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Stumbled across this marvelous commentary on Parcour as an art form. For us - a great expression of the Dance, Prod and Shuffle pattern.

The intrusion of a ringing phone during a music recital is normally ignored or greeted with tutting but here is a wonderful example of using the unexpected rather than trying to squash or ignore it!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16688007

In Khurshed's clip,

I love this young man's balanced combination of belief and capability. "Passion and belief can get your where you want to be?" Yes but they need to be coupled with hard word and persistence for most of us.

I believe I am resourceful - I would not be starting a new career at 56 if I didn't! But I also know I am going to need to work hard and practice, to see each occasion when I dont quite make it as an opportunity to learn and hone my skills - not as a failure!

George Bernard Shaw said " Some men see things as they are and say "why?" I dream things that never were and say "Why not?"" 
 
Khurshed Dehnugara said:

Stumbled across this marvelous commentary on Parcour as an art form. For us - a great expression of the Dance, Prod and Shuffle pattern.

Enjoyed this book Religion for Atheists. Alain de Botton takes on one of the most enduring parts of our Establishment but does so in a way that seeks to learn rather than present a fundamentalist view either pro or anti religion. 

http://www.alaindebotton.com/Religion.asp

Introduction and sample video from an exhibition we took the children to last year. As someone who is almost completely useless with his hands it woke something up in me, a new way of thinking about challenging convention. 

"Making is the most powerful way that we solve problems, express ideas and shape our world. What and how we make defines who we are, and communicates who we want to be.

For many people, making is critical for survival. For others, it is a chosen vocation: a way of thinking, inventing and innovating. And for some it is simply a delight to be able to shape a material and say ‘I made that’. The power of making is that it fulfills each of these human needs and desires.

Those whose craft and ingenuity reach the very highest levels can create amazing things. But making is something everyone can do. The knowledge of how to make – both everyday objects and highly-skilled creations – is one of humanity’s most precious resources."

Daniel Charny, guest curator

Power of Making from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.

I was listening to a podcast of desert Islands discs stuck on the tube today. It was Jamie Cullum and towards the beginning he talks about learning to play piano and how he failed his 4th grade piano exam. The reason being he couldn’t get to grips with reading music and from grade 4 onwards this is important to pass exams. He said that when his piano teacher used to ask him to read music he would always ask if she could play it first. If he heard it, he would then be able to play it back. However, and this is what struck me, he followed this by saying he’d play it back and add bits that he thought were more interesting, to which his teacher would say, you can’t do that to Bach (i.e. don’t mess with a masterpiece)....It provoked a thought about when/what do we change/challenge and when do you leave it alone?

This prompted a second thought, I have friend who is an urban designer and when he is being provocative he says we should knock down all historical buildings like the Tower of London, Buck Palace, etc. His view is that a few hundred years a we had a natural mindset of invention and change and we weren’t afraid to knock things down (and we should get rid of these last few old relics)...he will often finish by saying that surely we can do better by now and replace these old buildings with something better/more beautiful...this obviously horrifies because history is important to us and gives so much meaning or identity. So, this left me wondering, when do we leave alone and when do we think we can do better, and how much does the past stop us knocking things down?

But, before that, I wish they'd fix the Piccadilly Line this morning...

Partly as build on Sam Dunn's post I enjoyed this from the art critic Jonathan Jones. 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/mar/21/jonathan-jones-i...

Mainly because it describes a personal process of having to begin again, to be open to new learning about a field in which he thought he had reached mastery. Have always thought that this was a special quality in the Challengers we have worked with. Enjoyed his description at the end of 'wrecking the hush' that surrounds some of the art world's more revered pieces. 

I thought I would look up the dictionary definition of disgracefully as inspiration for a blog I was writing on the topic - the first link I found was www.growingolddisgracefully.org.uk.  This is a network of older women who have been coming together since the late 80s to challenge the way in which older women live their lives, are perceived in society and avoid the rigidity of stereotypes associated with aging. It has become a global self -organising initiative of women taking a Challenger position on their lives.

Loved the last paragraph. Poetry for Challengers. 

The Low Road

 

What can they do to you? Whatever they want. They can set you up, they can bust you, they can break your fingers, they can burn your brain with electricity, blur you with drugs till you can t walk, can’t remember, they can take your child, wall up your lover. They can do anything you can’t blame them from doing. How can you stop them? Alone, you can fight, you can refuse, you can take what revenge you can but they roll over you.

But two people fighting back to back can cut through a mob, a snake-dancing file can break a cordon, an army can meet an army.

Two people can keep each other sane, can give support, conviction, love, massage, hope, sex. Three people are a delegation, a committee, a wedge. With four you can play bridge and start an organisation. With six you can rent a whole house, eat pie for dinner with no seconds, and hold a fund raising party. A dozen make a demonstration. A hundred fill a hall. A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter; ten thousand, power and your own paper; a hundred thousand, your own media; ten million, your own country.

It goes on one at a time, it starts when you care to act, it starts when you do it again after they said no, it starts when you say We and know who you mean, and each day you mean one more.


--Marge Piercy 
Copyright 2006, Middlemarsh, Inc.

Heard a piece on the radio the other day lamenting the loss of the protest song. And I thought that's about right. Or is it just my age? I can remember the disturbing energy that came from the combination of music and politics throughout my youth. Gil Scott Heron, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Junior Murvin, The Specials, Public Enemy even Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Can't believe there isn't more around like the attached from Plan B whatever you think of the music, every generation needs its protest songs doesn't it? 

A football team from a floating fishing village with no football pitch? Young Challengers LOVE that kind of constraint. "It was shaky, uneven and had nails sticking out everywhere.....the ball went into the water often." Inspiring metaphor for us all. :-) WIth grateful thanks to Jeremy Keeley for bringing it to our attention. 

This video moved me and made me think about the powerful disturbance it created through a relatively simple mechanism. A church bell ringing once for every civilian death in Iraq as soon as it was reported. We talk a lot about creating a disturbance in Challenger organisations. I wonder if one day we may help set up something as symbolic as this in a commercial setting. 

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