You buy it you draw it

8th June 2010 by

This month we’re challenging you to draw everything that you buy. “Have you gone absolutely KE-RAY-ZEE over there at Otesha?” I hear you cry. Well, maybe.

Why? Because we want to get creative, we want to think before we buy and we want to make an artistic comment on our consumer-based society (call us high-minded).

We are taking our inspiration from the uber Kate Bingaman-Burt, author of Handmade Nation and creator of blog Obsessive Consumption – What Did You Buy Today? She has been documenting her purchases since 2002 and even drew all her credit card statements from 2004 until she became debt-free in February 2010. Blimey. Read the rest of this entry »

Can you do good with bad money?

7th June 2010 by

A few years ago I was at drama school, waiting to launch myself into the world of showbiz and being prepped for life out in the “industry”. This consisted mainly of being told to lose half my body weight, wear chicken fillets and look either more or less asian (pretty hard for a dual heritage, Anglo-Japanese girl!) but also, more practical tips, like how to audition for advertisements.

Sitting in that particular session, hearing about how advertising corporate brands can end up being the bread and butter of an actor’s life, I asked about principles – how could you appear in an advert for a company like McDonalds, and reconcile that with your principles? I was told that my tutor’s friend had managed to buy a house outright with the money earned from just such an advert – “Principles, schminciples!” I cried, much to the hilarity of my course-mates, and left it at that.

But it’s a question that has stayed with me. For struggling artists, more lucrative jobs such as advertising can end up funding work we might deem more “worthwhile”. Some might argue that this is an unfortunate, but necessary trade-off. That, to do good, sometimes you need “bad” money.

Read the rest of this post over at The Multicultural Politic.

Pester your parents about their pensions

1st April 2010 by

Parents are tricky aren’t they? You can’t leave them alone for one minute, in case they go and invest their pension funds in huge energy-sucking, environment destroying initiatives like the tar sands.

Oh, what? They have already? Bad parents!

They deserve to be grounded, but since we can’t do that, our challenge this month is to (nicely) pester our parents about their pensions instead.

Read the rest of this entry »

Put Your Money Where Your Ethics Are

3rd October 2009 by

This month we’re challenging you to put your money where your mouth is. Get the ethiscore on your bank and if you don’t like it, pester them to change it or change your bank. Commercial banks have been known to invest in arms, oil pipelines, tar sands oil extraction and operate in tax havens. In 2006, the carbon dioxide emissions embedded in RBS’s project finance was greater than the carbon dioxide emissions of Scotland itself- shocker !

But smile, there are other banking options out there, including Co-op (and their internet branch Smile ) and Triodos .

Statistically you’re more likely to get divorced than change your bank account, so we challenge you to prove statistics wrong. If you do feel wedded to your old bank, ask to see a copy of their ethical policy and tell them what they think about it. And if you are divorcing your bank, it’s always a good idea to tell them why you think their behaviour is so unreasonable.

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