Posts tagged with "journalist"

Kristin Poole image via Krista Detwiler at The Sun Valley Museum of Art

Sun Valley Museum of Art Q×A

By: Emily Bunn

 A keystone of Ketchum’s community, the iconic Sun Valley Museum of Art (SVMoA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The museum is inviting the public to experience the joy of music and the arts to celebrate the momentous occasion. In past years, SVMoA has hosted 52 Grammy-Award winning artists, featured notable lecturers and visual artists, and awarded over $1 million in arts scholarships to local students and teachers. SVMoA’s Artistic Director, Kris Poole, sat down with 360 Magazine to talk about upcoming summer classes at the museum, the current BIG IDEA exhibition, and future plans for expansion. 

SVMoA is celebrating its 50th anniversary this summer! Are any special performances lined up to commemorate this momentous occasion? 

Clay, Silver, Ink: Sun Valley Center at 50, was on exhibit at The Museum from May through July.

The exhibition is guest-curated by artists Jim Romberg, Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ Director of Ceramics from 1973 to 1986, and Peter de Lory, who began teaching in 1974 and was Director of Photography from 1976 to 1979 and during the summers of 1982 and 1983.

Clay, Silver, Ink features artwork by 60 photographers, ceramic artists and printmakers, as well as several painters, who led classes and workshops at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts during the organization’s first 15 years. Many of the labels will include quotes from the artists that reflect on their experience at The Museum. A slide show of student work and snapshots from the era was also included in the exhibition.

SVMoA’s 50th Celebration & Birthday Concert will take place on August 26 and feature Pink Martini with China Forbes.

Pink Martini is led by the dynamic and hyperenergetic Thomas Lauderdale. The group’s repertoire is inspired by music from around the world and crosses genres of classical, jazz and old-fashioned pop. With 12 musicians onstage and songs performed in 25 languages, Pink Martini has crisscrossed the globe and has played with more than 70 orchestras.

Lauderdale’s co-conspirator in the band is his Harvard classmate, China Forbes. A year after starting the band, Lauderdale invited Forbes to join Pink Martini, and they began penning songs together. Since then, Forbes and Lauderdale have co-written many of Pink Martini’s most beloved songs, including “Sympathique,” “Lilly,” “Clementine,” and “Let’s Never Stop Falling in Love.” Forbes’ original song “Hey Eugene” is the title track of Pink Martini’s third album, and many of her songs can also be heard on television and film.

The concert will be a special one, starting with a look back at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts’ 50 years and a look ahead to SVMoA’s next 50. SVMoA will share memories and birthday cupcakes and asks everyone to come dressed for a party.

Is SVMoA offering any summer workshops or adult classes?

Yes! We offered 22 adult classes last year, and we plan to expand that programming throughout 2021 and into 2022. Classes range from one-night craft series workshops to creative jump-ins and week-long master class intensives. This summer, we offered the following courses:

Craft Series Workshop:

THREE COLOR REDUCTION PRINTS

Craft Series Workshop

CERAMIC TRANSFORMATION VESSELS

Writing Class

A THOUSAND WORDS: Guided Writing about the Art You See

Creative Jump-In

POCKET SKETCHING

Craft Series Workshop

CAPTURING THE BEST PHOTOS ON YOUR IPHONE

Creative Jump-In

NO-WASTE LEATHER BAG

Creative Jump-In

BEGINNING DRAWING

Creative Jump-In

SUN VALLEY STONES: Oil painting

Creative Jump-In

BUILDING LAYERS WITH OIL AND COLD WAX 

How many students are currently in SVMoA’s art education program and k-12 education program this year?

SVMoA serves nearly 4,000 students through four unique arts education programs over the course of a year, reaching every child in Blaine County. Some programs happen in school classrooms, others in the museum space or performance halls. SVMoA’s student participants come from every public and private school in the Wood River Valley.

SVMoA features “BIG IDEA” projects. What does the BIG IDEA represent?

The BIG IDEA was designed to allow our community to enter into the conversation through a variety of avenues. If you are interested in going to see a film, or listening to a lecture, we hope the program content piques your curiosity enough to get you to visit the exhibition in The Museum or take a class that will allow you to go deeper into the subject. BIG IDEAs run the gamut from serious subjects like Refugees and/or Gender in the 21st century, to lighter fare that explores subjects, like the important role that bees or bicycles play in our world. Artists make art about the world they live in, and more often than not, what is on their minds is a topic we should be paying attention to as well.  We have the opportunity to use the BIG IDEA model to engage people in ideas that matter. The art on exhibition, the music, films, lectures, discussions are all fodder for some pretty interesting conversations.

Why did SVMoA choose to display “Untrammeled: At Wilderness’ Edge” as the museum’s current big idea project?

As part of our 50th Anniversary celebration, we wanted to explore a BIG IDEA that had specific resonance with our local community. Because Sun Valley is a mountain resort town whose very existence owes its debt to the wilderness, we felt reexamining the premise of the 1964 Wilderness Act was an important effort.

At the time that we began talking with artists we had no idea that at this moment the topic would hold particular urgency. Our community, like many others in the mountain west, is experiencing an explosion of tourism and new residents. The exhibition and BIG IDEA grapple with what it means to live on the edge of and with wild places—how do we respect people’s need to be in the wilderness with our need to preserve and protect that very space? How should our idea of “managing” wilderness change/evolve?

We are so pleased to be engaged in the discussion through the work of 4 powerful artists, all of whom have international reputations, and two of whom we commissioned to do new work for this project. Adding talks by journalist Kevin Fedarko and curator Jock Reynolds only enriches the conversation. 

Who is the next speaker in the museum’s lecture series? Why was this speaker chosen? 

As part of the next BIG IDEA project Untrammeled: At Wilderness’ Edge, SVMoA will welcome ​​journalist Kevin Fedarko, award-winning author of “The Emerald Mile” as our first speaker of the 2021/2022 fall/winter season. Fedarko’s book on the The Emerald Mile, with the subtitle The Epic Story of the Fastest Ride in History Through the Heart of the Grand Canyon, chronicles both the complex story of the Canyon’s environmental history, as well as the compelling story of how a couple river and wilderness junkies took the fastest boat ride ever down the Colorado River during the legendary flood of 1983. At this moment in 2021 when we are grappling how best to live on the edge of wilderness, this book and Fedarko’s tale beautifully illustrates the complicated nature of our relationship with wild places.

Jock Reynolds is a nationally respected curator and artist who served as the Director of the Yale University Art Gallery from 1998 to 2018.  He has worked closely with Mark Klett, one of the artists in the Untrammeled exhibition, and is keenly interested in the role that art plays in shaping our national discussions. Jock will be in conversation with Mark Klett and Laura McPhee about their commissioned artworks.

Sandra Cisneros is one of the United States most important poets and writers.  She is best known for her evocation of Mexican American life in Chicago. “The House on Mango Street,” written in 1983, continues to be taught in classrooms throughout the country. Cisneros has been invited to participate in SVMoA’s lecture series to speak to the value and richness of cross-cultural experiences.  As a woman and a writer Cisneros beautifully explores the experience of being connected to both the US and to Mexico.  There are so many members of our community and so many people in our country who share this relationship. We look forward to welcoming Cisneros to this community at this moment of growth and transition.

How do the three SVMoA spaces– The Museum, The Liberty Theatre, and the Hailey House and Classroom – each operate? What is each space’s function?

The Museum

Sun Valley Museum of Art is non-collecting museum that is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (one of only five institutions in Idaho). SVMoA offers free admission and is open to the public throughout the year. Its downtown Ketchum location allows stop-by visitors as well as event and exhibition attendees to explore and experience art firsthand—both through visual art exhibitions and hands-on immersive education opportunities.

The Liberty Theatre

The former home of the Company of Fools, the historic The Liberty Theatre is centrally located on Main Street in Hailey, Idaho.  The theatre is currently closed, awaiting some needed renovations.

The Hailey House and Classroom

The historic Hailey House, birthplace of American poet Ezra Pound, is open to visitors by appointment and during scheduled events. The house is frequently used to house visiting artists, teachers and musicians. The Hailey Classroom is open for adult, teen and youth classes and workshops during scheduled programs.

