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Peace News log archive: March 2017
Articles from the Peace News log.
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I’ve written a play, Kicked in the Sh*tter. Sounds a bit grim, but it's pretty funny.
That’s the plug over.
When I first wrote this play, I had no idea what I was writing. Or why.
But I soon realised I’d been writing about a world I know well; albeit one so much darker now, than it was when it was mine. The two characters are people I have known. More than that though; they are me, a lot of me; more than I would usually allow. That frightens me.
My play exists in an unforgiving world - one we’d see every day if we didn’t choose to close our eyes to it. It revolves around two people with their own individual mental health difficulties, struggling to hold their heads above water; fighting with the government over back-to-work assessments and the minefield that is the benefits system in the UK.
Because I lived on a council estate for a year back when I was in my early twenties, I have some idea what I’m talking about. I worked in a pub on the estate and I claimed Job Seekers Allowance and Housing Benefit. This community was populated by very busy people. Warm, immensely generous people. Some were working, and some weren’t.
I was also surrounded by heroin addicts and people with a whole range of dependency issues and specialist needs that just weren’t being catered for as well though. These were a forgotten people. Actually, not forgotten; neglected.
This play has also forced me to acknowledge my own relationship with mental health; those unspoken of, invisible illnesses that affect so many of us.
Ian Sinclair: How does radical feminism differ from other forms of feminism?
In the UK, we are getting a little better at understanding the need to have a closer relationship with where our food is coming from, for our health and that of the earth. But we, as part of the industrialised Global North, are a long way by this point in the 21st century from making the connections between what happens at the place where energy and mineral industries tear up the ground, and our experience of the material world around us.