I Am Birmingham

Archive for the ‘Column’ Category

OPINION | John Dee | Hemp, History, Happy 4/20!

In Blog, Column on 04/20/2017 at 04:20
4/20 is a code-term that refers to the consumption of cannabis and smoking and celebrating cannabis on the date April 20 (Photograph: Psychonaught)

4/20 is a code-term that refers to the consumption of cannabis and smoking and celebrating cannabis on the date April 20 (Photograph: Psychonaught)

Dr John Dee is back and ready to party, as we look at 4/20, once again, only emerging from his haze of smoke long enough to write this article for you, the gentle reader.

Hemp. Before 1937, hemp was the world’s biggest, global crop, with a myriad of resourceful uses. It is an easily grow crop that could have been used, arguably, as an alternative to the petrochemical industry’s stranglehold on this planet, as well as a source for food, textiles and even clothes. Read the rest of this entry »

OPINION | Vimal Korpal | Birmingham’s female ‘Voices of Experience’

In Blog, Column, Events, What's On on 03/13/2017 at 16:32
'Voices of Experience' participants (L-R):, Novelist Abda Khan, Tamanna Abdul Karim, Diya Sen and Rushnara Mahamud at the mac Birmingham's Hexagon Theatre (Photograph: Vimal Korpal)

‘Voices of Experience’ participants (L-R):, Novelist Abda Khan, Tamanna Abdul Karim, Diya Sen and Rushnara Mahamud at the mac Birmingham’s Hexagon Theatre (Photograph: Vimal Korpal)

Okay, so these aren’t all of the Voices of Experience in Brum but are some of the ‘Voices of Brum’, and they need to be heard, especially Asian women’s voices as we never hear enough about their creative work.

Luckily, Sampad (South Asian Music Performance and Dance) provide this platform in Birmingham. Read the rest of this entry »

OPINION | Vimal Korpal | Holi, the ‘Festival of Love’

In Blog, Column, Events, Videos, What's On on 03/13/2017 at 12:51
Holi, the festival of colours and love, being celebrated at the Shree Geeta Bhavan Mandir in Birmingham (Photograph: Vimal Korpal)

Holi, the festival of colours and love, being celebrated at the Shree Geeta Bhavan Mandir in Birmingham (Photograph: Vimal Korpal)

Happy Holi, also known as Festival of Love.

It’s the month of  March and what a busy month already, we’ve shared the love with International Women’s Day, we’ve shared the love with a pint of Guinness for the early celebrations for St Patrick’s Day, and now we’re sharing the love with the ‘Festival of  Love’ for Holi. Read the rest of this entry »

OPINION | Maryam Snape | What women want this International Women’s Day

In Blog, Column, What's On on 03/08/2017 at 13:28
International Women's Day is being celebrated on Wednesday 8th March (Image: Adam Yosef)

International Women’s Day is being celebrated on Wednesday 8th March (Image: Adam Yosef)

Today is International Women’s Day, what does this mean?

The day was originally set up to commemorate the struggle for Women’s Rights, but it now also celebrates their achievements, and most importantly of all? It unifies us. Because what do women want? Just like men, they want to feel valued, included and considered. Read the rest of this entry »

OPINION | Robert Brenchley | Are we still intolerant of the LGBT community?

In Blog, Column on 02/13/2017 at 17:19
A couple enjoy a moment together at Birmingham Pride (Photograph: Adam Yosef)

A couple enjoy a moment together at Birmingham Pride (Photograph: Adam Yosef)

It became legal to be gay, to an extent anyway, in 1967, when I was 13. At the time it was widely viewed as something nasty, which was best left unmentioned.

I started at secondary school in 1965, and remember a lot of jokes about ‘sexual perverts’, though I wasn’t clear what sort of nastiness was involved, and I don’t think many of the others were either; it was a climate which fostered ignorance. Read the rest of this entry »

OPINION | Catalina George | Why are people protesting in Romania?

In Blog, Column, News on 02/12/2017 at 14:00
A protest taking place at the university building in Bucharest on 29 January 2017 (Photograph: Babu)

A protest taking place at the university building in Bucharest on 29 January 2017 (Photograph: Babu)

What is happening in Romania right now? The new government passed an emergency ordinance in an extraordinary meeting, at 10pm at night, on official misconduct.

The new piece of law gives a generous pardon to officials who are found to misuse funds: anything under 40,000 would not be considered a penal offence. Read the rest of this entry »

OPINION | Adam Carver | Why solidarity is key during LGBT History Month

In Blog, Column, What's On on 02/10/2017 at 16:33
An exhibition will be held at the LGBT centre in Birmingham, exploring the Gay Liberation Front during the 1970s (Image: GLF)

An exhibition will be held at the LGBT centre in Birmingham, exploring the Gay Liberation Front during the 1970s (Image: GLF)

LGBT History Month is, for me, about celebrating, remembering, and reflecting on the history of the LGBT community.

