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“Everyone’s got their chains to break
Were you born to resist or be abused? Is someone getting the best, the best, the best, the best of you?” Foo Fighters

So – I wasn’t going to comment on this campaign but.. I couldn’t help but reflect on the discourse going on before me.  Many strangers and friends have been posting the #metoo hashtag on twitter and Facebook. Male friends stating their shock and support at the amount of people coming forward. And getting ‘likes’ in double numbers.

The  ‘Me too’ hashtag isn’t just about creepy dudes in bathrobes, you know.” (The Independent)

Don’t get me wrong – it’s great that this is coming to the forefront and being discussed. However. I started to reflect a bit deeper on the movement last night. Why is it that men or women posting in support are suddenly being congratulated on supporting the sexual assault campaign? Shouldn’t that support be standard anyway.

The #metoo campaign has evolved after concerns to Harvey Weinstein – a ‘once’ powerful Hollywood producer, who now faces allegations of sexual assault/harrassment. This allegedly also includes two of rape.

Weinstein formed the film production company Miramax with his brother. Think – Pulp FictionClerksGood Will Hunting some of your favourite movies right?

Some of these allegations – made by some of the most powerful female celebrities/icons/models on our screens today lead back to more than two decades ago.

So I came to thinking. Of the Jimmy Saville scandal – and of the widespread public disgust that arose from that.

When asked why nobody did anything, Mr Lemmon said: “I suppose because it was Jimmy.” (Telegraph)

And I ask myself the question – WHAT HAS TAKEN SO LONG????!!!? For the world to listen? If even the most powerful women in our society have fought so long to be heard.. (over two decades) what does this say for the rest of the population who have suffered such trauma (male and female).

The #metoo hashtag was actually created by 44-year-old activist Tarana Burke ten years ago. She founded the campaign as a grass-roots movement to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities. As a way to connect with #survivors with #survivors. (Ebony Mag)

I look to the Hollywood actors and actresses speaking out and starting a much needed conversation as well as many other celebrities that have made their stories of sexual violence known by using the “me too” hashtag, starting a much needed domino effect. And I commend them. And you!

Because it’s an uncomfortable topic. That is ignored all (most/a lot) of the time.

I recently read the recent post on The Independent  which offers an interesting alternative perspective on the matter talks about “being shunned as a whistleblower”.

It seems very easy to write disgust at assault on Facebook and get a few hundred likes but. What will actually change?

Whilst Facebook is a powerful tool – and writing in solidarity is great and that the ‘me too’ hashtag is a good start, I worry that it could dangerously minimalize the importance of the topic if not careful.

And I mean, by forgetting those that suffer in silence. Those whose first validation of exposure – at rape or sexual assault – who might write a ‘#metoo’ post.. that it might be ignored. Or passed by. And those that are perhaps even too ashamed to write the first letter ‘M’ on their social media site.

“According to a study by the NSPCC on young people (aged between 13–18), a third of girls and 16 percent of boys have experienced sexual violence and that as many as 250,000 teenage girls are suffering from abuse at any one time. 12 percent of boys and 3 percent of girls reported committing sexual violence against their partners.” (Wonderslist)

And those that have had to face their perpertrators in court. That are too afraid to speak out. That don’t get their voices heard due to not being passed through the CPS system. Those shunned. Those so overwhelmed with shame to say anything. Anything at all. Despite knowing verbally that it wasn’t/isn’t their fault. And those – too young to even know the words that fit the description of what is happening to them.

“we love celebrities because they are an integral part of culture. They have made it in the worldview we are so entrenched in. By worshipping them (to an extent), we feel as if we are participating in this hugely important cause/belief system. And that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, and like our life matters” (Pyschology today)

And I question – as this mirrors the whirlwind of the Jimmy Saville scandal once again –  why has it taken a case like Harvey Weinstein’s to get something like this moving? Does it feel more close to home the further away it is? What about the girl or boy next door. Or indeed in other countries.. where women can be sent to prison for being raped.

“With an estimated of 500,000 rape cases every year, the country has one of the highest rate of Rape Crimes in the world. It is estimated that more than 40% of South African women will be raped in their lifetime.”

And I find myself pondering – perhaps – it is those that are famous and on our TV screens – that can actually really change things. And I accept that, that is the way society is built. And I commend the bravery coming from those places. For whilst, these men and women might be ‘famous’ I’m sure the evidence that appears; of the length of time that even the most powerful amongst us struggle to be heard – well. That is very telling. And aren’t we all simply humans?

And so as someone said to me once “you have shamed shame”. And to you I urge… Keep it up. For the path to victory, is rarely linear, let’s hope the Weinstein case will be a change in history for millions of women and men around the world.

And as a friend posted on Facebook after disclosing ‘not that it will actually change anything’. I feel her anger and I too, can quite often retreat into a state of despair. But like he say’s in #shawshankredemption

“Remember, Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” #ohDearyme

Peace and love.

Becki Bx

I follow other #survivors on Twitter campaigning endlessly for better rights for #survivors – including Ian McFadyen , Sammy Woodhouse , David Lean who tirelessly campaign for the rights of #survivors and I commend their work.

It is not aimed to offend – just a blog about the general confusion that quite often appears in my head. 

 

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It’s been a very difficult week for a lot of people living in West London. A lot of people have lost their lives in the Grenfell Tower tragedy. And then there are the friends and family that have been directly affected in what has been a very tragic and upsetting event.

As a resident of the Kensington and Chelsea borough – and as a part time volunteer at Citizens Advice – I found myself – in some unexpected situations I could not have predicted.

