Span That World: The DF Web
IFM are holding a week long study session themed on Human Rights, Democracy and how our organisations can effectively educate young people to build a better future.
Open to all DFs and Woodcraft members aged 18 – 30 (with exceptions, so if you’re an under 18 DF you’d still be able to attend), offering a chance to expand and share knowledge of Human Rights Education and Democratic Citizenship and develop skills to help implement better education around these themes in your organisation.
There is a 50 Euro participation fee (please contact me if this would be a barrier to you participating) but travel costs will be reimbursed.
Applications are open until 15th March 2015.
*BOOKING NOW OPEN*
Spring- when the earth reawakens, nature bursts back into life and you can finally shake off those winter blues…
So what better way to spend it than with DFs in the gorgeous Yorkshire countryside?
Booking is now open for this year’s Spring Awakening, where the theme is positivity! Be prepared for four days of positive action, well-being and just generally having a good time.
Dates: 8th – 12th April 2015
Price: £45 (£10 per night + £5 Fairer Fare)
Pay on the event with cheque or cash. Cheques should be made out to ‘Woodcraft Folk DFs’
Nearest train stations: Batley (4 miles) or Bradford (5.7 miles)
Admin – Ruby Kelman
Daytime Programme – Lily MacTaggart
Evening Programme – Lily Bowler
KPs – Emily Connor Sitepu & Elliot Francis-Hewett
KE – Elsie Tata
If you have any queries, offers of programme or anything else, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know on the Facebook event
One of our affiliates, WDM, is taking a group of people to Brussels in February to protest against TTIP.
This trip, on 3rd and 4th February 2015, is just £150 including Eurostar and accomodation. Subsidies are available if you need them. Just contact 020 7820 4900 or email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
- A walking tour of the corporate and lobbying villains of Brussels with the Corporate Europe Observatory
- A meeting hosted by Green MEPs and including civil society campaigners from across the EU
- A chance to lobby your MEPs
- A protest at the European Commission featuring FoEE’s huge inflatable Trojan Horse.
- A performance, inside the EU Parliament of Commonwealth Theatre’s fantastic “Deal vs People”.
What is TTIP?
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed free trade agreement between the EU and the US. But unlike other trade agreements, TTIP’s big focus isn’t tariffs or quotas. It’s all about getting rid of regulations and standards that make it more difficult for multinational companies to sell their products.
TTIP is highly controversial and opposed by many different groups. Those who are against it argue TTIP will mean more corporate power and reduced democratic control. This is because TTIP includes clauses that will:
- Grant new powers for corporations sue governments;
- Lead to more privatisation of public services like the NHS and education;
- Weaken workers’ rights and put millions of jobs at risk;
- Reduce environmental protection and food safety regulation;
- Undermine buy local schemes;
- Be a new blueprint for future trade deals around the world.
Between the 27th December 2014 till the 3rd January 2015, IFM are hosting their annual Winterschool Seminar at the Educational Centre, Kurt Löwenstein in Werftpfuhl, Berlin. This seminar is open to all of you DFs, as members of IFM through Woodcraft Folk.
These seminars create an inspiring safe space for discussions and activities, with this one focusing on the theme of Migration and Flight. It will analyse migration and refuge within Europe, social exclusion, racism and poverty and their relationship to the theme. At the event, different working groups and political forums will explore certain areas through creative activities led to get you thinking more broadly about migration and flight in our society. How could socialist alternatives to the current systems improve things and how can we work together to support refugees and migrants for the better? If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, please keep reading, apply for a place, and get along to participate in this exciting seminar available to any aged 18 – 27 member of Woodcraft and other members of IFM organisations.
Besides sharing work and political debate, there will also be multiple opportunities to have fun together, including a trip to Berlin and a huge, international welcome to 2015 at the centre.
Registrations are open until the 7th December, and can be done at https://kurtloewenstein.wufoo.com/forms/seminar-registration-forms/ . There is a participation fee of around €30 – 75 (dependant on the country you’re from) with possible help towards transport costs from IFM and DFs. For more information on the costs of the event, don’t hesitate to contact me and I’ll do everything I can to help get you there. We want all events to be accessible as possible, and if the main barrier for participation is the cost, there are many options to help towards them and get you to this event.
