My portfolio

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My exchange folio is finished! It’s an oddly satisfying feeling, having a portfolio to look at at the end.

The slideshow above unfortunately doesn’t have the video, as wordpress won’t let you upload flash files. Boo! But, if you click the PDF below, it should all be working, if you want to see my folio exactly as it should be. And there’s a couple of new moving image pieces in it…

portfolio

Free Hetherington!

Ok, the usual art related post is being replaced by something a bit more important today. I’ve just come back from my first overnight stay the the Free Hetherington.

I’m going to start with my opinion of occupations: there’s many situations I don’t support them. Most of the time, it’s because I feel the people that are affected by them are the wrong targets (e.g. workers, students) and can disrupt the people they’re fighting for. This is not saying I’m against occupations as a whole, but there’s just been several instances where the execution has been wrong.

Saying that, the Free Hetherington is something very different, and very exciting. The Hetherington Research Club was Glasgow University’s post-grad union, till it was shut down last year, due to mismanagement of funds. Since then, the club has laid dormant, and is now potentially being converted into offices.

On Tuesday, some students entered a side entrance without breaking in and have now secured 24 hour access.

One of my pet hates is empty spaces. I can’t stand countryside and old buildings being destroyed for new builds when there are houses, offices and factories lying empty.

What is really exciting is what is now being done at the Free Hetherington. There’s been lectures, film screenings, workshops, classes, a people’s kitchen from donations/skipping. This is what an occupation should be like. It should be taking something and creating a positive from it. I am also a firm believer in positive protest; instead of shouting about how things can be different (not that that’s not necessary), let’s make a difference.

The atmosphere at Hetherington has been amazing. Welcoming, friendly and positive. I only meant to go a couple of hours at a time, but I’ve been staying there for hours, just getting to know people. Also, surprisingly, I’ve not noticed any left-wing rivalry thus far (some wee jokes and discussions here and there, but nothing heated). Also, it doesn’t feel SSP/SWP/what have you dominated, which personally, when that happens, I feel alienated even as a socialist. While it is political, the feeling is very different from the ACAN meetings or the demos. Hell, I’ve realised some people I thought were scary at them are actually lovely! Also, the support from lecturers and people walking past has been great.

It’s an exciting thing to be part of. It may sound idealistic, or utopian, but the idea of people helping each other and teaching each other is amazing, and can seem strange in today’s cynical world. If I’m 100% honest, I hope it stays run by students, for the students. And not just uni students, but anyone who wants to learn and participate.

The only thing that is sad is that while we’ve taken a positive route to protesting, it hasn’t been reported at all. To me, it just shows that the media want violence, and to paint students as rioters. I hope this changes.

It’s been inspirational though, expect to see me there a lot over… well. As long as it lasts! I’ll be doing life drawing classes and animation workshops next week, and for updates on other events, join the FB page:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Glasgow-Uni-Occupied/133691460021139?ref=ts

(P.S I’ll get some photos/footage of the happenings next week!)

So it’s been over a week. I’ve got a few things to say.

1. Egypt – fuck yeah. Solidarity there. It might be a cliché, but government should be scared of the people, and never the other way round. It’s great to see that Muburak is not going to run for election again, though if the people want him to leave now, I hope that is respected. And I hope he’s not replaced by another authoritarian.

2. The occupation of the Hetherington Research Club – FUCK YES. This made me happy. Not the occupation itself, but the way the occupation has been held. It’s now a student run area for students, with lectures and a free kitchen. Also, they’re taking an empty building and giving it a new life, rather than disrupting classes. I’m so excited, going to go down when I get some time and give them my support.

This is positive protest.
This is what will work.
Again, solidarity with the students of Glasgow Uni.

3. Slightly more personal one, will everyone just calm the fuck down a bit? Everyone I know seems to be going a bit doo-lally. Maybe something’s in the water. On a similar note, I can’t wait till the people I know in 4th year get their dissertations in. I’ll actually get some of my friends back.

4. Speaking of uni, my assessments went more awesome than I could have imagined. Yay. Next, RISD application.

5. I couldna gie a shite if the White Stripes broke up or no. Controversial as an indie fan?

Finally, happy Chinese New Year! Cakes from Wah Kee for lunch tomorrow? Yum.