Escape into Monica Ramos’ illustrations

Art, Blog, Illustration, Women to love


Monica Ramos is an illustrator born in Manila in the Philippines and who now lives in New York – having graduated from Parsons, the New School for Design.

She’s previously said she’s inspired by Miyazaki and the collision of the real and spirit world within his work. Which gives an indication of what you’re in for and perhaps helps explain the thought processes behind some of her pieces.

She said in one of her first recorded interviews six years ago that she ‘just wanted to make beautiful, funny things’ and she talks about a Children’s Book she was illustrating at the time about a forest girl who’s ‘wild, brave and loves to eat berries’ (heart glowing).


But since then Ramos has been hard at work and she’s now had a host of exhibitions predominantly in New York, but also Washington, Austin and Copenhagen. Her work is hard to pin down and you don’t quite know what will come next, but it’s definitely included a fair few lamas and lot of different kinds of foods (all the important things). But my favourite pieces of Ramos’ work have been those that portray women.

Her most recently commissioned work Muslim Women is a great example of how good she is at doing this:

muslim women

One of my ultimate faves is from a personal collection she did for an exhibition in Copenhagen called ‘Just Swim’.



The calming and beautiful illustrations of naked women floating amongst tigers in pale blue clear waters – take me in, and let me rest there!

And you may recognise the below illustration from the My Year of Women website banner:


But she’s done a truck load of amazing stuff. From an asian-american tarot card deck to a woman riding an aubergine (in a sexual way). I definitely recommend checking her out here if you like what you see – and keeping an eye on her online store. Her tumblr archive is also great when getting a sense of her work’s progression, and also to grab snippets of projects and pieces that have flown lower on the radar.

Go and run head first into the beautiful images Ramos creates – she’s a women to love for sure.

P.S She also created (with a pal) a two hit wonder ‘Sad Girls Zine’ – which I wish I had a copy of because it looks hilarious.

sad girls zine

Did you know about Betty Davis?

Blog, Music, Women to love

Because I didn’t – and I wonder how that happened!?


Born in 1945 Betty Davis is an American funk and soul singer (that doesn’t describe it right/do her justice) who was making music and performing in the 1960s and 1970s.

Her music is sexy, powerful, unique, gigantic, unapologetic, empowering and all the rest of the adjectives.

She grew up in Pittsburgh on her Grandma’s farm and apparently she wrote her first song at 12 years old. She then moved to New York at 16 to live with her aunt. While there, she’s said to have been a frequenter come hostess/DJ at Greenwich Village’s nightclub The Cellar in New York – were she was pals with musical greats such as Hendrix . Towards the late 60s she started recording songs at Colombia Records.

She was born Betty Mabry but had a year long marriage to Miles Davis giving her the name Betty Davis. There’s a truck load of conjecture around their relationship but, who knows? (And less about the men she laid and more the music she made huh).

After their split she did a brief stint in London to pursue her modelling career – have ya seen her! Then returned to the US to make the music I’m now listening to.


Three albums were released by Light in The Attic Records – Betty Davis (1973), They say I’m Different (1974) and Nasty Gal (1975). And they’re blowing my mind.

She’s repeatedly described as ahead of her time. And a truck ton of artists are said to have stolen from her and been influenced by her.

Apparently she was a stupendous stage presence but I unfortunately haven’t been able to find any footage.  Though people are currently crowd funding to make a documentary about her life called Nasty Gal: The many lives of funk Queen Betty Davis which, here’s hoping, gets made.

I really really super recommend you check her out (if ya fancy). Here’s some of my faves so far:

Nasty Gal: an amazing example of Davis at her best.

Anti-love song: this sounds so good and is Davis at the most vulnerable I’ve heard. ‘That’s why I don’t wanna love you, cause I’d know what you’d do to my heart’.

Don’t call her no tramp: which is basically a feminist anthem ‘you can call her trendy, and superficial, an elegant hustler – but don’t you call her no tramp’.

Dedicated to the Press: a response to negative press she was receiving for being unapologetically herself.

Hope you click and enjoy!

