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Protect humans with jam
Reported by Adam Symbiosis
Submitted 16-10-06 14:14
Being a promoter is an interesting and exciting job from the outside, promoting excitement, great times and great parties. Some promoters though have to promote themselves 24–7 even if they have nothing to talk about other than how great they are, thinking people forget they’re talking it up just to line their own pockets. Sometimes, however, there are people who put on parties for all together more altruistic reasons. With this in mind I went to meet two lovely ladies to talk about suffering, doing something you love and jam.
Shanida Nataraja and Jelena Lee are too unassuming women. Walking into a West London pub, you would never have guessed they were promoters. Of course in the strictest of senses they’re not full time promoters and that’s why not having met them before I walked straight by. A quick phone call changed that though and soon I was sitting down and tucking into a sandwich. “The party idea started in a conversation over lunch,” starts Shanida. “I’d received information from Amnesty International about their Protect The Human Week, which is the 14th to the 20th of October and one of the things they suggest to do is throw a party and I thought it was something Jelena and I could do.” And why not? “It’s a full week of fundraising,” adds Jelena, “And we discussed a few activities but decided our talents are most suited in party throwing but it’s a good way of making your partying a little more unselfish”
In fact Amnesty are looking to get a million people within the UK to stand up for human rights and if that means having a good time in the process then who’s to stop you? “Increasingly today we’re faced with examples of how the world is in crises,” Shanida continues, “And here we are sitting in a pub on a Friday having a drink where as there are some horrific things going on around the world. So it’s a feeling of actually wanting to do something rather than just sitting by or switching the channel when these images come up on the news.”
Stop Violence Against Women: violence against women is one of the most prolific forms of human rights violation in the world. At least one out of every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. Domestic violence is the major cause of death and disability for women aged 16 to 44. More than 60 million women are ‘missing’ resulting from sex-selective abortions and female infanticide. Amnesty International’s campaign seeks to raise awareness of the issues worldwide.
(Shanida Nataraja — Amnesty International UK Campaign)
Images like Guantánamo Bay or of child soldiers or any other number of abuses are carried out across the world on a daily basis. It was interesting that switching over the channel was brought up as scenes like these are pumped out in every ad break. On every corner there’s another person representing another charity. Are we actually in danger of losing out compassion or even of people developing an aversion to charity? Both agree to a certain degree. “I think we’re hit from everywhere, there are people on the street with clip boards, but that’s why we think it’s important to do it separately, people can come to the event if they want. We want to give people something in return for showing their support, by them having a good night with their friends. Hopefully we’d think that it would be worth the entry money.” It’s the ethical choice then: doing what you love to help out someone else. Think of yourself as a philanthropist!
There won’t just be music at the event. As Jelena points out, there are two sides to the event: having fun and raising funds. So you’ll be able to gain a better understanding of the challenges that face Amnesty and indeed the people they seek to protect, by way of posters on the walls at the event, cards for you sign your name in support and information on other ways you can help your fellow humans. “It’s just about raising awareness of the activities that Amnesty do, whether that be campaigning for the rights of people in prison who shouldn’t be or campaigns against mass genocide. It’s a general campaign about protecting humans irrespective of race, whether they’re rich or not, for equal rights from all humans.”
Digging deeper, I was interested in what campaigns actually struck a chord with them, a question that was instantly answered by Jelena. “Something that worries me is loss of human rights by imprisonment without trial. That’s something that seems to be coming up as more and more likely to happen, it’s something that could easily slip in here.”
Shanida agrees and adds, “We both work for a communications agency, so the idea that what you can say can be censured or that you can be thrown into prison for expressing a belief that is against the norm is something we feel very strongly about.” I wondered though if their jobs got in the way of their beliefs or how they interacted with Amnesty. “Our company, Discovery London, has actually been quite supportive of what we’re doing. The MD has given us permission to use time and resources, people within the company, to help get this party off the ground. We’ve been able to use the studio upstairs to help us with the flyer and on the more practical side of things. I think if they hadn’t supported us them maybe there might have been some conflict,” Shanida added with a hearty laugh. “Matt Broughton worked hard to create the design. We came up with Human Jam as the name and he worked on the flyer.”
