Significant Others

7th February 2012 by

Millions of couples will celebrate Valentine’s Day next week. Already this poses major issues for me:

1.  Isn’t this just another capital way to spend more money on stuff you don’t need? ie. roses… which in reality are sh*t.

2. On a general basis, there’s an assumption that you only have one heterosexual partner.

3. And is this only a celebration of partners? What about all the single folk? Surely nothing’s wrong with celebrating your singlehood, right?!

So it got me thinking – why not celebrate my love with an alternative celebration? Something a bit quirky, entertaining, and a bit of a challenge.

So I’ve been working on The Significant Other Festival, which aims to do just that.

The Pensive Federation asked seven writers to create a seven-minute play in seven days with the theme of the Significant Other. They handed the scripts over to a director and a company of two actors and gave them seven days to stage it. The result will be performed this weekend – just before Valentine’s Day.

By creating theatre in a confined period of time, they hope to capture what real people think and feel about love and relationships in the 21st century. Through this format, they were able to draw together a company of creative people from different backgrounds, and experience.

Full details and links for the shows at the foot of this post if you’d like to come and see.

Another element which is key to the company’s success are the volunteer participants. From writer to stage manager and even the poster designer, everyone is passionate about the festival and is keen to volunteer their time.

This also opened another door for service exchanging. Calu Lema (superhero Otesha cycle tour co-ordinator) so kindly offered her services to design the poster. This tied in incredibly well to her own blog, which challenges her to take on 12 new tasks for 2012. You can read all about her gift economy ethos as well as how The Pensive Federation poster design was Task number 1.

I leave you with something to chew on:

‘Significant other’ is colloquially used as a gender-blind term for a person’s partner in an intimate relationship without disclosing or presuming anything about marital status, relationship status, or sexual orientation.

So what does the significant other mean to you?

Come and see the show!

Dates: 11 and 12 February
Times: 3pm and 7:30pm daily
Tickets: £7.00
Location: Camden People’s Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2PY

For more details, click here and to purchase tickets click here.

Powershift 2011

2nd September 2011 by

Oct 7-9 Salford Crescent, Manchester

Fancy taking part in Power Shift – the UK’s largest youth event on climate change.

From 7-9th October 2011, join hundreds of young people in the heart of the industrial revolution in Salford, Manchester, to take part in Power Shift 2011.

Through a series of workshops, talks, training, a bit of a boogie and a Day of Action, you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge you need to be effective, innovative and engaging young leaders.

This years theme is green jobs and Otesha shall be there, with Hanna Thomas who coordinates the East London Green Jobs Alliance speaking on the panel.

Power Shift is the most important moment this year for young people who care about their future to come together. We invite you to take your place in history: attend Power Shift, and join the movement towards a clean, just future.

To volunteer or get your tickets head to their website.

Moving Planet – Sept 24th

2nd September 2011 by

All over the world people are taking to the streets. March, cycle or skate and join the call for the world to go beyond fossil fuels.

Hop on to to find an event local to you or even register your own one. They’ve got a great website with loads of resources and support, from printable posters, stickers and t-shirt graphics, through to guides on how to organise an event and get a whole school involved.

During the day Moving Planet will be delivering a clear and strong set of demands:
– Science-based policies to get us back to 350ppm
– A rapid, just transition to zero carbon emissions
– A mobilization of funding for a fair transition to a 350ppm world
– Lifting the rights of people over the rights of polluters
More details on the demands here

Calling all London bike art lovers!

2nd August 2011 by

If  you’ve been a follower of Otesha for any length of time, it will be no secret that we are kind of obsessed with bicycles, think art is great, and generally love a good party.

So we were super delighted when the crew over at ARTCRANK asked us to be their charitable partner for the second year in a row. ARTCRANK, an affordable art poster party for bike people, happens all around the world and supports local artists in each city – in this case, the exhibit at Look Mum No Hands will feature the work of 24 London-based artists. The opening night party is also generally a really good time. All excellent things, we think you’ll agree. And they’re donating some of their proceeds to support our educational work – even better!

This means that on August 19th, you’ll find us ensconced in the depths of uber-trendy east London, wearing our most fashionable cycle caps & wielding the tongs at an (ethical) BBQ, all in the name of a good cause and a good time. Come join us at the opening night party - whether you’re a high-vis honey, a brompton bomber, a fixie hipster or even a tube traveller, you’re more than welcome!

Gears and Gastronomy

6th May 2011 by

The much-loved Otesha Wild Food Cycles are back!

The Wild Food Cycle is taking place on the 4th of June from 10.30am to 2.30pm. Join us and you can expect a day in and out of the saddle learning, discovering and eating all the different shades and shapes of wild food that are on offer in London. The ride will end with a communal meal prepared from all the lovely wild food that has been collected throughout the day, and it will be guided by Ceri who runs the Invisible Food Project.

Last year’s wild food cycle

The ride will cost £10 which includes food and drink, with all proceeds going to Otesha and to the Invisible Food Project.

Participants should be comfortable riding on the road and need to bring a bike helmet. If you don’t have your own bike don’t worry – the meeting point is near a Boris bikes stand so you can use a blue bike from the cycle hire scheme instead.

If a Wild Food Cycle sounds like your kind of thing, email to book your place.

Fancy a mini ethical fashion fest?

25th February 2011 by

Well, you’re in luck!  Our friends at The Papered Parlour are taking over the Museum of Childhood.  Workshops, live music, performance, and craft stalls – including our famous tetra pak wallet making workshop beckons you to join us and celebrate ethical fashion and its growing social movement.

When: Thurs 3rd March from 6:00-9:00pm
Where: Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA
Cost: free!

For further programme details, click here.

Voice Cafe @ the Bonnington Cafe

26th January 2011 by

For everyone who lives in London or who likes to visit sometime, we cordially invite you to an afternoon tea of cakes, poetry, short stories and plays.

Book a seat at a table and be served by waiters and waitresses who will also perform writings from artists past and present and even from members of the audience!

Where: The Bonnington Cafe, Vauxhall
When: Sunday 20th and Saturday 26th Feb at 3:00pm
Tickets: £5 book at

Please do contribute and send your writings or writings you admire to Thomasin, (or put them in the comments here!)

Fair Wares: Bicycle Tyre Belts you say??

26th October 2010 by

Following last month’s fab Fair Wares craft evening at DrinkShopDo we’re doing it again on Thursday 4th November 7-9pm.

Come along to convert a tyre into a hip belt.  We’ve salvaged lonely bicycle tyres to transform them into the next big fashion item!

When: Thursday 4 November from 7:00-9:00pm
Where: Drink Shop & Do, No 9 Caledonian Road N1 9DX (right near King’s Cross station)
Cost: £15.00 including all materials. For Otesha members, it’s free!

More info

There are lots of drinks, cake, tea pots and the shop is lurvely…

Search Blog

Get Social