The Oscars (part two – Kelly Reichardt & the Bechdel Test)

Blog, Film, Women to love

So what did I do when the world was talking about the Oscars (a belated retelling).

I went to see Kelly Reichardt’s film Certain Women hosted by the Bechdel Test Fest and then listened to her talk about it. And it was a great idea!

Hurrah for the Bechdel Test Fest! This being, in their own words, ‘an ongoing celebration of films that pass the Bechdel Test‘.


To pass the test the film must have:

  1. At least two female characters
  2. They must both have names
  3. And they have to talk to each other (just once) about something other than a man.

It’s a very low bar – but over half of the top grossing films in 2016 didn’t pass. But the Bechdel Test Fest project works to promote and showcase the films that do.  Here’s a list of their upcoming events and they’re great to fb follow.

But yes, they brought screenwriter and director Kelly Reichardt and her film Certain Women into my life. (Thank you).

The film debuted at the Sundance film festival in January 2016 and was formally released in October 2016. To write the screen play Reichardt took two short story collections from Mantana’s Maile Meloy – an American Fiction Writer who’s books I’ve subsequently amazon ordered.

The film

First off, here’s the trailer. Which really gives the best indication of what you’re in for.

The film follows four women (Laura played by Laura Dern, Gina played by Michelle Williams, The Rancher played by Lily Gladstone and Beth played by Kristen Stewart) whose stories link tenuously and at times more intimately with each other.

I’ve actually had the darned hardest time trying to sum up this film because it’s just the bees knees. Put in the most succinct terms I can muster, Certain Women felt like one of the most true to life portrayals of women I’d seen on the big screen. No over exaggeration.

This is perhaps instantly demonstrated when looking at the physical portrayal of the characters.  Their hair looking like mine does now. The clothes pulled from what could have been an actual wardrobe. In watching Laura Dern use a lint roller on her clothes. And in most of the characters appearing without make up. Most poignant for me was seeing Kristen Stewart’s character Beth stand up in front of her class with her necklace clasp and pendant hanging next to each other. As necklace clasps do – all the time!

And each woman was physically different from the other – as we are. There wasn’t a sniff of the Hollywood homogeny we are unfortunately accustomed to.


Physical appearances aside, the film finds each character to an extent both physically and emotionally alone. Not in a sad, negative, patronising way – but it’s a poignant isolation, that seemed to me to arise as a kind of side effect of their clear intelligence and independence as women. And their choice not to conform to dated, traditional societal ideas of gender roles.

Unfortunately, they still inhabit the landscape of an inherently sexist world.

And there’s the masterpiece. The cracking juxtaposition of women just being – as we all are. In a world full of perceptions of what they/we should be. And the balancing act of of it all. (And books and books could be written on how Reichardt achieves this).

It also portrays unapologetically the suckiness of that. There’s a scene in which Laura Dern’s character, a lawyer, takes a client who won’t listen to her advice to get a second opinion from a male lawyer. The male lawyer’s verdict is instantly accepted.  ‘It would be nice to think if I were a man’ she says ‘how restful that would be’.

But there’s no shrieking, there’s no visible anger. Contrastly there’s placidity and calm. And aside from its social comment, it’s just a beautifully shot and peaceful insight into Montana. Telling three stories about complex and interesting individuals in a mesmirsing way. It was great!

The Q&A

And then there was the Q&A and Kelly Reichardt talked about the film. (Woman crush – she was so cool).

Aside from writing the screen play and directing Certain Women, Reichardt also talked about editing the film herself and said she had done this with a majority of her work due to a lack of money/funding.

At one point, someone in the audience implied they felt like one of her characters was sad. (The character in question was the lawyer who lived alone with her dog). To which Reichardt contested the absoluteness of that statement and then said – you see the image of a man and a dog out in some wilderness and it’s a picture of happiness. But this woman and her dog – people impose sadness and an incompleteness to her life. What’s that about? (Mic drop).