The museum is in the process of constructing a new building as well. How does SVMoA plan to use their new space?

Sun Valley Museum of Art needs expanded facilities. Currently we are not able to meet the community need for everything from classes to lectures to exhibition tours so we are actively seeking the right opportunity to build or renovate a new space. The community deserves to have a museum that can be a point of pride and meets the needs of today’s families and students as well as our growing and diverse community. As the cornerstone of Wood River Valley’s rich and diverse arts and culture scene, SVMoA is eager to develop a state-of-the-art facility that will engage more people on a deeper level, create more immersive experiences, and ensure accessibility for everyone in our community.

SVMoA operates as an arts education nonprofit. How can interested patrons support the arts? 

SVMoA’s annual programs are supported in large part by its more than 1,200 members. When you join as a SVMoA member, you don’t just support your own arts experience; you support arts access for all. Your membership fee pays it forward so your fellow community members can experience the arts—the joy, the wonder, the inspiration, and the healing.

SVMoA’s annual Wine Auction welcomes friends, families, arts supporters, vintners and chefs to celebrate and support the arts each summer. The 2021 Wine Auction wrapped in mid-July and raised more than $1 million for arts education with the help of more than 350 attendees.

BIG IDEAS and major program support comes from memberships, individual donations, private foundations and public and private grants. 

Regarding COVID-19, does the museum require guests to purchase tickets in advance online, or can visitors purchase tickets upon arrival? 

SVMoA’s museum space is free and open to the public. SVMoA classes and events typically require advance registration and/or ticket purchase (as events can sell-out), but SVMoA will in general welcome walk-up attendees and participants if space allows. 

At The Museum walk-in visitors are always welcome! If you’d like to learn more about the artwork in the exhibition, we invite families and small groups for private tours with The Museum’s curators. To schedule a tour please contact us at 208.726.9491 or at information@svmoa.org. 

*Featured artwork by Laura McPhee

Companion Species - WSU via Krista Detwiler at the Sun Valley Museum of Art for use by 360 Magazine
Companion Species by Jordan Schnitzer
Mark Klett - Inside ice cavern via Krista Detwiler at the Sun Valley Museum of Art for use by 360 Magazine
Inside Ice Cavern by Mark Klett
Laura McPhee artwork via Krista Detwiler at the Sun Valley Museum of Art for use by 360 Magazine
Laura McPhee
Britney Spears illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Britney Spears Breaks Her Silence

“I Just Want My Life Back” 

Britney Spears Breaks Her Silence 

By: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen 

Conservator 

con·ser·va·tor | noun 

  • a person responsible for the repair and preservation of works of art, buildings, or other things of cultural or environmental interest.

Britney Spears. We have heard her name countless times over the years in regard to her career, however, more recently regarding her conservatorship. A conservatorship is a legal arrangement that gives a court-appointed individual, known as the conservator, the power to handle the financial and/or personal affairs of another adult who has been deemed incapacitated.

In this case, James Parnell Spears is Britney’s father and conservator. Mr. Spears was appointed conservator in 2008 after Ms. Spears was taken to the hospital twice by ambulance for involuntary psychiatric evaluations in the midst of a series of public struggles and concerns around her mental health. 

The recent documentary on Britney Spears on Hulu, “The New York Times Presents Framing Britney Spears”, gives a lot of insight into how the conservatorship first came into play. Ms. Spears was failed from the very beginning, unfortunately. She had one request over the conservatorship- for her father not to be the head of it. She was adamant that he was not in charge of herself or her finances. She did not want her father making the decisions on her medical care and treatment as well as her finances.  

Essentially, Britney’s entire life was about to be dictated by people other than herself, against her will. The conservatorship enabled them to control who could and could not visit Britney and retained security guards for her twenty-four hours a day. They had the power to access her medical records and communicate with her doctors. They could take control of her house and even cancel her credit cards. They could make television deals and recordings for her and were able to be overly involved with her finances. In addition to the conservatorship, Spears had also lost the ability to see her two children, whom she shares with ex-husband Kevin Federline. A few weeks after the temporary conservatorship started, she was able to regain some visitation rights.  

On October 28, 2008, the conservatorship over Britney was made permanent. That was thirteen years ago. Thirteen. Since the conservatorship was placed over Britney, she has gone on to release albums, go on tour, and even held a Las Vegas Residency at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Britney claims that her father had her put on lithium against her will and forced her to keep an IUD in so that she would not have more children. Which leads us to this question: Why is she still under the conservatorship if she is able to work and perform to the absolute best of her ability? A conservatorship is for someone unable to make those decisions for themselves along with not being able to provide for themselves. Britney Spears has shown the entire world over and over again that she is able to function and run her own shows quite successfully.  

If you take a moment and look through Ms. Spears’ Instagram account, you will catch a glimpse of the real Britney. She is a breath of fresh air that is full of life and love, but held back by so many things out of her control. She’s a forty-year-old victim in a conservatorship that is no longer needed. Social media users have taken the internet by storm with the hashtags of #freebritney and you quite literally see it everywhere. There are millions of supporters that have followed her journey and are hoping their voices are heard as well as Britney’s to ensure her freedom.  

Additionally, Jaime Spears has been living off of Britney for the last 13 years. Ms. Spears says “Considering my family has lived off my conservatorship for 13 years, I won’t be surprised if one of them has something to say… I just don’t like feeling like I work for the people who I pay.” According to Forbes, Ms. Spears has paid her father a monthly salary, provided office space, and given him a cut of her celebrity. Jaime Spears was paid at least $5 million before taxes since 2008. Britney also has to pay the entirety of the legal fees for both herself and her conservators. Her father has also made money off of her residencies and tours, which you can read more about here.

More recently, there was a hearing where a twenty-four-minute statement against the conservatorship was aired. You can hear the audio here. Ms. Spears met virtually with Los Angeles probate judge Brenda Penny claiming she wants to sue her family and that she has been “abused” by a previous therapist, among other multiple accusations. 

Additionally, Samy Dwek has also shared an opinion on the matter:

WHOOPS, THEY DID IT AGAIN! FATHER’S CONSERVATORSHIP CONTINUES FOR BRITTANY SPEARS – AND IT SHOULDN’T

By Samy Dwek, Founder and CEO, The Family Office Doctor and White Knight Consulting

I would address something that’s been a major press story – the guardianship of Britney Spears.

In California, they use the word “conservator” – someone who looks after the affairs of a person, such as their finances, or after them as a person, their estate, their properties. In Florida, we use the word “guardianship” of the person or of the property.

For the last 10 years, Britney Spears’ father, Jamie Spears, has been her conservator, her guardian, overseeing both her finances and her personal property, her career, et cetera. Following some very public issues, the court ruled that Bessemer Trust can come in to look after her financial affairs. I think is a very sound decision, based on the father’s background. Bessemer probably has a lot better experience in managing money.

However, the father retains the power as a guardian of the person, looking after her estate and her personal affairs, her personal care, medication, et cetera, which remains a point of contention.

I have to agree with Brittany Spears that her father should be replaced. Let me be very clear that if I were to have someone look after me, I would prefer there to be a person who is impartial, not a family member who has potentially an axe to grind, especially when my bank account would have $60 million in it, and someone who is not trained in these matters.

As parents, we care for our kids, but it’s a very different thing to deal with when the child has some kind of mental trauma or health issues. At that point, I think bringing in a professional who is an expert guardian and does this for a living would probably make more sense.

And I think there’s a lot more to play out here because I believe that Brittany was not aware of the fact that she can cancel the guardianship. She could actually ask for an end to the conservatorship. I think that would be a bit of a drawn-out process that would involve psychiatrists and others to prove that she has the mental capacity to take control of her life. And that would be something that would need to be proven to these practitioners and then presented to the court.

Given the opportunity, I would push for the implementation of a professional guardian whilst these issues are ironed out. Not all parents are good parents, hence we have CPS. A trained professional under the supervision of the courts is a more prudent solution.  

