DECEMBER: Their First Ever Music Video! A Very Merry Christmas Special…

PROBLEM=SOLUTIONS

In the WLWG Feature we asked Alex ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below were his suggestions, hopes and visions moving forward into the new year:

-Collaborate and reinvigorate art and music scenes from within the Goodness Brewing co. network
-Bring solidarity through raising morale
-People react to art in different ways so we dream of a live atmosphere and dancing- to try and recreate that experience of collective joy without having to be there

Bio’s and Bibliography:

Angolerios Do Mar London & Pumpkin Jigsaw

Xi-Mali (Pumpkin Jigsaw) On drums with ‘Pinguim’ (Angolerios Dol Mar) in Crab 😀

The connection

Over the physical distancing period, Xi Mali and Pinguim ensured a safe summer link up was able to happen in Finsbury park. After sharing experiences at the We Love Wood Green event, their artforms tied beautifully together.- Historically, Samba and Capoeira formed through related socio-cultural periods of oppression, these artforms also aim to free people- for similar reasons and in similar ways…

Leo Franelli AKA Pinguim

Leonardo is his first name, however- in capoeira Leo is known as Pinguim! He’s Italian but has been living in the UK since 2005. He found capoeira in 2006 in Exeter, where he started training with Angoleiros do Mar. There, he met his master (teacher) and great friend Marcelo Angola. From 2009 Pinguim, began helping Marcelo teach classes.

From 2010 Pinguim then began teaching his own group in Oxford and London. He has since; been running classes at events and free standing workshops- both in UK and Europe. In 2019 he took part to the ‘WeLoveWoodGreen’ project, bringing capoeira music and movements in a three part, movement, sound and history of capoeira workshop at the Goodness brewery.
Here Leo (aka Pinguim) met Xi-Mali, leader of the samba band Pumpkin Jigsaw, together with two other brilliant Samba Dancers, they launched a project called ‘Amigos do Verão’. It aims to bring Capoeira and Samba to outdoor or unconventional spaces, with workshops and performances open for all ages and abilities.
The main objective of Pinguims’ work with Capoeira, is to bring people together, make friends and ultimately create a strong community of creative people.

Warming up in Finsbury Park

Written by Leo Franelli

Xi-Mali

Carnival uses a notion of shared lived experience towards a positive end goal. What happens when instead of frustration, you apply a combination of: music, dance, beauty, friends, community? There is a personal sense of new appreciation toward our environments and an exhilarating experience of joy. While there are some people who find the number of sensations overwhelming, many who experience carnival become hooked. This is not just from experiencing it themselves but by feeling that this collective sharing should be had with everyone allowing all to feel artistic magic.

aNOLERIOS dO Mar Collaborate with Pumpkin Jigsaw

We made our way to weekly rehearsals outside. Much to the excitement of the children and families habituating around Finsbury Park.
We managed one parade this year for the Kingswood Estate, it was great to see people on the parade route again, with families appearing from houses to peer ecstatically through windows. We teamed up twice with samba and Carnival group ‘Pumpkin Jigsaw’, collaborating with dancers Mel Adams and Naira. This ensured we built a fun day of Brazilian themed events called ‘Amigos Do Verão’.

Goodness Brewery 2020

Impact of 2020….

The uncertainty generated by last year has made it incredibly difficult to plan events. To bring this sense of magic in the way we envisage has become ever-more complexed. It is important to consider and engage with shared artistic experiences in any safe capacity. Collectivity reminds us of the attainable sense of joy and community, more intensely than ever before.

2020 has taken a toll on everyone. ‘Pumpkin Jigsaw’ attempted to survive by maintaining their delivery of samba inspired “magic”. Through colour, sound and localised collaboration, at the same time as negotiating movements within the public health crisis. The first ‘lockdown’ favoured us with two new projects.

Firstly, Homebeats, a four-part video series aimed at exploring and having carnival fun at home alone or with other people. I believe when you are home alone it is hard to find ways to see objects and day to day life in another light. With help provided by ‘Sound Connections’ we formed a video series- aimed at delivering carnival magic without requiring things people did not already own. By asking participants “How could you bring carnival magic into your home and bring experiences of carnival through household object?” & “Who is your community when you’re indoors?” ‘Pumpkin Jigsaws’ work as a band, still desires to deliver an album, in the mean-time, our evenings are spent learning musical skills, making music on our computers at home and developing individual skills.

Finsbury Park Link up 2021

Although it is a struggle to know whether music, performance arts and touring will survive in the same capacity from the knockout of both Covid-19 and new Brexit regulations. It is also important to consider and engage with shared artistic experiences in any safe capacity. Collectivity reminds us of the attainable sense of joy and community, more intensely than ever before.


Written by Xi-Mali

pROBLEM=SOLUTIONS

In the WLWG Feature we asked Pinguim ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below were his suggestions, hopes and visions moving forward into the new year:

  • Find a collectively invested space to work and provide workshops to our communities
  • Classes still going so we can keep still going!

Bios and Bibliography:

  • Pumpkin Jigsaw (2021) https://pumpkinjigsaw.com/
    Contact Xi-Mali via the ‘Contact us :] ‘ section in our menu
  • Contact Pinguim here (2021) ‘Angolerios Dol Mar London’ https://www.facebook.com/LondonADM/
    Boothby J. (et al.) (2014) “Shared Experiences Are Amplified in Psychological Science” 14, Vol. 25 (12) 2209–2216. Sage.

The Art Factory- Ben Farleigh

Screen Print: Of Ben, By Ben

Welcome to Art Factory. We believe in creativity for everyone, running a range of exciting creative parties and workshops including spray-painting and T-shirt Graffiti. Our super-fun events are always memorable, inspiring dynamic learning in a safe environment.

Ben has over 20 years’ experience working with youth and is an active artist, generating original works, murals and commissions. Trained in Product and Furniture design, Ben established Streetwear brand ‘Yes No Maybe’ in 2008, and started running graffiti workshops across North London soon after.

Even if you have never picked up a spray can or paint pen before, we will help you understand how to get great results. We have been working with young people for over 20 years, guiding you towards great results. Art Factory parties are the perfect place to help unlock inhibitions and offer incredible hands-on experiences to be remembered.

Art Factory create bespoke murals and commissioned pieces of wall art for clients – indoor and out – we would love to discuss your requirements. We have Painted gardens, offices, bedrooms, kitchens, lounges – even the littlest room in the house!  Let’s talk – we can create something unique for you.

Art Factory Graffiti Parties use professional materials, tried and tested techniques and a huge collection of stencils.  Ben ensures painting and working with younger participants provides that on every level the event is fun, memorable and safe.

Written By Ben Farleigh

Artivism for all!

Problem=Solution

In the WLWG Feature we asked Ben ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below we present his suggestions, hopes and visions, moving forward into the new year and beyond:

-Full reopening
-I cant imagine myself in a packed festival tent but we’ll have too adapt to the new reality
-We need to be together again so the show can go on- the vaccine might be able to help rebuild creative community practice

Follow Ben on YouTube for amazing craft ideas! (Link can be found below)

Bios and Bibliography