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A ‘Happy’ Protest

Layla Anna Lee |

A group of savvy protestors from Porto Alegre, Brasil, have made a fun video clip drawing attention to their complaints.

Porto Alegre is home to Estádio Beira-Rio, a R$290 Million World Cup stadium that is not yet completed… like many of the public services in the area.

In this video, the joyful protesters draw attention to local construction that’s been on ‘indefinite pause’ due to World Cup strains; roads left unfinished, traffic problems and issues with public transport.

Twerking in abandoned construction sites and clapping through rush hour traffic, the (UN)Happy protestors use the Pharell Williams track ‘Happy’ to express their juxtaposing dancing displeasure.

Oh dear Brasil

Layla Anna Lee |

 

 

It has only been a matter of weeks since FIFA’s Secretary General Jerome Valcke called the Arena Da Baizada World Cup Stadium in Curitiba an ‘Emergency Situation’ but now, upon revisiting the site, he claims to be happy with current efforts and has confirmed the stadium will take part in this years World Cup… despite being massively behind schedule.

Dilma Rousseff, Brasil’s president, has full confidence in her nation’s preparations claiming that current delays are “relatively simple” to sort.

Whilst all eyes have been on Sochi, Brasil have masterminded a media turnaround and all of a sudden we’re apparently ready. The rest of the world have taken a positive view and are now listening to the politicians in hard hats surrounded by rubble saying, “Look! Isn’t it lovely?”.

No it’s not. 4 weeks hasn’t turned anything major around and we’re still in trouble.

The high speed rail links Dilma promised haven’t even started – we don’t expect them to, they have been neatly shelved alongside the airport upgrades and a box titled ‘future false promises’.

Protests are still causing mayhem – although decreased in size they still bug the policing system and an online drive for larger World Cup timed protests looms.

But let’s return to one building in particular that emphasises Brasil’s delays.

These photos of Arena Da Baixada in Curitiba were taken on the 18th and 20th of February 2014… yes that’s this February and under four months until the stadiums’ first game.

 

 

This structure needs to be completed inside 118 days.

 

 

Only 2700 hours and counting.

 

 

What do you think?

At the end of the day us Brazilians only really need grass and a few toilets to make the whole World Cup fiesta function. It WILL happen and it WILL be the most incredible World Cup, however despite our President’s confidence and Valcke’s change of heart – to many of us Brazilians this is still most definitely an ‘emergency situation’.

Below the architect’s vision of Arena da Baixada.

 

 

Image rights www.arenacap.com.br

Suicide Survivors

Layla Anna Lee |

Stephen Manderson aka Professor Green has been in the news this week promoting what he should proudly consider one of his greatest achievements to date.

A documentary about Suicide.

6 years ago Stephen’s father committed suicide. After years of painfully varied emotions Stephen has chosen to use his public voice to draw attention to the fact that it is OK to be down. He wants to make changes to society’s mindset and even our education. Changes that could help someone who’s in a dark place know that there is an avenue for life.

Dr. A. Baleck teaches “The one thing we can be sure of in life is that there will be change.”

Stephen explains “In happiness there will be change. Nothing is permanent. In sadness there will be change. Nothing is permanent”

One psychiatrist on the show tells us that “Suicide is a very permanent solution to a temporary problem”

The thought provoking documentary SUICIDE SURVIVORS is on BBC Radio 1 every Monday at 9pm and takes you on a journey alongside Stephen’s own story to meet real survivors of attempted suicides. Joined by top doctors and psychiatrists Stephen asks what can we do to help others, and prevent ourselves from feeling so lost.

I highly recommend you listen to it. I am unbelievably proud of Stephen and his beautiful words on the show have already touched thousands. Pass it forward x

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03q0xdx

One Great Little Project

Layla Anna Lee |

When The Great British Farm Project posted a status on their facebook page about wanting to make an animal calendar I immediately knew I could do something.

One of my closest friends is an amazing photographer, I work in the creative media industry and I honestly believed that using the contacts I had, I could enable this to actually happen.

I wasn’t sure quite who or how – especially when it came to actually printing the final product. I have never made a calendar before, but I just knew I was in a place where I was surrounded by the talents that the Great British Farm Project were in need of.

The GBFP had faith and agreed to let me take on the challenge. I was straight on the phone to my favourite two men. Richard Cullen and Tom Leishman.

Richard is a ‘Can do’ guy. Short time scales and pressures don’t phase him, say the words ‘Oh and I need it all for Free’ and he doesn’t even blink. Richard has worked with the most incredible talents and runs the beautifully artistic Saint Kidd clothing line. He knows other ‘can do’ people and he has a heart of gold. Add a love for animals and he’s my perfect man!

 

Tom Leishman is an award winning photographer, well known for his music photography and having worked with the likes of Maroon 5, McFly, The Saturdays and more recently McBusted! Tom is a long time friend and an undeniable talent, despite the fact that he had never photographed animals before, he was our obvious first choice.

Actually the fact that he had no experience photographing animals appealed to us because we wanted to create a calendar like no other.

The Charity calendar market is swamped. We’ve all seen a cute creature calendar. Dogs of all shapes and sizes, chickens on bales of hay and cats in silly hats.

We had to make sure the Great British Farm Project calendar was something different.

We wanted to be honest to the farm and true to the animals stories. These are rescue animals. Not camera trained performers.

With the gentle care of GBFP founders Stephen and Tracy and some tasty treats each months star stood still, looked straight down the lens and gave us their time…Looking back, it’s almost as if they knew it was for a good cause, as if they knew it was for them!

(Apart from Brenda – she was a diva)

Talent, time, a good heart and a little bit of faith mean’t we got the most beautiful images. On the drive back to London we were inspired and shooting off emails to every contact we had. Friends and work mates pulled in the favours and everyone came together.

With the wonderful talents and generosity of those named below we actually made it happen. They all took the promise I made to the Great British Farm Project and made sure I fulfilled it.

Thank You.

This calendar was produced entirely on kindness. Therefore every penny goes to the GBFP.

100% of sales goes to the animals.

Get yours today and pop one in a stocking for a friend.

Only £10!

CLICK HERE TO BUY CALENDAR

 

Thank You:

Tom Leishman,

Graphic designer Kate Stretton – KateLoveDesign

Artist Amelia Tindall

Richard Cullen

Calumet Rental

Live Nation and Saint Kidd Clothing Co

We DID IT!

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