LINK TO LEAKED HQ AUDIO 

LIGHTLY EDITED TRANSCRIPT FROM AUDIO:

SPEARS: I just got a new phone, and I have a lot to say, so bear with me. Basically, a lot has happened since two years ago, the last time – I wrote this all down – the last time I was in court.  

I will be honest with you. I haven’t been back to court in a long time, because I don’t think I was heard on any level when I came to court the last time. I brought four sheets of paper in my hands and wrote in length what I had been through the last four months before I came there. The people who did that to me should not be able to walk away so easily. I’ll recap. I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do… My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney –  

JUDGE: Ms. Spears, I hate to interrupt you, but my court reporter is taking down what you’re saying, so you have to speak a little more slowly.  

SPEARS: Oh, of course. Yes. Okay. The people who did this to me should not be able to walk away so easily. To recap: I was on tour in 2018. I was forced to do… My management said if I don’t do this tour, I will have to find an attorney, and by contract, my own management could sue me if I didn’t follow through with the tour. He handed me a sheet of paper as I got off stage in Vegas and said I had to sign it. It was very threatening and scary. And with the conservatorship, I couldn’t even get my own attorney. So out of fear, I went ahead, and I did the tour.  

When I came off that tour, a new show in Las Vegas was supposed to take place. I started rehearsing early, but it was hard because I’d been doing Vegas for four years and I needed a break in between. But no, I was told this is the timeline and this is how it’s going to go. I rehearsed four days a week. Half of the time in the studio and a half of the other time in a Westlake studio. I was basically directing most of the show. I actually did most of the choreography, meaning I taught my dancers my new choreography myself. I take everything I do very seriously. There’s tons of video with me at rehearsals. I wasn’t good – I was great. I led a room of sixteen dancers in rehearsal.  

It’s funny to hear my managers’ side of the story. They all said I wasn’t participating in rehearsals, and I never agreed to take my medication – which my medication is only taken in the mornings, never at rehearsal. They don’t see even see me. So why are they even claiming that? When I said no to one dance move into rehearsals, it was as if I planted a huge bomb somewhere. And I said no, I don’t want to do it this way.  

After that, my management, my dancers and my assistant of the new people that were supposed to do the new show all went into a room, shut the door and didn’t come out for at least forty-five minutes. Ma’am, I’m not here to be anyone’s slave. I can say no to a dance move. I was told by my at-the-time therapist, Dr. Benson – who died – that my manager called him and then that moment and told him I wasn’t cooperating or following the guidelines in rehearsals. And he also said I wasn’t taking my medication, which is so dumb, because I’ve had the same lady every morning for the past eight years give me my same medication. And I’m nowhere near these stupid people. It made no sense at all.  

There was a week period where they were nice to me, and I told them I don’t want to do the – they were nice to me, they said if I don’t want to do the new Vegas show, I don’t have to because I was getting really nervous. They said I could wait. It was like lifting literally two hundred pounds off of me when they said I don’t have to do the show anymore, because it was really really hard on myself, and it was too much. I couldn’t take it anymore. 

So, I remember telling my assistant, but y’know what I feel weird if I say no, I feel like they’re gonna come back and be mean to me or punish me or something. Three days later, after I said no to Vegas, my therapist sat me down in a room and said he had a million phone calls about how I was not cooperating in rehearsals, and I haven’t been taking my medication. All this was false. He immediately, the next day, put me on lithium out of nowhere. He took me off my normal meds I’ve been on for five years. And lithium is a very, very strong and completely different medication compared to what I was used to. You can go mentally impaired if you take too much, if you stay on it longer than five months. But he put me on that, and I felt drunk. I really couldn’t even take up for myself. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad really about anything. I told him I was scared, and my doctor had me on six different nurses with this new medication, come to my home, stay with me to monitor me on this new medication, which I never wanted to be on to begin with. There were six different nurses in my home, and they wouldn’t let me get in my car to go anywhere for a month. 

Not only did my family not do a goddamn thing, my dad was all for it. Anything that happened to me had to be approved by my dad. And my dad acted like he didn’t know that I was told I had to be tested over the Christmas holidays before they sent me away, when my kids went home to Louisiana. He was the one who approved all of it. My whole family did nothing. 

Over the two-week holiday, a lady came into my home for four hours a day, sat me down and did a psych test on me. It took forever. But I was told I had to. Then after, I got a phone call from my dad, basically saying I’d failed the test or whatever, whatever. “I’m sorry, Britney, you have to listen to your doctors. They’re planning to send you to a small home in Beverly Hills to do a small rehab program that we’re going to make up for you. You’re going to pay $60,000 a month for this.” I cried on the phone for an hour, and he loved every minute of it.  

The control he had over someone as powerful as me – he loved the control to hurt his own daughter 100,000%. He loved it. I packed my bags and went to that place. I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking. Making anyone work against their will, taking all f their possessions away – credit card, cash, phone, passport – and placing them in a home where they work with the people who live with them. They all lived in the house with me, the nurses, the 24-7 security. There was one chef that came there and cooked for me daily during the weekdays. They watched me change every day – naked – morning, noon and night. My body – I had no privacy door for my room. I have eight vials of blook a week.  

If I didn’t do any of my meetings and work from eight to six at night, which is ten hours a day, seven days a week, no days off, I wouldn’t be able to see my kids or my boyfriend. I never had a say in my schedule. They always told me I had to do this. And Ma’am, I will tell you, sitting in a chair for ten hours a day, seven days a week, it ain’t fun… and especially when you can’t walk out the front door.  

And that’s why I’m telling you this again two years later, after I’ve lied and told the whole world” I’m okay and I’m happy.” It’s a lie. I thought I just maybe if I said enough maybe I might become happy, because I’ve been in denial. I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized. You know, fake it till you make it. But now I’m telling you the truth, okay? I’m not happy. I can’t sleep. I’m so angry it’s insane. And I’m depressed. I cry every day.  

And the reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t think how the state of California can have all this written in the court documents from the time I showed up and do absolutely nothing — just hire, with my money, another person and keep my dad on board. Ma’am, my dad and anyone involved in this conservatorship and my management who played a huge role in punishing me when I said no — ma’am, they should be in jail. Their cruel tactics working for Miley Cyrus as she smokes on joints onstage at the VMAs — nothing is ever done to this generation for doing wrong things. 

But my precious body, who has worked for my dad for the past fucking 13 years, trying to be so good and pretty. So perfect. When he works me so hard. When I do everything, I’m told and the state of California allowed my father — ignorant father — to take his own daughter, who only has a role with me if I work with him, they’ve set back the whole course and allowed him to do that to me. That’s given these people I’ve worked for way too much control. They also threaten me and said, If I don’t go, then I have to go to court. And it will be more embarrassing to me if the judge publicly makes the evidence we have. 

You have to go. I was advised for my image; I need to go ahead and just go and get it over with. They said that to me. I don’t even drink alcohol — I should drink alcohol, considering what they put my heart through. Also, the Bridges facility they sent me to, none of the kids — I was doing this program for four months, so the last two months I went to a Bridges facility. None of the kids there did the program. They never showed up for any of them. You didn’t have to do anything if you didn’t want to. How come they always made me go? How come I was always threatened by my dad and anybody that participated in this conservatorship? If I don’t do this, what they tell me to enslave me to do, they’re gonna punish me. 

The last time I spoke to you by just keeping the conservatorship going, and also keeping my dad in the loop, made me feel like I was dead — like I didn’t matter, like nothing had been done to me, like you thought I was lying or something. I’m telling you again, because I’m not lying. I want to feel heard. And I’m telling you this again, so maybe you can understand the depth and the degree and the damage that they did to me back then. 

I want changes, and I want changes going forward. I deserve changes. I was told I have to sit down and be evaluated, again, if I want to end the conservatorship. Ma’am, I didn’t know I could petition the conservatorship to end it. I’m sorry for my ignorance, but I honestly didn’t know that. But honestly, but I don’t think I owe anyone to be evaluated. I’ve done more than enough. I don’t feel like I should even be in room with anyone to offend me by trying to question my capacity of intelligence, whether I need to be in this stupid conservatorship or not. I’ve done more than enough. 

