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Heat or Eat

Rising costs of domestic gas and electricity has forced millions of people into fuel poverty, defined as when their energy bills cost a 10th or more of their income. An estimated 24 per cent of UK homes (around 6.3 million households) are believed to be in fuel poverty.  At worse, it forces vulnerable people to choose between heating and eating.

On a cold January morning six protesters from the group Fuel Poverty Action calmly walked into the head offices of British Gas and barricaded themselves into two meeting rooms.  Robert Evans, 25, was one of the occupying protesters; “We hope that this action and 10 others that took place over the weekend will help to change the energy system and start the move for millions of households suffering fuel poverty towards a fair, green energy system.”

Other activists stood at the gates with a banner and handed flyers to British Gas employees.

The story was picked up widely, image picked up by Sky and the BBC.

 

Fare Fail

The UK already has some of the most expensive rail fares in the world, and every January those fares get hiked even further, while little seems to get done about overcrowding and poor service.  Climate Rush, Bring Back British Rail and Campaign for Better Transport were there taking action to stop the rail fare rip-off.

Write up by Climate Rush here.

And on the previous morning on the steps of Kings Cross St Pancras, a brass band and a banner drop..

 

Culture Beyond Oil Magazine

‘Not if but when: Culture Beyond Oil’ is a publication that sets out to discuss oil sponsorship of the arts.  The single issue, limited edition publication features artworks in dialogue with the BP Gulf of Mexico catastrophe and articles that set out the compelling arguments for an end to BP and Shell’s murky involvement with many of the nation’s favourite cultural institutions.  And that’s my picture there on the cover!

The Wonderful Sara Davies

Sara Davies is an inspiration.  The head grower at Growing Communities, with her team of volunteers she produces the most delicious salad from a patchwork of urban farms throughout Hackney.  She is also a calm, kind and good-humoured person to live with, not to mention being extremely organised.  We will miss her deeply when she returns to Zimbabwe at the end of his year.  You can follow her adventures in growing here.

 

 

St Mungos Report to Residents 2010-11

Photography for the St Mungos Report to Residents (pictures taken by other photographers have been blurred)

 

Patchwork Farmers; The Castle

Sophie and Ida are volunteer patchwork farmers up in the grounds of The Castle in Stoke Newington.  They grow salad for the Growing Communities veg box scheme, providing a flavoursome, fragrant bag of leaves that throws ordinary supermarket salad into the tasteless, soggy shade.

This is part of a personal project I am undertaking about food growing in Hackney.  If you know of any great urban food growing projects in Hackney that wouldn’t mind a punchy photograph taken of it, drop me a line.

HRH Charlie and some Chocolate Cake.

Covering a shift for Archant papers and who should decide to visit Trinity Buoy Wharf but HRH Prince Charles.  Here he is popping into The Driftwood Cafe for a chat with the proprietress Amanda Shadbolt.  She makes a very fine chocolate cake, so fine that Charlie took a slice home for his missus.

It was an interesting afternoon, I came away thinking that he didn’t seem like a bad old chap, coming across as genuinely interested and engaged with the people he met and projects he visited.  However, it turns out being able to take pictures of a royal means getting on something called the ‘Royal Rota’.  This means that I must share my photos with pretty much anyone who wants them for free.  I didn’t actually know about that part, so when I received a phone call from a third party this morning asking for all the photos, with a polite ‘we shan’t be paying thank-you-very-much’, I politely responded with a ‘no’.  A quick grumpy call to archant confirmed that indeed I must give away the pictures to all and sundry.

Chastened, I have since distributed accordingly.  Live and learn eh?

Liberate Tate at Tate Britain

Demotix gallery here, and the pics were used by the Telegraph, Bloomberg, the London Evening Standard, the cover of the Financial Times.

The London Marathon with Action Aid

Write up and slide show here.

UkUncut – Chiswick Vodaphone

On a sunny Saturday morning, an unsuspecting Vodaphone store was turned into a pop up elderly Day Centre, complete with plucky pensioners, tea and fondant fancies and musical accompaniment.  This is my favourite snap of the day..

Write up and more photos here (pics also by the wonderful Minimouse)