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- WM Air: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/gees/research/projects/wm-air/index.aspx
- Solihull School Streets pilot: http://www.solihull.gov.uk/Resident/Parking-travel-roads/road-safety/Solihull-School-Streets-Pilot/School-Streets
- Skips Clean Air Cops: http://www.skipseducational.org/clean-air-cops/
- be prepared to do the things you ask others to do – as a woman, if you champion inclusivity of women, be prepared to also be one of those that does the talk
- Find your tribe
- Encourage, connect and support
- Women don’t always think of themselves as “speakers” – so ask them to think of themselves as one
- It’s about equality of opportunity – you can’t always get it right, not everyone you want is available, but you can try
- Mainly, play your part
- Think about three things you’re proud of – “F*ck you, you’re brilliant” – own what you’re proud of, be confident about it
- You don’t learn confidence in a two hour session, it takes time
- Confidence is try and knowing it won’t kill you
- Does Imposter Syndrome as we know it really exist? What if, instead, it is reacting to how people react to us – “I’m not Sh*t, you’re a D*ckhead”
- Trust your gut instinct
- “Peak-end rule” how people feel at the most intense point and the end, rather than the total sum or average
- No matter how hard something is, it’ll probably be alright
- (It’s also important to find space for introverted people)
- Do we dislike confident people? Not the arrogant people, but the people who are just vocal
- Don’t wait for people to notice how good you are
- Know your sh*t – don’t set yourself up to fail – is this the difference to Imposter Syndrome?
- What if silencing the nagging through in the back of your head wasn’t always good / bad – Some of it is good, and some of it is something which makes you jog on
- Are creative people more predisposed to distractions because they’re addicted to the endorphins that come with the end-goal?
Climate change, traffic congestion and poor air quality have all been hot topics in the media, particularly in Birmingham where the Council’s announcement of a Clean Air Zone has brought some heated opinions from residents. London Sustainability Exchange (LSx), who have been working with residents in some of East Birmingham’s wards, arranged a question and answer session for Birmingham residents to pose questions to academics, councillors and campaigners.
Opening the evening, Alice Vodden from London Sustainability Exchange gave some background to how the evening came about; working with residents of Birmingham’s Sparkbrook and Ward End, particularly looking at poor air quality around high servies areas, they realised that a co-ordinated collection action would create more change. Realising that the residents they worked with grasped the problems, but also had a lot of questions, LSx convened a group of panellists who each have an interest in air quality in Birmingham. Each speaker was given a few minutes to talk about the subject, with the rest of the time offered up to questions from the floor.
The first person to talk was Dr Zongbo Shi, Senior Lecturer in Atmospheric Biogeochemistry at the University of Birmingham. Dr Shi talked about what exactly is air pollution and why a blue sky is not necessarily a clean sky, despite what people might think. By studying the data it was clear to see that whilst Birmingham might not have the dangerously high levels of particle matter in the air that cities like Dehli have, air quality pollutants are fairly consistent in causing problems even at lower levels, so Birmingham needs to act – particularly at roadsides where it is a bigger problems than in urban backgrounds.
Dr Shi pointed out that a few percent of GDP is lost to air pollution, giving examples of people who become sick and then cannot work because of respiratory illness. He and his team are working on WM Air, the West Midlands Air Quality Improvement Programme, which supports improvements to air quality in the area and the knock on benefits to health and education.
Next up was Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport & Environment at the Birmingham City Council who talked about the brave and bold leadership Birmingham showed by introducing Clean Air Zone class D, which means all vehicles (Buses, coaches, taxis, PHVs, HGVs LGVs and cars) but motorbikes are included within the remit. This is the toughest of the Clean Air Zones on offer but Councillor Zaffar pointed out that even this wasn’t enough, and that the council weren’t interested in merely being legally compliant, but that this would be the jumping off point, as good air quality is important to future generations and to reduce health inequalities within the city, especially as the Clean Air Zone encompasses some of the poorer communities with the city. He was also careful to point out that the council are aware these communities will be impacted by the creation of the Clean Air Zone and that they have requested additional funds from central government to support these groups, and small businesses within the zone.
Sue Huyton from the British Lung Foundation was the third panelist and she spoke about the unsafe levels of air pollution around hospitals and GP surgeries, both nationally, but also in Birmingham, where three hospitals are in areas that are unsafe and 41% of GP surgeries in areas which exceed the safe levels for air pollution, higher than the national average. Sue praised the national leadership shown by Birmingham City Council class D, but would want to see WHO recommendations for better air quality included in the Environment Bill, believing the answer to clean air lies in legislating for it.
