Drinking the Apple Cider and Thinking the Thoughts


To You,

Autumn and its cool breezy self has crept its way into our lives, and with it brings clarity for thought, contemplation, and recollection.

I’ve been living in the United States for over a year now, and my goodness, what a year. I’ve been encapsulated by the explosion (and implosion) of culture, social and political conflict, and the perpetuating missile that is the regression of society. And we’re now at the  door of another presidential election, one of which is quite possibly the most ridiculous and frightening scene I’ve ever witnessed on reality TV. [.. oh that’s right, it’s just reality. Shit.]

It’s been a year to think about the dichotomy of independence and relationship; recognition and practice vs. tolerance; tradition and progression. I haven’t mastered the balancing act of these things, and if nothing else I grow more and more passionate over finding my ground and landing that dismount with firm confidence.

It’s been a tiring year. Culturally, I feel out of place. And not because of my own culture and heritage by any means, but more so because of the fear that exists around our differences. Black Lives Matter – “Well then tell me why All Lives don’t matter?” Fight against rape culture – “Maybe women are just too sensitive.” Refugees need saving – “But they’ll kill our economy, and maybe even us.”

There’s much to discuss, and even more to listen to and think about. I know my frustration and empowerment of these topics can get old to some, but that’s when I think maybe I’m in need of a different people.

Peace and love,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

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Response to Senate Bill 101 (the Religious Freedom Restoration Act) Being Signed into Law today in the state of Indiana


Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the state of Indiana today, which has resulted in many people crying out in anger, frustration, and disgust.

I am in the midst of moving to Indiana to where my husband and his family reside, and although I continue to be disappointed by not only my own bigoted experiences from when I lived in Indiana, but now the open allowance for equality and recognition for all citizens to be legally ignored, I encourage people to not look to abandon the state, but continue to fight for what is being taken away from them – their rights to equality. Fight it with intelligence. Fight it with knowledge. Fight it with your hearts. Fight it with legitimate respect for those being discriminated against, and not immature rebuttal of obnoxious acts and words which will only bring further disrespect to the argument. Do not fight with hate, do not fight with ignorance. 

This is not Republicans versus Democrats – not all Republicans agree, although perhaps the majority did. This bill will only bring light to businesses who choose to open their doors and their cash registers to those fitting within a small hole of uneducated bigots. This is not a Christian bill, a religious bill, nor a Conservative bill, but merely a bill of asinine proportions belonging to those who feel the need to have their hateful discriminations validated.

Governor Pence declared that there was nothing discriminatory about this bill, and that it merely supports the religious rights and beliefs of Indiana residents. Human Rights law already does so, however without isolating the category of rights needing protected, because there are no such categories when it comes to believing in rights for ALL. Just because one cannot take you to court for refusing service to a kind of individual does not protect your revenue.

I am more than disappointed in Indiana’s government, but I am proud of my friends and family and all those who reside in that state – my future home state – who will and are putting their foot down and raising their voices to illuminate the desire for equality, for respect, and for social justice. And to those politicians who signed the bill – your job was and is to protect each and every one of your citizens, and you have adamantly failed in signing such an atrocity of a bill; you have protected a singular few, and abandoned thousands more.

Let me have my tax money go for my protection and not for my prosecution. Let my tax money go for the protection of me. Protect my home, protect my streets, protect my car, protect my life, protect my property…worry about becoming a human being and not about how you can prevent others from enjoying their lives because of your own inability to adjust to life.” -Harvey Milk

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Turkish Artists Open Up in Response to Riots in their Streets


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To You,

I have remained a huge believer and advocate regarding the movement that art influences, highlights, and bring focus to amidst political and social chaos. Within matters concerning freedom of expression and human rights, citizens have taken to a silent medium allowing them to re-define the voice for change through vibrancy, metaphor, and illustrious accents to the surrounding politics.

Artists, although provocative and eccentric to some, are key vocalists to the fight regarding freedom of expression and the threat of its demise. Ai Wei Wei is a prominent example to the notion of artists balancing a profile as political advocates, however it’s not always the artist on the central stage whose voice beckons thoughtful focus. Throughout the Arab Spring citizens took to the city walls to demonstrate their need to be heard illustrating political response to the social chaos surrounding them – however not including them within its consideration. Street graffiti grabbed the attention of journalists and brought a voice to the once silenced, threatened and disregarded.

Riots in Turkey surrounding the battle for human rights, women rights, and freedom of expression have once again sat in the minds and laps of artists, citizens whose acting presence is fully affected when freedom of expression is threatened. ARTINFO recently reported on Turkish artists and their perspective on the riots, and for me, what’s refreshing is to find stories considering the roles of these citizens in opposition to those on the central to the political arena. Artists – professional or frustrated citizen – have an invested perspective on these issues, and should be taken into consideration when chaos arises.

Click on the following link to check out the article, “Turkish Artists Respond To The Wave Of Protests Rocking Their Country” which is posted on Huffington Post’s site.

Happy reading,

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

Lyrical Beauty


To you,

After deciding to look for some new music inspiration, I researched into UK hip-hop artists to find a rapper by the name of Akala, and I was rather impressed by his single, ‘Find No Enemy‘. Being a student studying politics and diversity within the realm of policies, religions, ethnicity, etc., these lyrics reminded me of the power of arts within politics and this time around the arts is in the form of hip-hop lyrical flow. It’s a beautiful song – even if you don’t care for the genre of tunes. It’s nothing hardcore, but rather cultural poetry. The beats are simple, the melody quite tamed but atmospheric. Enjoy.

