The last day

So this is a post I actually didn’t want to write but I think I have to. Over the last couple of years, my interest in politics has grown. Moving from different countries learning new cultures I think knowing the political system and show and interest is important. So three years ago I came to the UK. The Brexit referendum was already through and it was clear that the UK will leave the EU at one point. 

But for me, it felt so stupid and unreal that I never thought this could happen. 

So it is the 31st of January 2020, I’m sitting in the pub I work at in Westminster and just have a break from reporting live on Brexit. And I am shocked, I am sad, I am disappointed but far more I am angry. This is the country I live in, I call this my home and I feel unwanted. I always admired the history and culture of England, I thought it was a great country and I wish soooo bad that I could go back to this thinking. But I simply can’t. I saw many protests for Brexit and against, People from each side having fights in front of parliament and all I ever thought was: “You come from the same country, you have the same nationality you are human beings, how can you heat each other that much that you punch each other in the face?” But today everything changed. So my course-mate and friend Marinka and I where in Parliament square reporting live for JLDN radio. This Brexit promoter showed very aggressive behaviour towards basically everyone. When suddenly he attacks a policeman of colour, saying you shouldn’t be here you fucking scumbag. Get back to where you came from you dirty… and the last word he said I don’t want this on my blog.

 

Brexit supporters where singing Donald Trumps name like he was a saviour, and I am standing there speechless. Racism is something that makes me really sad and emotional because I do not understand how something like this is possible. I am shocked.

So what do I do now? Do I keep living like this? For me, this is a very ethical question and I am lost. I don’t think I have ever been this lost in my life. 

Okay so as you guys can tell this means a lot to me and that’s because I never felt like home. So I was born in Germany I am german but when I was two years old my parents moved with me to Switzerland and I didn’t have the citizenship until I was 16 and at that time I moved to England. 

In Switzerland, I wasn’t like I feel here, but I always felt unwanted and not part of the country. I never felt that I belonged to Germany either, although I am german, I never lived there. 

So I tried to find myself a new home and here I am again. It’s frustrating. 

London Love – The Tube

Many commuters are going insane every day. Yeah, the tube has a reputation. It’s this thing you want to go to work in the morning and are already stressed before you even reached your workspace. Sweaty smelly people so close to you you haven’t even been to yourself. trying to squeeze through the crowd when your stop is reached and you get so paranoid that you won’t make it off the train so you start panicking and probably kicking everyone around you.

However,  there is this thing about the London tube which makes me happy. It makes me feel like an actual Londoner. I know this sounds kinda stupid but it’s true. knowing exactly where to enter the tube to get off right in front of the exit. But that is probably the country girl speaking out of me. The only public transport we had was a bus and tractors and they would stop operating at around 10pm. You can get from A to B in basically no time and basically every Londoner is connected to the tube.

But also the people. Oh, how interesting they are. And what people are doing on the tube is far more interesting. People are doing their makeup, writing, reading. And this is the normal stuff. I once saw people carrying a Sofa through the tube. The tube is just this crazy busy place with millions of people using its service and at the same time it is so annonymus. 

So next time we are all back in the hot mess lets think about the good things.

Alessia Sasso, LGBTQ+ activist, supporter and member

Alessia Sasso is a member of the LGBTQ+ community. For man years she has been supporting the movement and community. On the 11th of October, which is national coming out day, Alessia faced her fears and the pressure of society and officially came out. 

 

Alessia was born in Italy and five years ago she came with her mother to the UK. She studies Journalism at London Southbank University.  On Friday the 15th of November for the first time she officially spoke about her experiences and challenges she faced over the years.

Growing up in traditional Christian household things weren’t always easy and when it came to opening up to her family about her sexuality, she always felt wrong and not accepted. And that is also the reason why she kept it for herself for so long. She decided to come out because she felt like there was something wrong. She felt like she was lying to her friends and family and even worse to herself. 

On Journalism.London, she said that she has known that she is bisexual for almost her whole life. 

My life definitely changed after my coming out, I now feel free and confident. She says in an interview. Adding, its like I got rid of a big weight and now I feel lighter and ready to fly. 

She has been supporting the LGBTQ+ community over the last years. She attended the pride days and general events, spread the word. She talked to many people who might not support the movement and community as much. No matter what, Alessia always made sure her voice is being heard.