Stirchley resident Sandra Green joined the Clean Air Parents’ Network because she wanted to engage with how air pollution affected children. Through the network she’s met with a number of interesting people, but talked about a sobering meeting with someone from UNICEF who she always thought of as working on child issues around the country, but found out that they have a campaign around UK children’s right to clean air. Sandra believed that the way to change attitudes is through hearts and minds, and that things like the reusable cup example show it is possible, especially if we get people to think of air quality in the same way.
The final speaker of the evening was Chris Crean from Friends of the Earth West Midlands. Chris expressed thanks to the organisers for arranging the evening, Birmingham City Council for persevering, even when faced with criticism from within their own party, but that the biggest thanks should go to Client Earth who have successfully taken the UK government to court three times over air pollution in the country. Recognising reports which talked about having only 12 years to act on climate change, Chris talked about the need to change how we live so that we have a sustainable economy, but also that we leave a tolerable planet for future generations to live on, and that this can’t simply be things like cleaner and green cars but less cars on the road. He also spoke about the concerns government is only interested in compliance, rather than challenging further and whether they will put their money where their mouth is by supporting local councils to make the necessary changes.
Whilst Chris praised the leadership of the council for implementing the Clean Air Zone, he did also point out a number of inconsistencies including plans to widen the Dudley Rd to more traffic and the chaos over changes to buses in south Birmingham, and what this says to residents and businesses within the Clean Air Zone. Councillor Zaffar agreed this was a fair point and that the council needs to reprioritise the road space, make a walkable city centre and connect the new cycle-ways to existing paths. Chris ended his talk suggesting that the city is not an island and that it needs to work with others in the conurbation, by sharing ideas like Solihull School Streets campaign [a pilot project which aims to address such issues by limiting traffic in the streets surrounding schools at key times, creating a predominantly car free zone] and working together to make a real impact.
And with the talks done it was over to questions. As usual, several questions weren’t actually questions but more comments, offering to install pilot air filters which have been successful in India, calls to extend the Skips Clean Air Cops from primary into secondary schools, and whether contact information for people in the room could be shared.
Questions about investment were asked, with Councillor Zaffar replying that a London-centric government does not fund transport fairly, and that the area has a long way to go in terms of charging points for electric vehicles and pushing for public transport not to move to the compliant Euro VI emissions but rely on hydrogen and electric vehicle fleets instead. Questions around the joined up thinking around cycling were also raised, with Councillor Zaffar explaining how Manchester and the West Midlands authorities had spent transport money (WMCA spent it on the metro), and how Birmingham still needed to invest more but hopes that different ways of working, like the partnership with the Canals and River Trust, would be of use.
Gavin Passmore from sustainable transport charity Sustrans asked about how receptive schools had been to the ideas around reducing parents driving to school and it was a mixed response, with Sandra Green saying teachers are keen and are thinking of innovative ways to implement it into the curriculum through things like maths and physical educations, whereas Sue Huyton pointed out that some schools are initially hostile due to concerns about how it would negatively impact the school, but that going in on a reducing carbon footprint was a more positive spin on a similar topic.
Public transport was something that came up in both the panelist and audience questions, with one audience member posing the question as to whether Birmingham could take inspiration from numerous other cities around the world and introduce free public transport. Councillor Zaffar said this was a great aspiration, and that there is certainly a need to make public transport cheaper, but that whilst the West Midlands Combined Authority Major has the right to franchise public transport, this isn’t something he seems to be looking at. But that Birmingham City Council are trying to make changes where they can by introducing bus lanes and gates which prioritise buses on the roads.
The last question of the evening was around the response to the consultation for the Clean Air Zone, which has been controversial within Birmingham. The audience member pointed out that two thirds of responses were negative, and how do we change this and get people to see what the issues are. Sue pointed at the work Client Earth had done around their Poisoned Playground campaign, as well as the British Lung Foundation’s website, which used data to show the impact on areas. She recognised the limits of the data, but said that this data has given vocal parents the ammunition to accelerate things and put pressure on bringing about change. And finally Councillor Zaffar called for a bottom up approach which saw young people as vital to encourage parents to enact change.
