Category Archives: Doing Good

On Culture: Floating Cinema comes to South Ferriby

The CultureJukebox team really believe in democratising film, so it’s great to read about the Floating Cinema making a move from London and reaching a series of interesting locations around England.

The stop-off in South Ferriby, North Lincolnshire, piqued our interest – with the floating cinema stopping off on the beautiful River Ancholme to screen all-time Hollywood classic Sunset Boulevard.

The Floating Cinema, 2016 Image: © Hydar Dewachi

The Floating Cinema is led by Up Projects and is being supported by the Canal & River Trust for In Dialogue. This is a free programme of feature films, documentaries and a newly commissioned artwork entitled On the Bench by Leeds based artist, Harry Meadley.

The Floating Cinema, Sunset Boulevard, South Ferriby tour stop

The commission is a series of eight short films by Meadley featuring interviews with individuals that live and work in the eight waterway locations where The Floating Cinema will stop.

The Floating Cinema tour begins on 1 July 2017 and ends on 13th August 2017 – visiting Sheffield, Rotherham, Swinton, Doncaster, Thorne, Goole, South Ferriby and Hull.

For more information and tickets click here.

On Beer: East London’s Burgeoning Beer Mile (and a bit)

The CultureJukebox team are fond of a real ale or two (or three or four…)  So, it’s great to hear about some awesome new breweries opening up close to our home in East London.

In fact, the team here thrilled that some of these new breweries are putting purpose before profit too. Opening up near each other, this new brewing scene is top tribute to a fantastic beer culture that is brewing in our corner of the capital.

So, what’s new?

The Magic Spells Brewery, Leyton

The newest and latest independent Craft Brewery in East London currently produces three bottled beers:  A Craft Lager, a Pale Ale (called Hackney Hare) and an IPA.

Magic Spells’ beers are a somewhere between modern brewing techniques and old styles and methods; taking inspiration from classics and adding a modern twist. The brewery creates distinct flavour profiles for the beers – an up front and bold hoppy flavour, a satisfying bite to the beer, smoothly balanced due to a nice malty body and warming alcohol.

The brewery sources most of the malt used in its beers from the UK plus British hops boosted by punchy flavoured hops from New Zealand and America.

It was founded by Jas Hare, an Eastender born-and-bred, who has a fantastic track record in the drinks industry as well as being a craft beer enthusiast.

Magic Spells Beers are available in both 330ml and 500ml bottles with an RRP of £2.49 and £2.99 respectively. They’re all available online, and in venues around London too.

 

Nirvana Brewery, Leyton

Another new brewery for 2017, Nirvana does something completely different. A low / no-alcohol brewery – sure a great idea for our increasingly health-conscious times.

It’s the UK’s only micro brewery dedicated to zero and low ABV craft beers. Beers on offer include Mantra (an IPA at 0.7% ABV), Kosmic (a stout at 0% ABV), and Chakra (a stout at 1% ABV). The team at Nirvana promise “no compromises” on flavour, so we’re excited about our first visit!

Pretty Decent Beer

Opening up just down the road in Forest Gate, Pretty Decent Beer Co has just opened its doors.

On Sheridan Road in Forest Gate, near Cann Hall Road, this brewery looks like one to watch. The team promise: “We make decent beer and do decent things with the money you spend drinking it. We brew our beer in London and every bottle helps to fund sustainable water projects around the world.”

 

The CultureJukebox team hasn’t had chance to visit yet, but this brewery promises to be really superb – we like what we’ve seen on Instagram so far.

And Pretty Decent Beer Co is just a few minutes walk from some of Forest Gate’s best independent venues – The Wanstead Tap for an incredible selection of real ale and provocative programming, Burgess & Hall for beautiful wines; and the quirky and delicious Hawkes cider HQ.

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A proper round-up of some of Forest Gate, Leyton and Leytonstone’s best watering holes for this summer is coming soon. Where do you think should be on the list? Send us a Tweet and let us know where we should visit..

 

On Ideas: The Happy List 2017 Nominations Open

The CultureJukebox team are passionate about finding ideas to make the world a better place. So it was great to receive an press release about this year’s Happy List. And there’s never been a time that an idea like this has been quite so important!

The Independent opened the nominations for its annual Happy List this week, on Monday, marking the International Day Of Happiness.

The concept is now in its ninth year and is a celebration of the 50 people across Britain who enrich our lives. The whole idea is a clear counterpoint to the idea that profit should come before purpose.

