On Thursday 2nd September 2010 Underwerket Projects will be hosting a talk with Amelia Gregory from Amelia's Magazine about sustainability and design for activism. We talk to Amelia before coming over....
When you are coming to Copenhagen for the talk, you are traveling by car and ferry. That is a different way of traveling compared to many people who would just get on a plane. Could you tell a little about that and why?
I've never flown a lot but for the last five issues of Amelia's Magazine in print I flew to China, Mexico, Russia, Brasil and India to do interviews with the most interesting creative people I could find. During this time I became much more aware of the environmental costs of my Western lifestyle, and met many people who had chosen not to fly anymore as a way to keep their personal CO2 emissions down. I felt increasingly uncomfortable with flying as a means of transport, so two years ago I made the decision that I would only fly long haul if I really really needed to do so, and I wouldn't fly short haul again when there were other options available. This is because I believe short haul flights are entirely unnecessary. We've become to accustomed to a completely unsustainable lifestyle and we need to work towards a world where there are plenty of other easily available and affordable options for travel. For this reason I decided to get the ferry over to Copenhagen. Unfortunately it's still quite expensive to travel this way if you leave it to the last minute (as is the train) but the costs are quite reasonable if you book early enough.
Your website features a lot of music, could you recommend some music we should listen to?
At the moment I'm listening to quite a lot of folk, and I highly recommend the music of Laura Gibson, Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou, Dry the River and Lulu and the Lampshades (which also happens to be fronted by a very talented former Amelia's Magazine section editor). For live performance I really rate The Golden Filter and Gabby Young and Other Animals, both of whom were outstanding at Secret Garden Party this year. Danny and the Champions of the World were fabulous at Glastonbury and I've seen Scandinavia's finest First Aid Kit perform numerous times but never cease to be blown away by them.
Is there anything we should read or see before your talk in Copenhagen?
Well, I would hope that anyone attending the talk will at least have a passing knowledge of my website - which is updated several times daily. If not, do drop by and see what you think of our content!
Have you ever been in Copenhagen before? Besides the talk what else are you going to do and see in Copenhagen?
I was in Copenhagen during the Cop15 in December 2009 - we stayed in a huge school in the suburbs, sleeping like sausages packed together in the dorms. It was a really fantastic experience - we rode around everywhere on bikes and then took part in a big Bike Block action outside the Bella Centre on the final day of action. It was a lot of hard work because our networks were so fragmented across the city and I only closely escaped arrest several times, but I really enjoyed feeling part of much bigger movement towards climate justice. I hope that we will make it to some of the places recommended by Laura on my trip to Copenhagen. Apart from that, I am looking forward to lots of time spent in beautiful places, and lots of rest.
If some of us are going to London (your home town) this autumn, what will you recommend we should see? And where should we go for art, music and food?
Oh well, I don't eat out that much so I'm not sure I would be able to recommend much from that point of view, but for art I would definitely recommend making a trip over east to Shoreditch and Hackney to see some of the smaller galleries that have sprung up everywhere, as well as of course visiting all the bigger ones: the Tate and the Whitechapel in particular. There's a great exhibition of portraits by America painter Alice Neel on at the Whitechapel until 17th September. For music good venues include the Union Chapel in Islington, which is a vast old church with amazing seating. And there are loads of really good small venues where you might get a chance to see up and coming artists before they become well known.
Thanks a lot Amelia! We are looking forward till seeing you here.