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A warning that there is some sensitive and possibly upsetting material in this post.
If you are not aware, right now in Chechnya men purely suspected of being gay are being rounded up and put into what can only be described as concentration camps. First, known gay rights activists were taken, their phones were searched and any men in their contacts were also taken. Some men have been given to their families for “honour killings”, while others have been sent to their deaths in these camps. At least four men have been killed.
If you are not aware I can understand why, because mainstream media seem to be on radio silence about the situations. While gay news outlets are in outcry about the atrocities, and the breach of human rights being committed in Chechnya, the mainstream media doesn’t seem to give a damn. The mainstream media is showing its total lack of solidarity with the LGBT community and I don’t think it’s acceptable.

Ok so they’re saying something. But in my mind the fact that our brothers in Chechnya are being rounded up based on the suspicion that they are gay and the fact that human rights are being violated left, right and centre should be headline news, not just a few stories here and there. Last week a 17-year-old was pushed from a building by his family as part of an honour killing, and at least three men have been killed in prison camps.  This is a genocide campaign, yet as this news broke on LGBT sites, the front page of the BBC news website was free of stories about Chechnya. Other mainstream news sites were much the same. I haven’t talked much about LGBT issues on this site before, but I think now is the time to start.
The rounding up of gay men, and others suspected of being gay, was triggered after the Russian LGBT Network applied for protest rights. This was then followed by police officers arresting over 100 gay men and taking them to prison camps where they were tortured. It has since been discovered there are at least six prisons in the region holding men on suspicion of their sexuality. These men are being tortured with the hope they will tell the police about other gay men.

And what did the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, have to say about all of this when questioned? That they cannot be killing what doesn’t exist; his defence is that there are simply no gay men in Chechnya, an area populated by well over a million people.

The message now coming from Chechnya to families is to kill your gay family members before the government takes them and kills them. It is heartbreaking and disgusting. Reports have said Kadyrov wants the gay population eradicated before Ramadan. This is serious.
But there is hope, the Russian LGBT Network has rescued over 40 men from persecution and they keep trying. The UN as well as major political figures, such as Angela Merkel has also spoken up against this horrific breach of human rights. Russia is even starting an investigation into these killings, though little will probably come from this apart from lies and denial. More does need to be done.
And there are things that you can do. Firstly, spread the word about what is happening in Chechnya; let the mainstream media know you’re not happy about their lack of news. Show your solidarity and your outrage. You can also sign petitions like the Amnesty International one to bring visibility. Secondly, put pressure on your local government to do something, to tell Russia this is unacceptable and to cut ties with them. Even if this is very unlikely (in places such as America), add the pressure anyway. Thirdly, you can donate to the Russian LGBT Network which is trying desperately to get men out of Chechnya and to safety.

Let people know that the LGBT community, along with its allies, is a community that will stand with its brothers and tell the world that we exist and will not take this breach of human rights.

I’d like to thank those that spoke at the protest in Nottingham a few weeks ago. You were all amazing speakers, and though I’ve never done a post like this on here before, you inspired me to find my voice, so thank you. If it’s you in any of these pictures please let me know. All photos are from that protest.

We Exist, and We Will Not Be Silenced

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

A warning that there is some sensitive and possibly upsetting material in this post.
If you are not aware, right now in Chechnya men purely suspected of being gay are being rounded up and put into what can only be described as concentration camps. First, known gay rights activists were taken, their phones were searched and any men in their contacts were also taken. Some men have been given to their families for “honour killings”, while others have been sent to their deaths in these camps. At least four men have been killed.
If you are not aware I can understand why, because mainstream media seem to be on radio silence about the situations. While gay news outlets are in outcry about the atrocities, and the breach of human rights being committed in Chechnya, the mainstream media doesn’t seem to give a damn. The mainstream media is showing its total lack of solidarity with the LGBT community and I don’t think it’s acceptable.