Charity workers, fundraisers, mentors, entertainers and those who perform small and large acts of kindness form our collection – and what makes it so special is that they are nominated by members of the public.

What The Independent is looking for is anyone whose motive is increasing our happiness, rather than feathering their own nest. Previous years included a teenager who sold his football memorabilia to help an ill friend, a nun who provided shelter for sex workers, and cousins who saved a man’s hand by preserving it in a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts. Who should be on it this year?

“The current climate of fear, mistrust and negativity means it’s arguably more important than ever to celebrate the inspirational people whose kindness, ingenuity and bravery make the UK a better place to live” ~ Christian Broughton, Editor of The Independent

These volunteers, by their nature, are not generally attention-seekers, so The Independent needs your help to publicise the search for those who deserve to be celebrated in your area.

Anyone can send their suggestions – a including their name, a way to contact you (or them), and the reason why you’re putting them forward – by email to happy@independent.co.uk or by writing to: Emma Ledger, Happy List Coordinator, The Independent, Room 121A, First Floor, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry St, London, W8 5HF.

The Happy List is this year sponsored by JustGiving, the social-giving platform. Nominations close at midnight on Friday 28 April 2017. The selected entries will be revealed by The Independent in May. Individuals cannot nominate themselves.

More information is available here.  Enjoy!

 

On Culture: Turning Technology On Itself – Incoming

The CultureJukebox team attended the new Richard Mosse show at The Barbican this week – a haunting piece of work that turns technology on itself.

It uses high-tech military-grade cameras to highlight the refugee crisis enveloping Europe and how we perceive the refugee as an entity.

The  technology has never been used in stories, art or aesthetically before and is regarded as a weapon under the international treaty of arms regulations. It works by picking up heat, as opposed to light, showing the starkness of the situation in monochrome.

It’s a remarkably intense and immersive exhibition, that uses the Barbican’s brilliant Curve gallery in a memorable way.  A new aesthetic, bold & brave – making people reconsider the refugee crisis. Very impressive work, a must see.

More information on the show is here. Let us know what you think below the line or on social media too.

 

On Wellness: FloVibe Festival Announced

Feeling good has never been more important to us, and to British festival-goers. So, this January it was really timely to receive a press release about the super cool sounding FloVibe Festival.

It’s an early-summer festival that sounds like the perfect way to discover and explore happier and healthier ways of looking at the world – learning from great yoga minds and enjoy awesome new music too. Great combination!

The festival will bring together wellness and new music in a unique weekend of discovery for the mind, body and soul.

Taking place in early June, it promises to be the summer’s best festival for everyone wishing to live a happier and healthier life. Perfect really, and something the CultureJukebox team can really endorse.

FloVibe Festival is part of a growing movement of people making a conscious choice to prioritise wellness in their day-to-day life. The festival will bring together music and mindfulness in a unique hybrid event that is unlike any other festival – with carefully curated music providing an unforgettable soundtrack to a weekend that will leave festival-goers feeling good in every way.

Breaking new ground, this festival unites like-minded people for a retreat meets festival. It will be a weekend of discovery where festival-goers are invited to play, to dance to new music and to flow. Reconnecting with their inner child at the start of the summer.

 “We’re bringing together a bit of everything we love: inspiring international yoga teachers, movers & shakers, workshop leaders, speakers, free thinkers, musicians, artists and DJs. It’s more than a weekend away, it’s an opportunity to explore a mindful approach to life where you don’t have to compromise on enjoyment.” ~ Jason Pooley, FloVibe Founder.

A small festival with a big vision for 2017, FloVibe creates the space to stretch out, breathe deep and collectively explore a more uplifting and sustainable way of being, on the yoga mat, in the festival field, and in daily life.

Jam Sandwich Live is curating the music – which promises to take festival-goers on a real journey of discovery.

“FloVibe Festival is an open-hearted and inclusive festival, inviting a bit of magic into people’s lives – this is perfectly aligned with JAM and the curation will match this. Genre-hopping, spellbinding and uplifting, interweaving live hip hop, jazz, roots, reggae, folk, electronic, disco & soul, at this breathtaking lakeside setting.” ~ Jam Sandwich Founder Lou Wellby.

For more FloVibe Festival information and to book tickets, check out the website here.

On Entrepreneurship: Products That Look Good, and Do Good

Looking for some inspiration for your Christmas shopping this year? Check out ThisBecause – the super-cool online shop for social enterprise has all manner of wonderful things for sale. Products that look good, and do good.

Here’s the link to the online store.

