Two Minutes with Judy Fulton, co-founder of Musey- an app for the urban art explorer

Two Minutes with Judy Fulton, co-founder of Musey- an app for the urban art explorer

When I heard Judy Fulton speaking at the ‘Art means business’ conference at Lumiere, Durham 2013, I was inspired by her presentation and the amazing work she is doing. Musey is an app that allows users to track and support all kinds of art taking place around them, empowering artists to create projects outside the confines of a museum or gallery. The app was co-founded by Judy while she was still at university, completing a graduate degree in architecture. The creation of mobile apps is an area of technology that I don’t know much about, but after hearing Judy speak, I realised how useful it could be as a platform for young people’s research. I also loved hearing her talk about all the interesting artists she’d met and the work behind creating the app, so I caught up with her later to find out more about her project. Me:         When did you start developing Musey? Judy:       I started in my final year of architecture school. A friend and I started drawing the idea out. One of the first things we did was speak to Helen Marriage of Artichoke, because we wanted to verify our idea and see if it had any traction or any value. Me:         What did you want to achieve with Musey? Judy:       Well, similar to your 99% idea, 99% of artists will never have a show in a major gallery and will never be represented by a huge art agent or talent scout or anything like that. What will actually happen is that 99% of artists will have to figure out how to make a living.  We...
Helping Girls in Disasters

Helping Girls in Disasters

Why is it that when a natural catastrophe occurs, the incidence of violence towards girls and women sky-rockets? Why in the most desperate of humanitarian circumstances, does society shift away from the moral code under which it previously lived? These are troubling questions and the answers are complex. In this short article I will not attempt to explore the sociological causes of this perceived shift, rather, I will focus on something less theoretical and more practical: what should aid organisations do to prevent this form of violence? The issue of women’s health following natural disasters has come to the fore in public debate; not only because of the spike in levels of sexual trafficking in the Philippines following the calamitous Typhoon Haiyan, but also because of the ‘Keep Her Safe’ summit which was held on 13th November in London. In her speech at the summit, UK Minister for International Development, Justine Greening, described how “during conflict and humanitarian crises, all forms of violence against women dramatically increase”. This has contributed to the “terrible statistic” that one in three women worldwide experience domestic or sexual violence at some point in their life time. It is easy to criticise the international institutions that help in disaster recovery for ‘failing women’ but in operations which are almost always underfunded, not all the problems can be solved at once. When given the choice between, say, rebuilding water pipelines and providing a safe-house for women, the decision, though tough, is often made to favour the entire community not just half of it. This is a justified decision – indeed, it is often one made...
Teenage Domestic Violence, IamAston and the Political Power of Humour

Teenage Domestic Violence, IamAston and the Political Power of Humour

As you may be aware, we at the 99% campaign are currently running a feature on teen domestic violence. It’s already been the subject of a fantastic blog by Holly Whittaker. As part of the feature, I was asked to do a bit of research. As part of this, I looked up the videos that the Home Office have uploaded to YouTube to try to raise awareness of the issue. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZzsAKwEqH0&w=640&h=360]  This blog isn’t about the video. It’s about a comment on it by a user called IamAston. Now, IamAston is a gifted young man. He speaks on the complex, sociological, cultural and economic factors that underpin the issues of teenage domestic violence with great clarity of thought. Specifically, his views on the subject were; “what a fucking lad”.  This blog isn’t about censorship. IamAston is well within his rights to be an idiot, and it’s unfortunate that the internet has given him the opportunity to broadcast his idiocy to a wider audience. Although the judgement of the uploader of this particular video (nb: not the official This is Abuse campaign) in opening comments is highly questionable, when it comes to internet censorship, I’ve always been of the view that UniLad and Sickapedia were a price worth paying for when we have Wikipedia, FreeRice and the 99% Campaign  alongside it.  This blog is about the role this sort of humour has in undermining the political power of young people. I’ll explain. The specific problem with this sort of humour is that it is always about siding with the strong against the weak. If a generation of young people grow...
The Need For a Greater Understanding of Sex and Young People in the Media

The Need For a Greater Understanding of Sex and Young People in the Media

Sex and young people; a combination that parents and older adults can find difficult to understand. I am sure most teenagers have experienced that uncomfortable moment when their parents walk in on them watching a film during a sex scene. What also seems unavoidable is the fact that sex will always sell. Despite these facts, however, the issue of sex and young people, as the on-going concern surrounding an over-sexualised media indicates, is one that is necessary to confront. As an element of a young person’s development, current UK education policy on sex is all the more confusing and indeed, disturbing. Compared with other European countries such as Norway, our own policies appear to be regressing, as is exemplified by Michael Gove’s refusal to update policy to include the impact of the web on sex and relationships. Meanwhile, overall policy has not seen any comprehensive update for over a decade. Furthermore, as the Telegraph reported on as recently as July this year, it seems primary school pupils are even discouraged from learning about the basics of reproductive body parts. The curriculum for Year 2 states: “[pupils] should not be expected to understand how reproduction occurs.” Today, Norwegian primary schools introduce aspects of sex education at the age of six. Though there will be some who argue this is inappropriate, a report by Ofsted suggests that a lack of knowledge will inevitably make it harder for victims of sexual abuse to notify teachers or parents. They stated: “younger pupils [in the schools Ofsted visited] had not always learnt the correct names for sexual body parts … this is of particular...
How Much do You Know About Teen Domestic Violence?

How Much do You Know About Teen Domestic Violence?

When I was offered the opportunity to write about teen domestic violence and emotional abuse, I jumped at the chance. Mainly because when I was younger I experienced something similar and it was only until recently that I discovered it was emotional abuse. I guess my naivety at the time is what caused me to miss the signs and let it carry on for so long. Now I’m wondering how many teenage girls and boys also experience this problem and if there is anything to really help them to understand it or find a way out. While researching this topic I came across the NSPCC ‘Partner Exploitation and Violence in Teenage Intimate Relationships’ study from September 2009. Both girls and boys were asked about their experiences in their relationships (sample number was 1,353) The first statistic that stood out to me was ‘Girls aged 13-15 were just as likely as girls aged 16+ to experience violence in a relationship’. Boys also minimised their own use of violence as ‘messing around’ while boys who personally experienced an abusive partner claimed it hardly had an effect on them ‘apart from making them annoyed’. In stark contrast girls claimed it had a ‘highly detrimental’ impact on them. This clearly highlights a gender divide in attitudes towards abuse. Interviews were also conducted, during which many girls admitted they were too scared of what their partner’s reaction would be to challenge their behaviour and issues of self-blame proved prominent.  Boys and Girls were also more likely to keep their experiences of emotional and physical violence to themselves, or tell a friend; only a minority...