Brexit-since the June 23rd, 2016 referendum result, in which 52% of Britain voted to leave the European Union, this six lettered word has continued to send shock waves throughout Britain and much of the world. I’ll now try to sum up the most interesting highlights since 2016’s momentous result.
In January 2017 The Woke Network was borne out of frustration of the lack of online news network that represented young people from ethnic minorities & lower socio-economic backgrounds. With over 1,800 visitors TWN has established itself as an online platform for young people to express themselves. We now want to expand our mission from online to offline.
In two to three years, year 10 and 11 pupils will be given the right to vote, with no or little prior political education. We carried out primary data of questionnaires 75% of those asked said politics should a compulsory taught GCSE, reflecting the assigned value people put on political education. Although our workshops will not be as extensive as a Politics GCSE due to time, they will spur the political interests of young people; equip them with the necessary confidence and knowledge to empower them to become politically engaged citizens.
The work of political engagement workshops is needed as politics is only becoming more complicated. As time progresses, the longer one is political uneducated, the harder it will be to understand and participate in the current political climate. University taught me politics is anywhere where there is a difference in opinion. Young people need to understand this, and understand that their opinions should be valued as much as anyone else and voices should be heard, despite how seemingly small they may seem. The last 26 months has shown how exciting politics can be, from the UK’s vote to leave the EU, to Trump becoming elected, to a snap general election- it is impossible to avoid politics.
This upcoming academic term, The Woke Network will be launching youth-led political engagement workshops to inspire young people on how to become socially aware and active citizens.
Wokeshops aim is simple: to equip young people with the necessary knowledge and confidence on how to become active citizens.
If you are a Secondary School in London interested in receiving a free Wokeshop, a business or organisation interested in sponsoring this not-for-profit, an organisation interested in providing opportunities for young people by joining our partner network or someone who wants to help deliver the Political Engagement Workshops then please check out the below link.
What do you get when you mix exotic wood with a man who lives for attention to detail? You get In The Grain, Darren Appiagyei’s, product design company which specialises in bespoke wooden pieces to cater to your tastes.
In The Grain is a design company which aim is to give unique experiences through wood.
One of the key components of In The Grain is the exploration of exotic woods, with there being an emphasis on analysis, malleability and understanding of material in order to create a functional object.
The Man Behind the Wood
Born and raised in South London, Darren’s pieces meticulously bring together contemporary styles with exotic classic designs. All of his pieces are designed, carved and crafted in his Cockpit Arts Deptford workshop where his passion is materialised.
We caught up with Darren to see where he gets his inspiration from
Darren:“I would say I get my inspiration from nature, it’s intrinsic beauty, its rawness and unforgiving nature.”
Darren is of Ghanaian descent so we asked him if his heritage influences his designs
Darren:“In The Grain is highly inspired by Ghanaian wood carving the rawness, exploration of texture and spiritual significance associated with every piece made.”
It’s clear Darren likes what nature has to offer, especially woods, some of Darren’s favourite woods to work with are the African Blackwood, Banksia nut, cork oak, Cat paw oak and many other woods. It’s also reassuring that Darren is proud of his African heritage and uses it to fuel his creativity.
Still trying to get the root of his passion, we asked him why wood design is his chosen craft.
Darren:“I find woodturning very therapeutic, starting from scratch with a piece of wood in it’s natural state and just embracing the wood for what it is, shaping and carving the wood to complement its beauty.”
There is a beauty in creation, imagining something and using your skills to physically bring this conception to life. Darren is clearly passionate about the power of creation.
Darren is about to begin his summer tours, exhibiting around London.
Where to see him next?
Over the next two weeks you can catch Darren and his exotic pieces and one of the following places:
With all these dates to catch Darren we wanted to ask what can people expect at his exhibitions
Darren:“I think what people can expect is a collection of bowls and vessels demonstrating beauty, which doesn’t have to be refined, polished or neat. That there is so much beauty in the rawness of wood, the wonders of wood is amazing we just have to embrace it.”
Darren answers all of his questions with such grace and vigour, a true artist in every sense of the word. So we had to try and throw him off with our last question by asking what came first the seed or the tree.
Darren: “The seed is the thought, with a thought nothing can be developed!”
He doesn’t disappoint come along to find out what makes In The Grain a cut above the rest.
Last Friday saw the Greater London Authority’s Peer Outreach team host a stakeholder engagement workshop with academic Professor Robert J Chaskin of The University of Chicago and UNESCO Chair for Inclusive Urbanism. He discussed his research and it was a chance for people who had an interest in engaging urban youth with politics to access his findings and feed into his research.
Four young South Londoners got tired of the lack of diverse media representation, so thought of an ingenious way to raise awareness about the issue, but what’s the point and why does representation matter?
Wakanda, the fictional nation that came to life for thousands of people all over the world who were lucky enough to watch Black Panther. This Marvel breakout film was finely woven to illustrate how a different culture and politics can still have an impact in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although a fictional story, I think it contains two underlying truths that African leaders would do well to grasp.
Yesterday France International and Athletico Madrid footballer Antoine Griezmann showed how culturally insensitive he is too black people all over the world, as well as his teammates with African ethnicities by painting his skin ‘black’.
Love him or not, everyone has an opinion about Robert Mugabe. Whether you think he is one of Africa’s greatest freedom fighters who is unafraid to spit in the corrupt face of colonialism, or whether you think he is the corrupt face of an African freedom fighter turned dictator- Mugabe’s 37-year tenure will go down in history.