Whilst Ready Player One might not have been everyone’s hit film of the summer, there is no denying that the enthusiasm for seeing Birmingham on the big screen was one of the big draws for a lot of residents. Brummies have Sindy Campbell from Film Birmingham to thank for that, and bringing a lot more productions to a city which doesn’t always have the best reputation nationally. But with the success of Peaky Blinders, and the talk around its creator Steven Knight building a studio in the city, are things looking up for film in Birmingham?
Continuing a run of successful salon events, based on the seventeenth century tradition of gathering under one room to increase the knowledge of those in attendance through conversation, freelance facilitator and host Helga Henry is back with her third ‘Helga Henry in Conversation With’ event this year. Previous guests includes property developer Anthony McCourt and TEDxBrum founder Anneka Deva. Tonight, in the function room of 1000 Trades in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, Helga welcomed Sindy Campbell of Film Birmingham to talk about the work she does bringing film to Birmingham.
Sindy spoke about a lot of misconceptions that people might have about Film Birmingham, namely that they’re not responsible for funding films, but rather supporting filming in Birmingham and making sure shoots run smoothly. She talked about how the initial disappointment and frustration of Channel Four choosing Leeds over Birmingham, but the silver lining being that some of the money allocated for that will stay in the region and might make its way back to local filmmakers. Others expressed a disappointment in the hopes that a Channel Four HQ in Birmingham might’ve brought with it more development opportunities for professionals working within the film industry in the city, which had largely disappeared with the closure of organisations like Advantage West Midlands.
Steven Spielberg on set Birmingham 5th September 2016 Picture by and credited to SNAPPERSK pic.twitter.com/wUDhcuCFcG
— SnapperSK OFFICIAL (@snappersk) September 5, 2016
Clearly the biggest thing for the city in terms of filming recently was this summer’s Ready Player One, where several scenes were filmed around Digbeth and the Jewellery Quarter. Sindy talked about the huge buzz it generated in the city, how people swarmed the sets and the pride people felt seeing their city on screen (even if we were the location of a dystopia). Reconnaissance work was done months before Steven Spielberg arrived in the city, with his team flying in from LA to scope out locations.
But it’s not just Ready Player One that’s put Birmingham on screen. Films like The Girl with All the Gifts, the last three seasons of BBC drama Hustle and the first season of the superb Line of Duty were all filmed here too. But perhaps Birmingham’s biggest success is one that has never actually filmed here: Peaky Blinders. The impact of Peaky Blinders has been huge, with people all over the world watching the show thanks to Netflix and BBC Worldwide; Peaky Blinder tours, themed pub nights and stag do fancy dress have all appeared. Sindy said she would love to have the series film in Birmingham, which was proposed at one point, but the main location requested, the Grand Ballroom, was undergoing refurbishment and wasn’t ready and to make it cost effective a second location would be required.
Which of course, this brought us onto the news that Steven Knight, Writer and Creator of Peaky Blinders announced plans to open a six-stage TV and film studio, called Mercian Studios. Helga mentioned that a previous In Conversation With speaker, Anthony McCourt had talked about how quickly big spaces are being snapped up, as Birmingham seems to have no end of appetite for one / two bed apartments in the city. But the news that a large studio would be coming to the area has been well received, particularly as Sindy spoke about the massive shortage of studio space and build space in the country, but particularly around Birmingham.
She also talked about the huge economic impact having a hit series in the area could have to the city, not just for the tourism industry, but also for the hospitality industry and catering who support a large-scale production, and are often sourced locally. Sindy talked about the impact Game of Thrones had on Belfast, almost growing a film production industry overnight; the hope would be that something similar could happen to Birmingham. And that the large number of industry professionals who live in Birmingham may no longer have to travel the length and breadth of the country for work, as there would be more closer to home.
As the event started to wrap up, the conversation turned to looking at what can be done to support Sindy and Film Birmingham, which is really punching above its weight in terms of what it delivers. Inevitably the question about what the city council’s responsibility is, compared to other cities where arts and culture are given more focus and councils are more willing to take a risk, but it was rightly it was pointed out that they have a lot going on at the moment but both Helga and Sindy pointed out that it is easy to blame others, but instead of us thinking what’s the answer, should we just get on and do something. Helga suggested that people are already producing things without the big names like Channel Four, mentioning local YouTubers with large follower numbers and the rise of the popularity of podcasts.
