23rd October 2015No Comments

Subjectively On Dismaland

I have probably missed the best timing for publishing the photos from Banksy’s Dismaland which I visited in the beginning of September with my boyfriend Ivan and my friend Reya. I intended to publish them once the exhibition has been closed. I didn’t want to spoil fun for anyone who was hoping to visit it but still provide some inside perspective of my own.

Time passed, a lot of things happened that occupied my mind more than the exhibition. I missed a perfect opportunity to stir some publicity on a hot topic. Everything has been documented, photo­graphed and published in the web. There is not much to add.

I had an impression that the exhibition itself was not especially insightful. We all know that the society is wrong and we are doomed. Ever since I remember from the early childhood, my generation has been projected with the image of this global doom. However, what made the most powerful impression on me was the style and the shock it was supposed to convey. The concentration of artworks representing the dysto­pian perspective of our world did leave a lot to think.

Bansky’s stated “Instead this is an attempt to build a different kind of family day out – one that sends a more appropriate message to the next generation – sorry kids.” in his exhibition catalogue. “Sorry about the lack of meaningful jobs, global injustice and Channel 5.[…] The fairytale is over, the world is sleepwalking towards climate catastrophe, maybe all that escapism will have to wait.”

My personal interpretation of the exhibition was that it was supposed to be an insight into the future. We are already one foot into this boggy reality and this is the last chance to stop instead of continuing to ignore what is happening. It brutally reminds us where the world is leading with desperate cries for help. The desperation seems very evident in the entire place. The gentle reminders on the packaging to recycle haven’t been successful. Perhaps the punch in the face will help.

Banksy is also painfully aware of how unsuccessful the educational aspect of his exhibition will be in the central piece.  This was also the single installation that made the biggest impression on me. When you enter the derelict imitation of the Disneyland Castle, you are invited to pose with your camera. Bored staff directs you in where to stand and point your camera. After the souvenir photo has been taken, visitors go through a dark corridor to a covered with darkness main hall. In the centre of the dark hall you see a fallen Cinderella carriage surrounded by a group of soldiers.  Instead of the machine guns soldiers shoot with cameras. Visitors around them try to capture the scene with their phone and cameras. There is no one fake or alive in the scene symbolically trying to help injured Cinderella. However, there is a lot of excitement in the air. At the exit from the castle there is a souvenir shop.  You can purchase there a picture which you initially posed for at the entry. Once you get the picture, you realize it has been photoshopped in such a way that you appear to be part of the soldier crowd attacking Cinderella with the cameras. The entire irony of the photograph is that is what most of the people really did.

I understand this installations as the most surrendering piece in the entire exhibition. It must have been clear to Banksy from the very beginning that the entire pro-active, shocking call to action and educational purpose of the show will not be as strongly conveyed as the spirit of sensation that surrounded a mysterious exhibition that appeared in a middle of nowhere, in a ghosty seaside town Weston-Super-Mare. The sensation of the artwork will be monetized, people will be queuing to get in for 4 hours, it will power up the news and media and subsequently vanish with time. Yesterday newspapers fill out bins of today creating even more unrecycled rubbish. No one talks about Dismaland anymore and it has only been a month since the exhibition has been closed.

28th June 2015No Comments

Graduation Nightmares – 7 Tips on How to Survive a Post-University Rollercoaster

I graduated university one year ago. I remember how confusing and overwhelming that period of my life was. I am not going to lie, this one year after graduation was probably the hardest one in my life but I am not writing the post to freak you out even more. Quite the opposite. I remember desperately searching through the Internet looking for popculture pieces picturing the struggles of recent graduates, searching for blog posts about graduating university and friendly souls that could understand. I felt completely alone, because it seemed as if all of my friends were either still in University living completely different problems and summing up all my troubles with a sentence 'at least you have a job', or older, so my problems have been long behind them.

For the first time becoming 100% financially independent from my parents I managed to appreciate some things my parents did for me while trying to bring me up and became more compassionate towards their negligence of ideals in favor of just having a peace of mind. However, even if I can understand it better now, I still can't bear to sign up for it myself.

Floating between the land of monsters and all-nighters recompansated with a bitter-sweet careless emotional rollercoaster of freedom and fear with the mountains of adulthood and full time jobs on the horizon.

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Take a deep breath and dive into the deep waters of your life. There are going to be hard days ahead of you but as they say a smooth sea never made a skillful sailor. Open your sails, this is just the beginning and the whole world is there at your feet.

I have prepared a handful of tips for you to remember, whenever you get confused and upset.

1. Don't be afraid of failures.

Nothing is graded in real life anymore and your failure won't matter to anyone. What's the worst that could happen if you fail an interview, miss a perfect flat or screw up an application? You are going to have an evening with ice-cream, tears and Bridget Jones and next day you are going to get up and try again. That leads me to another point.

2. We are living in the world of opportunities, and this sea is full of fish, so go out on a hunt and try to catch a next one.

Making your dream come true at the first go is nothing more than luck. Making your dream come true after battling a series of obstacles and sea monsters is a skill. What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger and in the real world you actually get the chance to learn from the mistakes and correct them with more attempts than just a mere resit exam.

3. In 6 months no one will care if you did or did not nail that First Class degree.

Even you are not going to care yourself. What will become important is how much you actually learned from your university times and degree and what lessons you derived from your mistakes.

4. You are not going to be the best anymore, so give yourself a slug.

It's important to keep your aspirations high, especially if this is what keeps you going but most likely you will be working alongside people with as many years of experience as you are walking on this earth in total. None of your grades can compete with that, so learn as much as you can but give yourself time. Don't try to rush things that require time to grow. If you concentrate on your aims and devote yourself to your projects, you won't even realize when things once difficult became easy.