Blue skies, Emily Connor
- International Opportunities & Sustainability – DF Committee
What if every DF emailed their head teacher about installing solar panels in their school? What if they got all their friends with links with other schools to do the same? You don’t even have to write the email yourself I’ve done it for you! Although a little personal tailoring wouldn’t go amiss.
Dear (head teacher/other person of relevance),
As a student/parent/member of staff at (your school) I would like to tell you about the Friends of the Earth project, Run on Sun. Friends of the Earth offer support for schools looking to install solar panels. As we run out of time to avoid the most severe dangers of climate change, the switch to green energy becomes more urgent, where better to start than a school? The solar panels will have a direct positive influence on the future of the generation you care for and can be used as an educational resource. This is on top of saving the school a huge amount of money in the long term. To find out more and get help from Friends of the Earth sign up here.
A fitting sign off for whatever your relationship with the receiver is,
Your lovely name (optional kiss)
Crawberry Hill community protection camp is an anti- fracking camp that has successfully resisted energy company Rathlin’s plan to start fracking for shale gas.
February 14th-18th Beat and The Pulse (a woodcrafter’s catering business) with help from the rest of us will be providing food for the camp, but you are VERY WELCOME to stay longer, just let me know. We will also plan some entertainment for the camp over those days. Open to all ages, this will not only be a important thing to do for the anti-fracking and wider climate movement but it will also be a fantastic family event so bring the whole family with you.
ARREST THAT POET! by Danny Chivers – this acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe show comes to the Crawberry Hill Protectors Camp at 2 O’clock on the 14th February 2015!
Have you ever climbed up a power station, D-locked yourself to a construction company’s staircase or been sued for £5 million? Until recently, slam poet Danny Chivers certainly hadn’t. So how did a bookish boy from Bristol end up dodging security guards, battling criminal charges and trying not to thump Richard Madeley, all in the name of a safer planet? Storytelling meets poetry in this darkly funny true tale of rhyming and rebellion.
***** “Genuine and passionate, a must-see…makes this serious subject matter not just light-hearted but bordering on hilarious.” – edfringereview.com
**** “Exciting, enraging and inspiring…he changed the way I perceive activists.” – ThreeWeeks
“Feisty, thought-provoking and politically rounded…a seriously funny rising star” – New Internationalist Magazine
“Transform[s] protest and direct action from something intimidating into something joyously angry and engaged…when I walked out of the [theatre], it wouldn’t have taken much to convince me to occupy a power station.” – Exeunt Magazin
There will also be performances from Wrong Side of The Pennines, Lilly MacTaggart and JosieTothill.
Bring with you all your workshop running, cooking, moral raising and idea having skills along with some very warm clothes and all your mates. Lets support these people in whatever way we can. No worries if you can’t come and camp, there’s still plenty you can do to raise money for them! email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or suggestions.
Just like the list of explaining climate science resources, this pack of climate activities is ever unfinished because I know you will continue to come up with brilliant ways of getting groups of any age engaged, informed and empowered. When you do stumble across other activities or make them up yourselves email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can keep adding to this.
Run activities from this pack in your district or with any other groups you might find yourself involved with. If you know someone who might find this useful email them it today. The more people we can reach the better.
District Fellow’s is the 16 to 20-age range of Woodcraft Folk. Woodcraft Folk is the UK member organisation of IFM-SEI which is an awesome socialist educational organisation who organise events, programmes and more worldwide for all members of it’s member organisations.
I agree, it gets a bit confusing sometimes with all the layers and different organisations and names for events but I’m here to make it simple…Basically, as a DF you get the chance to attend oodles of fantastic, inspiring, educational events all over the world and I’m here to get you there.
