Love Music Hate Racism is celebrating years of inspiring people to love their neighbour with an exhibition of poster showing some of the great Rock Against Racism gigs where their message was sung out to the world.
The vintage posters will be on view till 30 April in the Platform library in Easterhouse. There, Glasgow leaders in the fight against fascism, launched the exhibition in proper style – with music from the Honest Mistakes. Among the songs sung by the trio of Brian Gibson, Chris Reilly and Steve Dollan, was the famous Italian anti-fascist song :Bella Ciao.’ Their rendition was followed by a photographer spontaneously singing it in Chinese!
‘That could only happen in group like this,’ said doyen Margaret Wood who has been at the forefront of the fight against race hatred for many years.
She told the gathering: ‘Sadly this fight has to go on. So it is really good that school children today will be coming to see this exhibition and to have workshops about what it all means. The rich people who run our society are our enemy, not our neighbours.’
Making his first public speech as chairman of United Against Fascism Scotland, John McFadden of the Fire Brigade Union said: ‘There was never a better time to have this exhibition. We are in the middle of a severe economic crisis and the same issues are being raised. It is disgraceful for the Prime Minister to be saying things like: -’ we must guard against people from afar because they are stealing our welfare.’ Let us not fall into the trap of making migrants and other incomers, scapegoats. We have to support and celebrate our multi-cultural society and promote peace, love and tolerance. Those are the qualities that will stop the hatred and poison that comes from the right wing fascists. And we need to be aware that such a hate filled movement is growing in Europe and here.’
Dave Sherry of UNITE union’s Housing Association branch – one of the sponsors of the exhibition- remembered the excitement of a Rock Against Racism event in London in 1978. ‘Elvis Costello could only get to the stage by helicopter because of the huge mass of people. It was really electrifying and terrifying too, but it got the message out. And we must keep doing that,’ he said.
Amal Azzudin and Emma Clifford, who were two of the seven Glasgow school girls who challenged the authorities when one of their classmates was whipped away in a dawn raid on the asylum seeking family in 2005, also attended the exhibition launch. Said Emma, who now works for the BBC and Sunny Govan Radio: ‘I’m glad the exhibition involves schoolkids in workshops. And that it is travelling around the country.’ Added Amal, who is working for the Mental Health Foundation: ‘Music is such a great medium to use to raise awareness. The Big Names involved in Rock Against Racism get the message to a wider audience.’
Noreen Real and Jean Donnachie who were honoured by the Evening Times for their fight to protect asylum seekers from dawn raids in their tower block, were at the Easterhouse launch too. Both poudly wearing the silver lapel pin from the Evening Times 25th Women of the Year anniversary, they enjoyed the evening and Jean even joined the musicians in a song. ‘I want everyone to go and see the stage version of the Glasgow Girls when it comes back to Glasgow,’ she said. Then launched into the song that the character in the musical – portraying her – sings. ‘ These are my weans now.’ These two remarkable pensioners and the seven schoolgirls are all current examples of people fighting racism.
‘That’s why we need to keep supporting Love Music Hate Racism, Rock Against Racism and find all the best ways to combat fascism,’ said Margaret Wood. ‘It is still out there and a threat to us all.’
An evening of poetry, music, song and food, was celebrated by the Campaign for Human Rights in the Gambia this week in Glasgow.
A key speaker was former Vice President of the West African country, Bakary Dabo, who now lives in London. In a calm and diplomatic way, he explained how a Rule of Fear had overtaken the democratic rule of law which The Gambia had enjoyed before a military coup. ‘The people in power now are not leaders.’ he said. ‘It is a depressing picture. This small country of 2 million people has an appalling human rights abuse record. There is a very vicious despotic system in place run by one man with his clique.’ Mr Dabo emphasised how important it was for groups such as Amnesty International and the Glasgow based Campaign for Human Rights in The Gambia and others to be raising awareness of the situation and to be supportive in the search for a solution.
‘We are hopeful,’ he continued. ‘But The Gambia is right now held by its throat as a hostage.’
Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Danny Alderslowe. A Green Party Councillor, he had that day at the final meeting of the Glasgow City Council before the local government elections, won a motion to review the Personalisation process being implemented by the Council.
Danny had orchestrated an excellent programme of entertainment at the Afro Caribbean Centre in Osborne Street G1. This ranged from Haggis on the bagpipes with Omar on the drums, Jethro from the Congo, Scratchy Noises fiddle band, Fozzy singing fighting songs, Lucio and friends on an array of African stringed instruments and Tomona reciting one of his thoughtful poems. Danny, himself, had written a poem based on the fact that the osprey flies between the Gambia and Scotland ‘easier than a jumbo jet!’