Which leads me nicely onto the actual party and the venue. Amnesty currently states they have 1.8 million people on their books as members, with subscribers and supporters in 150 countries. For one night however this small slice of supporters will be taking over the Jam Bar in Shoreditch. I wanted to know why this bar among all the others in London would be the location to hold their event and what help the bar itself was giving to the cause, Jelena took up the reigns. “Familiarity is one of the reasons, I’ve been to a few good parties there, but the staff were easy to talk to about the event. We had looked at a few others in what is a lively part of London.”
Surprisingly other venues were looking for proof of other successful charity events they had put on in the past. They weren’t interested in working with them despite the backing of such a large organisation, but the people at The Jam saw a lot of merit in the plan and recognised the hard work Shanida and Jelena were putting into the party and were more than happy to help.
I delved some more into the party and into what people could be dancing to while supporting the less fortunate. In time honoured bar fashion, it’ll be a heady mix of house and smooth grooves brought to you first by Rich Wilcock, who has appeared at Miss Moneypennies, Renaissance and Club Que among many others. Then Prozak, much loved on these boards and around the capital as a cross genre dj and producer, and finally Craig Gunn, Gallery resident, who really needs no introduction, and his partner in crime Craig H, one part of the Gunslingers — a great mix then of experienced djs making sure that the night goes with a bang. “It’s going to be very much come as you are and bring a friend, but we’d want people to expect something a little different from the music and away from the mainstream. We feel that Craig and Prozak are major drivers in the underground so we want people to hear some new music while having a party and feeling like their doing something good at the same time.”
Refugees and Asylum: people across the world are forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods to escape persecution and conflict in their own countries. Amnesty International suspect that over 25,000 people who have sought asylum, including women and children, were detained in 2004 under Immigration Act powers. In many cases their detention was protracted, inappropriate and unlawful. Amnesty International are campaigning to bring about a fair and effective asylum system.
(Shanida Nataraja — Amnesty International UK Campaign)
It is a ticketed event however with limited space in the venue, but tickets can be gained easily by clicking through to www.JustGiving.com/HumanJam. The benefit this gives the party is two fold though. With gift aid, for every £10 spent on a ticket, £2.50 that would have gone to the chancellors coffers in tax is retained, leaving an even bigger pile of cash for Amnesty to spend on good causes. Even if you can’t go but want to support the cause, there’s a facility for you to donate to the campaign.
Rounding off I asked if they might decide to put on more benefit gigs if the party does turn out to be successful. “I imagine it might become a yearly event, our annual Amnesty party. Hopefully when we see we’ve sold all the tickets then we might think about next year!” Still here’s to this year and protecting the human by shaking your arse.
To buy your ticket
Amnesty International UK
Protect The Human
Photos and logos courtesy of Amnesty International, Human Jam, Craig Gunn and Vika. Not to be reproduced without permission.
EventID e9510894a73826645c325b353f4e9fb3: No matching event found
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Other Features By Adam Symbiosis:
Godskitchen Xmas Party: Reviewed
The Big Chill: Reviewed
Tiësto at Victoria Park: Reviewed
Lilly Allen: Reviewed
Digital Society May 2009: Reviewed
The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.
| From: Prozak on 16th Oct 2006 14:39.34|
heres to a great night and lots of money raised
From: Mike Harris on 16th Oct 2006 15:49.26
Best of luck for this, it's a fantastic cause and i hope it goes really well for you!
From: Cerberus on 17th Oct 2006 10:21.42
come party - money going to great causes!!!
From: Sheila Le Badger on 19th Oct 2006 09:39.07
Nice one...we are putting on a series of parties in Bath www.myspace.com/rarepromotions for our Circus; http://www.circus2iraq.org we are trying to reach out to some of the most isolated groups in the Middle East...
If anyone would like to put on a London party for us we'd love you forever!!!
From: End Of on 19th Oct 2006 16:44.26
Good luck with this. Small point but Craig Gunn isn't a resident for The Gallery