There was also a look at how the city might use what it already has to improve, with Julia from Rebel Uncut talking about the need to have super connectors in Birmingham linking up organisations and people which could have a mutual benefit, like writers and producers. This isn’t rocket science, and is often mentioned, but is a perennial problem Birmingham faces: a lack of communication. However, there was a sense that for the filmmakers that do make it to Birmingham, people love it when they get here. The challenge is just to get here.
The next ‘Helga Henry in Conversation with…’ is scheduled for 23 January. The speakers hasn’t yet been announced, but if it’s as insightful and eye-opening as the session with Sindy Campbell from Film Birmingham, it’ll be well worth attending. To find out more, keep an eye on Helga’s website https://helgahenry.com/
Proving that it does indeed live forever, Fame The Musical is back for a 30th anniversary tour.
Based on the 1980’s phenomena, the story follows of a group of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts, Fame deals with a lot of contemporary issues including identity, pride, literacy, sexuality and substance abuse, which are just as relevant as they were back when the film first debuted. Opening in Manchester back in summer, the 30th Anniversary Tour of Fame The Musical proves to be just as popular now as it was then.
Fame the Musical follows the stories of ten students who successfully audition and are accepted into New York’s High School For The Performing Arts, along with their dedicated teachers, Miss Bell, Mr Myers, Mr Sheinkopf and Miss Sherman, the latter played by soul singer Mica Paris. Rather than a typical story following main characters, most of the ten students the film focuses on smaller storylines surrounding each of these. Given the original story was a film, it’s sometimes difficult to translate the nuances from film to stage, but the play does an admirable job keeping the audience up with the emotional rollercoaster of these high school students determined to make it.
Iris Kelly, a talent ballet dancer who is confused for being wealthy and snobbish, until the truth is revealed. Played by Jorgie Porter, best known for her work on Channel Four’s Hollyoaks, she’s able to put the skills learnt on Dancing with the Stars to good use as a ballet dancer, and the grace with which she and partner Tyrone (played by Jamal Kane Crawford) move together feels entirely believable. That said, at some points early into the play there were a few off notes from some of the dancers during the ensemble pieces, possibly done to show the evolution of the performers as the move through the school years.
Like all good shows, the warm up whilst not always an enjoyable as the performance is important, and the first act feels a little like this. It’s where a lot of the set up of the storylines happens; the introduction of the characters, the hopes and dreams of the students are discovered and the reality of how hard they’ll have to work to achieve it is also make clear to them. At times the first act feels a little mechanical, despite the wonderful choreography, in terms of trying to set up the plot points of the characters and it’s not always easy to see the emotional growth of the characters. But fitting this much storytelling into one musical is tricky, and whilst the first act contains the set up, it means the stage is set for act two and the powerhouse of action.
The second act feels far stronger than the first, packing in the emotional punches that have been set up by the first half of the show. The resolution to the stories are revealed, some good and some sad, a few which will see a few audience members shed a few tears. It’s also where the biggest applause of the evening so far is seen, during Miss Sherman’s solo, These Are My Children. It’s here where Mica Paris’ voice is given a real chance to shine, the soul and emotion and big notes are heartfelt. Compared to the earlier Teacher’s Argument, sung as a duet with Miss Bell (played by Katie Warsop), These Are My Children completely blew it out of the water.
The set and lighting design work particularly well, especially around the transitions between scenes, where the use of lighting casting silhouettes or shadowing the stage enhances the atmosphere. The wall of photographs, presenting the yearbook adds a nice backdrop, a reminder of the setting, both the era in which the story is set and the majority of the location in and around the high school.
There are some elements which felt like they could’ve aged a little better – the confusion over the sexuality of Nick Piazza feels clunky, saved only by the sincerity and sensitivity with which Keith Jack plays the character. The thin actress playing the overweight Mabel Washington who favours the ‘see food’ diet feels a bit over an oversight too. That said, a lot of the stories from thirty years ago resonate just as strongly then as they do now – the drive to succeed, the issues around drug addiction, ‘insta-fame’ and living up to familial expectations.
By the end of the show, everyone in the audience is up on their feet as the final song of the evening is, as you’d expect, the Oscar-winning titular song Fame, sung powerfully by Stephanie Rojas (who plays Carmen) and Mica Paris. Despite a slow start, Fame delivers an energetic show and from the audience reaction, and sorry for the cliche, but it’s easy to see why it is set to live forever.