I don’t owe these people anything — especially me, the one that has roofed and fed tons of people on tour on the road. It’s embarrassing and demoralizing what I’ve been through. And that’s the main reason I’ve never said it openly. And mainly, I didn’t want to say it openly, because I honestly don’t think anyone would believe me. To be honest with you, the Paris Hilton story on what they did to her to that that school, I didn’t believe any of it. I’m sorry. I’m an outsider, and I’ll just be honest. I didn’t believe it. 

And maybe I’m wrong, and that’s why I didn’t want to say any of this to anybody, to the public, because I thought people would make fun of me or laugh at me and say, “She’s lying, she’s got everything, she’s Britney Spears.” 

I’m not lying. I just want my life back. And it’s been 13 years. And it’s enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve owned my money. And it’s my wish and my dream for all of this to end without being tested. Again, it makes no sense whatsoever for the State of California to sit back and literally watch me with their own two eyes, make a living for so many people, and pay so many people, trucks and buses on the road with me and be told, I’m not good enough. But I’m great at what I do. And I allow these people to control what I do, ma’am. And it’s enough. It makes no sense at all. 

Now, going forward, I’m not willing to meet or see anyone. I’ve met with enough people against my will. I’m done. All I want is to own my money, for this to end, and my boyfriend to drive me in his fucking car. 

And I would honestly like to sue my family, to be totally honest with you. I also would like to be able to share my story with the world, and what they did to me, instead of it being a hush-hush secret to benefit all of them. I want to be able to be heard on what they did to me by making me keep this in for so long, it is not good for my heart. I’ve been so angry, and I cry every day. It concerns me, I’m told I’m not allowed to expose the people who did this to me. 

For my sanity, I need you to the judge to approve me to do an interview where I can be heard on what they did to me. And actually, I have the right to use my voice and take up for myself. My attorney says I can’t. It’s not good. I can’t let the public know anything they did to me and by not saying anything, is saying it’s OK. 

It’s not OK. Actually, I don’t want an interview — I’d much rather just have an open call to you for the press to hear, which I didn’t know today we’re doing, so thank you. Instead of having an interview, honestly, I need that to get it off my heart, the anger and all of it that’s been happening. 

It’s not fair they’re telling me lies about me openly. Even my family, they do interviews to anyone they want on news stations. My own family doing interviews and talking about the situation and making me feel so stupid. And I can’t say one thing. And my own people say I can’t say anything. 

It’s been two years. I want a recorded call to you actually, we’re doing this now — which I didn’t know that we’re doing this. My lawyer, Sam (Ingham), has been very scared for me to go forward because he’s saying if I speak up, I’m being overworked in that facility of that rehab place, that rehab place will sue me. He told me I should keep it to myself. I would personally like to — actually, I’ve grown with a personal relationship with Sam, my lawyer, I’ve been talking to him like three times a week now, we’ve kind of built a relationship but I haven’t really had the opportunity by my own self to actually handpick my own lawyer by myself. And I would like to be able to do that. 

The main reason why I’m here is because I want to end the conservatorship without having to be evaluated. I’ve done a lot of research, ma’am. And there’s a lot of judges who do end conservatorships for people without them having to be evaluated all the time. The only times they don’t is if a concerned family member says something’s wrong with this person. 

And considering my family has lived off my conservatorship for 13 years, I won’t be surprised if one of them has something to say going forward, and say, “We don’t think this should end, we have to help her.” Especially if I get my fair turn exposing what they did to me. 

Also, I want to speak to you about my obligations, which, I personally don’t think at the very moment I owe anybody anything. I have three meetings a week I have to attend no matter what. I just don’t like feeling like I work for the people whom I pay. I don’t like being told I have to, no matter what, even if I’m sick. Jodi, the conservator, says I have to see my Coach Ken even when I’m sick. I would like to do one meeting a week with a therapist. I’ve never before, even before they sent me to that place, had two therapy sessions. I had a doctor and then a therapy person. What I’ve been forced to do illegal in my life. I shouldn’t be told I have to be available three times a week to these people I don’t know. 

I’m talking to you today because I feel again, yes, even Jodi is starting to kind of take it too far with me. They have me going to therapy twice a week and a psychiatrist. I’ve never in the past – wait, they had me going, yeah, twice a week and Dr. Gold, so that’s three times a week. I’ve never in the past had to see a therapist more than once a week. It takes too much out of me going to this man I don’t know. 

Number one, I’m scared of people. I don’t trust people with what I’ve been through. And the clever setup of being in Westlake, one of the most exposed places in Westlake, which, yesterday, paparazzi showed me coming out of the place literally crying in therapy. It’s embarrassing, and it’s demoralizing. I deserve privacy when I go and have therapy, either at my home, like I’ve done for eight years. They’ve always come to my home. Or when Dr. Benson — the man that died — I went to a place similar to what I went to in Westlake which was very exposed and really bad. Okay, so where was I? It was like, it was identical to Dr. Benson, who illegally, yes 100% abused me by the treatment he gave me, to be totally honest with you, I was so — 

JUDGE: Ms. Spears, excuse me for interrupting you, but my reporter says if you could just slow it down a little bit, because she’s trying to make sure she gets everything that you’re saying. 

SPEARS: OK, cool… And to be totally honest with you, when [Dr. Benson] passed away, I got on my knees and thanked God. In other words, my team is pushing it with me again. I have trapped phobias being in small rooms because of the trauma, locking me up for four months in that place. It’s not okay for them to send me — sorry, I’m going fast — to that small room like that twice a week with another new therapist that I pay that I never even approved. I don’t like it. I don’t want to do that. And I haven’t done anything wrong to deserve this treatment. 

It’s not okay to force me to do anything I don’t want to do. By law, Jodi and this so-called team should honestly – I should be able to sue them for threatening me and saying if I don’t go and do these meetings twice a week, we can’t let you have your money and go to Maui on your vacations. You have to do what you’re told for this program and then you will be able to go. But it was a very clever thing, one of the most exposed places in Westlake, knowing I have the hot topic of the conservatorship, that over five paparazzies are going to show up and get me crying coming out of that place. I begged them to make sure that they did this at my home, so I would have privacy. I deserve privacy. 

The conservatorship, from the beginning, once you see someone, whoever it is, in the conservatorship making money, making them money, and myself money and working – that whole statement right there, the conservatorship should end. I shouldn’t be in a conservatorship if I can work and provide money and work for myself and pay other people — it makes no sense. The laws need to change. What state allows people to own another person’s money and account and threaten them and saying, “You can’t spend your money unless you do what we want you to do.” And I’m paying them. 

Ma’am, I’ve worked since I was 17 years old. You have to understand how thin that is for me every morning I get up to know I can’t go somewhere unless I meet people, I don’t know every week in an office identical to the one where the therapist was very abusive to me. I truly believe this conservatorship is abusive, and that we can sit here all day and say oh, conservatorships are here to help people. But ma’am, there is a thousand conservatorships that are abusive as well. 

I don’t feel like I can live a full life. I don’t owe them to go see a man I don’t know and share him my problems. I don’t even believe in therapy. I always think you take it to God. I want to end the conservatorship without being evaluated. In the meantime, I want this therapist once a week. I just want him to come to my home. I’m not willing to go to Westlake and be embarrassed by all these scummy paparazzi laughing at my face while I’m crying, coming out and taking my pictures as all these white nice dinners, where people drinking wine at restaurants, watching these places. They set me up by sending me to the most exposed places, and I told them I didn’t want to go there because I knew paparazzi would show up there.

They only gave me two options for therapists. And I’m not sure how you make your decisions, ma’am. But this is the only chance for me to talk to you for a while. I need your help, so if you can just kind of let me know where your head is. I don’t really honestly know what to say but my requests are just to end the conservatorship without being evaluated. I want to petition basically to end the conservatorship. But I don’t want to be evaluated and be sat in a room with people four hours a day, like they did me before. And they made it even worse for me after that happened. 

I’m honestly new with this. And I’m doing research on all these things. I do know common sense and the method that things can end – for people, it has ended without them being evaluated. So, I just want you to take that in consideration. 