Ever heard the words Wwoofing? Queer Easter? EVS? Ever wondered what they are? To be honest, those words SHOULD get your ears burning, because they are some of the most exciting events you’ll come across in your life as a DF. Three times a year, IFM hold seminars in a huge venue in Berlin where individuals from IFMs other member organisations group together for a week. At these events, you get a refreshing mixture of discussions and activities in your working group, (which you get a choice in selecting but are all based on the theme of the seminar) as well as socialising time filled with more discussions, films, dancing, quizzes and everything else fun. These events are mind-blowing and awe-inspiring because you experience a week of totally open-minded discussion, amazingly well thought through activities, parties with equality, respect and consent everywhere you look and the only bad thing could be the farewell with all the friends you make! They’re different to Woodcraft events, different to DF events and offer something we don’t often get a chance to do… develop ideas, friendships, opinions, confidence with a whole heap of international like-minded friends!
‘The highlight of my week at Kurt Lowenstein house was the new-formed friendships, the almost instant friendships that feel like they will last forever. It was brilliant to meet such fantastic people from all over the globe. Everyday we discussed and learnt new things with each other, ate in a buzz of conversation with new faces and broken english.’ – Hannah Clarke after Winter School.
Queer Easter – 29th March till 5th April 2014.
Keep your eyes peeled for more information about this, the awesome theme and how to get yourself a place.
Send me, Emily Connor, a message or email email@example.com for more information.
Our international opportunities don’t just stop at seminars in Berlin however… The fantastic EVS programme is a fully funded one year project where any DF can spend 12 months volunteering for one of IFMs member organisations ANYWHERE in the world! During this project, you get all the support you need, from all organisations involved, training sessions tailored to your project and country and communication platforms between other volunteers to share activity ideas and general problems or experiences that arise. This opportunity is so worthwhile; you’ll develop personal skills, experience a whole new country, language and culture, work with children in our partner organisations and not only get the chance to learn these things yourself, but be able to share your experiences with the organisation you’re in to help them develop the work they’re doing. You learn things on so many different levels and are given enough support to be able to tackle any problems that come your way.
This opportunity comes about around once a year and I will be sure to advertise about this when it comes up. For now, I want you all to think about these opportunities… Are they something you’d be interested in? Are there things you want to know more about? I’m here to answer your questions. I’ve been to an IFM seminar in Berlin and have done EVS in Indonesia, so can answer most of your questions and tell you in much more detail what these things entail if you need to know.
Don’t hesitate to ask me anything by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org and keep your eyes peeled for more posts about international opportunities in the near future.
Blue Skies, Emily Connor (International Opportunities on DF Committee)
White Eurocentric Beauty standards
Written by Jess Poyner
I first rejected the word ‘afro’ to describe my hair aged around nine or ten after a group of white teenage boys on my estate hissed and yelled the word at me as if it was an insult. From that day until a couple of years ago I always insisted that my hair was ‘curly’, grew it out and used curl definition gel to keep it in perfect ringlets framing my face.
It’s shameful how pervasive white, Eurocentric standards of beauty are in all types of media; I remember very few images of black women with their hair in a natural style such as an afro or in locs while growing up. Until very recently the dominant images in my life have been of white western styles, with the only famous people wearing locs being white people such as Newton Faulkner.
I have had to make a conscious decision to alter the bias in the media I consume and now follow many black fashion blogs on Tumblr which is inspiring me to be more and more creative with my natural hair and to properly appreciate its versatility. There’s a huge increase in black women embracing the natural hair movement which defies the idea that unstraightened black hair is unprofessional looking, ugly and unclean. Racial stigmitisation against natural hairstyles is definitely still prevalent in society; take for instance the massive backlash against Beyonce’s choice to keep her toddler’s hair natural, over 5,000 people signed a petition demanding that does something to stop it “developing matted dreads and lint balls”. Hair choice is of course a personal choice and should be that way, but due to bullying by society, people with afro hair are denied choice, and must succumb to impossible white beauty standards.
I went through a few phases of straightening my hair when going to the hairdressers, and feeling uncomfortable when my hair was brushed out and looked ‘frizzy’ (a ridiculously long and expensive process, lasting only a few days). Then when I was 16 I went for a radical change and cut it super short that changed it’s texture to looser and more kinky curls. I’m now far more confident to brush it out, and I style it using Aussie curl definition gel which conditions and fluffs it up and has a bit of hold in it that keeps my hair in place. Reclaim the word ‘afro’ to describe my hair has been an important part in defining my identity as a black woman.