Fame the Musical is at the Alexandra Theatre from 19 – 24 November 2018, with matinee showings on both Wednesday and Saturday. To book tickets, head to the Fame UK Tour website.
This was a press event. Photos and their copyright belong to Tristram Kenton.
Rounding off a week off, I headed over to the University of Birmingham for a couple of sessions as part of their Book to the Future festival. The festival is an annual event with a range of workshops, panels, performances and author talks celebrating literary expressions.
The final session of the Friday night was a panel discussion around blogging, Instagram, social media and influencers. With a combined following of well over one million, the panel was made up of Alice Liveing, Hannah Witton and Emma Conway (aka Brummy Mummy Of 2), and hosted by Brum Blogger and influencer in her own right, Ting of The Ting Thing.
Unsurprisingly it was full booked and I managed to bag a space at the front, before heading out to meet up with some other bloggers. One of the things mentioned in the discussion was the importance of community, about fostering relationship with other bloggers and attending gatherings. It’s one of the things I like most about blogging in Birmingham, that people are so supportive of each other and as well as being there to hear from Alice, Emma and Hannah, a lot of us were also there to support Ting.
As Hannah Witton rightly pointed out, I was scribbling notes because I find I always listen better when I do and I wanted to share some of the insights for people who didn’t manage to bag a spot on the fully-booked talk. There were a few similar themes which cropped, the importance of authenticity, of community and being a woman online. Having been to many blogging talks before, it was refreshing to listen to what felt like more of a chat between four bloggers who had both similar and not so similar experiences. Alice, Emma, Hannah and Ting were sincere about their advice and experience, particularly that some of it is about putting in the hard work, but also not knocking being in the right place at the right time and not discounting the privilege and benefits that come from being conventionally attractive.
I particularly enjoyed the conversations around authenticity. It’s a conversation I hear a lot and it has started to lose a little of its meaning. But I liked that the panel talked about being yourself online, but not having to give away your whole self, whether that be things you just won’t talk about or reclaiming some of your time for other things – be it switching off at a certain time of an evening, or having things you do away from the online world.
I said I’ve been to a lot of blogging talks, and I have, but this was one of my favourites for the flow of the conversation between the panelists, Ting’s great questions and the topics covered, many of which I had wished bigger bloggers would mention. I wrote up my notes here, if anyone is interested in reading them – they’re just bulletpoints, but hopefully useful.
“All we need is music, sweet music, there’ll be music everywhere.” Written by Marvin Gaye, William “Mickey” Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter, Dancing in the Street is one of Motown’s signature songs, amongst the many well known classic released by the label and it was the song stuck in my head the entire journey home after the West End hit show, Motown the Musical.
Inspired by the autobiography of Motown founder Berry Gordy, Motown the Musical starts the story immediately before the 25th anniversary concert celebrating the birth of Motown. Gordy is reluctant to attend, feeling betrayed by the artists he feels he made stars, only for them to leave him when better offers were on the table. The audience is then transported back to see Gordy’s childhood, the impact of a conversation with his father, a few lost years before he ultimately manages to get enough money together to start his record label – and the birth of Motown.
Whilst the musical might be loosely based on Gordy’s autobiography, it is clearly his personal interpretation of the past and doesn’t always give away a lot about the man himself. His relationship with Diana Ross and subsequent break up is referenced, as is his feelings towards the artists he felt abandoned him. But if you’re hoping for a theatrical biopic of his life, you’ll be disappointed. But then again, that’s clearly not the point of the play – the audience is here for the songs.
Motown the Musical is all about the music – as it should be. There is simplistic, almost scant plot, which is not a criticism as it allows for a plethora of hit songs to be included without feeling forced. There can be a tendency amongst similar plays to shoehorn in the songs to the narrative, which often feels clunky, but Motown resists doing this and the few songs that are used to drive the story forward feel fitting. Instead, most of the songs are performed more naturally by the artists embodying the characters they play either as auditions or concerts, which allows the audience to really enjoy them.
With over 50 songs credited in the musical, it would be impossible to include full length versions of all of them, but there is certainly something to suit everyone who is a fan of the record label. One of the biggest cheers of the evening goes to the cover of the Jackson 5’s ABC, likely due to the admirable performance by the young actor playing Michael Jackson. Although it is perhaps the songs sung by Diana Ross and the Supremes which are consistently some of the best of the evening, thanks to a consistently strong performance by Karis Anderson. Edward Baruwa as Berry Gordy does a lot with the character, drawing out more emotional depth that the story gives him and is responsible for a number of of the big numbers.
