Stand Up / Take Down

As with any photo or any piece artwork, be it public or private, there is a story.

Even for your next social media posts, there is a story behind it.

Be it where you re-shared it from, to how long it took to take the shot, whether it is interpreted as it was intended by its viewer or if the image even tells the “true story”.

Now on first glance, you may think this photo is to do with the current “statue debate” and only exists because of said debate, however, and somewhat ironically I guess, this shot was actually taken in London during one of many Black Lives Matter marches whilst at the same time in Bristol the already controversial statue of “slave-tradesman” Edward Colston was being toppled.

 

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I’m posting this as an output of my genuine thought process and is not representative of Jiggy Creationz as a business, but my own personal thoughts in trying to navigate the waves of emotion posed by the current incarnation of the Black Lives Matter movement. I’m fully aware that everyone has their own views but I will try to articulate mine here as a Black Man born and living in the UK.

With that said. As an artist, photographer, and creative I know my take on the world is very different to many. I’ve passed many a statue on my travels, but admittedly, if I even register them in my eyesight, I rarely enquire about the story behind the statue. Why was it made, why is the person significant, who made it, when and how? I usually look at the craftsmanship and think about the skill or creative process it took to make it, simply appreciating it’s sculptural qualities.

It’s for this reason that I really like the ‘Roller Skating Girl‘ as seen in my Instagram post.  The style, form, and structure of the character seems so strong and free, and being on roller skates meant that is a particular piece by Andre Wallace really connected with me, as I am a roller skater who believes in inner strength and freedom within movement. Who is she?

Now, maybe it’s because I live in the present more than in the past. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say the past doesn’t mean anything. In fact, history fascinates me and I believe in cause and effect, yet at the same time, our past doesn’t define us to the point we cant make a change. I also don’t really idolise, attach my emotions, or hold strong beliefs about material like statues. My attitude is generally, acknowledge it and use it to move forward and grow.

That lead me to ask these questions. How far back do people go to remove, hide, eradicate history? How come my focus isn’t on the ‘takedown’? and for me, this isn’t how I personally ‘stand up’?

I guess my drive and focus isn’t on those statues because I’m too busy trying to be active daily in the conversations I have and the actions I take to try and fight and break down walls for myself, for my family, and for my community.

If I detach the emotion from what statues like that of  Edward Colston in Bristol represents, I’m not sure what difference taking the down will actually make to the bigger picture. To me, the money which is now used to relocate statues or even rebrand street names could be used for other things that could go to support the BAME community through business, creative spaces, or even educational programs and resources. If it’s about what it mean’s and represents does that me I should change my names and go on a journey to trace my original African name instead of the names of my slave names?

In order for people to be able to stand up, something must fall down, right? That’s how we get harmony. But does the “taking down” of these monuments have any effect in the dismantling of the systems that hold back people of colour?

What are your thoughts?

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© André Wallace

Roller Skating Girl – Who is She

Roller Skating Girl during BLM March London
© Craig Jiggy / Jiggy Creationz 2020
I’ve passed the “Roller Skating Girl” sculpture on so many occasions and I’ve always been drawn to it.
Maybe it’s the way she appears to be calm and effortlessly frozen in motion. It makes me think of skating freely with the wind in my face. That freedom and feel of flying.
Her clench fist shows grit and determination. Strong like many of the roller girls in our team of #CreativePeopleOnWheels.
She’s even sparked of many of a creative idea in me…. #WarningCreationzInProgress.
So who is this girl? I’ve wondered for over the years and to answer the question, and the following skate by the piece during a Black Lives Matter march past, I reached out to Anderé Wallice, creator of this sculpture and “The Whisperer”  for the answer.