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And this year it’s not just online. There’s an actual physical store too, a  showcase of some of the very best things for sale. It’s in Soho, you can read more about the store and what’s going on via ThisBecause’s social media feeds.

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Here’s a few images we took on our phone too…

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The CultureJukebox team highly recommend heading over, and getting your Christmas shopping off to a guilt-free start and pick-up some truly amazing products with great stories behind them too! Nice one ThisBecause!

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On Ideas: Reflections on Internet Culture after our WebSummit visit

Last week I spent a few of days working from the FutureSocieties conference at WebSummit in beautiful Lisbon. The event is Europe’s biggest technology and entrepreneurship conference – a global meeting place for web-thinkers and entrepreneurs focused on changing business and lives.

The FutureSocieties conference is a big part of WebSummit – bringing together leading thinkers, politicians and academics to discuss how our cities, our working lives and our culture are being transformed.

There were a huge amount of inspiring talks, packed with useful ideas and opportunities to connect with new companies, media and organisations who could help us to go mainstream. See below for a brief summary from talks and the entrepreneurs I met – I’m obviously happy to expand on any of these themes or connections if particularly useful for anyone’s work.

Talk 1) How is tech changing giving?

A provocative talk that claimed philanthropy and giving is stuck in the past. French entrepreneur Alexandre Mars gave a super interesting talk about how philanthropic organisations often operate in silos. How do we encourage giving to new ideas and social entrepreneurs doing things a little differently?

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He claimed that much of philanthropy is failing new social organisations and ventures seeking to make wide impact on problems that assail the poor. So, he set up Epic Foundation: this innovative website uses evidence-based data tools to identify innovative social ventures and organisations, giving them the tools they need to be successful regardless of prior track record, and then monitors their progress while working with them to evaluate what works and what doesn’t.

Corporate partners love Epic’s model because it demonstrates contributions unlocking their full social impact potential. Because of this, Epic helps corporations fulfil their social responsibility goals, while supporting organisations that make global social impact, whether that be feeding children in Darfur, offering underprivileged children access to technology and higher education courses, or getting homeless people out of shelters.

There is a Comms and storytelling element too. Epic also provides news, stories, photos, and videos curated by their team from each portfolio organisations, creating not only a second high-value data point for donors to monitor, but also a growing stream of content to drive their inbound traffic and marketing. The constant flow of information that the Newsfeed provides shows that their money is working hard and that Epic Foundation and the organisations it supports are constantly in motion. Lastly, each venture Epic supports comes with an individual profile. This offers data, news, and background information – building credibility they need to build their donor community.

Talk2) Is the internet making us stupider?

Comedian David Schneider led an interesting talk on how the online world is changing the way we think. It was centred around the amount of online “content” that is out there. Consequently, our brains have learned how to read differently (with constant distractions), which has reshaped how we learn. While the Internet gives us access to more information than before, paradoxically, we are becoming dimmer and more superficial as a people.

There is a science behind this too. When you encounter hyperlinked text, your brain asks the question: “To click or not to click.” Because you are constantly being interrupted to make these decisions, you rarely “get lost” in the text and consequently the information infrequently becomes deep knowledge. The WebSummit heard how this redirection of our mental resources, from reading words to making judgments, may be imperceptible at first. But it’s been shown to impede comprehension and retention, particularly when repeated frequently. Not surprisingly, Internet usage is rewiring how we think.

Talk 3) The Filter Bubble vs democracy

I was at WebSummit as Donald Trump (surprisingly?!) won the election, so the question mark about us living and working in a filter bubble was high on the agenda. Have the open channels of the internet become ‘echo chambers’ for certain viewpoints? Does this impact the democratic process? And scientifically, the way we perceive and understand information?

Charles Arthur from from The Guardian opened the session: what is the effect on democracy of the fact that search engines and social media tend to feed back to users ideas that they already agree with? He considered that the problem of the echo chambers caught everybody – possibly also search engines and social media – by surprise particularly around Brexit and the US election. He asked to his panel if in four years time, when the UK will not be a member of the EU and the US will have new presidential elections, the filter bubble will have been addressed and burst?

Ann Mettler, Head of European Political Strategy Centre, said:  “The industrial age was about standardisation, the digital age is about customisation”.

This translates into an objective problem when it comes to today’s information world, where echo centres translate into the perpetual strengthening of biases and beliefs. Before the advent of social media newspapers were the ones responsible of fact checking and of making decisions on what was newsworthy. In today’s online world the absence of “mediators” in social media, and the fact that nowadays success depends on shares, not accuracy or precision, results in a wealth of lies and rumours dressed up as news.