Ok so they’re saying something. But in my mind the fact that our brothers in Chechnya are being rounded up based on the suspicion that they are gay and the fact that human rights are being violated left, right and centre should be headline news, not just a few stories here and there. Last week a 17-year-old was pushed from a building by his family as part of an honour killing, and at least three men have been killed in prison camps.  This is a genocide campaign, yet as this news broke on LGBT sites, the front page of the BBC news website was free of stories about Chechnya. Other mainstream news sites were much the same. I haven’t talked much about LGBT issues on this site before, but I think now is the time to start.
The rounding up of gay men, and others suspected of being gay, was triggered after the Russian LGBT Network applied for protest rights. This was then followed by police officers arresting over 100 gay men and taking them to prison camps where they were tortured. It has since been discovered there are at least six prisons in the region holding men on suspicion of their sexuality. These men are being tortured with the hope they will tell the police about other gay men.

And what did the Chechen leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, have to say about all of this when questioned? That they cannot be killing what doesn’t exist; his defence is that there are simply no gay men in Chechnya, an area populated by well over a million people.

The message now coming from Chechnya to families is to kill your gay family members before the government takes them and kills them. It is heartbreaking and disgusting. Reports have said Kadyrov wants the gay population eradicated before Ramadan. This is serious.
But there is hope, the Russian LGBT Network has rescued over 40 men from persecution and they keep trying. The UN as well as major political figures, such as Angela Merkel has also spoken up against this horrific breach of human rights. Russia is even starting an investigation into these killings, though little will probably come from this apart from lies and denial. More does need to be done.
And there are things that you can do. Firstly, spread the word about what is happening in Chechnya; let the mainstream media know you’re not happy about their lack of news. Show your solidarity and your outrage. You can also sign petitions like the Amnesty International one to bring visibility. Secondly, put pressure on your local government to do something, to tell Russia this is unacceptable and to cut ties with them. Even if this is very unlikely (in places such as America), add the pressure anyway. Thirdly, you can donate to the Russian LGBT Network which is trying desperately to get men out of Chechnya and to safety.

Let people know that the LGBT community, along with its allies, is a community that will stand with its brothers and tell the world that we exist and will not take this breach of human rights.

I’d like to thank those that spoke at the protest in Nottingham a few weeks ago. You were all amazing speakers, and though I’ve never done a post like this on here before, you inspired me to find my voice, so thank you. If it’s you in any of these pictures please let me know. All photos are from that protest.
I have had many people, who have known me very well, tell me that I would absolutely love Hong Kong, and they weren't wrong.

My burn out followed from Halong bay and Hoi An and into Hong Kong, and I'll admit that I did spend a lot of my time napping. But I explored a bit too. I'd say I went out for an hour or two, then chilled and napped for an hour or two, and that was my four days there.

From shopping at some amazing second hand places, eating the best veggie food, and visiting the museum, I did a bit of exploring. Though not nearly enough, I definitely have to go back (and preferably before my octopus card runs out because I forgot to return it).

I'd definitely check out the History museum if you go, it has a lot of the cultural history of Hong Kong which I was completely oblivious too and it's just beautiful in there. Maybe I'm biased because I love learning about cultural history but it's free entry so you're definitely not wasting any money.


I am so glad about the ease of getting around, I never felt anxious or worried about being there and I always knew that I'd just have to find an MTR stop to find my way back to my hostel. The perfect place for a weekend away on your own, well for me anyway.
And everything is on top of eachother, intertwined, and slotted in, perfectly together. I just love the way the whole place looks.

I even managed to find the street my Dad used to live on, maybe I'll drag him along as a tour guide next time.

Oh and try Soo Veggi, I ate there 3 or 4 times in my four days because it was round the corner from my hostel and the food was soo good (very bad pun intended).

I will be back soon HK, I promise.

A Sleepy Weekend In Hong Kong

Saturday, 13 May 2017

I have had many people, who have known me very well, tell me that I would absolutely love Hong Kong, and they weren't wrong.

My burn out followed from Halong bay and Hoi An and into Hong Kong, and I'll admit that I did spend a lot of my time napping. But I explored a bit too. I'd say I went out for an hour or two, then chilled and napped for an hour or two, and that was my four days there.

From shopping at some amazing second hand places, eating the best veggie food, and visiting the museum, I did a bit of exploring. Though not nearly enough, I definitely have to go back (and preferably before my octopus card runs out because I forgot to return it).