Somebody also asked about the future of the women – and Reichardt couldn’t answer that. As consumers we are used to narratives in which each character has trajectories, lessons to learn, things to over come – and these are stories that engage us but are removed from us in their perhaps unrealistic resemblance of  life. But Certain Women is glimpses of actual people. As if Reichardt just held a camera up to a moment in their lives. Individuals so complex in their nature how could you predict the choices that they would come to make.

After the Oscar’s funk, Reichardt and her film Certain Women reminded me exactly of why I’m doing this.

The screening was relatively small and didn’t pack out – which seemed bizarre for the price and the opportunity to listen to Reichardt – but there you go.

To sum up: Kelly Recihardt is basically a fucking genius. And Certain Women is a calm and powerful film full of relatable moments. Go watch it!

Waad Al-Kateab – camerawoman in East Aleppo

Blog, TV, Women to love

If anyone has watched Channel 4 News in the last year they’ll have seen Waad Al-Kateab’s footage.

She was commissioned to film the life that was left for the people of Eastern Aleppo and in doing so she became Eastern Aleppo’s messenger to the world.

As Channel4 put it ‘all year Waad has provided dozens of outstanding reports that have led and dominated our programme, and have now been viewed hundreds of millions of times by people around the world’.

She lived there with her daughter Sama, less than a year old, and her husband, a Syrian Surgeon. Both herself and her husband risked their lives each day – and while doing so she provided an unflinching testimony and objective record of what was happening to her people. Both Waad as a journalist, and her husband as one of around 35 doctors left in the city  would have been coveted by the Syrian government.

A lot of the footage captured was within Eastern Aleppo’s largest remaining hospital, al-Quds. And the edited shorts juxtapose Aleppo’s streets, in which the Syrian people were relentlessly attacked, and the inside of the hospital, in which lives were desperately trying to be saved.

This juxtaposition is perhaps no where clearer than in the edited short ‘the barrel bomb baby‘. As the Syrian government and Russian forces bombed the city continuously  – Waad filmed the doctor’s trying to save a pregnant woman and her unborn child.  After the mother had been badly injured from a barrel bomb* and had shrapnel in her stomach.

She films despite there being 200 airstrikes in one day. She films as the Syrian goverment and Russian forces bomb the food markets, water supplies, hospitals, medical storage facilities, convoys delivering aid and finally Al Queds hospital itself – where nurses, patients, doctors and Aleppo’s last paediatrician were killed.

This is when the Syrian goverment and Russian forces said they were bombing terrorist targets.

And then there is the grief of those left behind. Outside of the hospital Waad films a gardener, Abu-Ward, and his son, Ibrahim. She tells the story of Abu-Ward’s devotion to his craft and in doing so captures the resilience of the Syrian people. But when Abu-Ward is killed during an airstrike – the short becomes a window into the silent grief of a devoted son who asks Waad ‘what do you want me to do?’.


(footage from film)

As the western world became obsessed with Trump’s next Tweet, in the city of Aleppo the East was finally taken by the government forces. Waad documented Aleppo’s final days in the last remaining hospital and then filmed the final hospital itself being bombed. And then came the influx of patients struggling to breath from chlorine gas – a chemical weapon.


(photo Waad Al-Kateab took)

You can watch all of Waad Al-Kateab’s footage here as part of Channel4’s Inside Aleppo. Along with a written narrative and  a timeline of the events that took place there.

On 1 March 2017 the United Nations Commisson of Inquiry’s report said the Syrian government and allied Russian forces have committed war crimes – a fact that wouldn’t have needed verification for Waad and the Syrian people.

Waad was awarded two amnesty international media awards for television news and best new journalist. But trapped inside Eastern Aleppo at the time and unable to accept the awards, she gave these words to be read out in her absence:

“Maybe this will be my last letter to you and to the world. I am in the most dangerous city in the world and only today 30 barrel bombs and 100 artillery shells fell on my neighbourhood (al-Sukkari). I wanted to be with you but the siege of the city prevented that. I am just one individual among the 270,000 people who live under this siege. The only thing that’s available in this city is air, but this air, most of the time, is polluted with poisonous gases and chlorine. We are not the only city in Syria under siege and our salvation will not be achieved only by the lifting of this siege or halting the bombing, but with the fall of the Assad regime and getting our freedom and dignity as Syrians. I would have liked for my lens and my colleagues’ lenses to give you the complete picture of Aleppo, but we are helpless in front of the horrors of annihilation that the Russians and the regime are enjoying in this ancient city. This is a perished city called Aleppo. And all its people are asking you to remember your humanity.”