The panel admitted the problem is far from being easily fixed, considering that people do not appear to really care, comfortable as they are right now in the bubble. Both Gary and Ann Mettler added that something would need to go “horribly wrong” in the democratic process for a solution to become felt as urgent globally.

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Of course, WebSummit wasn’t just about the talks. See below for a few interesting start-ups trying to make the world better in their own way:

Josoor

  • A new start-up, hoping to become the first community platform for refugees and supporters
  • www.josoor.eu

Logic@

  • Social Business who empowers Entrepreneurs to become Social Entrepreneurs, by using their knowledge and technologies to help the Governments solve Local and Global Problems, creating their own Crowdfunding Campaign where the Citizens and Investors support your Social Impact
  • A new social network for social entrpreneurs basically!
  • http://wsnetwork.co/

BrowniePoints

  • A social platform that connects non-profits, businesses and individuals to facilitate greater measured impact through incentivised volunteering and donating
  • www.brownie-points.co.za

AftLeuven

  • Introducing students to technology and entrepreneurship and inspire in them a sense of entrepreneurship, a quintessential skill in today’s economy. We provide technical students the opportunity to further develop their technical knowledge and reach out to non-technical students to introduce them to the wonderfull world of technology.”
  • http://www.aftleuven.be/

Aiden

Speak.social

  • Helping refugees and migrants connect with locals through the language barrier
  • www.speak.social

Quorom

  • A new app that changes volunteering – making it more accessible for people & efficient for organisations. Allows people to organise for action
  • http://quorumapp.co/en/

The Happiness Network

  • The Happiness Network is a social enterprise that focuses on creating technologies, brands and campaigns to empower people to maximise their quality of life and happiness.
  • http://happinessnetwork.co.za/about-us/

GiveBox

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The CultureJukebox team left WebSummit full of new ideas and promising new connections. Obrigado!

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On Ideas: Adopting An Apple Tree in Northern Sweden

The CultureJukebox team love to hear about ideas that can make a difference to the world around us. So was great to hear about a brilliant new apple adoption scheme in Sweden.

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Here’s what the press release has to say:

Sweden’s award winning maker of cider, Brännland Cider AB, is offering its Ice Cider on Michelin Star restaurants around the world, just a few years after its founding. The company now wants to give something back to the soil it depends upon and invites everyone to come along for a project, researching sustainable ecological growth of apples for making an even better product, up in the North of Sweden.

Brännland Cider is the living proof that a vision can go a long way, showing that the unimaginable can be done. In the course of 6 years, the company has succesfully launched its award winning Ice Cider, a product perfectly suited for the Nordic climate.

In October 2016 Brännland Cider planted 1000 apple trees at Röbäcksdalen outside Umeå in the North of Sweden. This orchard is the start of a new apple domain and terroir in both Sweden and Europe and will in time spawn great cider. But, it will also be a centre of research, learning and education on apple growing in the North where all results will be shared to promote science and sustainability in the name of ecology and forward thinking.

Brännland Cider is now inviting the public to be a part of the terroir for making great cider but also to help develop more eco friendly Northern orchards. Apart from supporting the shaping of a renewed and enriched Northern landscape, every donor will get its name on one of the trees, be invited to participate in the yearly harvest feast on location and also get a chance to try the fresh cider from the actual trees before anyone else. Discover more on Kickstarter here.

What a cool idea! Check out the website here.

On Tech: Looking back on WebSummit2016

The CultureJukebox team are just back from a fantastic few days in Lisbon, working from the WebSummit event.

We were particularly impressed with the FutureSocieties strand of the huge event, getting inspired by some big thinking about how technology can create a better and fairer society.

Talks from Alexander Mars (How Technology Can Change The Act Of Giving); Sam Kriss (Has The Internet Done More Harm Than Good); and Rallying Tech For Refugees were all particularly memorable. A few of the WebSummit talks are here.

Anyway, our team came away with lots of new contacts, big ideas and are writing stories for various start-ups based on our meetings there.  btw, there’s loads of images from the event on the WebSummit Flikr page here.

A few stats:

  • 53,056 people from 166 countries joined attended Web Summit

  • Its Women in Tech initiative meant that the female/male gender ratio at Web Summit 2016 is 42% to 58%. Nearly half of the registered attendees in Lisbon this week were female (well played WebSummit!)

  • And circa 97,000 Pasteis de Nata consumed (A few by us we’re pleased to say!)