From André

When I contacted André, I shared my photo of myself next to Roller Skating Girl during a BLM march in London. I expressed my feeling towards the piece, and if she was (as I interpreted) possibly being of black heritage.
He responded kindly with “I’m really pleased you feel so positively toward the Roller skater especially in connection with Black Lives Matter.”
André continued
“Originally when asked to come up with ideas for the sculpture I drew on the community feel of Morton Street, the presence of the school and I wanted to introduce the notion of ‘Play’.  I wanted to create a sculpture which was positive and dynamic and reflected the youth and vitality of an urban street. I wanted to represent a girl/woman with independence and attitude. The sculpture was not based on one particular person but appeared through my imagination and past experience and observations.”

Rubble

During a recent studio clear-out, André the original plaster for the Bronze cast was broken down.
©André Wallace
Interestingly, the timely nature of this post means this image lends itself to the debate around taking down and defacing of historical monuments. Although is post is nothing more than the story of the Roller Skating Girl.
Thanks and Blessings go out to André for his thoughts and images.
#StayHumble #StayCreative #KeepItJiggy

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Love In Antwerp

Usually when I travel, especially if it’s somewhere I’m visiting for the first time, I give my self enough time to do a photo walk. If you’ve never heard of a photo walk or photo walking, it’s basically wandering around talking photos as you explore.

The Photowalk

This was my second visit to Antwerp for another Roller Skating based event, and as usual, it clashed with a Red Rolled and Seen photography workshop. So seeing as I was double booked. I contacted Bella, the creator of Red Rolled and Seen, and asked if I could join in remotely. Whilst standing in a park in Antwerp as the sun rose, I whipped out my phone and WhatsApped Bella. My question was “how would you feel if I took the ‘Love’ theme of the workshop and instead of Peckham being the location, use Antwerp?”. With enthusiasm and a bucketful of support, Bella said yes! Instantly I switched focus and began seeking out ways to visualise love, but this photography swiftly turned into a short project on challenging the idea of love.

Heres’s some of the shot’s I put forward for the workshop.

 

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It’s 229 miles from Peckham, London to Antwerp, Belgium, but “Love” exists all day, everyday, all across the globe. . . These shot’s taken as part of the @redrolledandseen #Love #PhotowalkChallenge, candidly explore situation where the love is? . . What “Love” is, is open to interpretation and even between those connected by love, they have different ideas of what “it” is. The expectations it creates, and the fear of not having it lead to a load of stories. . . Love isn’t really visible, but peoples idea of love is. So if you can’t see your perception of Love… is it still love? . . Is it even for us to question??? . ♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡. . . 📸 @craigjiggy #CraigJiggySnaps . . . #TeamJiggy #CandidPhotography #PhotoChallenges #photography #documentinglife #Antwerp #Belgium #streetphotography #AntwerbyLondoners #Photowalking #Photowalks #SmartPhonePhotography

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But is your idea of “love” and how do you capture it?

Visit Antwerp

Antwerp has a really good transport network, but apart from using 1 tram, it’s easy to walk around it’s flat, sometimes cobbled streets. Why not visit for yourself and witness the tonnes of outdoor arts, the culture and the stories carved into the buildings. Search Booking.com for somewhere to stay.


Booking.com

 

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Es Quint UK: Brighton Spring Roll Call 2020 – Where to Stay

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Brighton for Es Quint Foundation Spring Roll Call!

To help you decide where to stay here are a few options for you.

Get Cashback on your Travel

If your are UK based, you can claim money back on your travel and accommodation by signing up and using TopCashback. I usually use a comparison site like Trivago to get a rough idea of prices in an area. Then once I found somewhere which looks affordable, head over to the TopCashback website and search for the booking agent (eg Booking.com, Hotels.com, etc.) to see if there are any cashback or money off offers for that site.

You can also use TopCashback to book your train or coach to Brighton.

At the time of writing this you can also get an additional M&S e-gift voucher if you sign up to TopCashback today!

Suggestions

So here are a few places, which seem affordable and not too far from central Brighton and the host venue.
NOTE: These suggestions are based purely on price and location only. We have no affiliation with the venues and have not stayed here ourselves. 

Find you spot…

If those ideas don’t take you, use the location finder below (powered by Booking.com) to customise your stay.