It also took a year, during COVID, to get me any self-care methods. She said there were no services available. She’s lying, ma’am. My mom went to the spot twice in Louisiana during COVID. For a year, I didn’t have my nails done — no hairstyling and no massages, no acupuncture. Nothing for a year. I saw the maids in my home each week with their nails done different each time. She made me feel like my dad does. Very similar, her behavior and my dad, but just a different dynamic. 

The team wants me to work and stay home instead of having longer vacations. They are used to me sort of doing a weekly routine for them. And I’m over it. I don’t feel like I owe them anything at this point. They need to be reminded they actually work for me. 

I was supposed to be able to — I have a friend that I used to do AA meetings with. I did AA for two years. I did three meetings a week. I’ve met a bunch of women there. And I’m not able to see my friends that live eight minutes away from me, which I find extremely strange. 

I feel like they’re making me feel like I live in a rehab program. This is my home. I’d like for my boyfriend to be able to drive me in his car. And I want to meet with a therapist once a week, not twice a week. And I want him to come to my home. Because I actually know I do need a little therapy. (Laughing.) 

I would like to progressively move forward, and I want to have the real deal, I want to be able to get married and have a baby. I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby, I have a (IUD) inside of myself right now, so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the (IUD) out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have children – any more children. So basically, this conservatorship is doing me waaay more harm than good. 

I deserve to have a life. I’ve worked my whole life. I deserve to have a two-to-three-year break and just, you know, do what I want to do. But I do feel like there is a crutch here. And I feel open and I’m okay to talk to you today about it. But I wish I could stay with you on the phone forever, because when I get off the phone with you, all of a sudden all I hear all these no’s — no, no, no. And then all of a sudden, I get I feel ganged up on and I feel bullied, and I feel left out and alone. And I’m tired of feeling alone. I deserve to have the same rights as anybody does, by having a child, a family, any of those things, and more so. 

And that’s all I wanted to say to you. And thank you so much for letting me speak to you today. 

JUDGE: Ms. Spears, you’re quite welcome. And also, I just want to tell you that I certainly am sensitive to everything that you said and how you’re feeling, and I know that it took a lot of courage for you to say everything you have to say today, and I want to let you know that the court does appreciate your coming on the line and sharing how you’re feeling. 

For Women Under Conservatorship, Forced Birth Control Is Routine

In June, Britney Spears spoke publicly for the first time about her conservatorship. She told a Los Angeles judge she has been forced to perform, forced to take medication she did not want, and, perhaps most shocking to the general public, forced to use contraception. Last night, Spears reiterated many of the claims she made in June, adding that in addition to major abuses like being forced into a residential psychiatric facility, she was subjected to a number of petty ones.

Journalist Sara Luterman, who focuses on disability politics, reports that a lot of people were shocked by the allegations that Britney Spears is being forced to wear an IUD. After looking into how common the practice is for other people under guardianship, she’s not going to lie: It’s bleak.

For Women Under Conservatorship, Forced Birth Control Is Routine

No one with knowledge of conservatorship Luterman interviewed was surprised by any of Spears’s allegations, including the ones around reproductive choice. Advocates say forced birth control and sterilization are still routine in the United States for women under conservatorship. Tom Stenson—the deputy legal director of Disability Rights Oregon, a federally funded protection agency—said he has never seen a case involving a man’s family seeking birth control or sterilization of a son. “I’m sure somewhere out there, there’s somebody trying to get their son or brother with a disability sterilized. But I’ve had a number of these cases arise, and they are, in my experience and so far, all women.”

Read the full article here

Rolls-Royce illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Making A Legend

ROLLS-ROYCE MARKS WORLD BOOK DAY WITH ‘MAKING A LEGEND’

  • Rolls-Royce celebrates UNESCO World Book Day on 23 April 2021 with Making A Legend
  • The new book explores the unique blend of hand-craftmanship, and world-class technology embodied in the present generation of Rolls-Royce motor cars
  • Authors Simon Van Booy and Harvey Briggs granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access with photographer Mariano Vilarós at Rolls-Royce’s Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence at Goodwood
  • Foreword provided by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Chief Executive, Torsten Müller-Ötvös
  • Hardcover, 296 pages, full-colour photographs throughout; now available from all good retailers

“When the authors approached us with their proposal for this book, we welcomed them with open arms. Simon and Harvey are both distinguished writers with great perceptiveness, integrity and enthusiasm. They joined us at the Home of Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, West Sussex, where we gave them our full support, granting access to whatever and whoever they wanted to see and talk about. Their words, combined with the images captured by Mariano Vilarós, make this a definitive history of the marque, right up to and including, the present day. Its publication represents a worthy addition to the literature of Rolls-Royce, a fine celebration of our unique products and people, and a perfect book with which to acknowledge World Book Day.”Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Chief Executive, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce marks the UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day with Making A Legend – a new book exploring how today’s generation of Rolls-Royce motor cars is designed and handcrafted at Rolls-Royce’s Global Centre of Luxury Manufacturing Excellence in Goodwood, England.

An important and worthy addition to the extensive Rolls-Royce literary canon, Making A Legend takes in a broad sweep of the company’s history, featuring cars from the marque’s very earliest days in the 1900s, right up to new Ghost launched in 2020.

The book provides an intimate, highly contemporary account of life at the house of luxury, with the aim of connecting readers with the people who make the best car in the world. The narrative follows the process of transforming a customer’s idea into a finished product, through interviews with individuals from all departments including Bespoke designers, skilled craftspeople and assembly specialists.

Over almost 300 lavishly illustrated pages, every detail of how a Rolls-Royce motor car is designed, engineered and meticulously hand-built, is examined. Chapters include Design and Customization, Paint and Finish, Chassis Assembly, Woodwork, Leather and Testing; there is also an entire section devoted to the Spirit of Ecstasy, the figurine that has graced the bonnet of Rolls-Royce motor cars for over 100 years.

Emmy-winning automotive journalist Harvey Briggs, novelist Simon Van Booy and photographer Mariano Vilarós were granted unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to Rolls-Royce’s facilities and people over several months before the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Briggs, who grew up in America’s Motor City, Detroit, and has reviewed every new Rolls-Royce model since Wraith in 2013, recalls being surprised at how much work is still performed by hand, even in the assembly process. He was also struck by the level of innovation in today’s Rolls-Royce motor cars, and the marque’s commitment to delivering impeccable quality.

Harvey Briggs commented, “The first time I visited Rolls-Royce in Goodwood, I was in awe of the exceptional creativity and skill of the people who design and build these remarkable cars. I knew I had to tell those stories.”

Simon Van Booy added, “The friendly perfectionism for craft, displayed by everyone we interviewed and Mariona photographed, was inspiring to the point where we knew the book had to be something rare and marvelous and functional – rather like a Rolls-Royce itself.”

Organized by UNESCO, World Book and Copyright Day celebrates the role of books and reading as a link between the past and the future, the bridge across generations and cultures. The date, 23rd April, is symbolic in world literature, marking the deaths of playwright and poet William Shakespeare, the creator of Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes, and the early Peruvian writer, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

Making A Legend is published in hardback by ACC Art Books, and is now available from all good retailers including Amazon.

Rita Azar Illustrates an Entertainment Article for 360 MAGAZINE

The Cosby Show And Me

One woman’s journey after she learned The Cosby Show was based on her family in the 1980s.

By Ann-Marie Adams, Ph.D. | @annmarieadams

What if I told you that The Cosby Show was partly based on me and my family during the 1980s? You would probably not believe it. But it is true.

That’s the conclusion after a seven-year investigation by private investigators and government officials. Providence guided us during this lengthy investigation when I lived in Avon, and political operatives prepared me in 2014 to run for Congress against former Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty–an academic exercise worth noting. It was during this “prep” time that I learned about this connection with The Cosby Show.

This fortuitous story of the connection began when former President Ronald Reagan visited Jamaica on April 7, 1982. During that one-day visit, Reagan’s security detail reportedly made contact with me and my family. My father was an electrical engineer while working at the Government Printing Office. He owned a home in a suburb of Kingston. And my mother worked with a transportation company. If former President Barack Obama did not visit Jamaica on April 9, 2015, while I was covering the White House, I wouldn’t have believed this story. That’s because it was Obama’s first visit as president, and he was only the second sitting president to visit the Caribbean nation since its independence in 1962, according to MSNBC.