But we, in the western world, didn’t do that.

Waad and her family are now, miraculously, safe in London.  She is a true heroine – I fall short of words worthy to describe her.

*(Definition by Google) A barrel bomb is an improvised unguided bomb, sometimes described as a flying IED (improvised explosive device). They are typically made from a large barrel-shaped metal container that has been filled with high explosives, possibly shrapnel, oil or chemicals as well, and then dropped from a helicopter or airplane.


Songbirds – a night of female musicians (and Sula Mae)

Blog, Music, Women to love

‘Celebrating women in Music’ was the tagline and it definitely delivered.

Last weekish I went to a night at 93 Feet East organised by Laid Bare records who, with the upcoming International Women’s day in mind, took the opportunity to showcase and celebrate their female musicians.

They were also promoting Take Her Name – a campaign which aims to highlight the inequality in the music industry by asking male musicians to show solidarity with female artists, and change their names on social media to a female version on Wednesday (IWD).

All the ladies that played are definitely worth checking out if you’re in and around London (I’ve included links at the bottom). But, truthfully, all this was a brilliant coincidence – because I was really there as the label had recently signed one of my best friends,  Sula Mae.

She headlined the night and she was perfect. Her music is a crash of soul, jazz and pop slathered on delicious beats and crinkly ukulele and keys. And, something often over looked, her stage chat really is the best. She was a sparkling sensation and I’m pretty sure she stole the heart of each person watching her.

It was made more mega as I’d seen her, for the last ten years, work her ass off. She’s made difficult decisions. Sacrifices – professionally, socially and financially.  Hundreds of hours, miles, gigs and pounds in the pan. And, though it’s not been easy nor does it ever seem to be, she has always found a way to stay strong – and stay bloody brilliant.

It was a special feeling to see all that work come together – and to see it all having made her the artist she is today. She’d never been better.

But the struggle is real y’all – let’s all support each other.

Go and check her out! This song is the bomb and a good place to start.


The rest of the ladies:

Bee Bakare – is a Nigera born soul singer and songwriter whose voice completely floors you. She’s just won  the Future Music Songwriting competition and is certainly someone you’d want to keep up with.


Polly Money Music – is a younger singer songwriter and musician whose whose confidence and clever lyrics leave you dazzled.


Autumnmusic – worked serious magic on the keys, pedals and with her voice to create a mesmerising sound.


Eilsa Imperilee – her haunting voice covers soft beats to create chill out tunes.


And there was the fab and fun Jennifer Crothers who was dj’ing between the acts.

Mitski, Mitski – I love Mitski

Blog, Music, Women to love


Not only is her music objectively amazing – but she is just seriously so cool.

About Mitski (from what I can discern): She’s Japanese and American and she sings and plays the guitar. She released her first two albums on her own (Retired from Sad, News Career in Business 2013 and Lush 2012). And since has released two more albums which everyone agrees are just the absolute shit (Bury Me Out at Makeout Creek 2014 and Puberty II 2016).

I first came across Mitski when my friend sent me a link to the music video for Happy. I was baffled and also instantly taken.

The songs opening is strangely uncomfortable/borderline unbearable – which is then juxtaposed with this killer sweet voice entering that’s saying all the truths in all the right ways. And just when you think you’ve got the lay of the land – in hits a giant, clamouring fan fare, obnoxious and demanding.  Pretty much within the first thirty seconds of just one of Mitski’s songs all your previous musical understanding is in tatters and your brain is completely stretched in mesmorised glory!

I listened to Happy repeatedly for a while and it took me a while to venture beyond it – but as I’ve slowly absorbed more, the more emphatic about Mitski I’ve become.