Other speakers included Elena Soper from the University of Glasgow’s Amnesty International group who detailed some of the human rights abuses known about in the Gambia; Arthur West, chairman of the Gambia Human Rights Campaign and John Matthews Chair of the Glasgow Branch of the National Union of Journalists. ‘We support the Campaign wholeheartedly,’ said John. ‘We are the first trades union to recognise journalists who are seeking asylum, as members of our union and we can act on their behalf when possible. As a political journalist, our colleague Alieu Cessay had to flee from the Gambia. He is not alone. Some journalists – and others who have displeased the regime – have disappeared, been imprisoned, tortured. The evening is to celebrate life while expressing our compassion for the safety of our brothers and sisters and highlighting the need to have a free press and freedom of speech if a country is to be truly free.’
Films of the
21-23 March 2012
Tickets from www.glasgowconcerthalls.com
Wednesday 21 March, 1.00pm
Films: UCS 1 and UCS: 40th Anniversary
Panel: Ann Guedes, Susan Morrison, Dr Chik Collins. Tickets £5
Thursday 22 March 7.30pm
Films: UCS 1 and UCS: 40th Anniversary
Panel: Ann Guedes, Mike Kirby (STUC President), Pat Rafferty (UNITE). Tickets £6
Friday 23 March 7.30pm
Film: Class Struggle: Film from the Clyde
Panel: Ann Guedes, David Hayman. Tickets £7.50
After each showing the films will be followed by a Q&A with special guest, film-maker, Ann
Guedes, plus an invited panel.
Ann Guedes: Independent cinema in Britain is unthinkable without the achievements of the innovative film collective Cinema Action, which was set up in the late 1960s and crystallised around a core of three cultural dynamos: Ann Guedes, Gustav Lamche and Eduardo Guedes.
Ann has made 15 documentary films, many with International Film Festival Awards, Berlin, London, Madrid, Portugal, Leipzig and the jury prize at Moscow Film Festival.
Her 90-minute feature documentary So That You Can Live was selected for the opening day of Channel 4. Ann’s feature films include: Rocinante (1986), starring John Hurt and Ian Dury, which won 6 international film awards; Bearskin (1989), starring Tom Waits and Ian Dury; and Talk of Angels (1998).
Lourdes Secondary School in Cardonald will host the first regional Music for Youth Festival in Glasgow on Friday, 17 February.
The event has attracted an impressive mix of groups from around the city and the audience will be treated to performances from this year’s winners of Glasgow City Sounds – The Modests, along with St Thomas Aquinas Secondary Steel Pan Band, Hillhead’s Jazz Band, The Riverside Youth Band and the Gaelic School’s Cause and Probability to name but a few.
Music for Youth (MFY) was founded in 1970 and is an educational charity providing free performance and audience opportunities for young people aged 21 and under through a series of regional festivals.
This year, Scotland is having three regional festivals, hosted in Glasgow, Perth and Inverness. These will culminate in a National Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Debbie MacVicar, Faculty Head of Performing Arts, Lourdes Secondary is absolutely delighted to welcome MFY to Glasgow and especially to Lourdes Secondary’s impressive Concert Hall.
She said: ‘This is a marvellous opportunity for pupils in Glasgow to showcase their talent in front of their peers and MFY mentors. The mentors provide focused and constructive feedback enabling each group to continue its musical journey.
‘One of the most satisfying areas of music is performance and this initiative enables all ages and levels of musicians to come together and enjoy the opportunity to perform in a non-competitive environment.
‘It will inspire, nurture and support all the participants and I am absolutely delighted at the standard and numbers of groups who have entered for this first ever regional festival, here in Glasgow.’
Dance group ‘Fear of the Unknown’ from Glasgow’s Southside is the only group from Scotland to get through to the UK semi-finals of the ‘Got to Dance’ programme on Sky 1 HD. From the initial 30,000 auditioned in Glasgow, London and Dublin, the Gorbals dancers are in the final 30.
From the Sunday 29 January the public can vote, week by week, on the best acts. The two winning groups from each week will then compete in the finals on March 4 when the champion team will walk away with a cool quarter of a million pounds and the crown of Got To Dance 2012.
Lorna Munn who is one of the senior dancers in ‘Fear of the Unknown’ at 24, said: ‘It was the biggest emotion when we were told we’d been selected and were the only ones from Scotland. I was so happy I wanted to cry.’
Based in Gorbals from Robert Hamilton School of Dance, the ‘Fear of the Unknown’ is an invited group of the School’s best dancers. He describes their ‘Got to Dance’ routine as: ‘Theatrical, technical, original.’