Maybe see you in Lisbon next year…

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@ WebSummit

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Admiring the bonita azulejos… 😉

On Film: East End Film Festival Collaborates with Stonewall

The CultureJukebox team are huge fans of the culture & creative industries supporting the causes that really matter. So it was great to read about the brilliant East End Film Festival’s upcoming film event..
Next week (running from 4th-6th November) the festival is hosting a special weekend of screenings raising money for Stonewall UK. It’s all part of a nationwide series of events taking place as part of Stonewall Season, all aimed at raising money for this vitally important charity and their work.
The festival crew are returning to one of London’s outstanding screening venues in the extraordinary Masonic Temple at the Andaz Liverpool Street. They have programmed two cult films that deserve to be seen within an LGBT context (A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and Tony Scott’s The Hunger), with a third evening of screenings featuring a trio of documentaries from VICE, complete with director introductions.
More information is available here. Tickets are just £10, and you can support the festival team on social media too.
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Here’s the film line-up in full:Friday 4th November the East End Film Festival presents A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge

When A Nightmare on Elm Street became an unexpected smash hit, the birth of a horror classic also spawned a huge number of sequels to Wes Craven’s terrifying original. What was less predictable was that A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 would also be one of the gayest mainstream horror films ever made. Following a young man named Jesse who battles with Freddy Kruger when his family moves to Elm Street, this is classic 1980s slasher fare, but with a twist: all the victims are male, Jesse seems to prefer his best friend to his girlfriend, there’s terror in the locker room… and that’s not even mentioning a visit to a particular type of nightclub. A one off example of Hollywood (unintentionally) green lighting a script intentionally laden with gay subtext, don’t miss the chance to see this classic gay horror landmark on the big screen, in the most spectacular of settings.

Saturday 5th November the East End Film Festival presents The Hunger

A chilling classic starring the iconic David Bowie, Susan Sarandon and Catherine Deneuve, Tony Scott’s tale of love, lust and vampires is one of the most stylish and erotic horror films ever made. A tale of a love triangle between Deneuve’s vampire and her two paramours (the achingly cool Bowie and Sarandon, who became romantically involved whilst making the film), a thrilling life of seduction and blood sucking on New York City’s nightclub scene soon take a terrifying turn, when it becomes clear that immortality may be an illusion. Featuring one of the best ever movie openings, as well as perhaps the greatest lesbian seduction scene ever committed to film, this is American Gothic at its stylish, erotic best, but with a twist.

Sunday 6th November VICE Media presents three original short documentaries each introduced by people behind the films.

Young and Gay: In Putin’s Russia introduced by Milène Larsson (Filmaker)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin passed anti-gay ‘propaganda’ legislation in the summer of 2014, the country effectively institutionalised homophobia throughout the nation and turned Russia’s LGBT population into full-blown enemies of the state. The all-pervasive law systematically dismantled basic human rights, blocking LGBT people from accessing support or legal help in every aspect of Russian society and led to a sharp rise in homophobic attacks and hate crime.

Ahead of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, VICE News travelled to Russia to investigate the effects of the country’s state-sanctioned homophobia on Moscow’s LGBT youth, meeting leading gay rights activists, Putin’s spin doctor, the lawmaker behind the repressive legislation and the individuals protesting against their own government for the right to live freely and without fear.

Young and Gay: Jamaica’s Gully Queens introduced by Christo Geoghegan (Host / Co-Producer)

VICE News travels to the sewers of New Kingston to meet the ‘Gully Queens’ – a group of young LGBTI Jamaicans forced out of family homes and into the underground dwellings of the capital by the constant threat of attack, rape and murder by anti-gay mobs.

In a country where the ‘Buggery Law’ still exists and carries a ten-year prison sentence, VICE News explores how young trans girls and gay men are leading the fight against Jamaica’s institutionalised homophobia through visibility and a fierce community spirit.

Gaycation: Japan introduced by Will Fairman (Series Producer)

GAYCATION follows best friends Ellen Page and Ian Daniel as they set off to explore LGBT cultures around the world, starting with Japan, where same-sex marriage is still not legal and LGBT couples often bear a social stigma. Despite the huge challenges, parts of the gay community continue to thrive in Japan’s vibrant culture and nightlife and in some cities, same-sex marriage is even starting to become recognised.

In a journey which includes getting ‘friendship-married’ at a Buddhist temple, working at a rent-a-friend agency and joining the party in the world’s smallest gay bar, Ellen and Ian find out what it’s really like to identify as LGBT in Japan and meet some of the people struggling to find their voice in a country that refuses to give them equal rights under the law.

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Tickets are available here.