tribute to emily teague

she sat on the steps and looked at the sky. It was still above her as she gently rested her fingertips in the cold strings of her guitar. Her hair hung in front of her eyes as she played, masking her face from the familiar stories she told with each note she sang.

The air was old and soft, and smelt of the city that she had grown up in. The music seemed to spill out of her palms each time she strummed a chord, the sound barely audible and lingering in the warm evening air. Each word spoken held its purpose and read like a poem drifting slowly around her small form nestling in the darkness of the evening.

She never thought when she sang. She just carried the music from her guitar, and let it free into the space around her, as it bounced off the brick walls and iron railings, old cars and rusty bikes crumpled against the neighbouring buildings, making each surface tingle with the new sensation of music.

The street transformed with each song. She sang louder and with more honesty as the guitar seemed to play itself, her movements pushing and pulling the notes until her voice merged with the music and she seemed to disappear into the street scene, as the focus faltered and the music took hold. The sky swam, her words softened and slowly the music created a picture of its own, resting above the harsh forms of the city, colouring them with ideas of love and truth and pain that helped create the rooms behind each door of her street.

The people pushed their ears up against their keyholes, their letterboxes and the cracks in the windowpanes to hear the sound of honesty filling the street in which they lived. The music called to each soul that was lost, confused and yearning for a familiar story to their own. The words filled their eyes and ears and covered their skin with colours they had forgotten existed. Shapes danced in the sky. Light danced on the concrete steps on which the girl sat. People danced behind their curtains, swaying their shoulders, loosening the knots that had tied themselves to the people they had come to believe that they are.

The girl sat on the steps and looked at the sky, her eyes open, her heart full and her notes on their way up to tell the moon a story of their own.

emily teague

Last night the folk house in bristol saw the launch of emily teagues new album.

If you do not know about emily teagues music then you are missing out and have not spent enough time in my company, because my life is lived to an emily teague soundtrack. seriously.

As a best friend of, and unabashed fan of, miss emily teague, I have been on a musical journey that has spanned around ten years now by her side. Ten years of hearing new songs moments after they are written... of receiving emails full of words recorded in kitchens in different cities... songs of friendship, of love, of heartbreak, of growing and learning experiences that have shaped this woman into the well rounded and beautiful individual who stood on the stage of the folk house last night and sang out her soul.

I remember her first show, the nerves, the circle of friends around a girl and her guitar in the local pub, the sing a long that ensued afterwards, the bad flyers that were sent out before hand... I remember us visiting the folk house for the first time to see pindrop, daves collective. I remember being blown away by the musicians, the music, the atmosphere, the sincerity and the smiles in the room that night... and it fills my heart with pride to know that now, emily teague is part of this group. she is part of the world that loves, appreciates and nurtures honest open music like her own.

As a musician emily has blossomed into a skilled artiste. she can mould songs into how she is feeling, she is able to draw in other talented musicians and shape songs to make a completely new moment... And she has never lost her soul. As long as she has a guitar and a voice I honestly don't think she will ever be able to.

congratulations em. I am too proud for words.

You can listen to the album here

And you can purchase the album from itunes...

although I personally would not miss out on the fantastic artwork provided by miss aurelia lange

image above copywrited to aurelia lange

rainbow warrior

Recently I had a reference to the Greenpeace 'Rainbow Warrior' in one of my human rights textbooks.

so i thought i would have a little look at what happened to the boat.

good old nuclear testing.


apartheid :2

pulse (a great little independent media source) brought to my attention a competition to show the comparison between apartheid in South Africa and the apartheid that is happening in the occupied Palestinian territories.

i remember when i was studying my undergraduate degree that there was a lot of contention with using the phrase 'apartheid' when discussing Palestine. critics argue that it is specific to one situation only; the dark period now passed in South Africa's history.

however, some of these short films shown on itisapartheid.tv make this argument very difficult to agree with. the comparisons are stark and many, from freedom of movement to basic civil and political rights, embedded in non/partial citizenship.

take a look at the 10 finalists here and for a look at some of the elements shared between apartheid SA and present day Palestine, take a gander at this excellent short excerpt from the upcoming film 'road map to apartheid' (to be released next year)

there is also a post on the pulse media blog by Robin Yassin-Kassa, detailing how even non-violent resistance is snuffed our by the apartheid like system.
read it here.


a gift

please can i have this for christmas?
for me, it looks like a dvd dream come true....

Elephant Engine High Dive Revival Preview from C.R. Saxton on Vimeo.


last night I read a poem in a book, by buddy wakefield.
it was called gospelstitch.

here are the four seattle based poets performing gospelstitch in really bad quality four years ago at a grand slam.

and here are the words that held me most:

our prayers come
from the ground up.

'cause everybody's got voices
and everybody's got some they can't contain
like my need to be redeemed
at any time
in any place.

