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birds eye view

  • Posted by howies
  • 19 February 2010

On my lunch breaks I really enjoy trawling through the internet to find what random events are going on in London. 

Well today I stumbled across this film festival Birds Eye View- celebrating women filmmakers.  It's on at the BFI Southbank from the 4th- 12th March. (tickets are on sale through their website)

They have some amazing UK film premieres, that even if you cannot make it to the event are well worth a look.  I particuarly want to watch Amreeka- the story of a mother and son immigrating to the US in a post 9/11 world.  This film was written and directed by Cherien Dabis, Palistinian herself but brought up in the States.  Should be really thought provoking!

Here's a trailer for the festival itself... ;feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Robin B(w)ankers Vs Robin Hood

  • Posted by tim
  • 10 February 2010


This is a very short little clip and possibly a huge idea, worth the time to see if Robin Hood is coming back? Your call.


Click here for the website.

Wee Do - Shared Interest


here's a taster of the Shared Interest lecture we had at the shop last week, there was some very interesting stuff about how a Fairtrade Co-operative really works.

information about our next talk will be up here shortly!

Banks and Bartering

  • Posted by howies
  • 4 February 2010

The naughty banks have been in the press a lot lately, but do you know how they came to be in the first place?

Once upon a time, well, in the in the middle ages to be exact, Venetian merchants relied on gold as a standard value to prevent the limitations of  barter (I imagine carrying a lot of chickens around with you to exchange for bread and honey would have been quite annoying!)

At sea their stores of gold would be vulnerable to pirates, so some ingenious people set up strong vaults and offered to look after the merchant's gold for them while they were at sea. So that no gold had to be moved by the merchants, they gave out 'promissory notes' in exchange for goods, essentially promising that the vendor could collect the merchant's gold from the vault. The notes soon took on the same value as the gold as vendors just passed them between one another.

The newly established 'bankers' then realised that the gold wasn't leaving thevaults so they would sneakily lend it out to other people and charge them interest, thereby starting the now familiar magic trick of creating money out of nothing by lending money that wasn't even theirs.

This system was regularised by the Banking Acts in the early nineteenth century and has been accepted ever since. The End ......

Or, can we go back to the good ole fashioned barter system? A customer the other day did offer the jacket off  his own back in exchange for the Cuddy shrit that Will was wearing...it turns out the jacket wasn't entirely his as he still owed his friend a shirt in exchange! Maybe this customer was a banker?!


  • Posted by howies
  • 2 February 2010

So Tim mentioned I would be unveiling something the other day.

We have started a blog over on tumblr. Everyday we will post a photo from our window of the transition from field to concrete. In the previous week things have really kicked off. Despite numerous protests and objections by the local community, the development has gone ahead.

Click here to view the blog.


I'm no expert on this but are the banks obligated to pay back the cash the Government gave them? Billy thinks so and tells us why here. Poor bugger must be regretting Red Wedge by now.

Shared Interest is a co-operative lending society that aims to reduce poverty in the world by providing fair and just financial services. We have been part of the fair trade movement for 20 years and work extensively with community-based businesses in Africa and other continents to help them make the most of fair trade.

We work primarily by providing finance up front to producers, often via their buyers, to enable them to buy raw materials, tools and the other things they need at the time they need them. We also offer longer term loans and other credit facilities to support the development of fair trade businesses.

We currently have more than 8,700 members who have invested over £25 million to allow us to make a range of financial services available to fair trade producers and the businesses that buy, market and retail their goods.

There's plenty more info here on the Shared Interest website.

It is taking place on Tuesday, 26th January at 7:30pm here at the Carnaby Street shop, drop us an email at [email protected] or give us a ring on 0207 287 2345 and reserve your tickets. As always we will have Organic Beer and Fruit Juice available, and we look forward to seeing you all!

Staircase Gallery- James Whitaker

This morning our Graham Carter exhibition came down and James Whitaker came in to put up his photography exhibition "After Redundancy".


He originally got in touch with us back in July about a project he was working on.

"On the 20th March 2009 The Guardian reported that the Royal Institute of British Architect's president, Sunand Prasad, said that in his estimation 30% of architects were currently unemployed or underemployed.   On 1st April 2009 I was made redundant from a prominent design studio in London and decided to set out alone as a freelance photographer.
A couple of weeks ago I was talking to friends and started to realise just how diverse architects reactions to redundancy have been.   Some have found architectural work again, while others have turned to teaching or academia, labour on sites, medical admin, others have become artists, restaurateurs, chefs, photographers, lighting designers, web journalists...   the list goes on.
So since then I have been working on a photography project taking portraits of architects who have been made redundant within the last twelve months documenting the new directions that it has taken them.   My aim is to gather around 30 portraits in total by the start of September."

His prints will be up for the next month, so come by and check it out.  They are really stunning prints with a really apt concept.

The value of Jobs

  • Posted by howies
  • 14 December 2009

Interesting article over on the BBC about a study by the New Economics Foundation on the value of jobs.

Check out these crazy stats

Advertising executives

The industry "encourages high spending and indebtedness. It can create insatiable aspirations, fuelling feelings of dissatisfaction, inadequacy and stress. For a salary of between £50,000 and £12m top advertising executives destroy £11 of value for every pound in value they generate".

Childcare workers

"Both for families and society as a whole, looking after children could not be more important. As well as providing a valuable service for families, they release earnings potential by allowing parents to continue working. For every pound they are paid they generate up to £9.50 worth of benefits to society."

Click here to read the article.

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