Said Mum Kim Carr, whose daughter Jay, aged 10, is one of the team: ‘We are all so very proud. It is really exciting and we’re keeping our fingers crossed ‘Fear of the Unknown’ will win. But everyone in Scotland needs to be voting for them on Sunday 5 February when they dance live on the programme.’
Not only do they rehearsal several nights of the week, they make all their own costumes which are stunning. See their audition performance: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DurvxAbSB-gQ&h=mAQH5012yAQEmPLHu-v8souU1sx9qLq-0rOkJLwSwgOicgw
And take a look at their Facebook fan page for updates – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fear-of-the-Unknown/269468063113061
In addition the dancers do a lot of charity work and have raised more than £200,000 for a variety of good causes. ‘We give up our school holidays and free time to dance at lots of these events,’ said Jay.
Commented her Mum Kim: ‘We are telling as many people as we can about ‘Fear of the Unknown,’ and hopefully Scotland will support us.’
At the start of breast cancer awareness month it was appropriate that a new Maggie’s centre opened in Glasgow at Gartnavel Hospital. The city is the first place to have two Maggie’s Centres where people with cancer and their families can go for quietness, nurturing and care. The original Maggie’s on Dumbarton Road at the Western Infirmary gatehouse, will continue its important, supportive work.
Funded by Walk the Walk which runs the Edinburgh Moonwalks in Edinburgh, Iceland and London, the Gartnavel Maggie’s was designed by Dutch architects and Pritzker Prize winners, OMA and landscaped by Lily Jencks, daughter of Maggie’s founders. It was built by Dunne Group.
High on a hill, the single-level building forms a ring of interlocking rooms surrounding an internal landscaped courtyard. The new Maggie’s overlooks Glasgow and Gartnavel Hospital and is a stone’s throw from Scotland’s leading oncology facility, the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, which serves a population of 2.8 million people (60 per cent of Scotland’s population). People at any stage of their cancer journey will be able to access the professional and peer-led support available at Maggie’s to help them to build a life with, through and beyond cancer.
The space has been designed to feel casual, almost carefree, allowing an individual to feel at ease and at home and part of an empathetic community of people.
Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive, said: ‘This is a celebration of a fantastic new resource for the west of Scotland’s cancer population, as well as a celebration of this pivotal year in Maggie’s history. It’s hard to believe that it was fifteen years ago when we opened our very first centre in Edinburgh – delivering Maggie Keswick Jencks’ vision of providing an antidote to the isolation and despair of cancer. It soon became apparent that other regions and communities greatly needed a Maggie’s Centre too, and through wonderful support, we have managed to grow our network of centres and today take great pride in our newest centre – Maggie’s Gartnavel. OMA have created a truly unique environment, which will help to facilitate our programme of support, by making people feel safe, inspired and valued, whilst Lily Jencks garden design complements the centre beautifully. Most importantly, Maggie’s Gartnavel has been made possible through a unique partnership with Walk the Walk, whose tenacious Edinburgh MoonWalkers, take to the streets of Edinburgh each year in wonderfully decorate bras to raise money to support cancer charities. Thank you to Walk the Walk and to everyone who has graciously support us over the years – you are helping to make a huge difference.’
The Lighthouse architectural showcase in Glasgow’s city centre, currently has an exhibition on OMA and Maggie’s.
This being the 15th year of Maggie’s Centres, the cancer charity aims to have 15 centres up an running or on the drawing board, by the end of 2011.
Children from Chinese families had an exciting day on Tuesday 4 October, when they were part of the welcome to the Confucius Institute which was officially opened at the University of Glasgow by First Minister Alex Salmond MSP.
The Institute –a partnership with China’s prestigious Nankai University– is part of a network of more than 350 around the world, supported by the Chinese government to spread awareness, understanding and appreciation of Chinese language and culture.
Funded by the Chinese National Office of Chinese Language Council International – known as Hanban – the main purpose of the Confucius Institute is to teach the Chinese language. It will also organise cultural activities, including lectures and exhibitions and provide information and support for businesses in Scotland planning to operating in China.
The ceremony in the University’s Bute Hall was attended by Li Ruiyou, Chinese Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Scotland, and Xiaogang Tian, Minister Counsellor for Education, Chinese Embassy London.
Mr Salmond said: ‘The promotion of the educational, economic and cultural ties between Scotland and China are further strengthened by the creation of the Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow. The work being done in partnership with Nankai University will support the Scottish Government’s China Plan through support for Confucius Classroom hubs and for Sino-Scottish business links.
‘During the past two years, I have had the pleasure of visiting China twice to reinforce this bond and I am greatly looking forward to returning later this year. It is vital that the Scottish Government, our agencies and Scotland’s business and education organisations continue to do all they can to advance Scotland’s relationship with mainland China and Hong Kong, particularly as we pursue opportunities to build growth and therefore a stronger Scotland.’
