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https://issuu.com/brianpelanone/docs/view_50_issue By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Angela Davis, the US political activist and academic, said in her book Are Prisons Obsolete: “On the whole, people tend to take prisons for granted. It is difficult to imagine life without them. At the same time, there is reluctance to face the realities hidden within them, a fear of thinking about what happens inside them. Thus, the prison is present in our lives and, at the same time, it is absent from our lives……The most difficult and urgent challenge today is that of creatively exploring new terrains of justice, where the prison no longer…

Above in featured image: Peter Osborne, left, Community Relations Council, at the launch of the 49th issue of VIEW at the Crescent Arts Centre, with Bill Osborne, Brian Pelan, Mary McManus, East Belfast Independent Advice Centre; Nigel McKinney, Lucy Gollogly and Amanda Doherty from Big Lottery Fund and Dr Brendan Murtagh By VIEW editor Brian Pelan The 49th issue of VIEW (print version) was recently launched at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast. This edition of VIEW looked at the impact of the Building Change Trust as it comes to the end of its 10-year existence in the community/voluntary/social enterprise…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan One of the definitions of the word austerity is “difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure”. As Belfast basks in sunshine and the supermarket carparks are full as many shoppers splash the cash on ‘summer’ food, wine and beer, it’s sometimes hard to see where the austerity is. In many ways those hit hardest by cuts remain hidden and out of sight. To admit that you are struggling because your welfare benefits have been cut is difficult. ‘Shame and stigma’ go hand in hand as to confess that you don’t have…

By Una Murphy, VIEWdigital publisher, Policymakers and stakeholders discussed housing priorities at a conference in Belfast recently. Nichola Mallon gave an impassioned plea to tackle homelessness; as an MLA she introduced a Private Member’s Bill to the Northern Ireland Assembly, which would have placed a statutory duty on all government departments to tackle homelessness but the bill fell with the collapse of the Assembly in January. Her sense of disappointment that the bill did not become law was palpable. Placing a statutory duty on each government department, in our view, could have helped decision-makers to ‘join the dots’ on homelessness…

Image: Social worker Alison O’Boyle at Riddel Hall in Belfast By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Many years ago author Walter Greenwood wrote a seminal work on the effects of poverty in his classic novel Love On The Dole. The story documents the lives of working class people who are struggling to survive in a northern town in 1930s Britain. i was reminded of the book as I listened to two frontline social workers talk about the effects of austerity on families in Belfast who they work with. The harrowing thing that struck me as I listened to them was the…

By Una Murphy TOP PR, Media and Marketing experts will be at Ormeau Baths, Belfast for an invitation only seminar hosted by VIEWdigital in partnership with Social Enterprise NI on October 4 They will be looking at how video produced for mobile devices is the hottest trend within communications industry at present. VIEWdigital training is led by industry experts and the ethos is on ‘showing by doing’ to help those on tight budgets, particularly in the Third Sector , to communicate their stories. VIEW editor Brian Pelan said: “We will be looking at the ‘big beasts’ You Tube and Facebook…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan I wrote my first letter to a newspaper in 1970. I was 14 years of age. It was in response to a man who had hit out at “dole scroungers” in a previous letter to the paper. To my amazement and delight, the newspaper published my letter in which I refuted the idea that people claiming benefits were “scroungers”. In 2017, we are about to witness the most systematic assault yet on Northern Ireland on people who depend on welfare benefits for their economic existence. The new Universal Credit system, which rolls six benefits into…

Above: an image from the Ken Loach film I, Daniel Blake which looked at the rise of economic hardship and food banks since austerity measures were used against those receiving welfare benefits By VIEW editor Brian Pelan Universal Credit – the Conservatives’ flagship welfare reform programme which is being rolled out in Northern Ireland this month – has been described as potentially “the biggest social policy disaster in modern British politics”. The introduction of the new welfare system will start in Limavady in September and will come to Belfast in May 2018. The aim of Universal Credit is to incorporate…

By VIEW editor Brian Pelan I enjoyed a Cuban sandwich, spoke to a group of colourfully-dressed women from Lithuania and listened to pulsating music yesterday. The annual Mela Festival in Botanic Gardens, Belfast, is truly an international affair. And every year it seems to get bigger and better. The colourful spectacle was organised by by ethnic arts group ArtsEkta. The chair of the Community Relations Council said that the festival showed that growing diversity in Northern Ireland is “unstoppable”. Peter Osborne said: “Chinese community, Indian community, Hindus, Muslims, Christians all together and celebrating what is good about humanity as a…

Image: Packed meeting at the Belfast Trust meeting in Knockbracken Healthcare Park By Una Murphy Fears have been expressed over proposals aimed at saving £70m across the Northern Ireland health service, by cutting services, wards and agency staff. It is feared the most vulnerable, especially older patients, will be hardest hit by the plans. Five public meetings took place in Belfast, Derry, Craigavon and Antrim mid-day on August 24, ahead of a six-week consultation on £70 million cuts to services. There were calls for health board members to resign rather than implement the cuts as trade union members, campaigners, citizens…

The next issue of VIEW will be looking at issues surrounding suicide and suicide prevention strategies. This edition is being produced with the support of Contact, a Northern Ireland charity specialising in crisis counselling and suicide prevention The guest editor is Contact’s CEO  Fergus Cumiskey Contact VIEW editor Brian Pelan at brianpelan@viewdigital.org if you have a story that you think should be included in this edition of VIEW  Please sign up for free at http://viewdigital.org/sign-get-view/   if you want to receive an online copy of this issue

The latest issue of VIEW – dedicated to the Arts – was launched today at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast Jo Egan, guest editor of the Arts edition; VIEWdigital co-founder Una Murphy and VIEW editor Brian Pelan addressed the audience. Ms Murphy urged people to sign up for VIEW at http://viewdigital.org/sign-get-view/ The Arts issue can be read online at http://viewdigital.org/2016/09/06/latest-issue-view-focus-arts/

By Una Murphy We are all publishers and journalists now, at least we have the tools and technology at our disposable to tells stories and share them with an audience and get feed-back.  I have had the opportunity to work with 3rd sector and public sector organisations over the last couple of years on the learning that the @VIEWdigital co-founders have acquired in digital media since setting up our community journalism online platform and publishing VIEW social affairs magazine. We are also delighted to host other media professionals to deliver their courses.  Queries have ranged from telling stories via Twitter and Facebook to…

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