It’s about dedicating time to acknowledging the struggles and achievements of specific groups of people who make up between 5-10 per cent of the UK population (according to the 2011 census, the real figure is probably higher) who are often ignored in mainstream narratives. Read the rest of this entry »

Hate Crime? Where’s the Love?

In Blog, Column, Interviews, Videos on 10/26/2016 at 19:50

14716178_10206981392045471_160845431456383695_n

(Debra Mefta, with members of the public, expressing how they feel about Hate Crime)

I want to live in a world where everyone is treated equally, where everyone has food, clothing and shelter, and where everyone is free to move to wherever they want. With Brexit there is more division, less sharing, more selfishness, less love and sadly* more hate crime!

Do you know what a ‘hate crime’ is? Would you know where to report it?

You may argue ‘it doesn’t happen to me, so I don’t need to know’, but what if it was a family member, a friend or even a member of the public that is the target of verbal – called a ‘paki’, ‘faggot’, ‘cabbage,’ ‘white honkey’ – or physical abuse – smacked, knifed or even have their property damaged – Would you know what to do?

Could you advise them?

The easy route is violence: Yes, stand up to them, but in some cases this just makes the problem worse. The most affective way to stop hate crimes at the root is by reporting the incident.

I’ve been lucky enough to work on a project with Redditch Council (Sarah McIntosh and Ken Hazeldene), in the Worcester, Bromsgrove, Kidderminister and South Birmingham areas, highlighting hate crime that exists.

1)What is a ‘hate crime’?

If verbal or physical abuse is directed to a person or their property because of their

  • disability
  • race or ethnicity
  • religion or beliefs
  • sexuality or gender identity

that constitutes as a hate crime.

2)Why should you report it?

 

Sajid Javid MP, of Bromsgrove, gives his explanation as to why you should report hate crime, how important it is to educate people about it and why it should not be ignored. (Filmed & interviewed by V Korpal)

3)Where should I report it?

If you are in danger or a crime is being committed, immediately dial 999 for the police, otherwise dial 101 for non-emergencies. You can also report it at the neighbourhood office and CAB. For those who are computer savvy, you can report it online at:

http://www.report-it.org.uk/home

Jeneatte Lane – talks about where to report it (Filmed by V Korpal)

 

4)Make a pledge

Tracey Onslow, Deputy Crime & Police Commissioner for West Mercia, explains why it’s important for the community to come out to help fight this terrible crime, which in most cases is targeted to the vulnerable. (Filmed & interviewed by V Korpal)

 

Hate crime exists and has been on the increase. Let’s report it and stand up for those who are vulnerable too. This way maybe we can start restoring the love.

If you have an event you would like covered, please contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

Vimal Korpal is a presenter/actor working in TV, theatre, radio and corporate role play work – contact directly or via agent Red Talent Management.

Vimal Korpal

The changing face of MCM Comic Con…

In Column, What's On on 11/24/2014 at 20:43
Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte at the MCM Expo Comic Con in Birmingham (Photograph: Jack Kirby)

Breaking Bad actor RJ Mitte at the MCM Expo Comic Con in Birmingham (Photograph: Jack Kirby)

Granted that the end-of-year MCM Comic Con here in Brum is less to do with comics and more to do with general film, TV, gaming and Anime, but it was an excellent opportunity – one last time this year – for ‘cosplayers’ from across the region (across the country even?) to dress to impress and strut their stuff across the huge stage that is Birmingham’s NEC. 
.
I got the chance to catch up with some friends, sit in on the RJ Mitte (Breaking Bad) panel and even caught a glimpse of a few of my A-Level students too, who were clearly enjoying themselves as much as anyone else.

Read the rest of this entry »

Harry Potter and Breaking Bad stars heading to Birmingham

In Column, What's On on 11/18/2014 at 14:13
A cosplayer dresses up as harry Potter villain Voldemort at the MCM ComicCon Expo in Birmingham (Photograph: Jack Kirby)

A cosplayer dresses up as Harry Potter villain Voldemort at the MCM Comic Con Expo in Birmingham (Photograph: Jack Kirby)

Coming this weekend -and bringing to a close the Comic Con season for another year here in Birmingham and the Midlands – is MCM Comic Con returning to Birmingham’s NEC, with stars from hit films and shows including Harry Potter and Breaking Bad.

A huge (have you seen the size of the halls in the NEC?) two-day event mixing TV and film memorabilia with comic and anime culture and a healthy procession of cosplayers.  Read the rest of this entry »