For me, the enjoyment of Mitski’s music is it’s dangerously playful marriage of barely comfortable gigantic sound with the sweetness of her voice and melodies. She also appears completely fearless – she’s all there in all of it. It gives the impression of complete exposure. In my head I see her vividly ‘being’ and ‘creating’ – she’s 4D and technicolour. Her lyrics also, while feeling unique compared to other artists and unique in their honest recounts of a singular experience, feel powerfully relatable.

She’s making music like I’ve never heard and she’s saying things honestly in a way we all should be doing a lot more of all the time. Go and get her!

Here’s three track recommendations – if you do fancy getting your feet wet.

1. Your Best America Girl – this track is off the newest album and
seems to have everyone talking. It appears an account/working through of Mitski’s feelings towards her dual heritage as she sings ‘Your mother wouldn’t approve of, how my mother raised me – but I do, I think I do’. Boom!


2. Townie – this is off the album Bury Me Out at Makeout Creek.  It sings of the coming of age moments where you’re defying imposed expectations and exploring your sexuality as a young woman – while also painfully becoming aware of the imposed restrictions that sexuality gives you. ‘And change, change, change is gonna come but when, when, when’ she sings. The video is also directed and animated by super cool Faye Orlove who really should have her own post..


3. First Love/Late Spring – again from album Bury Me Out at Makeout Creek – is one of my  personal favourites. This is such a beautiful track in so many ways. It speaks to all of us at that stage of meeting someone special. It’s that moment when you teter on the edge of giving in to ‘love’ but can’t quite understand exactly what’s happened to your brain. And can’t seem to enjoy it either! ‘Wild woman don’t get the blues, but lately I’ve been crying like a tall child’.

I love ya Mitski – and I mean it.

Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe is my new universe

Blog, TV, Women to love

If you enjoy watching anime or cartoons  then I’d highly, highly recommend Rebecca Sugar’s Steven Universe.

I’m now 73 blissful episodes into my Steven Universe adventure and I’m in love.

The show is a mega mix of fantasy and reality with Steven at it’s centre – a boy coming of age as half human and half ‘crystal gem’. The crystal gems are a group of bad ass women, who empathise with us mere mortals enough to have vowed to protect our way of life on earth.

Rebecca Sugar, creator of Steven Universe, is the first woman to have had an independently created series on Cartoon Network (side note: argh barmy). And there are rumours in the mill that, according to Google Trends, Steven Universe has now become the flagship show on the network – probably because it’s SUPER BRILLIANT. It’s also been nominated for two Emmy Awards and five Annie Awards (animation awards).

The characters are super unique and it’s genuinely exciting to watch them ‘be’ and ‘do’ within the varying landscapes and situations they find themselves in as the series unfolds. Details of their lives and pasts are quietly woven into the fabric of the story and you quickly become aware each character has their own special cognitive spinning blocks which affect how they go about being cool. Watching Steven Universe and its characters grow fonder and fonder of each other in turn makes you more and more fond of them. There’s so much love and endless good vibes in the show.

Aesthetically, the show is a pleasure to watch – the colours and tones Sugar uses alongside the intricate and varying fantasy worlds the gems find themselves in create a mega viewing experience .

Steven Universe is also jam packed with music and songs that effortlessly become a part of the story being told. You only have to listen to the opening theme tune to get a feel for the DELIGHTFULNESS that awaits you.


Interestingly, and also annoyingly, the show was censored by Cartoon Network during a scene in which Pearl and Rose ‘fuse’. Fusion is a super sexy way of gems getting together to create super gems that are even more badass and even more capable. Click here to enjoy (in full) the moment the network partially censored.

But this is just an example of another great reason to watch the show as it’s been applauded for it’s LGBT themes/just general good loving of all things theme. Sugar has apparently said she draws from her own experiences of growing up as a bisexual woman to create the story. Funnily enough the day I wrote this blog post, Steven Universe was nominated for a GLAAD media award – which means the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation want to applaud Steven Universe for it’s outstanding representation of of the LGBT community – bloody fab!

 And there’s a giant pink lion that can open up portals to different places.


So if you’re into feeling mega happy – give it a watch!