In the Interview with Journalism London, Alessia talked about her struggles with facing bullying in school and how this was one of the main reasons why she didn’t come out for so long. Her aim is it to prevent children in young age from bullying. She wants to make people aware that there is not just one type of sexuality. An in order to achieve this, she says, We have to start in education and optimise our education. And as soon as children have sex education in schools this should be introduced. 

But for now, she wants to spread the word and love and finally lives the way she always wanted to live.

About the LGBTQ+ movement: 

LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, bisexual, transgender and Queer and the + for everyone who identifies the selves with the community but might not fall into these groups. The LGBTQ+ community has become more popular over the years. In order to make people aware and get acceptance for something which has not been accepted for many years. With the LGBTQ+ week in November and the pride days throughout the years the community is reaching out to all people. Some who have come out some who might have not but they always want to make sure that their movement is becoming bigger and bigger and that LGBTQ+ people are accepted just as they are. 

Isabella Ehrlicher 

JLDN live radio show

This was my first time presenting for the radio show or JLDN. with my fellow student Marinka we talked about the latest news on Extinction Rebellion if teachers should be available to contact after office hours and the reunion of the Sugababes. 

 

 

London Love

London, this city’s been fascinating me since my first travel here. 5 years later I’m sitting on my bed in my Londoner apartment and preparing myself to fly to Vienna over the weekend. I am so excited to see my friend but looking out of the window and thinking I don’t want to leave is weird. I don’t know what it is about this city but only after one year, it has become my home. I love London in every single way, by night and day time, from north to south and from east to west.

The people, the architecture, the culture, the food, even the tourists and god I love the weather. Yes, I agree very unusual to say that but where else has the weather its own mood? And every time I drive across the river I feel some kind of secureness in me. As a proud south Londoner, the highlight of my day is to travel across the river.

I was born in the countryside I am a country girl and that’s my blood status. Personally, I think you have to stick to that because I am not a country girl. Id likes to see me as the lion who is the queen of the big city jungle. (I know this metaphor was rather bad as there are no lions in the jungle but, whatever.

London is crazy and it is so unique. This anonymity that the city gives you is kind of secure and scary at the same time. So every day I try to survive in this rather interesting city. Surrounded by exotic cuisines, friendly and not so friendly people, tourists trying to find the London eye on Westminster bridge and all this under the arms of this city who carries me along like a mom its child.

Alan Dodson a vinyl trader in elephant and castle

Alan Dodson is a vinyl and antics trader at the Elephant and Castle market. You will find him sitting on his chair with his fur hat on, smoking a cigarette and speaking about the great musicians he has met in the 60s.

He has started his career as a supermarket manager when he was only twenty years old. After a couple of years, Superdrug the drugstore brand came and asked him if he wanted to work for them. But Alan wanted to do his own thing so he started selling his cosmetic products. Unfortunately, this didn’t go as well as planned and  Alan decided to work for the fire brigade. 

26 years he worked for them as a computer technician and introduced his station how to use computers. After 26 years he decided to go into early retirement. After a year of doing nothing, he wanted to open his own little store at Elephant and castle. Underrated by the market manager, that he wouldn’t have his store for very long. He still got his place in the heart of Elephant and Castle.

He started with selling DVDs and CDs but suddenly he experienced this little niche that the “youngsters” are getting more and more interested in vinyl records. So he decided to add records to his stock. Alan has lived all his life in this area: “I’m not just a local trader, I’m a local customer, a local person”.

Everyone who has ever visited Alans record store can clearly tell that he loves music; Ambelique and Bob Dylan are blasting out of the speakers. Alan is enjoying the music, the people visiting his store and listening to his stories. Alan is enjoying life. “I`m a bit like Elton John, I`m a lover of music“. And music was his first and only love. Alan seems a bit like a lonely wolf howling songs of Bob Dylan. 

Alan was keen enough to meet one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th centuries including Earl Stuart, Paul Simon and his idol Bob Dylan. He looks back with joy on the times where he smoked cigarettes and drank wine with these music icons. He said that he has met his idol and even though Bob Dylan was a shy and quiet guy and Alan was a bit disappointed, he said he has met his hero and he will never forget this day. Alan seems very happy when he speaks about his idols and he smiles from one ear to the other. 

“music, laughter, humour, comedy, sex, drugs and Rock n Roll back in the 60s that’s what matters to me“

His customers describe him as a “cool guy”, knowing everything about music and Lawrence Simms said: “I am always excited to see him and hear his stories about the 60s and Bob Dylan and he can always recommend me a good vinyl.”