Also at play were these facts: In Jamaica, we were a middle-class family Reagan’s cabinet allegedly felt they should watch. After Reagan’s visit, several individuals made plans to put a family sitcom together. And it was called The Cosby Show, according to sources close to the U.S. federal, state, and local governments. The show aired on NBC from April 30, 1984, to September 20, 1992.

The Cosby Show’s character, Denise Huxtable, was based on me, I’m told. The character’s persona and likeness were exploited without our consent.

And the revelation about the origins of the show can also be found in Bill Cosby’s interview about how he came up with this idea.

Cosby first pitched the show about a working-class Honduran family. My father’s ancestors are from Honduras and Nicaragua. We had a wonderful life that included Sunday dinners and picnics in the park, but we weren’t exempt from obstacles. Although The Cosby Show was mainly focused on Cosby’s observations of family life, some of those observations were of my family. Moreover, the basic concept of the middle-class family depicted on the show is evident in my family: My older sibling wanted to be a doctor. Also, I wanted to be a lawyer. Those plans of ours were interrupted by government officials, according to sources close to the investigation.

In previous interviews, Cosby also stated the original conceptualization of the show: a working-class family that raised a successful child. (side note: Cosby’s wife suggested the show be based on a well-to-do family). The original premise and casting choices for the sitcom, however, reaffirmed the initial concept in the pitch that was identical to my family and me.

So I’m telling my story.

Several scenes were points of recognition of my family’s life in Jamaica and the U.S., especially my time at Brooklyn College. I also learned during the investigation that the casting directors and writers had our family in mind when they selected the actors. There are frighteningly similar personas in my family and the characters on the show. And a picture of The Cosby Show family and my family bears a striking resemblance. For example, Denise Huxtable is my doppelganger–and the investigators discovered the character’s traits are similar to mine. Theo is my brother’s doppelganger and a few scenes reflect the relationship with him and my father. Vanessa is my sister Andrea’s doppelganger and several scenes reflect her relationship between us. Rudy’s character is based on my brother. Articles about the casting claimed that the casting directors tried to find a boy at first but they couldn’t; so they used a girl for the role. Rudy is my niece Janel’s doppelganger. And the character Olivia is my other niece Franchista’s doppelganger. The optics resonate well to claim theft of services and copyright infringement.

Other similarities include Sondra, who shares traits with my cousin Carleen. Elvin is based on my brother Lloyd. Also, Aunt Vi is based on my cousin, Doreen, Lt. Martin Kindall, Denise’s husband is based on my cousin, Raymond. And of course, Claire Huxtable was based on my mother and older sister, Marcia. The patriarch of the television family, Cliff Huxtable portrays similar traits as my handsome father. Huxtable is my father’s doppelganger–not twin. Cosby’s conviction as a sex offender was not echoed in my family. In fact, my father has never been arrested for any crimes. This information, I believe, will allow people to differentiate between the actor and the individual the show was based on when talking about the circumstances around this NBC hit comedy in the 1980s and 1990s.

In addition to those facts, several scenes were premised on the interpersonal dynamics of the relationships between me and my sisters, brothers, and cousins. This was too much of a coincidence to those who were investigating us during the recent investigation and prep for Congress. The public must know that The Cosby Show itself is a creation by several actors, comedians, writers, and producers who may be unfamiliar with our family. However, a few undisclosed individuals close to the recent investigation of Bill Cosby and the creation of the show gave me this information. So the very idea that it was based on our family was plausible to investigate further, officials said. I also learned that the 1990s spin-off, A Different World, was based on me and my years at college. And the show, That’s So Raven, was based on my niece, Franchista.

Why we were picked for this social experiment will perhaps remain a secret to Reagan, his staff, and others close to the show. The Caribbean’s strategic location to the Panama Canal gave us a clue as to why our family was at the center of a Cold War project. We requested other documents to uncover this mystery and are still waiting. Also, the United States Secret Service has disallowed open documentation of Reagan’s visit to Jamaica in 1982. But one thing was clear. After this revelation to me, while I was covering the Obama White House, my family and I were the victims of a hate crime and cover-up–because of the revelation of our connection to The Cosby Show.

Cosby and his associates are suspects in this crime, using unorthodox methods by Lansana Koroma of Philadelphia. So I reached out to Andrew Wyatt, his publicist. According to Wyatt, Cosby doesn’t want to talk about this affair right now.

Looking through old photographs, it was clear that the casting director used our family’s faces and likeness as a guide to casting those on the show. They were, indeed, our doppelgangers. The old pictures confirmed that much. After discovering we looked like the actors, who were selected for the pilot season that debut on September 20, 1984, we all were the victims of a hate crime to assault our faces and distort our images on television, print, and with online photos.

This insidious plot to strip us of our individual identities and image as a middle-class and Christian family the show was based on also included an incredible effort to secretly strip us of our financial resources, including houses, cars, and jobs. All this orchestrated crime during the long investigation was to hide our true identities and our impact on the show. Therefore, this sinister approach to the secret investigation must be addressed with force.

Perhaps the Bill Cosby trial in Philadelphia was divine justice when he was indicted on a day close to my father’s birthday. Also, Cosby failed to acknowledge our contributions to the show and as a result, his new family comedy slated for 2015 was canceled. But the United States State Department, state, city officials, and other individuals used to invade our privacy owe us more than an apology.

We are asking for the perpetrators of this crime to be held accountable with prison time–just like Bill Cosby–for the evil and covert attacks on our family to cover up this truth in the country. More importantly, we ask for reparation for our family because of years of disruptions and adverse experiences to discredit our claim to The Cosby Show.

Enough is enough. We want restorative justice–reparations.

Dr. Ann-Marie Adams is an award-winning journalist and U.S. History Professor. She is also the founder of The Hartford Guardian, the first nonprofit, hyper-local publication in Connecticut. Previously, she was a journalist at The Hartford Courant, People Magazine, NBC 4 New York, the Washington Post, other regional publications, and television newscasts.

Maria Soloman illustration for 360 MAGAZINE journalism article.

The War on Journalism

by Justin Lyons

What a time it is to be a journalist.

During an era in which news is a divisive, politicized topic, one man seems to have been spearheading the charge against modern media. That’s what a brand new documentary from Juan Passarelli aims to cover, at least in part.

“The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” takes the case of the controversial WikiLeaks founder. Assange now faces 175 years after his site published leaked documents with information sensitive to the United States government. Now we face the never-ending battle of journalistic principles versus legality.

The thing that sticks out to me at first thought is the idea that leaks have existed as long as governments and corruption have existed, which dates back to the beginning of time. As a journalist myself, I think we consider our job as watchdogs one of the most important jobs in a functioning society. If journalists aren’t delivering news telling consumers what they need to know and why they need to know it, we’d be missing a huge opportunity to hold powerful figures accountable.

Theodore Roosevelt once called journalists “muckrakers” because they, well, rake through the muck. They dig through the dirt to find that key that might be even dirtier than the dirt itself. While it doesn’t sound like an endearing term, journalists seem to take it as a compliment.

This documentary looks at the realities of being a reporter in the middle of the action, and it seems to no longer be safe to gather information about government action. It opens with what looks like a reporter being pepper sprayed by police and proceeds to show government officials claim they will not agree to refrain from prosecuting journalists for doing their jobs.

Assange was indicted under the Espionage Act with 17 counts. The Espionage Act is a United States law published in 1917 that aims to prevent interference in foreign relations.

While it might seem that the First Amendment could guarantee freedom for press to publish information with the public good in mind, John Kiriakou, described as a CIA torture whistleblower, brought up a really interesting point.

Kiriakou was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia and hired the lawyer who won cases for O.J. Simpson and George Zimmerman. That lawyer decided that Kiriakou’s case was impossible to win in the Eastern District of Virginia. His jury would have comprised of members of the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon, intelligence community contractors and the Department of Homeland Security.