This included interviewing (very briefly) Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, meeting an amazing filmmaker called Janey Ayoade who was helping a strong activist called Neville by filming his story. Briefly meeting Peaky Saku and his friends working as best they could/can to help. Experiencing Mustafa Almansur attempting to collate and lead a committee (due to the Council not being seen anywhere at this point), and hearing the name Ishmahil Blahgrove spoken everywhere I went (I haven’t met him)… but I think he is a brilliant speaker rising up against the mainstream media.

And then there’s the famous face of Lily Allen. Who I met briefly, obviously deeply upset and passionate about helping and using the voice she has to vocalise what she saw. Maybe (and I can only really speculate) aware of her status and not wanting to make the situation about her. The ‘dancing on the fine line of trying to help and intentions being misconstrued’ and taking a lot of flack from the media – one has to be a very strong character to take that on board. 

And then let us not forget the children affected. Ryan Faraji and Tina Faraji aged 6 and 8. Ryan who lost his best friend Yacob. A voice of perspective for his generation. Too young to understand how powerful his message is to the rest of us.

There is a lot to write about this event. But I will not write it all now. I felt as an independent blogger/filmmaker that it was important to capture what was happening, on the ground. Firstly, because I didn’t feel that the media were reporting it authentically. And secondly, because when these families and residents look back on this. They may want to see and reflect on what went on. One day.

I have noted a few names up there. People trying to help. Let it be noted. There are a lot of people not mentioned here trying as best they can, with whatever they can to help as much as they can. This does not take away from the fact that this event – has affected so many people and has been an extremely tragic and heart wrenching situation. And it will always be about those people affected.

Whether I have done the right or wrong thing with capturing these moments. Well. That is arguable and I questioned that myself. And to be honest I don’t know the answer to that. But I did it with the best intention. An attempt to create a ripple effect in the right direction. I felt it was the right thing to do – whilst the media are putting out heavily edited footage.

The trauma that residents are going through is and will be huge. An Iranian woman that survived passed out during an interview with the BBC whilst describing the event to a reporter (which Kimia Zabihyan who was translating at the time claims was never broadcast). Kimia related that the woman wanted her story to be told. Why? Because it was so shockingly traumatic – almost in an unbelievable way (as in – is this really happening in Great Britain today?) that she felt it was important to tell her story.

But for now – above is a ten minute unedited clip and pictures I took, through my eyes.

Unedited – so that. Well you can make your own mind up.

To all those who have lost their lives. Rest in peace. My thoughts are with those directly affected. I’m sorry that this happened to you.

Best,

Becki BXx

#westlondonstrong #grenfelltower

 

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“Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads.”

The excitement over the last few days (in my world) has been mainly around the acquiring of Secret Cinema tickets to… Back to the Future! I had my first Secret Cinema experience a few weeks ago. Which totally blew my mind. I had obviously heard of the event – but hadn’t realised that one was totally immersed in the setting of the film for quite a few hours before the actual viewing. All mobiles off. Secret location. NO PICS ALLOWED.. let’s not ruin this for everyone else sorta thing.

Marty McFly: Whoa. Wait a minute, Doc. Are you trying to tell me that my mother has got the hots for me?

Dr. Emmett Brown: Precisely.

Marty McFly: Whoa. This is heavy.

Dr. Emmett Brown: There’s that word again. “Heavy.” Why are things so heavy in the future? Is there a problem with the Earth’s gravitational pull?

With each participant dressed up in character the event was better than I had imagined. So. When tickets came up for Back to the Future.. there was no question about it. This event was/is definitely going to be… ‘sick’ as they/we/people say in 2014.

Back to the Future was previously released in July 3, 1985 and actually at the time, Zemeckis was concerned the film was going to be a massive flop. But instead it spent 11 weeks at number one in the cinematic charts. And more than 25 years later Back to the Future is still as hot as ever: 

Secret Cinema’s upcoming immersive screening for Back to the Future has broken a world record for ticket sales and the event will recreate Back to the Future‘s Hill Valley in a London location in what has been billed as the biggest live cinema event in history. (Digital Spy)

With the set being built, excitement builds with hope and great expectations. Will they for example be able to recreate Hover Boards?

Hoverboard-water

And whilst one ponders the outcome and counts down to July,  time will be spent searching for the perfect Back to the Future outfit. Man. I haven’t been this excited since. 1985. And first off, I want to start with a pair of these:

nike

George, Lorraine, Doc, Biff, Strickland see you in… Back to the Future. 

TO BE CONTINUED…

@ohdearyme

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Set in 1962, six years after her celebrated Wedding of the Century, Grace of Monaco is an intimate snapshot of a year in the life of the twentieth century’s most iconic Princess – Grace Kelly – as she strived to reconcile her past and her present, a yearning for a return to the big screen with her newfound role as a mother of two, monarch of a European principality and wife to Prince Ranier III.

While contemplating overtures from Alfred Hitchcock to return to her career in Hollywood, Grace found herself plunged into a personal crisis when Rainier’s modernization of an ailing Monaco was halted by Charles de Gaulle – the French President – and his attempts to not only impose French taxation on Monaco, but reclaim the principality for France by force.

The full-blown international crisis and impending French invasion that loomed – would pose a crisis not just for her family, her marriage and her country, but in Grace’s private life. It would become the moment in which a cinematic icon, an American far from home, would have to face a tough decision – return to her celebrated status as a movie star, globally loved and adored, or accept that she will never act again, embrace her new role and her new identity, her duty to her husband, her children, and the world’s second smallest country that has now become her home.

Grace of Monaco is a real-life fairytale, a sweeping romance, a portrait of the cinematic legend of Princess Grace and a realization that love is much more than a passion, but an obligation. 

Grace of Monaco released in the UK today –  June 6th.

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Awww it’s CG animated Snoopy!!! CUTE!!! Not out til 2015 though. Anticipate THAT!

We shall be patient together.

Becki Bx

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