This corner is where you find links to thinkers, doers, dreamers, artists and deviants on the right side of history (no, I didn’t mean influencers): it’s kind of random, with a little central spine to guide your wanderings through these creative resources….. enjoy
Recently I’ve been reading ‘renegade economist’ Kate Raworth https://www.kateraworth.com/ – well-written donut analysis for beginners like me who want to understand the power of business, but are secretly intimidated by the idea of economics. Good to know this stuff
Kate Raworth led me to another renegade, Korean economist Ha Joon Chang: http://hajoonchang.net/ – who’s modest website contains the sublime phrase, “I’m afraid many of you may be disappointed. I don’t do extreme sports, I’m not a high-tech buff…. I don’t even do gardening.” What he does is write books, 15 so far, including “Bad Samaritans, rich nations, poor policies and the threat to the developing world”. Exactly.
Moving on, I am inspired by Shawn Zhang, student activist who has tracked Xinjiang re-education camps across China using Google Earth: https://medium.com/@shawnwzhang
His relentless online searches have added to the body of credible evidence of the scale of camps where 10% of Uyghur people in China are imprisoned.
Activist Karen Ingala Smith has established this stark, heart-breaking online record of women in the UK killed by men: https://kareningalasmith.com/counting-dead-women/ – read it, and weep. And rage. Because the number of women in the UK being murdered by men they know, including lovers and ex-partners, is rising. Women’s Aid reports that domestic abuse has been escalating under lockdown across the UK.
If you want to combine giving to a great cause with learning, look no further than Natakallam – “We talk” which offers online conversation classes for rusty Arabic, French and Spanish speakers. You brush-up your language skills with refugees from Arabic, French or Spanish speaking countries: it’s a good price, a great cause (funds go straight to the conversation teachers) and Natakallam is expanding across the world. I’ve been studying with them for nearly five years and my Arabic is much better! My teacher is a Syrian refugee now living in Italy, and has become a good friend. The website will glide you through class and language options.
Apart from studying and working, I’ve spent quite a lot of this lockdown reading in my attic. One of my favourites quarantine reads has been the unconventional and tragically short life of Isabel Eberhardt: https://bit.ly/37Ze6c0. Born in Switzerland in 1877, she was a cross-dresser, experienced drug taker and transgressor of boundaries, as well as a fabulous drama queen. “No-one has ever lived more from day to day than I, or been more dependent upon chance..” she mused. Isabel abandoned Switzerland age twenty and moved to Algeria. She crossed the Algerian Sahara by horseback dressed as a man, married a young Algerian soldier, and caught the wrath of the French (who tried to assassinate her).
Isber (as I call her) became a journalist worked, wrote furiously about France’s occupation of Algeria and got increasingly ravaged by drugs and drink. Isabel drowned in a freak desert flash flood that swept away her house in October 1904, when she was just twenty seven. Her Book, The Nomad, https://bit.ly/2VrfYaQ is dramatic, attention seeking and beautifully written.
Do contact and share your thoughts and ideas, I’d love to hear from you: this page will be a mosaic of what’s possible when we don’t just think outside the box, but put it to one side, and create our own….