I'd definitely check out the History museum if you go, it has a lot of the cultural history of Hong Kong which I was completely oblivious too and it's just beautiful in there. Maybe I'm biased because I love learning about cultural history but it's free entry so you're definitely not wasting any money.


I am so glad about the ease of getting around, I never felt anxious or worried about being there and I always knew that I'd just have to find an MTR stop to find my way back to my hostel. The perfect place for a weekend away on your own, well for me anyway.
And everything is on top of eachother, intertwined, and slotted in, perfectly together. I just love the way the whole place looks.

I even managed to find the street my Dad used to live on, maybe I'll drag him along as a tour guide next time.

Oh and try Soo Veggi, I ate there 3 or 4 times in my four days because it was round the corner from my hostel and the food was soo good (very bad pun intended).

I will be back soon HK, I promise.

So my last couple of ethical brand features have proved pretty popular with you guys, and as it's coming up to festival season and I'm looking for some clothes that I feel are fit for them festival vibes, I thought I would share some with you guys!

I don't encourage buying clothes for one use here, festival clothing is something that is, a lot of the time, designed for one use but I'm looking for clothes I can wear to festivals, nights out, and other cool events. I have two festivals this year and am also going to Carnivale in Cuba, so any pieces I buy are going to be getting multiple wears just this summer and will be kept for future too.

This post features a few brands I think are festival worthy and then also just a collection of awesome items I have found.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

Ethical Festival Clothing

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

So my last couple of ethical brand features have proved pretty popular with you guys, and as it's coming up to festival season and I'm looking for some clothes that I feel are fit for them festival vibes, I thought I would share some with you guys!

I don't encourage buying clothes for one use here, festival clothing is something that is, a lot of the time, designed for one use but I'm looking for clothes I can wear to festivals, nights out, and other cool events. I have two festivals this year and am also going to Carnivale in Cuba, so any pieces I buy are going to be getting multiple wears just this summer and will be kept for future too.

This post features a few brands I think are festival worthy and then also just a collection of awesome items I have found.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |

Halong Bay is world famous. It's beautiful and awe inspiring, on boat trips out there you can enjoy the scenery, explore caves, kayak in blue waters. So what did I do? I ate my lunch and then fell asleep on the boat.
Ok so I did appreciate some of the beauty of Halong bay, it was serene out there, with the impressive limestone islands, covered in trees, jutting out of sparkling waters. As we were being driven around them I did sit on the top deck and stare out in my almost deliriously tired state and appreciate the beauty.

But as everyone else went off to explore the caves and kayak, i found a nice spot on the boat and drifted off to sleep. I have no regrets. After almost two months of pretty non stop travel, getting up at 4am for large parts of the trip and spending the rest of it travelling or doing physical labour I was, i can safely say, very burnt out.
I never really understood burn out I thought it was due to stress, but I wasn't stressed, I was happy and very much loving everything I was doing, but I was drained, exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I was slightly delirious and so glad that I had a tour guide to tell me where to go and when, very glad to have safe private busses where I could pass out, and also a private boat on halong bay to sleep on too.

I didn't quite sleep 24/7, but it was close for a few days. I was awake long enough to look out on Halong bay and appreciate it, long enough to see the construction sites on the small town going in to making Chinese owned theme parks (which I think is gross and ruins the natural beauty of the place). And I don't really regret it, even when you're travelling the world and in beautiful places that you may never see again, or at least not in the same way, sometimes your body and mind are going to take over and be like "no this is too much let me rest". That's what happened and it's ok.
One place I do think I need to go back to is Hanoi city though, that's not getting it's own post and it's also got barely any footage from because I ate, took a bath, and slept for the three days that I was there. I didn't get to see the sites or go to museums. I saw the view from my room, and the view from restaurants we went to and that was about it. But again, my body said no more and I listened, it's ok to sleep for a few days when you need to. Travel is hard when you're seeing new sites every day and having so many experiences and routine changes, sometimes you need to sleep on the boat boat that's going through an incredibly beautiful part of the world.

