Tag Archive: Honeysuckle


Fairtrade Fortnight

Fairtrade: sustainable development for marginalised producers, workers and their communities, based on ideals of equity and transparency.

Did you know that Oswestry was declared a Fairtrade Town  in 2006 and 2007? I must admit, I didn’t.

But the truth is that Oswestry has a lot of small, independent retailers (and big supermarkets) who actively stock Fairtrade foods and goods. Some of the cafes in Oswestry make a point of only serving Fairtrade tea and coffee.

A few weeks ago wondered on this blog if anyone was interested in doing a small Art Works project to do with the shops in Oswestry that stock Fairtrade products. Well, it turns out that the two weeks between Monday, February 25 and Sunday, March 10th next year is Fairtrade Fortnight – a two-week long festival across Britain dedicated to raising awareness of Fairtrade products and the Fairtrade ideal. Following my blog post two weeks ago, the Oswestry Advertiser got in touch and said that they would be very interested in following any art project Inside Out might do relating to Fairtrade in Oswestry.

So, what about it? Is anyone interested in putting together a series of Fairtrade-inspired artworks perhaps for exhibition in and around Fairtrade shops in Oswestry during Fairtrade Fortnight in 2013?

I’d certainly be up for this – and we can coordinate both with The Fairtrade Foundation‘s national campaign as well as initiatives and events run by the Oswestry and District Fairtrade Group. Anyone else who’s interested, post a comment to the blog – or come along to next month’s Notebook Meeting at the Willow Gallery (Wed., Nov. 7th at 2pm) and we can have a brief chat about it then.

The art of Cooperation

The coop’s new comic book – image from the Cooperative, via The Guardian

I’ve always been a big supporter of the cooperative ideal – and I’ve been a member of various cooperatives since I was a kid. Nowadays, you can shop in a cooperative supermarket and bank with a cooperative bank – but did you know you could watch a match played by a cooperative football team? (Barcelona FC, apparently – as well as the Green Bay Packers American Football team in the US) Or drink cooperative-produced cranberry juice? (Ocean Spray) In fact, did you know that more people work for cooperatives than for multinationals?

There’s a lot I don’t know about the cooperative movement (I didn’t know there was a Co-Operative political party, for example) and I’m clearly not the only one. To help raise awareness of all that they do, the cooperative movement have turned to art: releasing a comic book and a film about the movement, its history, its ideals and its potential.

2012 is the 168th anniversary for Britain’s Cooperative stores, and there have, over the years, always been plenty of art-based events that celebrate its principles. Back in May, the FutureEverything festival celebrated the “extraordinary artistic and political possibilities” of advances in technology, explicitly linking together art and the political radicalism of the cooperative movement. And Young Cooperatives have been using art competitions to raise awareness of Fair Trade and other cooperative enterprises.

We have a number of small independent shops in Oswestry which stock Fair Trade and other goods produced by cooperatives – Rowanthorn, Honeysuckle, The Gates, and I’m sure there are others. Is there any way we could, under the Art Works banner, help use our art to celebrate and promote awareness in Oswestry?

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