The same applies to Julian Assange. He was charged in the Eastern District of Virginia, where Kiriakou said no national security defendant had ever won a case.

Journalists aren’t seeking more freedom than the average U.S. citizen, but they should be protected with clearly defined rights. When the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to an impartial jury, it can make you wonder how Kiriakou’s story is possible in the first place. It seems that seeking protection for the government has overwhelmed the protection of journalistic freedoms.

Overall, the documentary is definitely an interesting looking glass into what it’s like to be a journalist right now. I also think it’s an interesting look at journalistic protections. When thinking about people like Assange or Edward Snowen, who also appears in the documentary, I wonder where their protections start and end and how those protections are recognized if we consider them journalists.

In 2020, anyone can be a journalist, and using that freedom of press for information of public interest is something that is quite clearly protected by the Constitution.

Now that Assange is appearing in court for his extradition case, I look forward to the outcome, as it could become another landmark case for journalism in the United States.

If you’re interested in seeing “The War on Journalism – the case of Julian Assange” for yourself, you can check it out right here.

book, reading, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Jini Reddy New Book

On Tuesday, June 30th, Bloomsbury Wildlife (US) is releasing Wanderland: A Search for Magic in the Landscape by award-winning BIPOC author and journalist Jini Reddy, who was just long-listed for the 2020 Wainwright Prize.

In pursuit of the Other and a connection to Britain’s captivating natural world, Jini Reddy searches for the magical in the landscape. Alone on a remote mountaintop one dark night, she hears a mysterious voice.

Propelled by the memory and after years of dreaming about it, Jini Reddy dares to delve into the “wanderlands” of Britain, heading off in search of the magical in the landscape.

A London journalist with multicultural roots and a perennial outsider, she determinedly sets off on this unorthodox path. Serendipity and her inner compass guide her around the country in pursuit of the Other and a connection to Britain’s captivating natural world. Where might this lead? And if you know what it is to be Othered yourself, how might this color your experiences? And what if, in invoking the spirit of the land, ‘it’ decides to make its presence felt?

Whether following a ‘cult’ map to a hidden well that refuses to reveal itself, attempting to persuade a labyrinth to spill its secrets, embarking on a coast-to-coast pilgrimage or searching for a mystical land temple, Jini depicts a whimsical, natural Britain. Along the way, she tracks down ephemeral wild art, encounters women who worship The Goddess, falls deeper in love with her birth land and struggles – but mostly fails – to get to grips with its lore. Throughout, she rejoices in the wildness we cannot see and celebrates the natural beauty we can, while offering glimpses of her Canadian childhood and her Indian parents’ struggles in apartheid-era South Africa.

Wanderland is a book in which the heart leads, all things are possible and the Other, both wild and human, comes in from the cold. It is a paean to the joy of roaming, both figuratively and imaginatively, and to the joy of finding your place in the world.

“A joyous celebration of the beauty we can see and the magic we can’t.” – Tay Aziz, BBC Wildlife

“…doesn’t just open your eyes to the Isles’ mystical history, but also your mind to the possibilities of what spirits may be lurking there.” – Wanderlust Magazine

“[Jini Reddy] rejects the stereotypes placed on people of color, and crafts a beautiful story of self-discovery and exploration of the natural world. – Brown Girl Magazine

Wanderland: A Search for Magic in the Landscape by Jini Reddy goes on-sale 6/30/20

About Jini Reddy:

Jini Reddy is an award-winning author and journalist. She was born in London to Indian parents who grew up in apartheid-era South Africa, and was raised in Montreal, Canada. Jini has a degree in Geography, an M.A. in English Literature and a passion for writing on travel, nature and spirituality. Her byline has appeared in The Guardian, Time magazine, The Metro, The Times, Sunday Times Style, The Sunday Telegraph, National Geographic Traveler, BBC Wildlife, Resurgence & The Ecologist and other publications. Her first book, Wild Times, was published in 2016 and she is a contributor to the forthcoming Women on Nature anthology.

Follow Jini Reddy: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Website 

Jeff Langlois, 360 MAGAZINE, The Mill, LA, photography, fine arts

Jeff Langlois

It took a one-way road trip for Jeff Langlois to cultivate a passion for photography. The adventure to LA brought forth stunning deserts and mountainous peaks, as he drove from Minneapolis through the Rockies – in a 2002 Honda Civic; eager to jumpstart a career at a commercial house called The Mill. The best way to balance out the fast-paced, unpredictable, and ever-changing environment that is advertising, was to break away and see what the west coast really looks like. Traveling solo allowed him to arrive in beautiful destinations and wait for these locations to unveil their scenic characteristics. Jeff notes that the best shots always come unexpectedly. Now while still mainly shooting the outdoors, he plans just enough to get him out and moving around, but his best and most memorable shots come unexpectedly. It’s about showing up and being patient and receptive to what’s going on. 

Save Journalism Project Launches To Protect Our Press From Big Tech

BuzzFeed Reports on Recently Laid Off Journalists Serving  As Spox For New Campaign To Save Journalism From Monopolistic Power of Big Tech Companies

Today, BuzzFeed reports on the Save Journalism Project that’s launching to raise awareness and engagement about the critical need to save journalism as it faces an existential threat—the monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlets. At the same time, Google and Facebook have made acquisition after acquisition, gaining a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. Just now are Facebook, Google, and other tech giants facing federal government and Congressional antitrust scrutiny.

Two recently laid off reporters will serve as spokespeople for the Save Journalism Project, Laura Bassett  and John StantonLearn More and Join the Fight at SaveJournalism.org and@SaveTheNews.

BuzzFeed: These Reporters Lost Their Jobs. Now They’re Fighting Back Against Big Tech.

“John Stanton and Laura Bassett are warning about what they believe the tech industry is doing to journalism, as thousands have lost their jobs this year alone.

By Rosie Gray”

Two prominent reporters who were recently laid off from digital media outlets are forming a new advocacy group formed to raise awareness about big tech’s impact on the journalism industry.

John Stanton, a longtime congressional correspondent and former BuzzFeed News Washington bureau chief, and Laura Bassett, a former culture and political reporter for nearly 10 years at the Huffington Post, have teamed up to launch a new initiative called the Save Journalism Project. The two have first-hand experience with the troubled state of the news industry: Stanton was laid off from BuzzFeed News during a round of layoffs that affected 200 people company-wide this winter and spurred a unionization drive among the news staff. Bassett lost her job in similar fashion in January after Huffington Post laid off 20 employees as part of larger cuts at its parent company, Verizon Media.

This year has been one of the worst in recent memory for journalism jobs. Across the industry, thousands have lost their jobs: from BuzzFeed News, Vice, CNN, and others across the country at local publications. Media organizations have been imperiled by crashing advertising revenues as Facebook and Google vacuum up available ad dollars.

Their new project will be set up as a nonprofit, according to Eddie Vale, a Democratic consultant whose firm is providing the man-power to launch the effort. Vale pitched Bassett on the idea, and the two of them brought in Stanton. Vale said initial funding had been secured from “someone who doesn’t want to be public so Google and Facebook don’t go after them,” and the group plans to continue to fundraise. So far, the pair have co-authored testimony given to the Senate Judiciary Committee highlighting the tech giants’ impact on the news industry — “since being laid off, we’ve made it our mission to understand how the digital marketplace works and how Big Tech is killing the journalism industry,” they wrote — flown a plane above Google’s I/O conference, and authored op-eds.

A key part of their goal is to get journalists, who aren’t known for showing a keen interest in the business side of their publications or for engaging in advocacy themselves, to take an active role in defending the future of their jobs. In an interview, Stanton said they were “trying to educate the public and members of Congress and also start encouraging our colleagues to speak up.”

“Reporters are not generally super interested in speaking about their own problems and about things that affect them directly because they feel like it becomes a conflict of interest, and in certain ways that’s true,” Stanton said. “But when the future of the free press is being pretty seriously endangered by something, I think it’s incumbent upon us to stand up for ourselves.”

Like many reporters, Bassett said she had “never really had to pay attention to the financial side of journalism.”