So you can bring on your boogieman loading his fuss
and gunning his fattening desire
'cause we've got bees on flowers
with honey on hold
for those made of gold
but wrapped in wires
who keep themselves inspired
by the way they feel their spines
screaming, sparkling gods
who gotta live by the way they shine.

we pray until our words run out,

and Yours,




the invisibles

the beautiful and altruistic acting treat gael garcia bernal and excellent documentary maker marc silver put together these four short and fantastically shot documentary pieces on the experience of migrants from south and central america through mexico to reach the territory of the united states of america in all its glory.

the four shorts look at the different and hideous challenges that these people face, all in the name of hope for a better future for themselves and their children.

it is heartbreaking and angering to see what these people are willing to go through for a better life, due to being born to a certain nation state, at a certain time, with little or no other option but to risk life, limb and innocence for money.

watch them here on amnesty internationals website
or see the first part below- seaworld


slavoj zizek

I have just watched an Al Jazeera show, where zizek is interviewed concerning the question

"are we living in the end times?"

his views on cpaitalism are said to be hugely controversial- but are they?
for me, they seem to be honest and all encompassing, with zizek trying to pull apart each new element of global society that is emerging, how liberal democratic capitalism is changing, and what the future may hold for all of us... what will rise from the ashes?

i think he is inspiring and honest and incredibly interesting.
but you can see for yourself.


go south

Mollitas recommended me this documentary on Latin America.
and i'm so glad she did.
mainly because I am shamefully ignorant when it comes to the current political affairs of an entire continent, that seems to be forgotten in British text books and education systems (probably due to not being a former colony, therefore insignificant in a bullish post-colonial imperial manner)

It is fascinating to see a take on how things are changing in latin america, how leadership is developing, politics moulding and ownership being claimed back.

last night i was discussing with a friend who has been living in Kenya the difference between the development of the African and Latin American continents since decolonization...
it was an interesting comparison, but not at all surprising to think of how much the importance of a country's development depends up on the natural resources that can be found with in the territory.

this major factor of natural resources, combined with manipulative media and the power of money (always about the moneymoney) is presented in this documentary in a new light.
very interesting.
thanks oliver stone.



capitalist neo-liberal consumerism creates consumers who can consume like no one else imaginable.

tv shows, technology, food, clothes, money, cars, houses, music, kitchen appliances, leisure activities, holidays, sports equipment, concerts, drinks, ideas etc etc...

and this seems to create a problem with me. i like to think of myself as an open minded person. i am politically aware on the large part, i am engaged in current affairs, i have a mix of friends and acquaintances, a fairly diverse mix of interests, i enjoy conversations and people and the sharing of experiences and ideas on a daily basis... and yet i am a consumer. i can consume like no one else. perhaps not entirely in the sense of material goods like trainers and clothes and cars... but in the realm of ideas and ideologies and information. and because i am a consumer (this sounds like an excuse) i do not always retain the information I am given. however shocking it may be.

i think this may be due to my desensitization. and perhaps fear. Every day we are told single stories of places and people.. the poor people of the continent of Africa, their plight, the poverty and the HIV/Aids issue... the poor people of the occupied territories of Palestine, their struggle, the violence and the anger... the poor people of the UK, drug addicts, from broken homes and council estates... and although i am an empathetic person, and i feel sympathetic to these causes it does not make me take to the streets in protest. it does not make me throw a shoe at the president of the united states. it makes me angry and frustrated and write some words and perhaps say some words to some other people in heated exchanges... but because these stories are told to me every day by the worlds media, i become desensitized just like the rest of the masses. Oh, another picture of the devastation by a suicide bomber, another dying child of starvation in the Congo, another stabbing on the streets of my home town, Bristol. It is as though these stories are so ingrained in my life, as i look towards my studies in human rights and interest in globalisation and capitalism (or anti capitalism) i am immersed in a world of injustices and inequalities almost every day of my life. and i become complacent with my awareness. not every photograph reduces me to tears anymore... not every account of oppression and violence makes me grab a pen to write letters to my government... it has become mediated by the constant stream of information and naturalization of these issues into my world.

and although this may not appear as a positive thing... it also makes me aware of changes that are happening, perhaps not only to me, but perhaps to all of my generation... with this information boom i am able to choose independently where i get my information from. the bbc or al jazeera? i understand that media is far from neutral, that some sources are more reliable than others, that some certain journalists i respect far more than others... that sometimes a single photograph can tell more than an entire essay written on the same subject. that now we are able to share information, documentaries, tv shows, statements, songs, at the push of a button. i have found this most recently when being surrounded by friends from all over the world, sharing incredibly diverse and relevant information every single day, and the appreciation that comes with these acts of sharing.

with this vast and continuous dissemination of information every second of our lives we find ourselves open to certain information that may have never passed into our hands, or onto our screens and into our minds.

and this, i think, is a truly wonderful thing.