For a musical which stays away from the more complex parts of the history of Motown it is not afraid to mention the issue of racism at the time. It would be easy for the musical to gloss over the racial elements and discrimination faced by the artists but thankfully it doesn’t and references are made to the artists being defined by the colour of their skin, the problems with getting black artists on the radio and the segregation of audiences at the time. It is not a major part of the storyline, but an important point to the narrative of many of the figures during the time.
Motown the Musical does exactly what it says; it provides hours of high energy Motown music, much to the delight of the audience. It is a lot of fun and thoroughly enjoyable to spend a few hours immersed in the sounds of the era.
Motown the Musical is at the newly refurbished Alexandra Theatre from 11 October to 3 November, and tickets can be purchased here.
This was a press event. Photos and their copyright belong to Tristram Kenton.
I can’t say I knew much about Three Winters before I showed up to the theatre, jogging up the road thanks to Birmingham’s Saturday early-evening traffic. I try not to read much about a performance, be it theatre or film, before I go because I like to make my own mind up, and then read the reviews after.
Three Winters, it turns out, is a play which takes place during three different winters; just after the Second Word War in 1945, during the Balkans war in the 1990s, and finally in contemporary Croatia in 2011. Written by Croatian playwright Tena Štivičić, premiering in London in 2014, the play takes place in a house in Zagreb, where Štivičić grew up and follows generations of the Kos family.
Whilst the story is about the Kos family throughout the three time periods, it’s very much the women that are the central characters. We first meet Rose King, who secures a home for her, her husband and their daughter Maša, in part of the house during the Communist era of the country. In the 90s Maša has grown up and married to history-teacher husband Vlado, but still living in the house with their two young daughters. With the 2011 scenes take place on the eve of Maša and Vlado’s youngest daughter Lucija’s wedding.
Of the play itself, the narrative is slow to start as it introduces the elements of the story the play will weave together. Growing up, the Balkans war was often something on the news but something my knowledge of is hazy. So whilst the story works with little understanding of the time period, as a family drama through several generations, I do wonder if more historical context might add more richness to the audience’s understanding of the play.
Produced and performed by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (final year students from what was formerly known as Birmingham School of Acting), there is little to show that this was not an entirely professional production of graduate actors. The acting was strong and compelling and the use of projected images and music during the transitions added another layer of history to the stories of the family members. For a play where two thirds of the eras take place just before or after war, it is a surprisingly funny play which elicits genuine and knowing laughter from the audience, often as a result of family dynamics, and delivered perfectly.
I wasn’t overly sold on the dance performance piece at the beginning of the play, which may well be part of the original, although with the more celebratory dance at the end, it did add a sense of bookending the play.
I can’t remember what made me book a ticket to see Three Winters at the Old Rep Theatre, but having enjoyed the production I will be checking out other shows by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
I’d signed up to two well before heading off on holiday and if I’m honest I signed up to them because they sounded like two that weren’t going to fly over my head as a non-designer, and were of topics that I kinda liked the sound of.
As someone with a predisposition to saying yes to as much as possible and then finding myself sleeping away a Sunday, I thought the Say Yes talk was going to be dangerous. As it turns out it was more about Fee Sheal challenging herself to put herself on stage, something she hasn’t done much of, despite convincing other female designers to share the stage as part of the Edinburgh chapter of Ladies Wine Designs that she organises.
I know a lot about Imposter Syndrome as it often comes up in several spheres of my life, and it’s something that I’ve been actively challenging myself about; when I feel like an imposter, I ask myself “if not me, then who” and if I can’t name someone I would ask instead, I do it – fear be damned. Gemma’s talk took a much more confident approach, but she started with getting the audience to name three things they’re proud of, and it was incredibly powerful. She also talked about that moment in your life when you’re at your worst, and harnessing that to realise in future situations, anything that could go wrong probably won’t be as bad as that.
I tend to be a fan of bullet points when writing notes, so for future prosperity, here are the notes I made during the two talks…
Say ‘yes’ deal with everything else later – Fee Sheal
What’s the Opposite of Imposter Syndrome – Gemma Germains
I’m guessing given how successful it was, there may well be another Birmingham Design Festival next year. And if so, it’s probably worth keeping an eye on https://birminghamdesignfestival.org.uk/