Dutch minister Lilanne Ploumen – plugging Trump’s big-ass hole

Blog, Women to love

Hurrah for Lilanne Ploumen – a dutch labour party minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation and previous labour party chairwoman. And also a superheroine (it tells me that’s not a word).


On Monday Trump signed to pull funding for international organisations which provide information on abortions and abortion services. Carelessly putting the women needing these services at risk, leaving them with limited choices and dangerous alternatives.

But on Wednesday, Lilanne Ploumen was already working to set up an international fund that would  help plug the hole created by Trump’s signature hitting a piece of A4. She’s planning to use the fund to provide the support so swiftly taken from the existing organisations providing women with a safe environment in which they can access family planning information and services.

Bloody awesome lady huh?! But, the more I looked into Lilanne Ploumen the more I saw this was just the tip of the iceberg for her. Here are just three things she’s done in the last month (month!) and bare in mind she’s been in her post since 2012:

1.On 1 January she re-launched the Women, Peace and Security programme. This programme aims to aid women in conflict areas in helping make the places they live in safer and tackle social problems. Changing the perception of women as victims into implementers of social change. Focusing on what women can do themselves to make their own regions safe.

2.  She presented Pakistani female internet activist Nighat Dad with the Dutch Human Rights Tulip. Raising awareness and providing funding for vital work Nighat is doing in helping young women harness the power of the internet while remaining safe online – aiming to give them greater opportunities and a more distant horizon. Apparently Malala Yousafzai was her pupil – so it’s definitely working!

3. She’s also been instrumental in making government funding available and securing aid this winter for the migrants currently waiting for decisions to be made on their asylum applications.

So a hurrah for Lilanne Ploumen – she’s incredibly inspiring and a woman to love for sure.


Women’s march

Blog, Women to love

This Saturday 21 January was ‘the Women’s March’ – what a name.

Let’s not have this be down played or be modest! It was massive – it was amazing. What took place was a worldwide stand of resistance and potentially one of the greatest days of demonstration in our history. Women (and men) all over the world in Iraq, Iceland, Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam, France and on and on, identified themselves as a collective and stood together in solidarity.

The organisers of the flagship march in Washington have said that 673 marches took place all over the world (for the full list of all cities click here:

This flagship march was arranged on the day following President Trump’s inauguration – a reaction to Trump’s campaign  and a collective mourning / show of solidarity for all groups and individuals who have already been affected or are likely to be by Trump’s presidency.

In some respect, each person present at each march would have been aware of this and  we were all probably in general responding to the appointment of a figure like Trump, united against the ideology that he wanted to put into practice. But it also rose and spilled these banks – becoming something personal to each individual.

I went to the London march. I’ve been to other marches in the past for various things and you start to learn there’s a  ‘drill’. Familiar resident protesters with the right chants, the right sound systems, the whistles and drums – the reused placards pre-printed and generic. Generally marching for something tangible/measurable – for example, to influence a vote or pressurise government on a particular issue.

But this was something else entirely. Trump was in – the vote had been cast. But here were generations of women and men from all backgrounds with different heritages, ideas and beliefs marching for..? Yes against Trump’s appointment – but while we had come together in response to him, we were also all there for our own reasons.  This was made immediately clear by the placards. The majority of the placards were homemade and all varied. From an 11 year old year girl standing grumpily declaring she just wanted girls to be able to ‘do what they want’ to older generations frustrated that changes they’d fought for still hadn’t come. There were women (and men) standing against persecution of their faith and sexual preference, environmentalists and welfare supporters and then there was one young woman just saying ‘50% of all t-rex’s were female’. Each sign was different, each reaction personal – but all of us were standing together in recognition and support of each other.

There was limited chanting and for the most part the large mass remained fairly quiet as we walked through London’s streets. It was taken seriously, we took each other seriously. We walked in remembrance of injustices already suffered, ground never securely gained and of the losses that were inevitably to come. And we stood in acknowledgement of this impending loss together. A wall of people standing defiant as the inevitable Trump tidal wave swells and rises bearing down upon them.