Booking.com

Hopefully this will help you and myself and the team look forward to rolling with us in Brighton for Es Quint’s 2020 Spring Roll Call.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or contact us via the event page on facebook.

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Photowalking Prague with BeRightBack Travel

I’ve always thought about going to one of the many gothic cities across Europe, but I just never got around to it. Maybe my initial perception of the “eastern-block” as a place which might be unsafe for me as a “black man” made it more of a reason not to go. I guess this idea was strongly based on images from football matches and hooliganism in the 80’s – 90s, but thanks to the awesome guys at BeRightBack I can say from my experience that’s not the case. So here’s my guide to Prague as I went #Photowalking through the Czech Republic Capital thanks to BRB.

What Is BeRightBack Travel?

BeRightBack (BRB) is a UK subscription-based travel service which takes the hustle of working out where to go next. If you like surprises, or simply just go to the same old places all the time then BRB could be what you need. Read more about why I recommend BRB, and how you could join me on my next surprise destination.

A Little About Prague

As previously mentioned, Prague is the capital city of the Czech Republic. Like my home town of London, it is split in two by the Vltava River. In the early 19th centry, it was dubbed “the City of a Hundred Spires” by Austrian historian Josef Hormayr. Looking across the city from Castle View I can see why.

 

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Prague is known for it’s Old Town Square, it’s historical colourful baroque buildings, the Charles Bridge, Gothic churches and the medieval Astronomical Clock.

Photowalking Prague

Prague is packed full of beautiful architecture and everywhere you turned there was something well worth snapping.
As I love London at night I wanted to see what #LowLightPrague would have to offer, so off I went into the night for some photography whilst joining a local ghost walk.

Prague at Low Light

Photowalking… on water

Drawing comparisons with the London’s River Thames, the Vltava River runs through the Czech capital and is spanned by 17 Bridges. So the quickest way to see them was to book myself onto a river cruise. From the BRB site, you have easy access to the GetYourGuide site which is where I booked my spot. Food, Drink and English Narration were provided, making it easy to identify what I was seeing.

 

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Staying in Prague

As part of my BRB #SupriseDestination package, your accommodation is also sorted out for you. For this adventure, I stayed at the Royal Prague City Appartments, which was pretty much in the centre of the city. As with most of the city, the apartments are located in a historical building between the Vltava River and the Petřínské Sady park. My room was very stylishly decorated with modern touches which complimented the old Edwardian look. When I checked in I was given discount vouchers for two local restaurants, which was definitely a bonus. The wifi signal was perfect, which I needed as I was working on the move. The room itself had an ensuite bathroom, kitchen, small dining area with TV, safe and an awesome, super-comfy double bed. Definitely somewhere I’d stay again.

Food and Drink

As someone with lots of food allergies, I always have to be careful with what I eat, no matter how much I love the sight of a well-presented dish. All of the places where I stopped to eat had English menus available, so it was easy to spot any allergens to avoid.

There was no limit to the array of restaurants offering international food, from Chinese and Thai to Italian and Indian. So I took the short stroll from my apartment to Medduzy’s and ordered the popular Czech Fried Chicken Schnitzel, together with a glass of hot apple juice.

When it comes to discovering somewhere to eat, the Old Town is the perfect place to start. For me, this is where I found the traditional Bohemian dessert, Tredlník. A sort of spiral sugar and a cinnamon doughnut, topped with a choice of double flavoured of ice cream, also known as “Chimney Cake”.

The main thing is there is something for everyone and you definitely won’t leave Prague without your taste buds being tingled and a few snaps of your food for the old Instagram.

Discover Prague

To me, Prague is full of beauty. From the amazing carvings and sculptures which decorate almost every building in the Old Town to the views you get from hills and towers which adorn the city, I think there is something for everyone. The Prague Card  offers 2, 3 or 4 day discounts for shows and tours, or free entry to attractions and historical monuments. Here are a few things to do which I would like to try on my next visit.

