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Blog - Communities

History into Fiction: From Blind Asylums, to Glasgow Strikes and Riots to The 1920 Blind March

In this (rather long, sorry!) blog I discuss the process – and accidental discoveries – of writing my first historically-based short story, ‘Kick-Start’, about the roots of blind and disabled organising and resistance in the UK. Comma Press has just launched the hefty, hard-cover, Protest! Stories of Resistance. In its ...

Isolte Avila and David Bower from Signdance Collective

Signdance Collective present ‘Carthage/ Cartagena’

Signdance Collective celebrate a 30-year anniversary with an international tour of Carthage/Cartagena by Obie Award-winning playwright Caridad Svich and will be performing at Oxford Playhouse, Burton Taylor Studio on Friday 7th July at 7.30pm and Theaterlab, New York from July 19th -21st Set in an imagined despoiled, war-torn landscape, Carthage/Cartagena uncovers ...

Image of a hand sorting through artistic contributions from one of Root Experience's community led arts projects

Authentic community led arts

And the challenges of truly & honestly reflecting participant’s creativity within the confines of an arts council funded project, by Artistic Director, Simon Magnus IDEAS When the idea for Root Experience's newest experience the Hidden Project, originally came to me a couple of years ago, I had a clearer notion of what the ...

The Equals

Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys: Some Belated Praise for the Equals

Last year I bought a copy of a music magazine called Shindig. A magazine that covers music from past decades. The main focus often being on the 1960s. In particular, the psychedelic music that blossomed in the second half of the decade. My main reason for buying the magazine was ...

Photo of two individuals standing against a blue wall with silver buckets on their heads

Introducing The Hidden Project

Hi, I’m Simon Magnus, the Artistic Director of Root Experience. We are a ground-breaking arts charity working to empower communities to make positive changes, using their own creativity and expression. The group’s latest endeavour, aims at breaking down stigmas and creating a culture of inclusion for people living with invisible ...

Five things you don’t know about Penny Pepper…

I hate apricots – who knew that? I think that’s enough, though I might sneak another one in later.  I’ve read far too much about how to do social media lately… Life has been a swing between work and health. Sometimes it’s more a stagger. Sometimes a bounce. Lots of news and I ...

Signs: Mind Steps aka Photo Poem for an Unresolved Election

    • Hornsey Town Hall Square, scene of public defeats, on an overcast day. In a low mood not alleviated by Dunns Bakery cakes feeling surrounded by depressing signs alluding to depressing times.
Some days there are signs everywhere. Portents of doom. Everything is rubbish. Next poem will use words.

My film ‘Dear CCTV Camera’ asks the CCTV to look at itself

A few years back, I wrote a poetry blog on DAO that asks awkward questions to a CCTV camera, that interrogates everything about the CCTV, its users, and the ideology behind it. Here it is now in film form. Enjoy! I promise I won't be watching you.


Sitting among 20 odd old white folk Concessioned on a Monday To watch I Am Not Your Negro Suggests their civil rights struggle Became our entertainment Their martyrs our heroes As the celluloid image Recites the lines we know The songs we sing The police dance of brutality Moves choreographed with truncheons And I feel a disconnect As I think of Cameron And

Michelle Baharier: making art from the human condition

Depression a name Given to your state of mind A name used to describe you to others A name for want of any other name A time of non-existence A frame without borders A newspaper Yet for me Art is the only Tool