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Flickr: Santiago Gamero

Flickr: Santiago Gamero

I found this photographer whilst blogging, and really love his photography work. I’ve always had a huge interest in people, as a study, and whenever I’ve drawn or photographed something, it’s always been people-based. Fantastic work!

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…and then they came for the trans* people.

…and then they came for the trans* people.

Written by Mhairi McAlpine in Europe, Gender, Greece, Internationalism, Kyriarchy,Sexuality

 

“Operation Zeus in August last year marked the start of an ugly reminder of a European past that we thought we had long buried.  Nearly 60 years after the end of the Second European War, migrants were round up from the streets of Greece and shoved unceremoniously into internment camps.  In May, women working in the sex industry were pulled from the streets, forcibly tested for HIV, publically humilitated and imprisoned.  In March, they rounded up drug users from the streets of Athens and put them too into camps.  Last month in Thessaloniki they came for transgendered people.

On the 30th of May, the Greek authorities stepped up their cleansing of the streets of the undesirables.  The daily checks of papers, papers, papers whenever someone non-white encounters a police officer sees numerous migrants hauled to police stations, and manyimprisoned in one of the hellholes that pass for the detention camps of Greece.  In April alone 10, 000 people were stopped in these checks, and there are currently 5, 000 languishing in the official camps with an unknown number in temporary facilities such as police cells and shipping containers.  Last month Dendias announced a doubling of the capacity of these camps, although with no commitment to closing the alternative facilities.

Greek citizens, drugs users, homeless people and women working in the sex industry, have also been targeted under these sweeps where they are hauled to police stations, forcibly tested for HIV and in some cases imprisoned among with the migrants in the internment camps.  As the graffiti is cleaned off the shop facades in anticipation of the summer tourist influx, the streets are being cleansed of undesirables.

On the 30th of May, a new group of undesirables was identified.  Trans gender people. For the last week, daily raids have been taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city.  Under the pretense that of checking that the person is not involved in the sex industry trans people are being rounding up and arrested.  Their details are taken and they are detained for several hours.  On release they are warned that if they did not “return to normal” they would be arrested for public indecency.

This is not the first time that trans people have been targeted in Greece, in August last year, 25 trans women were arrested and force to undergo HIV testing and charged with prostitution offenses, in April, finally, the last of this group was acquitted.  This is however a new and sustained campaign against trans people, some of whom were stopped driving their cars and accused of sexual impropriety.

In May, the official broadcast to publicise Athens Pride was banned as it included a lesbian kiss, while in Thessaloniki, the  Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Church described Pride as an “unholy and unnatural event”, urging citizens not to take their children and indicating that he would like to see the event shut down.  At the end of last year gay men were repeated assaulted by member of the Golden Dawn, sometimes armed with knifes, in the wake of the violent and vicious rabble that saw the opening of the play “Corpus Christi” besieged by Nazis.  One MP from the fascist Golden Dawn attacked a journalist, punching him in the face and screeching after him as he escaped “You run away you faggot, you ass-muncher“, while the police silently watched.

This new escalation follows a familiar pattern of harassment, false imprisonment, detention, and arrests.  The experiences of migrants, drug users and women in the sex industry are all testimony to the deliberate targeting of marginalised groupings.   The pink triangle isn’t just a cool emblem, but a reminder that we’ve seen it all before.  We said never again – only it IS happening again….and one-by-one the people who may have spoken up disappear.”

 

This deeply saddens me. How can parts of the world (I’m also talking to you, RUSSIA!) still be SO ignorant and full of hatred?! Makes me so grateful to live in the UK.

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Heart vs Mind: What Makes Us Human?

Heart vs Mind: What Makes Us Human?

Just watched this amazing documentary!

The beginning was very interesting where scientists and museum experts explained the role of the heart throughout society, from Egyptians to philosophers and doctors. It’s wonderful how far research has developed.

It’s strange how the majority of speakers in this documentary kept on saying how most people just see the heart as a pump, but I’ve never thought of it like that. I’ve always thought that the heart and the brain work together (the brain being dominant, of course), because I’ve felt a link myself. I’ve felt heart flutters when I see my boyfriend, I’ve felt heart pain when grieving, being upset or ‘heart broken’. I’ve also always believed that one can die of a broken heart.

The beginning of the documentary, however, did make me think more about my heart and how it works. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it much before, and the importance of its role, but seeing a live one beat and being shown the workings of the heart was extremely interesting. It made me want to take better care of my heart!

The part about the heart also having neurones was fascinating. Seeing as the brain has neurones, which we associate with neurology – information, senses etc, it’s amazing that the heart has neurones too. For me, that’s pretty evidential that the heart has some involvement with how we think.

Anyway, I could carry on, but I don’t want to ruin it! Highly recommend this documentary, even if you do not know much about the body, the heart, psychology…

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The Spot: Death by Cable Switch today or spiral into misery, self-loathing and despair, DirecTV warns in hilarious ads from Grey By Tim Nudd

Death by Cable Switch

“IDEA: Having cable inevitably leads to misery, self-destruction and personal degradation. You lose everything and shave your head for money. You get beat up and left in a roadside ditch. You run into Charlie Sheen and reenact scenes from Platoon with him. You fake your own death and attend your funeral in disguise. Grey’s new DirecTV campaign (seven ads since January, with two more on the way) was initially meant to highlight features of the satellite-TV service that are superior to cable. But the creatives stumbled on a darkly comic structure for ads that seemed better suited to a broader attack—with each spot’s hero having a cable problem that snowballs into bigger woes, leaving his life in tatters. “We thought, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if this annoying cable issue spiraled into a domino effect of events that turned into total awfulness for you?’ “ said Grey associate creative director Steven Fogel. Indeed, it has become, with the help of director Tom Kuntz, the funniest ad campaign of the year.

COPYWRITING: The latest spot is narrated, like the others, by an earnest, serious voiceover that describes the scenes as they unfold. “When you wait forever for the cable guy, you get bored,” he says. “When you get bored, you start staring out windows. When you start staring out windows, you see things you shouldn’t see.” (Our hero sees a body being loaded into a trunk.) “When you see things you shouldn’t see, you need to vanish. When you need to vanish, you fake your own death.” (He swims away from a boat on fire.) “When you fake your own death, you dye your eyebrows. And when you dye your eyebrows, you attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil Shifley. Don’t attend your funeral as a guy named Phil Shifley”.”

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcYWvvv75dM&feature=youtu.be%5D [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93CsOgvNUoE&feature=youtu.be%5D

Oh my, these ads are great! It’s like they’re mocking their own advertising strategy by claiming that you need to buy this, otherwise bad things will happen. Amazing.

There should be a UK version!

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NSPCC Dummy Child Abuse Advert

NSPCC Dummy Child Abuse Advert

One of my favourite adverts. I love all of the NSPCC adverts, I think they’re fantastic. And I’m not being biased just because it’s Saatchi & Saatchi!

I also love this one (another oldie):

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFtRuBdtMmw%5D
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