Burnt Out in Halong Bay

Friday, 5 May 2017 Hạ Long Bay, Thành phố Hạ Long, Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam

Halong Bay is world famous. It's beautiful and awe inspiring, on boat trips out there you can enjoy the scenery, explore caves, kayak in blue waters. So what did I do? I ate my lunch and then fell asleep on the boat.
Ok so I did appreciate some of the beauty of Halong bay, it was serene out there, with the impressive limestone islands, covered in trees, jutting out of sparkling waters. As we were being driven around them I did sit on the top deck and stare out in my almost deliriously tired state and appreciate the beauty.

But as everyone else went off to explore the caves and kayak, i found a nice spot on the boat and drifted off to sleep. I have no regrets. After almost two months of pretty non stop travel, getting up at 4am for large parts of the trip and spending the rest of it travelling or doing physical labour I was, i can safely say, very burnt out.
I never really understood burn out I thought it was due to stress, but I wasn't stressed, I was happy and very much loving everything I was doing, but I was drained, exhausted and just wanted to sleep. I was slightly delirious and so glad that I had a tour guide to tell me where to go and when, very glad to have safe private busses where I could pass out, and also a private boat on halong bay to sleep on too.

I didn't quite sleep 24/7, but it was close for a few days. I was awake long enough to look out on Halong bay and appreciate it, long enough to see the construction sites on the small town going in to making Chinese owned theme parks (which I think is gross and ruins the natural beauty of the place). And I don't really regret it, even when you're travelling the world and in beautiful places that you may never see again, or at least not in the same way, sometimes your body and mind are going to take over and be like "no this is too much let me rest". That's what happened and it's ok.
One place I do think I need to go back to is Hanoi city though, that's not getting it's own post and it's also got barely any footage from because I ate, took a bath, and slept for the three days that I was there. I didn't get to see the sites or go to museums. I saw the view from my room, and the view from restaurants we went to and that was about it. But again, my body said no more and I listened, it's ok to sleep for a few days when you need to. Travel is hard when you're seeing new sites every day and having so many experiences and routine changes, sometimes you need to sleep on the boat boat that's going through an incredibly beautiful part of the world.
This post is very late to the party, what with it being the 2nd of may (crazyy). This is because I was waiting to develop about 5 photos from my film reel, all from the last two days of march, the only pain of film photography is the waiting. I was going to do this post last week but then it was Fashion Revolution week and that was more important to post about than how my March went.
So a very late march post, but I like reflecting on months past, it gives a nice positive perspective which is something I need in this very stressful May to come.

March was a sunny and all round positive month, it's a month where I really felt settled into uni, i was doing loads of things I wanted to and all round enjoying myself.

I've also changed my photo taking round half way through, it was quite creatively stunting to have to just take 1 photo, evey single day, where some days I did 101 things and others I spend 3 days stright in my flat doing work. So now at the end of the month I aim for photos to show how my month went but not with one photo every day, with lots of photos from a range of days as this feels more free and creative.
1st March means St Davids Day! I was going to make welsh cakes but I was curled up in bed all day.
Spoons for a hungover friend, well and me but they needed it more.
Dicks on a bus
A very pretty sky
Stone Baked Pizza Company do soya free vegan cheese!!
I can never tell where my camera is focusing, this was supposed to be cute
My Mumma came to visit! 
????
dunno what it is but I like it
This field is now covered in beautiful flowers, I see it every day on my way to campus
The total babe in the middle's Birthday Celebrations

l
My door is too heavy for this doorstop, so he lives on my window sill
Japanese food after Japanese class
Was trying tot take a picture of the cool shadow on the empty bus, didn't go to plan
This picture wasn't taken in Wales but it feels very, very Welsh
@ Fan Club's Second Birthday, basically an amazing girl party, I wrote an article about it for this month's Love From Berlin (live May 8th)
Yasassin
Me in my element, full of vegan cake and covered in glitter
Is it really a Birthday Party without confetti?
On the way to take a load of photos, took a photo
The first time I've been in Nottingham's bus station,
Car Park Rooftops are my fave
Card Games and Calligraphy in Japanese Society
Rainbow over Campus
Trees blossoming are just too pretty

Ok so that's a lot of photos, so much happened in March! It was actually a wonderful month, where I really felt home in Nottingham and at Uni. Happy times.