Professor Jane Duckett, Director of the Confucius Institute, said: ‘Our aim is to increase understanding of China, its fascinating language, and its rich culture. China is playing an ever more important role in the world. Within the next decade or so, it will be the world’s biggest economy and it will become an increasingly important trading partner and investor for Scotland and the UK. It is therefore essential to Scotland’s future economic success that we understand China in all its diversity and are able to communicate with its people.
She continued: ‘The Confucius Institute will make a significant contribution to the Scottish Government’s China Plan through support for Confucius Classroom hubs and for Sino-Scottish business links. It is a symbol of Glasgow’s and the West of Scotland’s engagement with China and will be an important source of support for that engagement across education, the arts and business.’
The Confucius Institute builds on long-standing research collaborations focused on social sciences, arts, business and chemistry, between the University of Glasgow and Nankai University in the major northern city of Tianjin.
The focus of the Institute’s programmes will be on contemporary Chinese society and culture, promoting understanding between young people in Scotland and China, and supporting links between the cities of Glasgow and Tianjin.
One of the first events organised by the new Institute is a six-week exhibition of art works by Professor Fan Zeng, one of China’s most famous artists, whose traditional ‘splashed ink’ and figure drawings are hugely popular in China. The exhibition will run until 20 November in the Kelvin Gallery of the Hunterian Museum.
The Confucius Institute is located in the John McIntyre Building on the University’s Gilmorehill Campus. For more information visit www.gla.ac.uk/about/confucius/ and see a video of the children of Glebe Primary School, Irvine who performed an umbrella dance for the opening ceremony on University’s Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/glasgowuniversity
Head teacher Francine MacKenzie of Glebe Primary told this website:’The children had a wonderful day at Glasgow University at the opening of the Confucius Institute. One parent phoned me the next morning to say thank you for giving her son the best opportunity of his life so far. The Chinese families whose children attend this school, consider themselves Scottish and are very pleased that we celebrate their other culture. We take full advantage of every opportunity to learn of the richness of Chinese culture.’ The school has already sent teachers to visit China and is about to send another one to study Mandarin.
There is still a chance to be one of the people to carry the Olympic Flame on its 8000 mile journey across the UK next year.
At Braehead Shopping Centre today (Thursday 26 September) Samsung will have the London 2012 Olympic Torch on display to encourage people to nominate someone they feel has gone ‘the extra mile’ and is worthy of carrying the Olympic Flame on a part of its epic journey to the Olympic Stadium in London.
The Torch relay will take 70 days to cover the UK and will pass through Glasgow.
One person who has been nominated already is 28-year-old Jonathan Mackie from Glasgow. He holds six Gold and a Silver medal from the World Special Olympic Summer Games. Said his Mum Anne, ‘Despite the challenges Jonathan faces because he suffers from microcephaly, he has never let this get in the way of his dreams. He is a dedicated gymnast training four times a week and coaches young children in the sport.’
Jonathan has just returned from Athens with his latest medals. He also went to Delhi with the City of Glasgow to bring home the Commonwealth flag for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. He said: ‘The Olympic Games in London next year will be a huge event and hopefully, will inspire more young people into sport like gymnastics – which have been such a great focus for me all my life. To be part of those Games and to say I was there, would be the icing on the cake.’
Others who feel like this about the Olympic Games next year should get to Braehead fast as nominations must close on Friday this week – 30 September. Or nominate your local unsung hero by visiting the website: samsung.com/london2012 Alternatively, this can be done in local Vodafone stores where the Samsung Olympic Torch Relay nominations zones are available.
If your face fits on Wednesday 17 August, you could become a new model face for Swarovski Crystallized. That’s when the scouting agency Unsigned will be in Glasgow searching for likely models. Their tour of the UK and Ireland started mid-July in Birmingham and finishes 17 cities later, in London on Friday 2 September. International supermodel Helena Christensen will head the judging panel which will include fashion photographer Mariano Vivanco, model Robert Konjic and David Vivirido and Francesco Sourigues who are Editors in Chief of leading men’s magazine Hercules.
Unsignedmodel.search.com will keep everyone up-to-date with the tour including a GPS track on the tour car’s location, daily blogs and the chance for aspiring models to become part of the search by uploading their pix.
In recent years, claims that enforced disappearances, torture and extra judicial executions are taking place in the West African country, have increased. Amnesty International reported in 2008 that Gambia was ruled by Fear.
President Yahya Jammeh who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1994, will not campaign for his own re-election in November because he is so confident of winning, say local commentators. In a recent six-week voter registration exercise, 869,600 people signed up to ensure they will receive a vote. The country has a population of 1.7 million of whom more than a quarter are under voting age.