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Creative Destinations with BeRightBack Travel

I stumbled across BeRightBack (BRB) when I was looking for a destination randomiser. I don’t really travel unless I have a project, an event or to see friends/family, so almost always end up in the same locations all the time. As much as I like Berlin, Dublin, Barcelona and Amsterdam, I needed something new.

Reading a bit more into how BRB works, it seemed a bit too good to be true, but I thought “Live Life!”. In short, it’s a UK based subscription-based service where once you’ve been approved, you get sent to a surprise destination in Europe.

When you register, you will be asked where you don’t want to go, and which airport will be best for you to travel from.

Screenshot of brb travel website's destination exclusion page

You also get to choose the type of trip you will receive!

As I often roll solo looking for places and photo locations, I have a solo traveller subscription. However, that BRB gives the option to bring along with me for that trip or upgrading in the future. That’s great news for your bestie, your plus one, or your partner in crime!

Once that’s all done, all you need to do is select the date for your next great escape. BRB will sort out your flights and accommodation, allowing you to sit back and relax until that magic postcard with your surprise destination arrives!!

 

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BRB reveal video goals! @craigjiggy has set the bar 🙌

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I really loved the personal touch of the handwritten “reveal postcard“. It felt like I was at the Oscars 😉

You can get that winning feeling too, by signing up to BRB and using Referal Code CraigJiggy12473 to get £20 off your first trip!

Who knows, one day you may even join me on my next BRB trip.


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Listen While You Work: The Art of Creative Thinking

I find it much easier to digest audio books than reading them. So I recommend Audible to my friends. This week I stumbled across The Art of Creative Thinking audio book written by Rod Judkins and narrated by Phil Fox.



What’s inside?

As it’s an audio book I’m not sure “What’s Inside?” even makes sense, but hey! So this book if free flowing and means you are encouraged to listen to the chapters in pretty much whichever order you want. The book offer ideas to expand your creative thinking, giving examples of people through history who were not necessarily artists or in the creative industry and how their thinking has given us so many new things today. People like Einstein who used creative thinking to challenge Newton. For me hearing more about one of my favourite artists, Dali, also make it an inspiration listen. Why not take a listen yourself? You could even try free for 30 days.

Deals

Audible has regular deals to keep your brain stimulated. Choose monthly or daily deals on collections from timeless classics to Classic Sci-Fi & Fantasy.

The Voice

No, this is nothing to do with the popular singing competition ;). I have this thing about voices, in the sense that many, including my own prevent me from even taking anything on board! But I personally found this really easy to listen to. It’s wasn’t piercing or irritating, and not too relaxing that it would make me fall asleep :D. Many books on Audible are narrated by A-listers like Stephen Fry and the awesome Morgan Freeman.

What is Audible

In short, Audible is like Amazon’s Spotify for books. It has possibly the world’s largest selection of audiobooks and original ad-free podcasts to so you can pretty much find your perfect listen. Hear A-list celebrities narrate their favorite stories, enjoy full-cast performances, and discover Grammy award-winning audiobooks. Listen to your audiobooks anytime, anywhere—at home or on the go—with our free app. Even if you switch devices, you’ll never lose your place.

When you join Audible free for 30 days, you’ll get your first audiobook on us. After your trial, you’ll receive one credit per month – good for any title, regardless of price – plus additional exclusive member benefits. Explore below to find out more.



Listen

The Art of Creative Thinking Head over to Audible and listen to The Art of Creative Thinking for yourself. Truly Inspirational.

 

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Berlin’s Glass Mountain (And More) By Night

During our weekend filming some of Janset’s acoustic sessions, we had a bit of time to explore parts on Berlin. Even though I’ve been a few times for the Karnival Der Kulturen, there were a few spots I had never visited. Here are a few spots Simula & Mimi, introduced us to.

The Sony Center, Berlin

From a distance, the led lit roof of Sony Center and the plaza looks like Mount Fuji in Japan, which of course is Sony’s home country. Standing at 26 floors tall and designed by Helmut Jahn, The Sony Center houses an Imax cinema as well as many places to eat, drink, and chill. We recommend Alex, for something to hang out. It’s also where I discovered Mezza Mix!