Good things that happened in March:
- Nottingham finally, properly felt like home
- I ate a lot of good food
- I had good sober nights out! Yay 4 healing my stomach
- My Mum came to visit me
- Flowers started to pop up everywhere, and the trees started to look green
- I went to one of the best gigs I've ever been to for Fanclub's 2nd Birthday
- Took time to scout out photography locations and go explore
- Did my Japanese speaking exam, and got a 2:1

So that's it for March, soon I'll be reflecting on April but for not it's back to getting through May, it's going to be a tough one.

2017 in Compact: March

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

This post is very late to the party, what with it being the 2nd of may (crazyy). This is because I was waiting to develop about 5 photos from my film reel, all from the last two days of march, the only pain of film photography is the waiting. I was going to do this post last week but then it was Fashion Revolution week and that was more important to post about than how my March went.
So a very late march post, but I like reflecting on months past, it gives a nice positive perspective which is something I need in this very stressful May to come.

March was a sunny and all round positive month, it's a month where I really felt settled into uni, i was doing loads of things I wanted to and all round enjoying myself.

I've also changed my photo taking round half way through, it was quite creatively stunting to have to just take 1 photo, evey single day, where some days I did 101 things and others I spend 3 days stright in my flat doing work. So now at the end of the month I aim for photos to show how my month went but not with one photo every day, with lots of photos from a range of days as this feels more free and creative.
1st March means St Davids Day! I was going to make welsh cakes but I was curled up in bed all day.
Spoons for a hungover friend, well and me but they needed it more.
Dicks on a bus
A very pretty sky
Stone Baked Pizza Company do soya free vegan cheese!!
I can never tell where my camera is focusing, this was supposed to be cute
My Mumma came to visit! 
????
dunno what it is but I like it
This field is now covered in beautiful flowers, I see it every day on my way to campus
The total babe in the middle's Birthday Celebrations

l
My door is too heavy for this doorstop, so he lives on my window sill
Japanese food after Japanese class
Was trying tot take a picture of the cool shadow on the empty bus, didn't go to plan
This picture wasn't taken in Wales but it feels very, very Welsh
@ Fan Club's Second Birthday, basically an amazing girl party, I wrote an article about it for this month's Love From Berlin (live May 8th)
Yasassin
Me in my element, full of vegan cake and covered in glitter
Is it really a Birthday Party without confetti?
On the way to take a load of photos, took a photo
The first time I've been in Nottingham's bus station,
Car Park Rooftops are my fave
Card Games and Calligraphy in Japanese Society
Rainbow over Campus
Trees blossoming are just too pretty

Ok so that's a lot of photos, so much happened in March! It was actually a wonderful month, where I really felt home in Nottingham and at Uni. Happy times.

Good things that happened in March:
- Nottingham finally, properly felt like home
- I ate a lot of good food
- I had good sober nights out! Yay 4 healing my stomach
- My Mum came to visit me
- Flowers started to pop up everywhere, and the trees started to look green
- I went to one of the best gigs I've ever been to for Fanclub's 2nd Birthday
- Took time to scout out photography locations and go explore
- Did my Japanese speaking exam, and got a 2:1

So that's it for March, soon I'll be reflecting on April but for not it's back to getting through May, it's going to be a tough one.
Hue gave my a little dream I never knew I had. Part of me just wants to move to Vietnam, buy a motorbike and explore forever.

Too many Amazing Veiws in Hue

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Hue gave my a little dream I never knew I had. Part of me just wants to move to Vietnam, buy a motorbike and explore forever.

This week is Fashion Revolution Week, a week happening at the time of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse back on 24th April 2013. It is a week that is about asking #whomademyclothes and calls for greater transparency in the fashion industry.
But today I want to talk less about the industry and brands themselves and more about what you. as a consumer, can do to become a fashion revolutionary and help change the industry for the better.
Do you know who made your clothes?
First of all fashion revolution is about asking the question #whomademyclothes? Most of us have absolutely no idea who made our clothes. It may say "Made in India" on the label but your clothes could have gone to 5 (or even more) different countries before going to india to be sewn together and then shipped off to your store. And with not knowing exactly who made your clothes you have no idea how the people putting your clothes are being treated. You don't know if they're being given a fair living wage, if they're a young child who can't afford to go to school, if they're being unfairly treated and working in unsafe conditions.
But this is what Fashion revolution week is about, this is how you can be a fashion revolutionary. By first asking yourself if you know who made your clothes, and then asking the brands who exactly made your clothes.
One of the campaigns Fashion Revolution are running is about turning your clothes inside out, back to front, or however you can see the label, posting it on social media and asking #whomademyclothes? So go and get your labels out and ask brands. Let's see if they respond.