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo

FIND NO ENEMY
Apparently I’m second generation black Caribbean
And half white Scottish whatever that means
See lately I feel confused with the boxes
Cos to me all they do is breed conflict
It’s not that I’ve lost touch with the reality
Of racism, sexism and nationality
Just to me it all seems like insanity
Why must I rob you of your humanity
To feel good about mine
It’s all about crime
Dehumanizing, is how I justify it
So I must keep on lying about the history of Africa
So I can live with the massacres and repeat my mantra
Muslim, terrorist so I can sleep at night
As bombs take flight
Eyes open wide but I’m blind to the sight
Too busy chasing the perfect life
And the working class keep them uneducated
Truly educated men could never be a racist
To educate is to draw out what is within
Are we not all the same under the skin
I got a heart like yours that pumps blood and oxygen
And insecurities are a whole lot of them
I’m scared like you deep down
I really do care that the world is not fair like you
But I don’t even believe my own prayers like you
Chasing career going nowhere like you
Lost in a fog of my own insecurity
I hold myself up as an image of purity
And I judge everybody else
By the color of their skin or the size of their wealth
But it’s not good for my health
As the only one I ever really judge is myself
The oppressor must suffer like the oppressed
Though I pretend I’m in control of this mess
By inflating my ego, puffing my chest
I see my weakness and need to show strength
For what we think strong is
Cos if were honest, true strength is the strength to be honest
And if I’m honest, I am just tired if I’m honest I am just tired
Tired of everyday filling up my car
And knowing that I’m paying for the bombs in Iraq
Tired of pretending like it don’t hurt my heart
Of wanting change but not knowing where to start
Tired of listening to all the conditioning
And all the forms that they got me filling in
Next time you see what is a thug and despise him
Please know I was just like him
Cos I was like eight the first time I saw crack
Same time I first smoked weed chocking on blowbacks
First time I saw knifes penetrate flesh
It was meat cleavers to the back of the head
As I grew and teenage years passed
Many more knifes pierced and the shots blast
And I ain’t saying I had the worst upbringing
But there’s a million young men just like me in prison
We complain about racism and elevate clowns
With their trousers down, swinging their dicks round
Maybe that is not quite literal
But everything they do is just as stereotypical
To my real fans I feel your pain
And I get the messages but don’t complain
That we ain’t got more fame for paying our par,
They can keep the charts all I want is your hearts,
They can keep the charts all I want is your hearts,
They can keep the charts all I want is your hearts,
Call it black radio don’t make me laugh
So is black music all about tits and arse
You don’t represent nothing, you’re just pretending
When was the last time you ever played Hendrix
Or Miles Davis or John Coltrane
Or Ella Fitzgerald or Billie Holiday
We can call it urban to me that’s cool
If urban means street that includes jazz to
And rock for that matter, Go ask Mick Jagger
Or Jimmy Page what they were listening to, the blues
Not discrediting love Zeppelin too
Just giving credit where credit is due
That blood soaked word rappers still use
All it really shows is that we still self abuse
That was the word that was used to kill
Kelso Cochrane and Emmett Till
That was the word that the conscience eased
And made people pleased to hung you from trees
That was the word that let there whips crack
No matter what you say you can’t take it back
And I can say they’re black so I feel their pain easier
But 1915 look at Armenia
It’s the whole world this human stupidity
Though we choke ourselves to death quite literally
And I can talk with my comfortable mouth
With my comfortable cloths in my comfortable house
The tables will turn, We can but stall them
Every empire on this earth has fallen
So unless we can find another way
Maybe not today but it will come one-day
And it may sound like I’m bitter
But in-fact truth be told I am quite the opposite
I wake everyday and am overwhelmed
Just to be alive and be like no one else
And the sheer weight of the thought of space
Is enough to keep my little ego in place
All that we chase and try to replace
All along it was right in our face
The only way we can ever change anything
Is to look in the mirror and to find no enemy
The only way we can ever change anything
Look in the mirror and to find no enemy.

It’s Been a Long Week. Here Are Some Pics In Lieu of Words For Now.


 Durham City from Wharton Park

Durham City from Wharton Park

A 6-year gap reunion!

Best friends since the mid-90's, we met up after 6-years of no visits :o) Now, she in Oxford, me in Durham, and not an ounce of cool between us.

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Out for lunch in Durham with Oliver

Durham City Market

Durham City Market

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Durham Food Festival

Paella... lots and lots of Paella

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

Baltic Contemporary Art Centre - Turner Prize Exhibition

A brief note To You,

As mentioned, its been a long week. From last Saturday to today, what has occurred is the following: a weekend visit from my brother simultaneously added with a rendez-vous between best friends whom hadn’t seen each other in over six years also referred to as the Epic Reunion of Ariana (me) and Karazlactim (G); 2 full days working on my feet for the Durham University Careers Fair; 2 days of modules; 3 job interviews with 1 offer and 2 call-backs; a trip to Newcastle to apply for my National Insurance Number and a check-in at the Turner Prize 2011 exhibitions; a lecture through my department with David Mepham, the Director for Human Rights in the United Kingdom; and a lecture with David Miliband, MP for South Shields. Brilliant week, but a long one. Hope the photos suffice for now as I must run, because I’ve a bun in the oven – literally.. I’m baking bread as we speak… the metaphoric translation would make this a rather busy week with loads more gossip to share than I care for at the moment.

🙂

Love from, Vic Louise xoxoxo