But “after getting laid off, I started to become really interested in why all of these amazing news publishers were sort of going under, having to lay off staff, why we were losing local newspapers. It’s a tragedy, it’s really bad for democracy.”

Their effort comes at a time of increased scrutiny of the tech industry on the part of the federal government as well as Congress as public concern mounts over repeated privacy scandals, technology companies’ role in spreading misinformation, and their dominance over certain industries. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission reportedly made a deal to divide potential antitrust investigations between them; Apple and Google will fall under the purview of the DOJ, while the FTC took Facebook and Amazon. The House Judiciary Committee announced it would “conduct a top-to-bottom review of the market power held by giant tech platforms.”

The Save Journalism Project’s founders are hoping to steer the public conversation around the negative effects of Big Tech towards its impact on journalism.

Stanton, who lives in New Orleans, mentioned examples like that city’s local paper, the Times-Picayune, which laid off its entire staff last month. Around the country, Stanton said, “local reporters are so overtaxed. They’re doing as good a job as they can but there’s not enough of them.”

At the moment, Stanton and Bassett are more focused on warning the public and the industry about the issue than on proposing solutions.

“I do think that everyone is starting to see a need to break up and regulate these companies or something along those lines,” Bassett said. “And with regards to how they’re going to make journalism viable again, I don’t frankly know…I think right now we’re starting with just getting this conversation out into the public and making people aware of exactly what’s going on. I do hope at some point we graduate into saying, ‘here’s a list of policy proposals, here’s exactly what needs to happen.'”

Stanton and Bassett plan to interview elected officials, candidates and colleagues in the media about the industry’s crisis, and started with conducting on-camera interviews with Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Ruben Gallego. They plan to circulate a letter with which media companies can sign on to their cause. And their first official event will be at the annual Congressional Baseball Game, where they plan to distribute a physical newspaper laying out the problems on their agenda.

“The DC press corps is a really powerful constituency within our industry,” Stanton said. “If we can get our colleagues [there] to start talking about this it will help more broadly.”

HOW TO TRAVEL WITH A VAPE AND NOT BREAK THE LAW

What does your usual day look like?

The most common script is that you wake up, take a shower, have your breakfast and leave for work. The other option is lying in bed until midday and enjoying your distanced work from home. However, it does not matter, which obligations you have, but it is important, which habits you have. If you have any of all possible unhealthy habits, it may be difficult for you to travel with family during your holidays or to go on business trips.

Today we would talk about possibilities to travel if your habit is vaping. If you are a long-termed vaper and cannot imagine your working day without using best vape pen (Vapingdaily gives helpful hints), you might be surprised when you would have to leave your device at home during traveling abroad. These prohibitions depend on the destination country laws, the rules of traveling adapted by your airline company and also on the type of device you use and the substance you vape. For example, even the best vape pen for weed regarding safety and security must be left at home, because in the country (or state), you travel to, marijuana or other substances are illicit.

It also happens that you have to leave your vape at home because of strict rules of airlines, but then you can buy new vape pens in any vape shop at your destination country (or state).

What are the rules of taking vaping devices to the plane?

The most evident rule is that you can never vape while being on the plane during your flight, but usually, you can bring your vaping device in the plane. The important point here is that it should not be in the checked bag, because all the batteries must be in special storage in the pressurized cabin. Some airlines may have additional peculiarities about carrying some types of e-cig or vaporizer pen. The policies of different airlines may vary, so read the policies carefully before you purchase the ticket. This may save your money and help to avoid conflicts or other possible unpleasant situations.

The other question is about e liquids and vapor juice for your pen vaporizer. You know that any airlines have limits to the amount of any liquid that you can take along with you. To minimize possible problems try to put the liquid into a special plastic container to facilitate the screening process. Do not forget that the dosage of allowed liquid may vary depending on the company.

What countries you would better fly without vaping devices and why?

The short list of countries, where using vape pen may turn sour, is:

Thailand

Singapore

Brunei

Taiwan

Vietnam

Philippines

Lebanon

India

To exemplify, a traveler caught with pen vaporizer can get sentenced up to 10 years behind bars. Lebanon, India, Vietnam and some other countries impose harsh penalties on those, who vape. Vaping is strictly banned there.

The fact is that we know very little about laws on vaping in our country, not to say about the countries we have never been to. There is plenty of either country, where vaping is illegal, and you can get a fine, or being put into prison. So find a couple of minutes to google the legislation of the country of your destination.

In 2011 not only the process of vaping is banned, but also essential, transferring, selling or buying of even those vape pens, which contain no nicotine was banned in Argentina. If you have a trip to this country, better leave you vape at home. To continue the theme of South America, the production and sales of electronic cigarettes are illegal in Brazil since 2014.

One of the most popular countries for holidays is Egypt. Electronic cigarettes are banned there for already four years. Border patrol agent can commandeer your device at customs.

Talking about Asia, you would have to pay from $300 to $500 if you use any type of vaporizer pen in the areas, where smoking is forbidden, since 2010 in Brunei. To talk business, the government does not regulate the ability of personal use of vape pens, but people advise not to take your device to this country. One cannot be too careful.

In Singapore, the fines are much higher. The first offense will cost you about $4000 or more. In Cambodia, the government banned vaping in 2014. In India, though e-cigs are forbidden only in six states (Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Jammu, and Kashmir). In some of these states, police can force you to pay a fine, but in some, they can get you into prison as well. Some states in Malaysia also have particular bans on vaping. It is illegal in public buildings, gas stations, etc. The fine might rich $2000, or you can get into prison for up to 2 years. In Jordan, any type of e-cig (even those, which contain no nicotine) is under a ban since 2009.

As for Europe, you cannot transfer, sell or purchase any of the products, which contain nicotine in Norway. The only exception is a medical note, which proves that you need an e-cig to give up smoking. On the contrary, the Netherlands are famous for the ability to smoke anything. They sell weed in cakes, as cigs, and in many other forms. Therefore, this is the country, where you can use drugs, surely, if you stick to the dosages allowed.

As a conclusion, we have pointed out several tips for traveling with vapes. They are:

Demount your vaporizer pen before the trip. You have to put different parts of it into some plastic bags or something because not all the constituents are allowed to be taken in the checked bag. This means you would better clean them, not to make your clothes dirty or sticky. Be sure to browse flawless vape shop for pens which don’t leak.

Check how much of e-liquid you can take according to the policy of your airlines. It is better to use several bottles because one can be broken or spilled during the flight or inspections at the airport.

Check the expiry date of all the substances you need and check if you put your charger with you. Also, it is better to google the location of vape shops in the area of your hotel.

You must pack all the batteries into special packs. This rule is extremely strict-followed in all the airline’s companies.

Check the laws of the country you travel to once again. It is better to read more than to spend two years in an Asian prison.

About the author:

Christina Matthews, the journalist who studies the latest news in the health industry. Now she studies the effects of smoking and vaping on health and reasons for such its popularity.

It also happens that you have to leave your vape at home because of strict rules of airlines, but then you can buy new vape pens in any vape shop at your destination country (or state). If you decide to travel to Canada we recommend 180Smoke.ca.

MICHAEL LETTERLOUGH JR.

Michael Letterlough Jr. is an Award-winning fashion, commercial and portrait photographer whose work has been seen and published in national and international magazines such as Forbes, Vogue Italia, GQ, Vibe, EuroMoney, Ebony/Jet and Essence to name a few; as well as international selling CD and book covers, national ad campaigns, top modeling agencies, and countless celebrities – including Janet Jackson, Kevin Hart, supermodels Beverly Johnson and Janice Dickinson, and Hip-Hop mogul, Russell Simmons.

However, it’s the work Michael has created with such companies as American Express, Nike, and the Bravo TV Network, as well as smaller businesses and individual personalities that positions his style of imagery as strong, commercial branding tools. When aligned with businesses – big and small – Michael has the ability to creatively and ingeniously produce photographs that not only perfectly represent their brand, but also command an audience’s attention.

Michael was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated with a degree in Communications/Magazine Journalism from Temple University. After beginning his professional career as an entertainment journalist, he eventually discovered his passion for photography and developed much of his photography career living in New York City. Michael currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

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