I was unfortunately seriously hungover (following my sister’s 30th birthday). I’d had to concentrate on my breathing on the tube just to stop my body bringing up the contents of my stomach. My face was pallid and there were dark pits under my eyes. As I walked out of Bond Street station and tried to join the crowd – which had spilled out into all the side streets surrounding Grosvenor’s Square – I looked at the people around me, and be it the alcohol inevitably still in my bloodstream and my lack of sleep (or not), but I felt like I recognised their faces. I had the strongest sense that I had seen these women  before, that I could have reached out and we would have known each other. It was overwhelming. Looking at those faces – I was taken aback at how beautiful they all were. (Ohhh the mighty powers of a hangover and a period striking together!)

I went with one of my best friends Sula and we caught up, laughed, jumped, sobered, cuddled, held hands, danced around – at times exhilarated then frustrated, at times feeling it was pointless and then that it wasn’t. It was cold and we stuck our hands in our pockets. But when we turned the right corner, the sun shone and illuminated everyone.

‘Bloody nora, if only these were the faces running the whole blimmin’ show’! I yelled. But seriously – wouldn’t it all just look SO MUCH BETTER. And I’m not even talking about it LITERALLY LOOKING SO MUCH BETTER. The banner of ‘women’ had welcomed and united.

But to sum up, while we won’t be able to measure the effect of what took place on Saturday, something incredibly special did happen and I was glad to have been there.

This post, as you may have realised by now, isn’t to recommend anyone. But it is for the love of all the people who took part on Saturday, for all the people  represented who didn’t, for what was achieved and the budding of a powerful collective that I hope is capable of accomplishing positive change.

Hopefully see you all again soon..

(On a very sad side note, on his first day in office Trump has already stopped funding to clinics in other countries that provide abortion services to women. And we saw yesterday a suspension of all refugees entering the US from certain middle eastern countries obviously arising from increasing Islamophobia – just seriously, fuck you Trump.)

Daisy-May Hudson and her documentary ‘Halfway’

Blog, Film, Women to love

Daisy-May Hudson was bought a video camera for her 21st birthday and used it to document the struggle herself, her younger sister and mum went through when they found themselves having to declare themselves homeless.


This is Daisy’s first film which she has directed and produced herself. She’s now MASSIVELY, DESERVEDLY, been crowned one of BAFTA’s breakthrough Brits for her work.

I saw Daisy’s film on Sunday at Genesis Cinema in Stepney Green (who are doing a ‘directed by women’ season showing 52 films directed by women – so check them out too Daisy herself was there, introduced the film and did a quick Q&A after the showing.

The documentary follows a year in the life of Daisy, her mum and sister. They had previously spent their lives renting a home in Epping. But when Tesco (who owned the land) decided to sell – Daisy’s mum, who’d worked all her life, found herself priced out of their area and unable to afford a private rental. She made the difficult decision to declare them homeless and they spent the next year of their lives in temporary housing in Epping while Daisy’s mum contributed rent of over £500 each month to try to keep a roof over their heads – with no real say in what kind of roof that would be.

Daisy, her younger sister (who turns 14 in the film) and her mother are a strong family unit – but, equally, they are three strong, intelligent and charismatic individuals. Daisy describes the film as a way for them to regain power in a situation in which they found themselves powerless.

The year they had is a heart wrenching snap shot into a faceless system which is fundamentally flawed – with seemingly no real understanding or awareness of the people inside it.

The film is a call to action for our government and an important experience shared for so many people within our society who have had/or are having similar struggles. Which is ALOT – more than 120,000 children were homeless or in temporary accommodation this Christmas according to Shelter (

Unfortunately the showing itself was fairly baffling as, despite Daisy being in the news and the film receiving much praise, there couldn’t have been more than 12 other women there – and it really was women only. When I fist walked into ‘screen 4’ I had to go back to check I had the right room – as it was empty. It was an important reminder for myself as to why I was doing this project.

This was especially devastating as the film itself was a masterpiece – that all Londoners, nigh all people living within this our society, would benefit from watching.

Daisy-May Hudson is fantastic. She’s achieved something incredible here. I hope it provides the traction so desperately needed to help create positive change.