We have a lot of power as customers and consumers to change the way that brands work, if we demand more transparency then brands will have to step up and tell us who is making our clothes.
Photo Courtesy of Jewelled Buddha
photo courtesy of bushbells
Stanley and Stella, a supplier for Lost and Shapes
Photo Courtesy of Jewelled Buddha
If you do know who made your clothes then that's amazing, print your "who made your clothes?" sign and show your label and tell people you do know who made your clothes!  There are plenty of ethical brands out there who are transparent, and treat their workers fairly. If you've purchased from them before and know who did make your clothes post about it, be a fashion revolutionary in that way.

And I know that there are a lot of transparent, ethical, and sustainable brands around because I've been working with them as part of a small campaign for Fashion Revolution week. Here I've been editing a lot of photos, and a video has been made, highlighting brands who do make a difference and talking about changes that need to be made both as consumers and as those who are more involved in the fashion industry. So I've included some of their photos in this post, to show you some people who do make clothes for ethical businesses. Fashion doesn't have to mean exploitation.
So go and hashtag away, ask brands who your clothes are being made by and ask for transparency. Big changes in the industry are the only way that tragic events like the Raja Plaza Factory collapse can be prevented from happening again.
Be a Fashion Revolutionary

Be A Fashion Revolutionary

Monday, 24 April 2017

This week is Fashion Revolution Week, a week happening at the time of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse back on 24th April 2013. It is a week that is about asking #whomademyclothes and calls for greater transparency in the fashion industry.
But today I want to talk less about the industry and brands themselves and more about what you. as a consumer, can do to become a fashion revolutionary and help change the industry for the better.
Do you know who made your clothes?
First of all fashion revolution is about asking the question #whomademyclothes? Most of us have absolutely no idea who made our clothes. It may say "Made in India" on the label but your clothes could have gone to 5 (or even more) different countries before going to india to be sewn together and then shipped off to your store. And with not knowing exactly who made your clothes you have no idea how the people putting your clothes are being treated. You don't know if they're being given a fair living wage, if they're a young child who can't afford to go to school, if they're being unfairly treated and working in unsafe conditions.
But this is what Fashion revolution week is about, this is how you can be a fashion revolutionary. By first asking yourself if you know who made your clothes, and then asking the brands who exactly made your clothes.
One of the campaigns Fashion Revolution are running is about turning your clothes inside out, back to front, or however you can see the label, posting it on social media and asking #whomademyclothes? So go and get your labels out and ask brands. Let's see if they respond.

We have a lot of power as customers and consumers to change the way that brands work, if we demand more transparency then brands will have to step up and tell us who is making our clothes.
Photo Courtesy of Jewelled Buddha
photo courtesy of bushbells
Stanley and Stella, a supplier for Lost and Shapes
Photo Courtesy of Jewelled Buddha
If you do know who made your clothes then that's amazing, print your "who made your clothes?" sign and show your label and tell people you do know who made your clothes!  There are plenty of ethical brands out there who are transparent, and treat their workers fairly. If you've purchased from them before and know who did make your clothes post about it, be a fashion revolutionary in that way.

And I know that there are a lot of transparent, ethical, and sustainable brands around because I've been working with them as part of a small campaign for Fashion Revolution week. Here I've been editing a lot of photos, and a video has been made, highlighting brands who do make a difference and talking about changes that need to be made both as consumers and as those who are more involved in the fashion industry. So I've included some of their photos in this post, to show you some people who do make clothes for ethical businesses. Fashion doesn't have to mean exploitation.
So go and hashtag away, ask brands who your clothes are being made by and ask for transparency. Big changes in the industry are the only way that tragic events like the Raja Plaza Factory collapse can be prevented from happening again.
Be a Fashion Revolutionary

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