5. Do not listen to the rules of the old world.

Do your own research. The job market of start-ups and freelance opportunities is expanding and by the time you are going to have an established position on the world of work, these things are going to be even more ubiquitous. So if you fear corporate life and you are afraid that if you don't do everything by the book you are going to be a lifetime looser, I am telling you once again - these are the rules of the old world - you can obey them as long as the old generation is in charge. This will not last in eternity though, they are at the front steps of retirement and at their footsteps there are young people, willing to introduce the order of our generation. Make their own rules. If you fear selling out for a corporate life while you're dreaming about faraway lands, use this time to save up money for your dreams and learning from people wiser than you. It won't hurt to be smarter when you finally feel ready to set your sails for your dreams.

6. Live like there's no tomorrow, dream like you live forever.

During my degree, I always postponed learning new things that interested me and all the things I wanted to try for 'the day I will have more time'. I was naive to think that after graduating, when the coursework will not be my priority anymore, I will have sea of time after 5pm and tons of energy for all the hobbies in the world. That reality turned out to be quite the opposite and I faced constant lack of time and tiredness. However, it made me realize, that if I want to do all these things I have to start now, because 'the day I will have more time' doesn't exist, so if I want to make all these thing happen, I need to go out and get them. As busy as my degree was, I still could have devoted some spare time to work towards my passions but I couldn't motivate myself to do it. Surprisingly, it was the lack of time that was a kick strong enough to make me do it. You won't run away from the impression that you don't have enough time, so if we agree on that matter, ask yourself a question - what do you value more - your dreams or shenanigans on Facebook and reddit?

7. Every cloud has a silver lining.

Sometimes life puts you in a situation when you have no other choice than learning new things that are very contrary to your nature. As hard as it may be, you are going to learn new things and you are going to come out smarter out of this thing. I learned how to become organized, something I thought is impossible and I am completely doomed to failure with all my attempts to master it. It's incredible what a human being can learn, when put in a situation when there is no other way out. Who knows what new skills the future is going to bring your life? Maybe you always had problem with improvisation? Or maybe you are unable to work under pressure? Most likely you will be exposed to these things whether you like it or not and yes, it's going to be terrifying, but there's a limited amount of stress we can stand before we learn how to deal with things.

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These are 7 golden tips I thought of, that are going to help you with this confusing period of time, but I could probably go on like that for ages! I hope I managed to fill you up with a good vibe about your upcoming independence and I am here to answer as well as I can. Let me know, what are your thoughts on upcoming graduation. I feel this topic might reoccur here on the blog as I strongly identify with the young and the confused but in the end I want to leave you with my recent motto "We are going to be tired, but it's going to be worth it."

15th June 2015No Comments

How To Kill Yourself?

This is a heavy and difficult topic for a blogger debutant but an important one. To drown the Internet with relevant texts about suicide.

I have experienced depressive episodes in my life three times. I was on the edge of nothingness, vegetating, feeling deeply meaningless. I did not want to be a burden to people and ironically this was one of the reasons I chickened out of the final trigger. I thought of how much trouble and pain will it cause my flatmate to clean my corpse, inform my family and organize my funeral.

Three times I have reached such bottom, that I could no longer bear that meaningless existence. The only thing that was painful was the ghostliness of the entire experience. I could not bear it and I started looking for help.

I turned googled phrase from 'how to kill yourself' into 'how to save yourself'. I have lost all my dreams and all my ambitions, all the things I cared about. Perhaps, I lost them long time ago. Only one thing mattered - to be happy.

Surprisingly if you focus solely on being happy rather than the things you think will bring you happiness, such as love, money, ambition, travel, career, beauty or whatever is that matters to you, only one thing is left to complete - happiness. You don't have it but you start looking for it everywhere possible, in the places you have previously ignored, things you previously dismissed as too cliched to make you happy. Happiness of good night sleep, happiness of a soft fabric, happiness of sunrise, happiness of taste of coffee, happiness of a walk on a fresh air, happiness of relief that you found a courage to speak up and tell someone about your fears, trust me they will listen. Happiness of a cinnamon smell, happiness of a song, happiness of healthy meals.

Simple things bring happiness.

Find a soul, that is more lost than you. They are everywhere. Your world might be falling apart, I believe, but someone's else world might be shattered to pieces too. Make them smile, even just for a minute.

Other people suffer too, connect with them, do not isolate.

Almost two years ago I was coming back from my therapist on a bus. I saw a girl walking in to the bus with a face full of tears. I did not know what happened but I knew how she felt. Before leaving a bus I wrote a note:

'Smile, world is full of beautiful things and strangers care.'

Before leaving a bus I handed it to her and when the bus was driving away I saw her smiling through the window to me. I know this is silly and cliched, but if I managed to make one upset stranger smile that makes me happy.

Try. It is really worth it. When fighting for your happiness and recovering from your depression you will also enter the sphere of magic. If things are so bad that it cannot be worse, you have an enormous capacity to appreciate every little thing that makes you feel good. Caught up with daily routine normal people do not see it. You can. Your aching heart is so desperate to find a little bit of happiness, you will be able to notice every detail that contains it. I call it post depressive circle of happiness and I am inviting you to dance inside with me and other people who have faced the worst.

At the very beginning of your new quest for happiness start from checking this small simple list: Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up.

If you don't have anyone to talk to, talk to me. I love getting to know new people and making strangers happy. All my friends were strangers once upon a time.

And if you are a blogger, who has stumbled upon this corner of the Internet, I am encouraging you the same as I was encouraged by Riennahera's post) to write a similar post, let's flood the Internet with the really relevant advice for those who want to know about 'how to end your life'.

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