The Berlin walk of fame

Yes, you read right! Not the Hollywood walk of fame, but the Berlin walk of fame! Berlin’s “Boulevard der Stars” can be spotted by the island of red asphalt in the middle of the road at Potsdamer Platz, just yards from the Sony Centre. If you look down, you’ll see the familiar starred shapes dotted around the floor with names and icons signifying the part they played to earn the honor. However the difference between the names here and that of the Hollywood counterpart, are that these are only German-speaking stars of film and TV. Another unique selling point of this attraction is the hologram cams, where you can see the ghost of these appear in front of your very eyes.

Teledisko at Holzmarktstraße

Possibly the works smallest disco located inside a telephone box on the banks of the River Spree! There are no words to explain how much fun you can have in there! Seriously! Once you’re in there, the party is well and and truly yours! Select your track, take control of the smoke machine, and bash away at the strobe light button until your hear it content! Simple things!! 😀
Photo ©Tim Mühling

Holzmarkt

During the day can hang out at the local cafe and bars, whilst being inspired by the street art and laid back urban style on the banks of the Spree (Yes this is the home of the Teledisko!). By night this place is just a beautiful and serene. Walk under the Giant Glitter ball at the entrance and stroll over to Wein bar, for a drink in the cosy cabin style shop. Bliss.

Alexandraplatz

Home to the rotating World Time Clock and the iconic TV tower, Alexanderplatz, is full of nightlife, music and good vibes. If you’re looking for signs of the traditional East German architecture, it will be hard to find, but you will see a Decathlon, Primark and the odd busker! At the foot of the TV tower you’ll find a park with ornate water fountains and street performers during the day. Next time, I will have to go up to the top, as the views are apparently amazing. In between photo-walking the square we stopped off for a dance and a drink at AlexOase. #GoodVibes.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

By day there is an aura that makes me feel a sense of loss and a degree of sadness even before knowing what these 2711 concrete slabs of different heights represent. But at night, this immerse outdoor exhibition evokes even more intense emotions. The memorial covers 19,000 square metres between the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz and was designed by Peter Eisenman. A must do experience.

Have you been to Berlin? What did you get up to? Share your experiences in the comments below.
And if you haven’t why not book your spot?

Why not take a look for yourself?

Berlin is full of arts, culture, history and nightlife so you will definitely find something for you. If you like Carnival, I recommend going for Karnival Der Kulturen which this year in on from the weekend of Friday 7th June. Whilst there, you can visit Potsdamer Platz, which is home to the Sony Centre.


Booking.com

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Behind the Scenes: Using Google Spreadsheets to create a CSV data feed

So I have a few stores online stores and places to buy stuff on demand from various companies which create and our Jiggy Shop stuff.
From T-shirts, to bags and camera gear, there’s quite a bit in Our Jiggy Creationz Shop. So there are some systems like, our Instagram Shop which allow you to tag products and items from your shop, in the site.

So let’s look at the how to host your data feed on Google Docs. For this post, I will assume you already have a Google account. If not, you will be prompted to set one up once you go into Google Docs.

What is a CSV data feed?

CSV (Comma-Serperated Values / Variables) is a file format where you can make a list of things, which are separated by (guess what) commas. A CSV data feed uses a file save in this format to feed (send) information to another system. In this post, the system we will feed data to is Facebook Business, which then feeds to Instagram shop.

Why do I need one?

Well if you want to be able to manage, your shop links on the go, you should consider this option because once it’s set up, I can be a massive time saver. By using Google Spreadsheets to host your csv, you can update it anywhere (as long as you have internet access on your phone, laptop or desktop, and haven’t locked yourself out of your account!).

Great! Where do I go to get one?

Head of over to Google Spreadsheets and log in. That’s pretty much it. You can then create your csv file.

How do I create my own feed?

Different Systems have different needs when you create the CSV. For Instagram Shop / Facebook Business Catalogue you can download the template

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