As mentioned before, Alan seems like a lonely wolf, He has never been married and doesn’t have children. His only love ever was music. He said he never regretted not getting married. The only time where he has felt lonely was when he was in the hospital, but this wouldn’t let him down.

His plan for the future is to get his own little record store. When the shopping centre is being teard off, many shopkeepers will lose their shops. Alan wants to find his own little store, locally, and he wants to expand more with records and antiques. 

Winter Wonderland taking the money out of peoples pockets

Winter Wonderland taking the money out of peoples pockets with too high prices for attractions and food. Family attraction turns into biggest nightmare.

Winter Wonderland is one of the biggest attraction in London during Christmas time. Thousands of people come every from the 23rd of November until the 6th of January. Not just tourists visit the German embossed attraction, also Londoners come and visit the place. It is known as a romantic attraction, for young and old but Winter Wonderland costs a fortune. £7 – £12 for an under one minute ride on one of the rollercoasters or carousel. Food and Drinks are about £7 as well. But the people visiting the wonderland are more than happy to pay this. Katja Trbara a student at Goldsmith University said: “Yes, it`s expensive but its definitely worth it” and after asking her how much money she has spent tonight she refused to tell me but she said it was too much.

People are more than happy to pay these expenses. And Julian Wing said: “I’m only doing this for my children, I absolutely hate it here”. But apart from that people seem to like Winter Wonderland and you can only see happy faces.

London South Bank University`s Drama Society performs “SEPTEM”

Six actors and one pill, the outstanding drama performance of SEPTEM  by the Drama Society of London South Bank University has left the audience speechless.

On the 29th of November, the Drama Society of LSBU has come together to perform the SEPTEM, which was originally a movie but the director Annie Moohan decided to make a play out of it. The play was written by Hazel Hayes and Sammy Paul.

Introducing the play with: “In front of you is a pill… If after twenty-five minutes nobody has taken it, you will all die. Survivors will win their share of fifty million pounds. Good Luck.” gives the audience already a clue how this will end, but it does not mean that the tension is gone immediately. Throughout the play, the actors would always manage to get the audience involved emotionally and with this sense of humour some sort of dark, some sort of dry humour. When it came close to an end, there was no holding back anymore. I sat in my chair holding on to it as I was so spellbound by the acting and the plot of the play.

Later I spoke to Jack Cooke, he played Trevor in the play and he said that he enjoyed working with the other cast and he also found it good that first, second and third years were playing together as he can learn a lot from the other actors in the Drama Society

The play was held at London South Bank University-Borough road 103,          SE1 0AA in Studio 6, admission was although a small donation for the Drama Society was suggested.

An emotional evening with Liu Xiaobos`s Poems

                                         Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace price winner in 2010

On the 7th of November, five actors came together in the National Poetry Library and read out poems by Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia. It was all about a love story between life, his women and his country. The event could be considered as sensitive as it is a criticism against the Chinese government.

The poems were read out in English and some of them also in Chinese. This empathised the atmosphere, even more, the visitors were feeling very emotional by the poems and the things Liu Xiaobo wrote. “In tears, I write to you again”, “I`m your lifelong prisoner”, “darkness is my destiny”. His words were considered as very emotional as Alana Falkhoff told me after the event. She also said that it was very powerful when all the actors stood up and read out the last poem. 

People were left in tears after the event and really appreciated the event. The poems are so touching and emotional.

The Event was in the national Poetry Library which is based in the royal festival hall and the admission was free, taking pictures was not allowed. With his speech “No Enemies” Liu Xiaobo has set a statement all over the world

National HIV testing week – Give HIV the finger

                                       Picture from the IIP Photo Archive-Flickr

From the 17th until the 23rd of November it is National HIV testing week. This is a campaign started by the HIV Prevention England. The National HIV testing week is there to remind people, to get tested. 

Due to this the Public health England has provided in the past and expanded this year the free HIV postal testing kits. Many people on social media have shared their opinions on it and went testing themselves, such as the Duke of Sussex. He said Testing on HIV should be something to be proud of, not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about. This should convince people to take the test and not be ashamed, as the Duke of Sussex was the first member of the royal family to be tested on the HIV virus.

Luca (22) suffers himself on Aids after going to a club with some friends he got stabbed in the back with a contagious needle. Luca said that he was scared to do this test, but he said that this brings some kind clarity. He supports the national HIV testing week in every way he can and wants to help especially young people who suffer from this illness.